Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit
The Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit exists for two important reasons: to offer cyclists crisp snappy shifting by minimizing cable friction and to make sure that performance does not diminish for a very, very long time. The folks at Gore made this happen by creating a system that combines a sealed continuous liner with a cable coated with Gore’s polytetrafluoroethylene. Polly-wants-a-cracker-what? Yup, everything from Gore-Tex to electrical cables on Apollo 11 to Seinfeld’s Glide Floss is made by W.L. Gore and Associates from fluorocarbon polymers, especially PTFE. In this case all we need to know is that it’s slicker ‘n snot and they put it on your cables. It’s good.
Anyway, most of us have always treated cables as a component that needs regular replacing for proper functioning, but the nature of Gore’s system could change that way of thinking, or at least greatly extend the length of time between changes. Gore’s m.o. is that making a slightly larger investment up front should lead to better performance and less frequent replacements down the road.
Our Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit installed like any other set of shifter cables with a couple of minor exceptions. As with any other system the housing had to be cut and the burrs and snags removed from the ends. Of course the main difference with Gore’s cables is that the liners had to be snaked though the housing and cut before the cables themselves went through, and a flexible accordion style rubber boot had to be installed at both derailleurs where the cable exited the liner. The two bright red rubber covers for the cable end crimps seemed a bit superfluous at first but at least ensure that the metal ends won’t vibrate against your frame and provide an extra barrier to protect the coated cable end. The Gore website has an installation video if the included printed instructions leave some gaps in your understanding.
Out on the trail, the Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit provided some lightning fast shifts, noticeably faster and easier than our old stock Shimano XTR cables. The Gore liner nearly erases the friction that normally results at each point where the cable enters and exits the housing. On our El Padrino test rig that translated into six cable-ferrule interfaces for the rear derailleur and four for the front that are neutralized by the liner. Not to mention the fact that each of these intersections is an open invitation for grit, grime, and moisture to get into the housing and further gum up the cable movement. Shimano makes Snorkels to keep the junk out of standard housing, but just like the housing ends they’re protecting from the elements the rubber sleeves introduce even more friction into the shifting system. Gore’s system solves the problem by running the liner continuously all the way from inside the shifters through the end of the last section of housing just upstream from the derailleurs. The housing ends are still there, but the liner buffers them from the cables. Instead of seeing bare cable spanning the gaps between the sections of housing the Gore cable is nestled inside the protective liner.
In addition to the liner the Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit uses a coated cable to keep the shifting running smoothly. The coating was present on the original Ride-On cables back in the 90s but has been updated for the 21st century to be not only stronger but much thinner too, resulting in a suppler cable and a less bulky design all the way through. Generally those older cables were ridden with rave reviews, but the only problem that people reported was that the coating would sometimes separate from the cable in certain conditions and actually lead to more friction in the system. Apparently they’ve incorporated some new space age technology to leave that problem in the last century.
Our on-bike tests show that the shifting with theGore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Derailleur Cable Kit is noticeably crisper than with other cables. Success stories with Gore’s previous iteration back in the 90s combined with some dirty rides recently lead us to believe that durability will not be an issue with these cables. At over twice the price of a set of Jagwire or Shimano cables though, the Gore kit takes a bit more commitment up front, but we feel it provides a better value in the long-run given its much improved shifting performance and decreased ongoing replacement costs and hassle. We all like our drive trains to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it, and no one likes replacing cables every few months.
Available in black and white the kit includes two coated cables, two liners, enough cable housing to outfit even our ginormous 24” Ventana El Padrino 29er hardtail with 15” to spare, lots of ferrules, two rubber grub seals, two end crimps, and two crimp covers. The cables are compatible with SRAM, Shimano, and Campy and work for road, mountain, ‘Cross, townie, downhill, etc. Weight for the uncut kit is 120 g.