I’ve been having a few cable problems recently. I put new shift cables on my bike and shifting improved, but shortly one of the barrel ends broke meaning I had to redo at least one side. On a recent ride Dad told me that Alligator company has made a knock off version of Nokon’s cable system. More importantly he told me that Pricepoint.com had them half-off.
I’ve always been impressed with Nokon’s cable system. Instead of a cable housing made from metal wires sheathed in a plastic housing the Nokon system uses little aluminum snap together beads to form the cable housing. It allows for tighter bends, less friction, less ware and less weight, but most importantly it looks really cool.
Installing the system was pretty straight forward, which was good because the one page instructions assume you know what you’re doing. Measuring the aluminum housing was a bit tricky since it gets much shorter when compressed. There are short and long barrel ends, the short ones snap to the wide end of aluminum housing and fit to your frame so the housing only goes one way.
It was all going smooth until I realized that the kit includes one short front inner wire, and one long rear inner wire. I of course used the long one first on the front. Luckily I had a spare inner wire, but not the fancy teflon coated one that came in the kit.
I tested out the cable action today and while its better than brand new cables, it’s not much better, I think I felt a little less friction and lighter lever action. The kit is definitely not worth the 80 dollar retail, but on sale the i-link system wasn’t much higher than a quality cable kit. I could really tell the 50 grams or whatever the cables save on the climbs, it was like my bike floated up, or well maybe not. I’m hoping these cables stay smooth for years, but regardless of function you can’t beat their form. They look really trick.