When I found out that Jagwire made green shifter housing I just had to have some, when I was informed that they also have the matching brake cable housing, and that Jagwire was kind enough to cough up a set of Ripcords for testing, I just had to have some of that too.
The decision to install mechanical brakes so I could use the green housing was an easy one, then I found out that Jagwire also makes hydraulic hose in the same color, oh well, I didn’t really feel like switching the hoses out on my hydraulic brakes, installing the mechanical brakes seemed like less hassle and since they were just sitting in the toolbox collecting dust, on the Pug they went.
My first impression of the housing was, WOW those are the coolest housings I have ever seen!!!
Set up was a snap. Being a former bike mechanic and Hayes tech helped and so did a few cans of beer. My neighbors with very little and no mechanical experience offering a bunch of intoxicated advice did not help.
Then I started dialing in the tensions and actually getting the shifters and brakes working.
The shifters were pretty straightforward, SRAM X0 twist shifters to X.9 derailleur (also found in toolbox) doesn’t get much easier.
The brakes as always took a little tweaking, I may not be as quick as I used to be but I still remember all my tricks for squeaking as much power out of them and getting the lever feel I like, a lot of which has to do with the Ripcord cable and housing, the rest has to do with adjusting said brakes.
Since I ditched the Avid mechanical brakes before I even rode them and switched to Hayes hydraulic brakes and then to Hayes mechanical calipers and levers I don’t have much of a baseline to compare the Jagwire housing and cables to but the initial lever feel felt nice and stiff with very little cable drag.
When I finally took them off road and in snow, the brakes worked awesome. On the few brake check downhills we encountered the brakes were nice and stiff with good modulation, braking down a technical rocky downhill usually with just the back brake was not a problem at all.
As an added bonus the housings come with matching cable ends!!
From Jagwire’s website:
Legendary performance and compression-free, the Ripcord housing is the flagship of Jagwire’s housing line-up. The Ripcord brake housing will dramatically improve braking power for mechanical disc or V-type brake systems. 30% lighter than traditional brake housing and easy to install; a Ripcord kit combined with L3 liner technology will deliver miles of smooth, precise and powerful performance.
I can not disagree. We’ll see how they hold up in the long run.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, if you bothered to read it, I got the Jagwire Ripcord Brake Cables gratis from Jagwire for testing. I did not get paid to write this article but I did get those fancy cables out of the deal!