The holidays are a perfect time to celebrate the gift of cyclocross, and what better way to whoop it up than to share some last-minute ’cross love with others? Give a teammate a must-have tool (that you can borrow), introduce a loved one to the sport, drop a hint by leaving this list out for a significant other, or just reward yourself for a great season (or console yourself for a crappy one). Our editors have reviewed, tested and hand-picked a plethora of gift suggestions. Today we bring you the brand new Gore Ride-On Ultra Light Sealed Low Friction Shift System cable housing kit.
Forget High Maintenance
If your favorite cyclocrosser is spending too much time in the garage adjusting shifting, take back some of that time by giving a Gore RideOn Ultra Light Sealed Low Friction Shift System cable and housing kit ($65 for derailleur cables). The name is a mouthful, but it’s worth remembering correctly when heading to your local shop because there are three other cable kits from Gore.
This newest version, the ultra light derailleur-only version, will shield cables from the elements and deliver a season or more worth of flawless, friction-free shifting, just like the standard Sealed Low Friction Shift System we’ve reviewed in Issue 2 and longed sworn by, but does it via a non-ferrous housing based on fiber optic cable technology that weighs a mere 20 grams per meter.
That’s nearly half the weight of Gore’s standard sealed housing, and it is among the lightest housing available from any brand, according to Gore. While shedding 20-30 grams (on average, depending on housing requirements and routing of your cyclocross bike) is nice, especially for weight weenies, another upside is that the housing is quite flexible. So those with major bends in cable routing, especially on small frames, are in luck.
Installation of the Ultra Light Sealed Low Friction Shift System, as with Gore’s standard Sealed Low Friction Shift System, is more tedious than a normal cable set, as you have to thread the liner through the housing segments, cut to the correct length and install grub seals. For cyclocross, it’s well worth the initial investment and few extra minutes, because the ultralight fully-sealed Gore system results in a long-lasting, high performance shift system and a noticeably lighter feel at the lever (when replacing standard shift housing — note some SRAM components come with Gore’s Ride-On Professional System). In the last year, Gore has added a new lubricant to its inner liner, which helps keeps its cables running smoother for longer.
The biggest benefit of any of their sealed systems is that mud, sand, dust and dirt don’t impact cable friction, and that means more time for the cyclocrosser to spend riding or with family, less bike maintenance, smoother and easier shifting, and now a slightly lighter bike with the ultra light option due to the 40 percent lighter housing. (Such benefits make these an ultimate gift for a cyclocrosser.) We’ve gone up to three seasons on one cable set from Gore, riding in a variety of conditions, and believe these sealed systems can easily pay for themselves just in price alone, let alone the time savings gained by this install-and-forget product.
Gore continues to offer its normal, ferrous-based Sealed Low Friction Shift System cable housing, and does not have an ultra light version of the Ultra Light Sealed Low Friction cable kits for brakes yet — they are still under development. So for a complete set, you will also need the standard stainless steel Gore RideOn Sealed Low Friction Brake System cables and housing at this point.
While both braking and shifting on a cyclocross bike can be improved with Gore’s fully-sealed system, we’ve long said that at about $65 or so per cable set, if you can only afford one, go with the fully-sealed shift system over the brake system. The Ultra Light option provides a nice, premium option with a bit of weight-savings, but the sealed cables are still the main benefit. Although our test product was a pre-production version, the ultra light system should be arriving in stores now.
Gore Ride-On Ultra Light Sealed Low Friction Shift System
More info: www.rideoncables.com
Check your local bike shop or favorite online retailer for availability.
Call it “The 12 days of Crossmas,” “The Festival of Cyclokkah” … or something similarly themed surrounding Kwanza, Saturnalia, Festivus (or your favorite winter holiday of choice) that we’re not witty enough to make sound cyclocross-related, but the gear-heads at Cyclocross Magazine have been busy digging through piles of bike stuff to bring you some great gift ideas. Most recommendations are at the stocking-stuffer-end of the spectrum, so we won’t take away from your entry-fee piggy bank. The one gift that keeps on giving, of course, is a subscription to Cyclocross Magazine! Stay tuned for plenty of gift ideas and product reviews between now and the end of the year. Some of these last-minute gift ideas also appear in Issue 15.