Jagwire Vs. Shimano Cables – Which One Is Better For Your Bike?

By Rachel Lee
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There are various choices when choosing the cables that control the gear shifting on your bikes. Different brands come up with additional features in their models, making choosing one harder.

While some brands offer electrically coated layers for better efficiency, others offer pre-lubricated inner liners to reduce friction. You also need to ensure that the quality of the product is good. Otherwise, the cables will wear out fast.

In the bicycling industry, the two big names are Jagwire and Shimano. Both offer incredibly high-quality cables, so choosing between the two is tricky. How do you know which one is the better choice? Is one brand better than the other, or do they have the same quality?

Lucky for you, we are here to help! We have decided to end the Jagwire Vs. Shimano debate for good.

A Brief Intro about Both Brands

When it comes to making high-end bike accessories, few can match up to Jagwire. This is a globally renowned brand that houses cables for all bike models. Moreover, the company has a history of two decades, serving globally leading bike brands.

On the other hand, Shimano, the Japanese multinational manufacturer, has made a name in making cycling components. Their high-end products have many loyal followings, and their bicycle gearing systems are equally popular worldwide.

How to Choose the Best Cable?

Now there are various types of cables in a bike. There is a lot to consider, from standard shifter cables or derailleur cables to brake cables. When choosing the right cable replacements for your bike, you need to keep some standard features in mind, though.

They are as follows:

  • Cable thickness
  • Inner lining
  • Type of bike you use
  • Corrosion
  • Breakage
  • Anti-contamination caps/ferrules
  • Size and shape of the end barrel
  • Elasticity

You may have to look around a bit when choosing between two globally leading brands. With both brands making various products, it might take some time to figure out which one suits your needs.

So, to make things convenient for you, here is a review of a few products from the two best brands in bicycle cable manufacturing.

Jagwire Cables

Jagwire cables offer unmatched durability and performance most suited for demanding riders. Jagwire cables can ensure a smoother yet firmer braking feel, whether you have a road bike or a mountain bike.

The brand offers a huge selection of slick and polished stainless steel cables that guarantee less friction and high corrosion resistance.

The materials are stretchable and will not break under tension.

Moreover, they are highly cost-effective.

Jagwire – Universal Sport DIY Bike Cable Kit

  • Slick stainless cable combined with Slick-Lube inner liners offers high durability
  • The brake cables are double-ended for compatibility with both road bikes and mountain bikes
  • OEM-standard cables that come with high-quality small components

Jagwire – Sport Sealed DIY Shift Cable Kit

  • Slick stainless inner offers higher resistance against corrosion and friction
  • Compressionless LEX-SL housing offers better protection
  • The single-ended weld-cut design makes it easy to install

Jagwire – Mountain Pro Brake DIY Cable Kit

  • The highly polished slick cables are Kevlar reinforced for unbreakable performance
  • The Slick-Lube inner liners further increase its durability
  • Perfect for mountain bikes and delivers a smooth and powerful braking
  • The compressionless housing makes it 30% lighter
  • The Woven Kevlar layer adds more flexibility

Jagwire – Road Pro Brake DIY Cable Kit

  • Durable and lightweight cable construction makes it perfect for road bikes
  • Completely compatible with all high-end road bike models
  • The sheath is reinforced with Kevlar for durability, but that makes it incompressible
  • Slick-Lube liner improves the brakes

Jagwire – Universal Pro Shift Kit

  • Features a well-lubricated LEX-SL linear strand that delivers consistent performance
  • Easy to install
  • It comes with Slick-Lube inner liners for better shifting precision

Shimano Cables

Shimano offers the easiest upgrades and replacements with their original quality products. The cables are easy to install and highly affordable. Moreover, you can trust the brand to enhance the performance of your bike.

Shimano has a list of premium cables lined up for you to choose from. There are plenty of choices, from high-end polymer-coated cables to stainless steel cables.

Their cables with OPTISLICK coating are especially durable and most suited for your road bike. This is a uniform electrically coated layer consistent through the cable for excellent corrosion resistance and routing efficiency.

Shimano Universal Standard Brake Cable Set

  • Compatible with both road bikes and mountain bikes
  • It has a stainless steel inner wire for higher durability
  • Low-compression lined housing
  • It comes with a slick polymer shield allowing smooth movement

Shimano OT-SP41 OPTISLICK Shifting Cable Set

  • It comes with Shimano OPTISLICK coating for making smoother shifts
  • Stainless steel cables most suited for road bikes
  • Highly corrosion-resistant and lasts long
  • Special silicone grease allows lighter shifting actuation

Shimano Shift Inner Cable

  • Comes with Zinc-coating
  • Derailleur shift cable that can sustain high tension without splitting
  • The stainless steel inner wires increase longevity
  • Slick polymer shield allows smooth cable movement

Jagwire Vs. Shimano: Which One is Better?

Now, both brands offer various highly durable cables and come with different coatings. All the products deliver smoother shifting and braking. However, there are some minor differences.  

Has Slick-Lube liners or LEX-linear steel strands with no lubeUsually offers cables with their unique OPTISLICK liner for smoother operation
Some products can be Kevlar reinforced to prevent bucklingIt does not include Kevlar in general, so it might be less durable comparatively
Compressionless housingLow-compression housing
Cables are less flexibleCables are more flexible
Includes all parts and components in their kitYou may need to purchase some components separately

Overall, both brands have a good selection of products. So, depending on your requirement, you can make the call. As for quality, both brands are equally good.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Are all bike cables the same?

No, they are not. However, you can use the MTB/Road brake cables interchangeably. You can use them for your caliper brakes, primarily seen in road bikes.

The shifter or derailleur cables have two standards based on thickness. However, at a glance, they may seem identical.

2.    How often should you change the gear cables on your bike?

You should change the cables after covering 2000 to 3000 miles. Despite being highly durable, cables do come with an expiry date. So, changing them is crucial to maintain your bike’s functionality and prevent sudden wear and tear.

See Also:
What Bike Gear to Use on Flat Road
Wired vs Wireless Bike Computer: Here’s The Difference
Bike Helmet Vs Skateboard Helmet
Bicycle With Suspension Vs Without Suspension