1. What are the pros and cons of regular and slick gear/shifter cables? I just want easy gear changing. I have shimano gears if that helps. I know the difference between them, but I want to know some pros and cons.
  2. What are the pros and cons the stainless steel or galvanised metal cables? I leave it in the shed at night, and when I am not using so it doesn't really get wet all the time. When I ride it often gets wet or muddy. I rarely clean the bike, so it often stays muddy.
  • In general, its more about the setup of the cables rather than the cables themselves (assuming they're the right type of cable - for example, never use shifter housing for brake cables) - you need clean cuts on the cable housing and proper routing as well as proper derailleur setup.
    – Batman
    Apr 19 '14 at 20:55
  • What about rust? Presumably that's the worst enemy? Would you expect e.g. stainless cable to have a longer life span than galvanised cable?
    – PeteH
    Apr 19 '14 at 21:08

Regular cables:


  • inexpensive
  • easy to find


  • generally lower quality than slick ones
  • much of the time they are not pre-stretched, so they have to wear in.
  • heavier

Slick cables:


  • initially slightly faster shifting
  • generally come pre-stretched
  • lighter


  • (a big one) once the coating wears off, the shifting becomes A LOT worse, and the cables need to be changed. This is fairly common if the housing isn't cut right or there is bend when entering/exiting a housing stop.
  • very expensive
  • installation is harder as the cables are more fragile
  • adjustment is more finicky

Stainless Steel Cables:

  • don't rust
  • slightly slicker


  • Cheaper
  • more bendy

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