I am changing the shifter cable on a bike with grip shift. I heard the cable casing is different than other types. Is the cable different?

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    Both housings and cables are different for shifters and brakes, is that what you mean? Commented May 22, 2020 at 17:47
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    Note that one very important detail is to get a cable with the proper "end". There are maybe 6 different cable end styles/sizes, and a given cable will only have two (one on each end). Commented May 23, 2020 at 2:19

1 Answer 1


This is a slightly fringe topic that will draw some blank stares at many cable-selling establishments.

Common shift cables come in 1.2mm and 1.1mm thicknesses for the cable part. SRAM (and I believe Sachs before them) specs 1.1mm for all Gripshift models. Shimano and most other companies use 1.2mm.

The difference of course is tiny. It's negligible in most cases, and a lot of people aren't aware it even exists. Nevertheless, the notion is out there that SRAM Gripshift can have issues with binding or excess friction due to internal clearances if a 1.2mm is used. Personally I haven't experimented much with using the technically wrong thing so I won't speak to how much difference it actually makes and when.

Many third party cables are 1.1mm for maximum compatibility, but not all. There are no disadvantages to using a 1.1mm in a Shimano shifter. Also Shimano Revoshifts, sometimes colloquially called Gripshifts, use 1.2mm without issue, like all Shimano shifters.

If you want to keep it simple just buy any uncoated SRAM cable (I just noticed they list their coated ones as 1.2mm). Many brands won't say whether they're 1.1mm or 1.2mm on the package. But it's very likely a marginal difference if any regardless. Gripshift is the only context where I've ever heard talk of it mattering.

Shift housing manufacturers do not typically list any compatibility distinction between 1.1mm and 1.2mm cables.

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    Not to mention that we've always had tiers of cables: galvanized steel is not good, slick stainless steel is very good, and Shimano currently offers a polymer-coated stainless steel cable at the top end and a different stainless steel cable at the second tier. But again, not relevant to the question.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 19:29
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    And Campagnolo cables are different from all other makes and not compatible. They are 1mm and have thinner heads.
    – Carel
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 20:42
  • Great answer, I though the op was refering to Types along the lones of cheap and nasty, value for money, quality but expeinsive, sponsered riders and cashed up MAMILs.....
    – mattnz
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 20:53
  • Could you please expand whether this difference deals with cable housing too? I didn't know about this difference being spec based, I noticed different diameters but thought it was due to manufacturing tolerances. I've used many combinations of cable/housing on Shimano and Microshift shifters, but never had an issue, except for very low end cables and housings starting binding sooner than others.
    – Jahaziel
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 2:00
  • I tried searching for 1.1 cable on Amazon and didn’t find it specified anywhere. Where is a good place to buy cables?
    – Paul
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 3:10

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