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CABLESETS – Part 4: SHIMANO BC-9000

SHIMANO DURA ACE – WHATS IN THE PACKAGE

SHIMANO DURA-ACE BC-9000

SHIMANO DURA-ACE BC-9000. Click for full size

When I first received this newly introduced BC-9000 cableset (2/2013), there was not a lot of technical information available about these new  cables and housing. A call in to Shimano Bike Customer Service yielded the following: “The Dura Ace 9000 cables are different than anything preceding them. The Dura Ace 9000 shift housing is the same as SP41 (actually it is SP41), but the brake housing is completely different and MUST be used with the new polymer coated brake cable. Unlike standard SP41 housing, the new BC-9000 brake housing comes pre-lubed with special polymer compatible grease.

BACKGROUND: To take every advantage of the newly and completely redesigned Dura Ace 9000, Shimano put extra effort into designing a new cableset resulting from 2 separate feedback channels, (a) people complaining that Dura Ace 7900 was a step backwards compared to the Dura Ace 7800 -one of the smoothest operating groups ever built, and (b) the current trend of new frame designs are hidden cables and although more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing, the drawback is that internally routed cables are required to make sharper bends.

BIG CHANGES: A new Polymer coating, unlike traditional PTFE coated cables wont scratch off or ball up inside of the housing.

New Dura Ace 9000 Cables

This new Polymer coating is VERY SLICK, and, having put over 2,500 miles on this new cable set, I can say that there is a BIG difference between the new Dura Ace 9000 cable set and the older Dura Ace 7900 cable set. In fact, now, my Dura Ace 7900 shifts and brakes as well as a Dura Ace 7800 equipped bike. In fact, this new cable set works so well that I believe that any ‘Shimano-type’ gruppo will greatly benefit by just using this new cable set.

The ‘New Dura Ace 9000 Cables’ diagram (courtesy of Shimano), shows the current PTFE coated cables compared to the new Polymer coated cables. It is very clear to see that the new Polymer technology is much more integrated as part of the cable which will prevent fraying of the coating that other PTFE coated cables currently experience.

In a microscopic view of the cable, the actual polymer sleeve/tube can be seen.

Shimano also states that these rings trap lubricant and that the overall resulting shifting effort is reduced 43%-47% compared to Dura Ace 7900.

My Shimano system came with

  • 2 Brake Housing
  • 2 Stainless Steel Brake cables – polymer coated
  • 1 Shifter Housing – Shimano said that the shifter cables are the same as 7900
  • 2 Stainless Steel Shift cables – polymer coated
  • 4 Ferrules for inserting cable ends into bicycle frame
  • 4 cable end caps for crimping
INSTALLATION OBSERVATIONS:This was a fairly easy standard installation. No special tools were required and the cables and housing cut easily and cleanly. The housing ends fit perfectly into the supplied ferrules which fit into the frame. As with standard cables, the initial cable stretch forced several readjustments to shorten the now longer cables. After a few more tugs of the shifter cables, there was no more stretch.  

 

One note of caution: Since the entire cable is polymer coated, scrape off the polymer where it attaches to the brake calipers fixing bolt as well as clamp down real hard on the cable fixing bolt. If adjusted as with any other non-slick cables, this new super-slick cable can slide past the fixing bolt causing a complete loss of brakes.

 

New Bronze-colored Brake Cables

 

SHIMANO

New BC-9000 cables and housing installed

ADVANTAGES OF SHIMANO BC-9000:

  • Polymer coated cable is extremely slick and robust
  • Brake cable comes pre-lubed
  • Shift cables are standard, easy to get SP41
  • Cables perform well even around tight bends
  • Shimano quality and customer service stand behind the product

 

HOW DO THEY PERFORM?

Since my set came sans shift housing, I coupled my new shifter cables to some ‘new-old stock” Gore ultra-lightweight shift housing, you know, the ‘fiber optic’ one. I went for lightweight AND performance! This setup works fantastic!

So far, I have put over 2,500 miles on this new technology cable set. For the first ride, the cables did stretch slightly, but, after a quick adjust, no more stretch. From this point on, the rides were uneventful and the bike shifts perfectly; crisply and precisely.

Unlike the Nokon housing, the Shimano cable set is quiet. But like the Nokon and Yokozuna systems, both the braking and shifting response is greatly improved over the stock DA-7900 cables. The lever pull is buttery-smooth and the shifting is quicker than with any other cable set.

HITS:

So far, I am very impressed as to how easy it is to pull the brake levers and shift the derailleurs. The cables are very high quality tightly wound premium stainless steel. The polymer coating ensures smooth lever action and minimal cable drag inside the housing.

MISSES:

Initial availability. But this is to be expected with any new product introduction. Other than that, Shimano didn’t miss a thing

OVERALL SUMMARY:

I am very satisfied with the fit, finish, high quality and high performance of this system. The Shimano 9000 cable set system continues to shift and brake very smoothly which gives you more modulation than stock OEM for a safer and more enjoyable ride. No fraying of the polymer coating has been found even after 2,500 miles.

Overall, this is the BEST system on the market today! I did offer Shimano a couple of suggestions for the next generation Dura-Ace. Hopefully, this will happen for what would be the Ultimate cable set system available ever!

RATING: 5/5


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