Greg Grossart

Personal Summary

Work hard, play harder

Integrity can only be measured by how we act when no one is looking.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 22:37-39)

Married to my best friend & fellow adventurer since 1997

Greg Grossart

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vertebrae Ceramic Cable Housing

As a part of a recent update on my road bike, I installed a set of ceramic shift and brake lines from Vertebrae (http://www.vertebr.ae/about/). The housing is very flexible, allowing for tighter and shorter (lighter) cable runs. However, the primary advantage is that they are "compressionless". So instead of the cables first deforming the cable housing when you shift or brake, when using the Vertebrae housing, the movement on the shoft/brake lever is directly transmitted to the brake/derailleur. This translates into easier/lighter shifting and more powerful braking with better modulation. Here are some pictures of the installed lines:


My upgrade included SRAM Red/EE Brakes/Vertebrae brake lines (from the Shimano Dura-Ace 7800/Zero Gravity Brakes/Standard Shimano Housing combo I have been running the last 3 years). I have been testing the new setup since May and have put them through their paces on regular training rides and in the TN/NC mountains during the Cherohala Challenge.
So, while I can't explicitly isolate the impact of the brake lines directly (because I did the entire upgrade all at once), I can say that the new setup is a huge improvement. My braking on fast mountain decents was incredible and the shifting is flawless. Besides the fact that they just plain work, as an added bonus, I think they look really trick to boot! The Vertebrae brake lines certainly aren't cheap, but they should last forever and I would argue that having superior braking when it matters most is downright priceless.