Nokon Cable Housings


Biff Stephens

Great responses......I am going to try them I will try to post my has been a wet year in Oklahoma and my cables are in need of
changing...I am a sucker for the latest and greatest.....even if the latest
is not the greatest....LOL I get caught off guard all the
time....(Ergobrain, Tufo tires, ext...) of course these products might be
good still they just did not fit my purpose....

we shall see.....thanks for leaving all the great feedback...


<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Biff Stephens writes:
> > I just ordered some Nokon cable housings for my bike. Campy stuff,
> > everything else is pretty standard..Anyone have any thoughts about
> > the housings? I would like to here both good and bad stories if you
> > got um...

> Although I looked at the cable housing as it is shown on various web
> sited, I haven't had it in hand but think I can see what their method
> is. From appearances the housing is made of 10mm straight aluminum
> tubes with (ideally) spherical countersinks on both ends. These are
> alternately threaded onto a control cable together with a ball having
> a similar diameter bore. The bore must be slightly larger diameter
> than the cable so that the cable can pass through when curved. The
> concept appears to be that the housing requires no force to bend and
> that it has full circular contact at its spherical joints.
> In function, the housing approximates a constant length housing but is
> not entirely unchanging in length depending on cable diameter and
> where that cable rides on the inside of the housing. I don't know
> what the design is inside so it is not apparent whether the spheres or
> the tubes furnish a bearing surface in cable curves.
> As has been discussed here before, spiral wound steel cable housing is
> essentially incompressible and by its springy stiffness assures smooth
> curves when bent. It is not constant length but then that has never
> been a problem until 30-speed MTB's began shifting from the handlebars
> while moving slowly, a condition where fairly large cable bending
> (length change) can occur. For this purpose Shimano developed
> constant length cable housing (that should not be used for brakes).
> I don't see any benefits of Nokon housing and find curious that no
> enlarged cross section view or diagram is offered, something that
> would quickly answer many questions. The closest is at:
> The housing does not have less friction, nor does it serve any useful
> function for brakes. Teflon liners can be used with spiral steel
> housings as well. STI constant length shift cable is not heavier and
> is truly constant length. Where are the benefits other than claiming
> to save weight for weight watchers?
> Jobst Brandt
> [email protected]

Weisse Luft

New Member
May 28, 2004
Mark McMaster writes:

>> Where are the benefits other than claiming to save weight for
>> weight watchers?

> Apparently, Nokon cables don't even save any weight:


> A flaw I see with the Nokon housings is that because they are made
> up of individual segments, they have virtually no bending stiffness,
> so it is relatively easy to put a kink in the inner cable.

> However, they do have an interesting aesthetic, for those who are
> into that kind of thing.

I hope the patent office didn't allow them a patent because this
string of beads on a cable is an old concept for controls. Making
some of the beads longer than others is not novel enough for patent

Jobst Brandt
[email protected]
Since there is so much supposition and little fact here (other than the exerpts from the patents), I'll fill in the gaps.

First of all, the Nokon segments are made from 5 mm aluminum rod. Each segement has a ball and a socket end that has a positive stop for the minimum bend radius. Each one is also drilled with a taper that corresponds to the minimum bend radius and the entire length is assembled on a PTFE liner for the entire length of the cable, not just the assembled housing length.

The finish is indeed plated, not anodized. Its either a very thin nickel or chromium plating which is not too terribly durable, electrochemically speaking.

Because the housing can accept much smaller bend radii, less housing length is necessary and this results in the greatest weight savings over standard housings. Because the housing is immune from diameter changes, ovality or other load-induced distortion, friction is reduced compared to either axial strand housings (indexed shifter) or helical wound (brake).

If care is taken to prevent external corrosion, these cable assemblies have a very long life and consistent operation due to the full liner length.

Nokon sucessfully defended their patent in a claim against IRD over the latter's Metawire product line which has been removed from the market.