Changing or even cleaning cables is a job many people fear or just be bothered to do, but you are happy stripping them out then this little bottle of Rock'n'Roll Cable Magic could be well worth investing in.
Up until now I've used everything from WD40, to silicone spray to various chain lubes to try and improve shifting and braking performance by making cables move more easily. I've had varying results, usually ending up with an improvement that rarely lasts more than a ride or two.
Rock'n'Roll Cable Magic seems to be the only lube designed for the job, so I was interested in its value in my workshop over the assortment of mixtures I've used before. I tried it on two test subjects, my six year old winter bike with well used cables and outers that are perfectly functional if a little stiff; and a brand new bike in for long term test.
Starting with the old bike, the cables were stripped one at a time, giving them a wipe down before applying a few drops straight in to the outer, then a pinch of lube between finger and thumb along the cable itself before re-inserting. With all four done the operation was tested on the work stand and there was a huge improvement in how smooth and slickly they operated.
With the new bike having hydraulic discs only the shift cables were treated. As they were clean and new I just used the pinch of lube between the fingers. This time the effect was less dramatic, but there was still noticeable improvement.
A couple of weeks on and a number of rides on the older bike the cables are still shifting nicely, despite the winter weather, salt and grime plus numerous wash downs. Impressive. The newer bike has only been out twice on dry days and with new cables was going to stay smooth for some time, but I have no reason to think that crispness won't be extended by a time due to the lube. For riders that do look after their own cables, Rock'n'Roll Cable Magic is definitely recommended.
Cable-specific lube that works well and lasts longer than DIY concoctions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rock n Roll Cable Magic
Size tested: N/A
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A job-specific lube for home mechanics and used by pro teams to keep cables slick and smooth in operation. A mix of teflon and oil separate in the bottle, which when shaken blend into a fluid that is then applied either directly to a cable, or dripped into the outer housing. Rocklube say that it will make shifting and braking as smooth as silk - I'm not sure it was that good, but there was a big improvement.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unfortunately Rock'n'Roll Lubes don't give any technical specs for the product, other than it's a blend of Teflon and oil.
It worked really well on old cables and made a slight difference to brand new ones.
The old cables I tested the lube on initially saw a big improvement, but it did noticeably drop slightly over a few weeks, but they still operated far better than before the lube was used. The new cables were always going to work well for some time so its unclear as to how long the lube would extend the 'as new' feel.
At £5.99 for a 1oz bottle it may seem a little expensive, but following the instructions and not applying too much it should last for ten to fifteen bike's worth of use, making it pretty cost effective.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Assuming you follow the instructions of two or three drops per inner, or putting a couple of drops on your finger and running the actual cable through it rather than just slapping it on liberally it works very well, more so on older cables and outer housing. Using small amounts also means there isn't much waste or mess.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It did its job with very little fuss with a noticeable end result.
Did you enjoy using the product? As much as stripping out, cleaning, lubing and replacing all four cables can be enjoyable!
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Easy to use, no mess and an end result that justifies the work.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman AirPro Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives,