Tested: Nokon Brake Cable Housing
Web site: www.nokonusa.com
So you want disc brakes. You love the feel and performance of hydraulic models, but you would prefer the ease of setup and maintenance, and the lower cost, offered by cable actuated systems. Fear not — there is a product that helps bridge the gap. The Nokon cable system uses a Teflon liner surrounded by aluminum shell segments to replace your traditional brake housing. Like lockout on a shock, Nokon’s cables eliminate the performance-robbing compression associated with traditional brake-cable housing, while retaining the flexibility to conquer the same tricky routing that standard cable housing does.
The difference when squeezing the lever is dramatic. Full-suspension bikes will benefit the most, but all riders will have improved modulation and stopping power. You actually lose some weight as well. It may be hard to believe, but the Nokon system is lighter than traditional cable housing. As for the elements, the aluminum is corrosion resistant and the Teflon liner protects the cable from any gunk that might find its way through the cracks.
The biggest drawback to the system is installation. A careful reading of the instructions is a must, and it will take you considerably longer than standard setups. The only other annoyance was that, due to the nature of the Nokon housing, it sometimes falls into odd positions and stays there. Most notable is the small bit from the last cable stop to the disc caliper. It can get stuck arching out to the side of the frame and won’t snap back to the normal upward arch like standard housing. So when you crash, check cable position before resuming your ride.
At the end of the day the question is, should you spend the $66 plus another $30 for the two extension kits ($15 each) normally required for disc application? Yes — the investment is one that pays off and delivers on its promises.