Powercordz gear cables review

Scientific shifting solution

BikeRadar score3.5/5

There are lots of different slicker shifting steel cable sets around, but Power Cordz are a whole new string for your bow.

Rather than steel inner cables, you’re getting 10,000 PBO (a rigid rod isotropic crystal polymer) fibres coated in low-friction nylon with an anodised nipple on the end.

These deliver the same braking strength as steel cables but at 25 percent of the weight and minus any corrosion.

There’s no need for Gore-style liners and they won’t stretch or need adjusting after a week. They feel silky smooth too, especially in Shimano shifters.

The recent dry weather hasn’t been the most gruelling test but the science says they should stay that way longer than most cables.

And though they’re pricey for cables, their lighter weight means you’ll knock about 50g off the average bike a lot cheaper than you would by swapping other equipment.

You do need to clamp them super tight to grip the fibres, which can split the coating and make them fray. A single kit won’t do a fully ‘through-routed’ bike either.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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