ROCK 'N' ROLL CABLE MAGIC
1 fl oz £5.95
Rock ‘n’ Roll Cable Magic comes in small amounts, aimed at working its magic on cables. In that sense it is just what it claims to be.
Pros: fast-acting and, seemingly, long-lasting.
Cons: much depends on your sensitivity and ambition.
PTFE/Teflon is all we could glean about the ingredients. This is a familiar mix, but Cable Magic seems, as far as my extensive Googling revealed, the only concoction specifically designed for cables.
Applying when putting new cables in is an obvious opportunity. However, if you occasionally strip out functioning cables and give them a clean to keep things smooth, then Cable Magic is just the ticket. There are those who would say that only the pros and those intent on super-slick shifting will go that far.
Application is easy. Give a good shake and then another. The ingredients will separate when left and need to be combined. Just drop a drip on the cable end – you can be frugal but not stingy. I have also wiped some along a cable, and put a drop on the ferule before working the cable gentle back and forth.
So, commencing with a spongy rear brake on the mechanically disc-braked tourer. I stripped out the old cable, which, it seemed, had suffered from water ingress into the cable outer (this was during a particularly wet February). The new cable, with a couple of drops of Cable Magic, slipped in beautifully and worked crisply from the off.
Replacing both brake cables on my retro mystery single-speed before a forty miler I added a drop of Cable Magic. Wet, occasionally flooded surfaces, and a hefty shower just before home, were not much of a challenge to any decent lube. However, it was a month before I took the same bike out again. Happy to say, both ran smoothly from the off.
There’s no doubt it makes a difference. Aa strong a contender for use on MTB cables on winter off-road duties., as well as racing machines. Some in the Seven Day bunker, describe it as “Viagra for shifting gear.” Perhaps I’m just an insensitive clunky old slow-coach (Not much “perhaps” about it, actually) who gets all the slickness he needs – cable-wise - from a decent lube, such as Silkolene Premium Dry Lube or Zefal Pro Dry Lube. However, Cable Magic works well and is very frugal. Over a number of wet months – rain and flood – of cycling brakes and cables have kept working smoothly. I’ll confess that it does seem to be superior in performance however difficult that is to quantify.
I’ve also tried dropping a little by the end of ferrules (yes, I’m one of those lazy mechanics that can’t be bothered to clean cables). Working the cable gently back and forth, I’ve managed to introduce some Cable Magic into the casing. How great an effect this has had is difficult to tell. In the prolonged wet weather, it has prevented internal rusting. However, I’ve had the same success with a drop of chain lube. The devil, I guess, will be in your sensitivity to slick changes and super-responsive braking.
You can get a whole 100ml of many decent chain lubes for the price of this little bottle of Cable Magic. You may not get the same impact, but, then again, you may not be that bothered. Having said that, a little Cable Magic goes a long way and really does not cost very much.
In the past I’ve tried various sprays – generally PTFE/Teflon – and chain lubes to protect and preserve cables. They all work, and most have an impact. Part of the issue here, is just how slick and smooth you want things to be. When every little contributes to a PB the best is desirable. For the daily hack or the long-haul tourer, function and convenience may out-score technical excellence. However, any bike will benefit, especially those with exposed cables on wet weather duties.
For those who look after their own cables and want to have the best cable care and action, then Cable Magic will make an excellent addition to your workshop potion shelf. It will also be a boon to those with a big fleet of bikes and want to be able to get up and ride after leaving a bike idle for a few weeks.