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Thread: Ferrule material?

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    Default Ferrule material?

    I know I'm way overthinking this - such is the VSalon mind. What do folks think about brass vs. alloy vs. plastic ferrules? Different use cases for each? Shifter vs. brake factor into material choice? Minuscule potential for plastic to compress and affect shift quality? Climate dependent? (I leave one bike at the beach in the summer and the OEM Campag end caps corrode over 4 months). Side question - do 4 mm Jagwire ferrules fit Campag shifter housing (nominally 4.1 mm) or are there other aftermarket alternatives ? TIA.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    I've had more problems with alloy (i.e. aluminum) ferrules welding themselves in place, especially on adjustable derailleur cable housing stops at the head tube or downtube shifting bosses. That's probably salt from me and water off the road or in the air + forward motion. As a result, I stick a dab of grease in each when I re-cable. A close second is brake cable housing stops, so in that case I stopped using them at the caliper's quick adjuster end of the housing, which was where they tended to get balky. Just file the housing end flat.

    I'd have to look at my bikes, but I am sure there are Jagwire ferrules on there fit into Campy derailleur housing no problem.
    Last edited by j44ke; 11-21-2020 at 08:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    Makes a difference brake vs. shifter. Spiral-wound brake housing lets you get away with anything (physically, galvanic reactions that Jorn warns against are another matter). Just grind the end flat.

    Shifter housing with the parallel hard-AF steel wires is another matter. When things age and pressure gets high, those little wires can annihilate substandard ferrules. Plastic? Only if it’s on-brand (and I’ll only trust Shimano). Aluminum? Fuggedaboudit. Not only is it too soft, but as soon as the steel wires breach the anodization the galvanic reaction runs amok.

    Aluminum ferrules suck. Chrome-plated brass for the win. Unless your plastic ferrules came in a bag with a big fat instruction sheet folded 10 times and printed in 14 languages by Shimano Corporation.

    Edit: Lou, when in doubt go back to 5-mm shift housing and chrome-plated brass ferrules. Trust the elders.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 11-21-2020 at 11:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldamelio View Post
    I know I'm way overthinking this - such is the VSalon mind. What do folks think about brass vs. alloy vs. plastic ferrules? Different use cases for each? Shifter vs. brake factor into material choice? Minuscule potential for plastic to compress and affect shift quality? Climate dependent? (I leave one bike at the beach in the summer and the OEM Campag end caps corrode over 4 months). Side question - do 4 mm Jagwire ferrules fit Campag shifter housing (nominally 4.1 mm) or are there other aftermarket alternatives ? TIA.
    Ferrules can vary a lot in their former size.
    We always prefer to use metal ones. Whenever I see plastic ferrules on Campagnolo gears it's a deal breaker and I won't carry on until we agreed to do the things properly replacing what needs to be replaced. You can fit other brands or ferrules on Campag gear outer, as long as it's not the old 4.5mm type (but this won't fit the new style of shifters anyway).

    If your original Campag ferrules (nickel-plated brass) would corrode in months you'd better check how have you installed them, and check the rest of the bike because you may have some bad surprises there! Take it as an alarm bell for the whole bike, you ought to do something.
    Always put a dab of tenacious grease inside and outside the ferrules, brake or gear. If a ferrule gets seized in a cable adjuster, you may as well call it "cable stop".
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    Thanks, Andrea. The whole bike does take a beating in the seaside air. I ride it weekends during the summer. Even though it's only there for 4 months/1500 weekend miles, I strip and rebuild every year. It's my C bike. Frame is ti and holding up well.
    Lou D'Amelio
    Bucks County PA

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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    At the shop always an alloy one where the housing goes into the rear derailleur. I have been using plastic ones more and more. They do not corrode into the frames. If they do deform removal is easy. Much easier than drilling and grinding out metal. At times this year supply has been challenging. As mentioned above a dab of good waterproof grease is a good preventive measure. I have noticed some ferrules have become shorter by a few millimeters.

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    Default Re: Ferrule material?

    I prefer alloy, but will use whatever. Shimano 7900-era groups get alloy throughout, regardless.

    With one exception:

    Ferrules with rubber seals. Cannot stand those things. There’s no part on a bike I detest more than sealed ferrules. (Except Wipperman chains)
    -Dustin

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