Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Phoenix Project - Paul Components Moon Unit Extra Fancy Cable Hangers

Background on The Phoenix Project is available here and here.

The Shimano M732 Cantilever Brakes selected for this project include a rather odd straddle wire/cable hanger contraption:

The straddle wire is actually half of a straddle wire.  One end has two nibs for securing it to the brake arm, one is labeled "front", the other "rear".  On the other end is a circular device through which the brake cable runs so that it may be secured to the other brake arm and thereby becoming the other half of the straddle wire.

I could probably think of about 10 reasons why this is a bad idea.  However, I didn't bother because the fact that such a thing hasn't been seen for 20 years means it is obviously an evolutionary dead end.

It also meant that I had to select a new cable hanger, a decision of much consequence.  Virtually all cable hangers, along with other small items such as bar plugs, toe clip straps, water bottle cages, etc., get the job done.  So decisions about such items are lifestyle choices, essentially, that reflect the tastes and preferences of the bike's owner.

In the past, I've been enamored of the Velo Orange cable hanger.  Generally, I'm lukewarm about VO's component offerings, but they tend to excel in this type of small item. 

I had a set on my Fuji Gran Tourer SE:

Overall, they are a wonderfully clever little item but they are found a bit wanting on the survivability front.  To set them up, the cable must be clipped at most about 1/4" longer than the position of their anchor bolt.  So if for some reason the carrier needs to be moved lower on the cable, you are pretty much out of luck with these.

Also, once the cable is clipped and the strands slightly frayed, it can be extremely difficult to reinsert the cable into the hangers top hole if the cable is removed from the the hanger.

I am also fond of the vintage Dia Compe units with an integrated quick release:

Unfortunately, I have only one of these.  And, as with the Velo Orange hanger, the small radius of the hanger can complicate brake setup, leaving some brakes feeling rather mushy.

The Tektro cable hangers, as seen here on my wife's 1985 Trek 720, have a much larger radius, nice machining, and a whole slew of cable clamp bolts that all add up to a nice bit of cycling kit:

I nearly went with the Tektro hangers.  However, since a set is already in the fleet, I wanted to try something new.  Plus, I felt bad about Paul Components having whiffed on the seatpost and brakes and this was about the last chance for something from this fine manufacturer (not to be confused with vendor) to be included in The Phoenix Project.

So I ordered up a set of Paul Components Moon Unit Extra Fancy Cable Hangers:

These are well made, no-nonsense hangers.  And they even come with a decal that I can stick on my truing stand to show the love.

Street Cred

Paul Components always puts excellent function and supreme durability first on all their products.  Were I building a bike for a Tierra del Fuego expedition, it would have lots of Paul Components stuff on it.

Gizmo Lust

Unlike the offerings from Tektro, Velo Orange, and Dia Compe, and despite their "Extra Fancy" moniker, the Moon Units are remarkably plain and don't cause a detectable increase in my heartbeat.  But Paul Components claims, "the Moon Unit is the fanciest straddle cable holder you can get", so they get a couple of points for that.



Despite a struggle to think of anything controversial about these, or even most other, cable hangers, I come up with nothing.

Tweed Factor

The Tweed Factor comes in quite low, as these are crazy expensive for cable hangers.  But BOBish types sometimes go for Paul Components stuff, so we award 2 rain ponchos for that.

Phony Accent

These are a Paul Components original, so why do they rate 1 Beret-ness of Phony Accent.  Well, they are a reissue and any reissue has a taint of Phony Accent.  The fact that Paul Component produced the original of which these are a reissue keeps it down to only 1 Beret.

Lily Gilding

These were far and away the most expensive option, the spendy Velo Orange offering a distant second.  And for that money, they add little true value beyond what is contained in the typical cheap stamped model.

But I really wanted to get at least one Paul Component item included in The Phoenix Project.

Running Tally

$2955 USD

We bring forward $2917 USD.  The Paul Components Moon Unit Extra Fancy Cable Hangers adds $38 USD.

1 comment:

Dale said... sausage factory? :-(

40 bucks is steep but the Moon Unit name and font makes it well worth it!