Brief Experience With Aican Bungarus Cables

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
RyanH
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by RyanH

I was tired of my mini-iLinks squeeking, so I decided to give the Aican Bungarus a try for my shifting system. After a month, I'm partially back on mini-iLinks.

Why?

In a word: durability. The housing is a novel idea -- integrating the liner with the links -- but it tends to be very fragile compared to iLinks. For example, twice now I've collapsed the housing on the rear derailleur because my skewer slightly caught it while taking my wheel off. I've done that dozens of times with iLinks with no ill-effect. With the Aican, shifting became compromised as compression was introduced. They also seemed to require more cabling due to needing a wider radius bend than the iLinks.

Further, if you shove your bike into a trunk that requires turning your bars 90*, the above mentioned problem occurs and the connecting liner breaks.

Overall, I'm not too upset about the purchase. They worked well and shifted precisely as long as they weren't put in a situation outside of their finite operating limits (and break). They didn't squeek like the iLinks and were super simple to install (think legos instead of a frustratingly impossible challenge of snaking a liner through a housing that just doesn't want to cooperate).

Those are just my 2 cents, and hope it's useful if deciding between iLinks and the Bungarus system.
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by Weenie


drainyoo
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by drainyoo

Thanks for that. I'm considering the Aican for my build, but this does make me think twice. They sound to fragile for my taste. In your experience iLinks doesn't have any of these issues? Much stronger setup?

RyanH
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by RyanH

I rode on the mini iLinks for 9 months. They shifted well the entire time until I took them apart to apply moly to stop the squeaking. Once I took them apart, I introduced compression somehow. If I had left them alone, I'm sure they would have lasted quite awhile longer.

The cables they come with are nice, they're just a pain to put together. Not difficult, just tedious, so patience is required.

Other than that, I've twisted my bars all sorts of ways, even to the point where the iLinks were stopping the bars from going further while trying to jam my bike into my friend's car. I've also absent mindedly tried to take off the wheel multiple times quickly with the iLinks under the skewer. None of that was an issue for the iLinks. It never affected shifting.
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Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

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sugarkane
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by sugarkane

I've been running Aicans since madcow started shipping them. Sure if you break a segment of liner you have to sort it out but I really haven't and the shifting has been night and day better than the mini I-links I was using before. They are not a fit and forget system for the ham fisted but personally I rate them very highly :thumbup:

jvanv8
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by jvanv8

I've been running the mini-iLinks 3 or 4 years. They work well. They install well. I've never had squeaks or noise issues. For me, iLink-Minis work especially well on the front derailleur as I've never had a problem. The rear derailleur is tricky. Pay attention to the liner. Pay attention to the interface with the shifter. Keeping the liner cut so it doesn't impede on the cable movement. Sometimes it doesn't work out. I've never had success in configuring a 100% iLink-mini rear derailleur setup that worked well (replacing either the housing under the bar tape or the rear derailleur loop) but the front derailleur housing has always been fine.

That said, I also use the Aican Bungarus for brake housing (some photos here if you scroll a bit you'll see the Aican and iLinks together). The Aicans promise all the same benefits will a little less weight so I gave them a try. The installation is not as simple as the iLinks but once installed they work pretty well. I found myself fuddling with the Aican housing especially once it was broken apart into pieces and I tried to bring it back together. If you buy a new set, save yourself some time and keep the links together as much as you can. While the iLinks are a simple setup of identical housing links, the Aicans have 4-6 different pieces and I often wondered if installing them was some sort of LEGO proficiency test as I searched around the bin for the perfect piece I needed. I think the instructions or visual cues of the assembly process could be simplified. If you don't get it 'right', some pieces don't adhere together tightly and will brake apart if you torque the handlebar to extremes. Aside from the installation, the Aicans have been completely forgotten since installing them last year. I think they look more polished than the 'alligator' appearance of the iLinks. Haven't tried the shifter version yet. Perhaps I should.
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NiFTY
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by NiFTY

Reiterating the experience of Ryan, had another liner brake on my FD cable with the bungarus. Still functioning fine but I know the housing will start to cut into the cable soon. Wouldn't be a huge issue except I am running KCNC ti cable, which means a very expensive switchover process. I am going to give ilinks a go when i change the cable over. They should be more resilient to this issue. Like previous posters I have not been able to get the aican to shift the RD precisely regardless of internal cable used. Now running gore + KCNC ti wire for RD. How are the ilinks for RD shifting generally on SRAM Red.
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Zigmeister
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by Zigmeister

Came to the same conclusion, the aican are apparently made out of some semi hard plastic, they break/crease at the shoulder when stressed, bent etc..just not durable, and they cause friction at the joint of the housing. If you run another cable type with them, with a coating, like Shimano, you will see how the friction will quickly start to peel off the cable due to the rubbing at the many joints causing more issues. I know it isn't designed to run those types of cables, but I was in a pinch, had a cable issue, and that was all I had to run through it in the toolbox because having extra cables that basically double the cost of owning them, just as a backup/spare isn't reasonable IMO for some specialty cables/housing.

Wasn't impressed with them. Cables were good, housing, not so much. Switched to Di2, so didn't need half the housings anymore, just running the Shimano brake housing that come with it, just use that, works fine. Would like to move to a better housing for the breaks that are more flexible though in the future again. Try something else I guess.

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by xena

I have some of the old Tune outer housing. You don't need any liner and it's lighter than mini I links and Aican.
Very simple.
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MNX1024
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by MNX1024

Aican was literally the worst experience I had.... Can never get the rear shifting right. Personally for me, I have to choose perfect shifting for only 9 cogs at either directions.

jpanspac
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by jpanspac

I've been using the Aicans (brake cables only) for several months. I had a minor issue installing them, but aside from that they work fine. My main complaint is the lack of durability of the finish. I got black links, and they're already looking weathered. They've gone from black to grayish black, and look kind of trashy now. I don't know if I'd use them again.
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wrcompositi
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by wrcompositi

jpanspac wrote:I've been using the Aicans (brake cables only) for several months. I had a minor issue installing them, but aside from that they work fine. My main complaint is the lack of durability of the finish. I got black links, and they're already looking weathered. They've gone from black to grayish black, and look kind of trashy now. I don't know if I'd use them again.


Hmmm, same here...

The housing works ok, but the color of my housing fades very badly:
Image

drainyoo
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by drainyoo

I just installed these on my bike, and I'm having issues. I can't seem to get good tension with both derailleurs, especially with the rear. Can't seem to get the RD to shift to the largest gear. Anyone have this issue?

Also, is it me or are the cables really shitty? The cables fray really easy at the ends where they were cut. The cable for my front derailleur is basically shot because it unraveled. Never seen a cable unravel so easily.

Can any cable to used with the housing? I need to replace it and Fairwheels is out of Aican cables.

MNX1024
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by MNX1024

drainyoo wrote:I just installed these on my bike, and I'm having issues. I can't seem to get good tension with both derailleurs, especially with the rear. Can't seem to get the RD to shift to the largest gear. Anyone have this issue?

Also, is it me or are the cables really shitty? The cables fray really easy at the ends where they were cut. The cable for my front derailleur is basically shot because it unraveled. Never seen a cable unravel so easily.

Can any cable to used with the housing? I need to replace it and Fairwheels is out of Aican cables.


I had the same issue, especially with the rear shifting. Basically I can only get "okay" shifting for 8.5 cogs either directions.

Can't say the cables are shitty, didn't use them long enough to find out, but they do fray somewhat easily.

Yes, any cable can be used with those housing provided that they fit inside.

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madcow
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by madcow

@drainyoo, they do take some patience to get setup correctly. Remember they don't like tight bends so the most likely culprit is the bend from the lever to the tops of the bar. I usually run them out of the lever and then under the bar rather than in front of the bar, this reduces the bend in the housing.

I'd also suggest adjusting the derailleurs before you tape the housing to the handlebar, then use your e-tape to attach it to the bar and readjust it as needed. Different bars have different bends so it works better with some than others.

drainyoo
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by drainyoo

Thanks folks.

Madcow, thanks for the tips. I was conscience of the bends, and I tried to reduce any tight bends. I even crossed the derailleur cables so that can I have a smoother bend. I will go in and add more housing links.

I already taped up the bars, and I did run the cables in the front of the bars. Not sure I want to remove the tape. That will be the last resort.

the SRAM FD did come with a barrel adjuster. Should I install this, and if so, where would be the best place?

Do you know when you'll be getting the cables back in stock? My FD cable is shot.

by Weenie


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