Vertebrae, the most advanced cable housing in the world

Introducing the world’s most advanced cable housing.

Vertebrae cable housing is the ultimate upgrade for cable-operated bicycle brake and gear systems. We use advanced materials to create products that will outperform and outlast everything else with absolutely minimal maintenance.


Ultra flexible.

This is the most flexible housing, period. Vertebrae uses a special design composed of short segments made of an advanced ceramic material with matching concave/concave end surfaces. This allows shorter cable routing using tighter-radius bends. But they’re not just more flexible. They still function while also being more flexible. Each one of the outer segments remains rigid while under lateral and/or twisting loads. So they don’t pinch the inside cable like bowden housing has a tendency to.

Ultra flexibility! Minimum radius of curvature only ~ 4 cm

No more “soggy wet noodle” brakes.

Another feature of our segmented design is that it drastically reduces the amount of longitudinal compression compared to traditional multi-strand and spiral wound ‘bowden’ type housing. The diagram below shows the cross-sectional area of Vertebrae compared to generic steel-cored brake and gear housing. Remember: the greater the surface area, the less the housing compresses. You can see that Vertebrae cable housing has a whopping 145% times the surface area of standard brake housing and 360% times the surface area of generic gear cable housing.

Cross sectional area of standard Shimano gear and brake housing compared to Vertebrae.

What most cyclists feel as cable stretch is mostly cable housing compression and deformation. Normally, under a really hard braking effort, much of the energy you apply at your brake levers is lost before it even gets to your brakes. With Vertebrae however, the individual ceramic pieces do not distort under load. Stiffer housing means that more of the energy you supply at the lever is transferred directly to your brakes, with less energy wasted in deforming the outer housing along its entire length. This in turn results in more force being applied to your brake calipers. So the harder you squeeze your brake levers, the stronger your brake calipers will actually work. Say what? Say goodbye to mushy, underpowered brakes, that’s what!

Way better modulation.

More efficient brakes equals more capable brakes. Shorter stopping distances. Less hand fatigue on steep or long descents. You’ll experience much more feel under all sorts of braking conditions. Your brakes will react to the slightest touch. You’ll get more feedback from your bike. You’ll slow down in direct proportion to the amount you’ve moved your fingers. During an emergency braking situation, you’ll never have to overcompensate. You’ll be much more in control.

The difference between compressionless brake housing and traditional housing. Standard metal-core brake housing suffers when attempting hard braking because it quickly loses a significant amount of energy to deformation (compression) of the housing. With vertebrae, the harder you squeeze the brakes, the harder they work. Have you ever experienced running out of brakes? Your brakes might work well enough in slowing you down in most situations. But right when you need them, you are squeezing your brake levers as hard as possible, they hit your handlebars and, inconceivably, no where enough happens in the way of stopping you. It can be quite a dangerous scenario.

Long cable runs. That actually work.

The performance of vertebrae does not degrade even for continuous and very long cable runs. It’s perfect for use with tandems, time trial and full-suspension bikes.


Effortless, snappy gear changes.

Less hand force is required to actuate the derailleurs with improved response time. It doesn’t just feel nice, it is nice. Vertebrae is ideal for riders with small hands, people suffering from wrist & finger injuries, hand fatigue or people with reduced mobility.


No interference with other components.

Sounds like we are selling wifi routers now doesn’t it? Because of its ultra-flexibility, vertebrae housing won’t hinder other parts of your bike such as suspension components, brake centering mechanisms and minute handlebar inputs.


No creep.

No we’re not talking about radiohead here. Vertebrae doesn’t need to be re-adjusted as often as other cable-operated gear systems. Bowden-style housing actually compresses with time, even if when not in use. This phenomenon is known as ‘creep’ and means that you need to re-tighten the cable tension periodically. Vertebrae however does not experience creep, so your bike(s) will always be ready to go when you are, even after repetitive daily professional use or looong periods of inactivity. So no more fiddling with that cable tension adjuster every other week.


A cinch to dial in.

Due to the segmented compressionless construction, your derailleurs will be easier to fine tune and set up because they’ll work properly over a wider range of cable tension.


No need to lube cables. Ever.

We use a pure Teflon® liner that makes braking and shifting even snappier. So there’s absolutely no need to lubricate your cables! In fact they’re completely free of maintenance.

Very Lubricious - Lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer | Working temperature range 500° F (260° C) to -454° F (–270° C) | Chemically Resistant (all common solvents, acids and bases) | Exceptional mechanical resistance under severe conditions


They last ages.

Ceramic materials have an inherently low coefficient of friction and they are extremely hard. This combination of properties means they experience a very, very low wear rate.


Light and strong.

The density of alumina is only 3.65 to 3.85 g/cm3. This results in outstanding stiffness-to-weight and strength-weight ratios. It’s the closest thing to being oversized, without the weight penalty. It’s called lightweight performance.


Weight for weight, aluminium oxide compresses less than almost any other material

Kiss rust goodbye!

The alumina ceramic material we use is less prone to degradation and wear than any metal alloy on the planet. Or on any planet for that matter. High purity alumina is an extremely inert material, no matter what the environment. It’s just totally incapable of corrosion, drenched in mud, blood, sweat and tears. Not only that, but because this particular ceramic we use is also a homogenous and isotropic material, there are no coatings to peel off. No unsightly chipping. No spalling paint.


Cable routing that goes. Where you want it to.

Not only do the short segments in vertebrae allow fantastically tight bends. But all of those the curves and bends look natural and fluid, without any kinking, sagging or drooping, even over unsupported sections.


They stay clean.

Unlike some other brands, the outer surface of Vertebrae is smooth and easy to keep clean. Taking things further, our special edition FEP clear version is completely stain free. Oil and grease literally wipe straight off leaving absolutely no trace. The protective outer spinal wrap, shown in our favourite colour purple, prevents dust and dirt from entering the system, so you truly can set and forget it.

For muddy/ice conditions, Vertebrae ceramic housing can be assembled with a full length liner, further preventing contamination in these extreme environments.


Keep your other parts safe.

Vertebrae utilises a soft protective outer material which does not mark frames and other components. So there is no cable rub to worry about.


Really, really quiet.

It’s quieter than worms eating compost. Unlike other compressionless housing, vertebrae runs absolutely silently. No noise. No clicks whenever you go over a bump and no creaks when you turn the handlebars.


Colours, colours everywhere!

Yes we had to mention it. Last but not least, Vertebrae is now available in 18 vibrant colours! And there are three label colours to chose from. So we have a colour scheme to match with practically any bike.


It has RMC.

What’s RMC? Reuseable Modular Construction. We thought that feature was so good, it deserved it’s own acronym, so that’s what we’re calling it from now on. All the parts are user-replaceable and available separately from our online shop. This is the way everything should be made, isn’t it? But it also means that you can reuse the ceramic bits over and over and over again, saving money in the long run. The only time you’ll need more ceramic bits is when you decide to install them on your second bike.


Waste not, want not.

Because of the RMC, it means you only need to buy what you need to buy. That’s better for the environment for a start, because it’s designed to last ages upon ages and there’s less waste. There’s more to it that that though. We believe that more people should ask two questions before they buy anything: “where does it come from?” and “where will it go?”.

We try our utmost to source from environmentally friendly suppliers. But our own stuff is about to get a whole lot better too. Because we’re in the process of creating a totally biodegradeable and compostable packaging. There’s a world of difference between those two terms. Wouldn’t it be nice if packaging ceased to be a problem? Just imagine if you could take your product out of its container and everything that remained was food for this Earth. We’re working towards that goal.