Vertebrae, the most advanced cable housing in the world

A look back at our first website.

In late 2007, we launched our first website (which I designed/coded myself). Because back then, DIY web design was still not yet a thing.

While I secretly envied designers, I could tell there was something I didn’t know. As I have studied graphic design more and more this decade, I have learned what I was doing wrong. I simply didn’t value graphic design as much as I do now. I used to think like this: “I can do it myself”.

Anyway, here is the first web crawl of from October 11th, 2007, exactly 12 years ago:

How the typeface for vertebrae came about…

Refurbished vertebrae ceramic gear/brake cable housing available on ebay…

We are trying very hard to produce #zerowaste! As such, we are now offering one gear or brake kit in a refurbished condition.

What does that mean? The ceramic parts have been salvaged from a previous bike build. So just to clarify, the ceramic parts have been used previously and they are now repackaged in a refurbished (or preloved) condition. We have only one of these kits available and it will come with brand new packaging and all of the other associated parts listed here are also new: liner, ferrules, spinal wrap, labels, instructions and end crimps.

You have a choice of the following colours:

black, clear, white, grey, salmon, sky blue, dark blue, yellow, red (more like vermillion), orange, purple, crimson (which looks more like fuschia/pink really) and tan.

The auction will start at 1¢ and it is scheduled to come online tomorrow, the 9th of September, beginning at 20:00 AEST. The auction will last 10 days. This will be the last of any kits available until 2020 so we here at wish you good luck!

Have a break, have a Kit Kat.®

Have a break, have a Kit Kat.®

Have a break, have a Kit Kat.®

Just a quick update as of the 4th of September, 2019:

We are currently out of stock of our ceramic parts! Rest assured that we’ll be getting more manufactured soon but it will take us a few months to organise their fabrication. In the meantime, replacement parts will still be available (liner, ferrules, heathsrink, labels) for all of our pre-existing customers.

On a somewhat related note, we’ve been around for a decade and we haven’t had a proper rest/holiday/vacation in all that time. Leslie has also suffered from severe burnout, chronic depression, anxiety over the last few years in addition to having a total foot reconstruction (and being diagnosed with PTSD). Mental health being what it is, he’s decided to take a much-needed break until the end of 2019. He intends to get out more, ride his bike(s) and resume his prior fitness levels. If you’d like to check out what he’s up to you can check out his instagram account here.

We’ll be back in 2020 with renewed vigor and more ceramic bits!
We wish you well and we’ll see you soon! :)

We’re out of stock.

Unfortunately we’re out of stock of the ceramic parts; we sold the last remaining stock a few months ago. We’ve always maintained a pretty consistent stock of all the associated replacement parts, so we’re still selling other items such as liner, ferrules, outer housing, etc.

The main trouble now is that I need to invest in loads more ceramic parts and my income has really dropped off since I’m not doing the bike rentals in Tenerife anymore. This is a sizeable investment (for me) and I’ll probably have to go the crowd-funding route now for this as my cash flow situation is not great at all.

It is a very small niche although I’ve always been able to sell the kits once I have manufactured the ceramic parts, so I think it’s worth continuing with. I suppose I should at least try. If not, it’ll essentially be the end of vertebrae unless I get some other source of funding (like a normal job). I’d certainly still like to continue selling Vertebrae brake and gear lines but we are kind of stuck at the moment.

There is usually several months manufacturing lead time, so this will likely not happen before the end of the year. I’ll update this news/blog as I start to plan the crowdfunding video and organise the launch date…

In the meantime, if you’d like to be put on a waiting list, please email me at

Thanks very much,
leslie dean brown

P.S: we’d also greatly appreciate any likes, mentions or shares on social media.

Minor website update, code fix.

You may or may not have noticed this but there was an error code appearing on the top of all our main pages for some time (two years) which said:

“Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, function ‘greenday_head’ not found or invalid function name in /home/xnvrtebr/public_html/Blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 286”.

We’ve been using the same theme on our website since mid-2008. Over ten years! My how time flies!

We didn’t even notice the error straight away because it was black text appearing on a black background. That meant it was harder to track what went wrong and where.

Over time we’ve made numerous incremental changes to our website to make it more professional, more streamlined, more straightforward, more interesting to read, easier to navigate, and above all – faster loading. Unfortunately that meant it was harder to track what went wrong and where. I had essentially given up on trying to solve it myself and was totally prepared to hand the issue over to a freelance coder or something that could get the job done a lot faster.

I even tried to contact the original wordpress theme author but that didn’t work. Anyway, today, I’m pleased to report that that issue has now been resolved. Finally!

How to write a sponsorship letter to a bicycle product manufacturer for professional cycling equipment.

We recently received this sponsorship request. Since it covered what we were looking for when we sponsor riders, we’d thought we’d share it as a good example of “how to write a sponsorship application letter”.

How to write a sponsorship letter to a bicycle product manufacturer for professional cycling equipment.


How to write a sponsorship letter to a bicycle product manufacturer for professional cycling equipment

In case you were wondering, yes we decided to offer Marcus Blagrove a product-based sponsorship! Our decision was based on the following factors:

  • the rider’s current overall UMCA 24hr world championship standing for 2017 (yes we check this)
  • an active, substantial social media following
  • they have tailored the letter specifically to us and talked about how they think vertebrae cable housing would help them
  • an ability to act as a brand ambassador and be pro active with your product endorsements/sponsorships
  • the age of the rider and the amount of time the rider can remain competitive in the sport discipline
  • the rider presents an obvious “mutually benefical” scenario which we almost can’t ignore.
  • a well written, clear and concise letter; one page is all that is needed
  • clearly a great passion for cycling

It may pay some young riders to read through this sponsorship proposal, follow how it is written:

  • First the rider gets straight to the point about what they want (our time is precious).
  • Then they introduce themselves straight afterwards
  • They give some relevant background info and pertinent recent race results.
  • They let the race results speak for themselves. I.e. the rider is confident yet friendly/approachable, with no ego
  • Next they write about how they can help us with exposure (that is all we are really looking for, and to provide you with the world’s best cables in return for that).
  • They have listed all of their social media accounts.
  • They have also listed other sponsors who are already on board.
  • They give one final sentence summarising or concluding the letter

We do consider other types of races. We’re particularly interested in mass-start road races (either male or female). Vertebrae cable housing has many advantages which suit all race disciplines.

If you’d like to be sponsored, or you know someone that could benefit from this opportunity, please get in touch with us.

Concept stem development.

Concept stem from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

Prototype bicycle stem

Prototype bicycle stem, patent drawing style. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

Prototype bicycle stem, blueprint style. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

Prototype bicycle stem, artistic concept sketch. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

New prototype bicycle stem

Prototype bicycle stem, pen and ink style. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

Prototype bicycle stem, rough highlighter sketch. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

Prototype bicycle stem, very rough waterproof marker sketch. from leslie dean brown on Vimeo.

20% off all products throughout August, 2016!

20 It’s that time of year again! We’re trying hard to use up all of our remaining packaging before transitioning to the new recycled packaging later on this year.

Unfortunately, this is taking a bit longer than planned. Obviously we don’t want to throw the old packaging stuff in the bin, because that would be even more wasteful…

So to help us finish up with the old packaging, we’re really pleased to announce that we’re having a huge sale this August: we’re giving 20% off all orders!

Please enter the coupon “20eco” at the checkout, and a 20% discount will automatically be applied to your order.

Eco-friendly packaging!

FSC-Infographic Earlier this year, I finished reading a book called “Cradle to Cradle; remaking the way we make things” by William McDonough. It outlines a process for what is now called “regenerative design”. The author argues that product designers should take the environment into account at every single stage of a product’s design.

As a former Materials Scientist, I found this new concept very inspirational. Indeed, I know all too well about the environmental impact of materials. I have always supported reducing, reusing and recycling. But this book really got me to think a lot more about the environmental consequences of all the phases of a product’s life-cycle. The aim of regenerative design is to minimise [or preferably eliminate] the contamination of our natural environment during the production, distribution and disposal of a product.

While I was reading this book, I started looking at many other products to see if they embraced the Cradle to Cradle mentality. Not just bicycle components, but anything and everything being sold. I looked at all the stuff being sold on supermarket shelves. I looked at office products. I looked at furniture. I soon realised that –unfortunately– most things are not designed with this concept in mind. I’d see that a product might say that it can be recycled, but it is not made of recycled ingredients. Or something might say that it has been made with recycled components, but cannot then be recycled.

One of the benefits of being the owner of a small business rather than an employee is that owners have the final say in the decisions they make about their businesses. Owners have the power to take a company in their own direction. So I’d like to take this company down a more ecological, more sustainable path. One way to do that is to make our products last as long as possible. But we already have the longest-lasting cable housing on the market and the truth is that I don’t really know how to make our products any better [at least until nano-scale engineering comes along]. Read the rest of this entry »

Latest news update

I’m pleased to report that we are finally operational again as of July 2015. We now have 99% alumina brake and gear lines in stock in most colours. The design of the website has also been updated. It’s now looks cleaner, organised better, uses nicer typography and loads faster.

Unfortunately we have had to raise our prices to reflect the cost of running a business in Australia. However, the goods news is that we will be offering discounts from time to time!

Back in business around July 2014.

Aboriginal-Art-Australia-Map Just a quick update as we have been getting a lot of emails about our out-of-stock situation. The news is that we are planning on moving back to Australia in late May 2014. This is most likely going to be a permanent move. As you can imagine, this is a very big deal for us so we have decided to temporarily stop production & shipping until we can sort ourselves out over there.
We should be right to go from the next financial year around July of 2014, however you can expect a significant price increase when we resume business. We’ll update the website as time permits. Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
– Leslie.

Vertebrae website accidently “suspended”. We’re now back online!

website-account-suspended We weren’t actually aware that our website went down recently until our email suddenly stopped working several days ago. Thinking this was just a passing email glitch, we only realised about our website upon further investigation and it turned out to be a case of an invoice which we overlooked with our host service provider about a week ago. It’ll take a few days for us to sort through all our emails and process all of the existing orders. Please be patient during this time. We have noticed a surge in the number of orders which we have received in recent weeks; this required us to re-stock our ceramic parts earlier than planned. We will update people on the progress of their orders this weekend. Unfortunately this means there will be a 2 month delay on all new orders. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Now taking pre-orders for shipment in July 2013.

Expect Delays! We normally process & send each order as it is received… however, we’re just letting our customers know in advance that we will be visiting Australia from 19/05/13 until 02/07/13 for a much needed break from Tenerife – this is a combined business trip, family reunion & honeymoon all rolled into one! Therefore, if you are placing an online order during this period, the soonest we can send it out to you will be within a few days of our return (i.e. 05/07/13). We will still have email access during this time and the online ordering process won’t be affected. We look forward to getting back to work again in early July. Apologies for the delays & thanks for all your support!

Minor website update

We have just performed a server upgrade along with the website software. We are aware this is causing some problems viewing the homepage. The solution is to ensure to clear/delete the “cookies” in your webs browser.

Latest Vertebrae advertisements

The latest news is that we have placed a series of adverts in the reknowned Rouleur Magazine, starting with issue 33 which is on sale now. Needless to say, here at Vertebrae Components, we are very proud to appear in such a high quality publication. Shown here is the cover artwork, not our ad.

2012 Eurobike Exhibitors

For 2012, Vertebrae Components is working closely with industrial designer Maximilian-Peter Werner, who is in charge of Norland Cycles. Norland Cycles is a new downhill brand originally conceived in Chile. It features a dual-chain transmission which eliminates interference between suspension & pedaling.

Maximilian now lives in Finland and hopes to take the bike into production there. Thanks very much Max – good luck with Norland Cycles!

Eurobike 2012 Exhibitors Since we just have one “show bike” so far this year, if you’re planning on displaying a show bike for 2012 Eurobike, it’s still not to late to contact us to arrange something before September!

Free samples at Eurobike 2011

Free samples of Vertebrae at Eurobike 2011! For 2011, we are again represented at Eurobike. There will also be 50 free 2″ samples of vertebrae up for grabs in the clear colour.
We have organised to have the new Vertebrae anubis on display at Eurobike 2011, mounted on an all-new show bike built by A2J at the Carbon Sports / Lightweight tent on press day (30th August). We will also have a few different lengths of vertebrae housing on demonstration for you to touch and feel at the German Carbon Group stand (THM-Carbones booth in Hall A2 booth 205).

Vertebrae Anubis Update

Vertebrae Anubis Black Alumina Ceramic gear cable housing Just a quick update on the Vertebrae Anubis situation. We now have 10,000 individual vertebrae in stock with another 10,000 pieces en route. Although this may surprise some people, the major delay has been the production of our custom PEEK liner, not the ceramic parts.
Note that this product is intended for use exclusively with campagnolo 11 speed systems, as no modification of the ergolevers is required.

We will have 2 or 3 Vertebrae Anubis gear kits ready for purchase by the end of next week, hence we’ve now changed the item status to ‘available’ on the products page. Consider this a pre-release; obviously the first kits will go to the first initial buyers. I know that some of you have been waiting a whole year for this product to be released, so I expect the first few Vertebrae Anubis kits will be snapped up pretty quickly.

Vertebrae Anubis coming soon!

Vertebrae Anubis for campagnolo 11 speed coming soon Just a quick update:
Thanks very much for the continued interest in Vertebrae Anubis! Actually there is some good news!!

We have had 25,000 black ceramic pieces made up already for some time now (enough for 53 gear kits).

We are going to release our own slimline 0.7mm gear polymer-coated stainless steel cable housing and proprietry teflon liner so it works together as a fully-functioning system with truly ultra-low friction.
It has already undergone testing in Tenerife, Spain.

I am currently working on Vertebrae Components here in Australia over the next month, then I will be going back to Tenerife on July 18 and I think we can expect it to be ready for sale by the end of July (finally!). The main wait now is just for the teflon liner to be sent to us…

Dr. Leslie Brown (Mat. Sci.) | Precision braking & shifting
+612 9570-1634
(note my spanish mobile is switched off at the moment)

Mechanical properties of 96%, 99.5% alumina and ZTA.

It’s that time of year again, so you can expect to see more frequent Vertebrae updates! Here’s some detailed information about all three materials used in the construction of vertebrae ceramic cable housing, namely: 96%, 99.5% alumina and ZTA. We’ve included both the mechanical and thermal properties in a tabulated format.

96% Alumina Material Properties 


  Property Units Test Value
   Density gm/cc ASTM-C20 3.72
   Crystal Size Microns Thin-Section 6
   Flexural Strength (MOR), 20 °C 358 (52)
   Elastic Modulus, 20 °C GPa (psi x 106) ASTM-F417 303 (44)
   Poisson’s Ratio, 20 °C ASTM-C848 0.21
   Compressive Strength MPa(psi x 103) ASTM-C773 2068 (300)
   Hardness GPa(kg/mm2) KNOOP 1000 gm 11.5 (1175)
      Rockwell 45 N 78
   Tensile Strength, 25 °C MPa (psi x 103) ACMA TEST #4 221 (32)
   Fracture Toughness K(Ic) Mpa m1/2 NOTCHED BEAM 4-5
   Thermal Conductivity, 20 °C Wm degrees K ASTM-C408 24.7
   Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 1 x 10-6/degrees C ASTM-C372 8.2
   Specific Heat, 100 °C J/kg*K ASTM-E1269 880
   Thermal Shock Resistance, (delta)Tc degrees C NOTE 3 250
   Maximum Use Temperature degrees C NO-LOAD COND. 1700

Read the rest of this entry »

New Vertebrae labels double as frame protectors

The new Vertebrae labels double as frame protectors. These prevent any damage to your frame caused by cable housing rub. We now have them available in three colours: clear, black and yellow. If there’s a colour you’d like see, please contact us for a special order…

yellow coloured vertebrae frame protector labels.gif

clear vertebrae labels

black and white vertebrae frame protectors



Vertebrae high-purity 99.5% alumina ceramic product release

We’re proud to release the newest edition of vertebrae manufactured from high-purity alumina (99.5%). Retail price for the brake or gear kits is €190 and €345 for the complete kits.
The 99.5% alumina composition exhibits both a greater compressive/tensile strength and stiffness when compared to the standard 96% alumina version. It adds a greater margin of safety, especially towards the application of ceramic brake lines.

Vertebrae Anubis – SNEEK PEEK

Numerous customers have recently enquired about Vertebrae Anubis cable housing as our expected delivery date came and went. Apologies to everyone for the delays & lack of updates regarding this product. This is just a confirmation that we have been busy behind the scenes and we are still working on it…
The special black anubis vertebrae were delayed in production; here are some photos of the current prototypes…

The other main reason for the delay is that we chose to go with a high-performance PEEK liner, another world first for bicycle cable housing (more on PEEK’s unique properties below). Because of that decision, we now expect Vertebrae Anubis to be ready at the end of November [2010] and we firmly believe it will be worth the wait. We don’t want to take orders until it is 100% in stock and ready to ship. When it becomes available, we will update the product page to include anubis as an selectable option.

This linear aromatic polymer is semi-crystalline and is widely regarded as the highest performance thermoplastic material currently available. PEEK has repeating monomers of two ether and ketone groups, hence the name.

What sets PEEK apart from fluoropolymers is the fact that PEEK polymer retains its mechanical properties at extremely high temperatures (continuous service temperature of 500ºF/260ºC). Thinwall PEEK is more flexible and kink resistant than aluminum tubing. PEEK is naturally tan in color and can be pigmented black.

In other related news, our high-performance 99% alumina version should also be available to the public before the end of 2010.

Cycle Sport mag ad

Fax your order to Vertebrae!

We’re pleased to announce that you can now fax us your order and pay directly by credit card or direct deposit via IBAN.
Simply download this orderform (in pdf format), print it out and fax it to our Australian fax number: 61 (0)2 8569-1597. Once you have printed our order form, all you need to do is indicate the items you would like to purchase (don’t forget to tell us your preferred colour choice as well as any other important options).

This is a convenient option for any international customers who do not have a paypal account and would like to purchase any of Vertebrae Components’ products. Australian customers are advised to contact us via email and we will then provide you with our Australian bank details. Please note that American Express cards are not accepted at this time.

Download updated assembly and installation instructions:

Vertebrae gear and brake housing assembly and installation instructions now available to download online in pdf format.


Download vertebrae cable housing assembly / installation instructions in pdf format

Vertebrae cables reviewed in MBR Summer 2010 Issue

We just got news that Vertebrae cable housing was reviewed in the Summer 2010 Issue of Mountain Bike Rider (MBR), a very popular UK mountainbiking magazine. It’s featured on page 152 in their “Tested » Products” section:

Vertebrae Anubis announced.

Vertebrae Anubis is the latest generation of gear cable housing specifically designed to work with Campagnolo ergopower controls. Anubis features black slimline alumina ceramic vertebrae, which are compatible with the new shiftlevers without the need for any modifications.
The benefits of Anubis over standard cable housing are: precision shifting over time, reduced finger effort, lighter weight, no need for lubrication, and of course significantly greater longevity. Anubis is currently in the prototype/testing phase and will be available for release at the end of October 2010. Further details will be released before then.

It’s widely known that Campagnolo have recently reduced the diameter of their Ultrashift gear cable housing to 4.1mm with the introduction of their 11 speed system. Many cyclists have experienced various shifting ‘issues’ while some have even resorted to riding with 10 speed in the interim. We’ve previously reported on the disadvantages of undersize gear cable housing; unless the overall design and/or material of housing is changed, undersized housing leads to imprecise gear shifts (this is because the cable housing is more likely to compress when the gear cable is under tension, since the outer housing has less surface area to inhibit these forces).

Vertebrae comes to Australia!

Vertebrae brake housing makes a brief appearance in the next July-August issue of Bicycling Australia Magazine on page 38 as a new product announcement. The editors of Bicycling Australia Magazine have informed us to expect a more detailed review later in the year.

Vertebrae Components ceramic gear housing is also shown in the tri-monthly August-September-October issue of Mountainbiking Australia Magazine, as a new product announcement on page 24. Again, we’ve been told that you can also expect a more detailed review to appear later in the year.
In other news, we have already sent evaluation kits to Spoke magazine & Road Cycling NZ. Next on the list are RIDE Australia magazine & Canadian Cyclist. Meanwhile, Ridemag seems to have misplaced their kit and we haven’t heard a single word back from despite more than a few e-mails. Other reviews are pending ( and we’ll keep you posted as they appear…

Sydney business trip planned for July/August.

Just a quick note to say that in less than 1 hour, Leslie will be heading to Sydney on a business trip. A brief stopover in Singapore is also planned.
So if you are from Australia or NZ and are thinking about placing an order with Vertebrae, the best time is between the 2nd of July and the 13th of August. That way, it’ll be shipped from Sydney and hence will arrive within 48 hours instead of 1-2 weeks. All other European orders will be shipped as normal from our Spanish HQ. During this time, you can reach Les directly by calling +612 9570-1634.

Red cable housing coming soon!

You requested it and we have responded! All Vertebrae cable housing will soon be available in a “true red” colour! Expected arrival is from mid-July 2010.
We realise that this is an all-important colour which has been sorely missing until now… since it is one of the post popular colours appearing on many bike schemes. Needless to say, it took us a very long time to find a suitable supplier. This brings the total number of colours to 15, including our recently released ultraclear FEP option.

The ultimate cable housing is disappearing fast.

Earlier this year, we introduced a limited edition set of Vertebrae cable housing called ZTA. You can read more about its properties here.There were initially only 5000 ZTA pieces manufactured, enough for 19.2 metres of “the ultimate” housing. As of today, 67% of the limited edition ZTA vertebrae have now been sold, leaving just 6.4 metres left! This is just enough for 2 road bikes to be fully-equipped with vertebrae (alternatively, 4 MTB gear housing only sets).
There is still siginifcant interest by a number of potential buyers, so you’ll need to get in quick to reserve what’s left. However, just in case you miss out this time, we’ll consider re-introducing this special version of Vertebrae again towards the end of 2010.

Black teflon liner coming soon!

Coming mid-June: new black-coloured teflon liner! We call this new product “pipeline”. Pipeline will be included in all self-assembly and intervene kits. It will also be available separately for ~€5/metre. Note that the current white teflon liner is still available, but only while stocks last.

Vertebrae components long term review.

Spain’s premier online cycling magazine,, has featured a review of Vertebrae gear and brake housing. If you can read Spanish, you can read the results of that test here.

This news was released earlier today, so it’s still on the first page of the arueda site! A special thanks to Gonzalo Vilaseca for taking up the opportunity to test our housing and publish the review!

Vertebrae product logos now displayed.

Pictured below are two new Vertebrae colours cot previously shown (grey and tan). The Vertebrae logo is now printed on the outer casing:

The other news is that all Vertebrae ZTA gear kits will be supplied with black slick-coated jagwire cables and black alloy end crimps as the photo below shows. We’re still working hard to try and find black brake cables in 1.5mm diameter…

optional FEP copolymer wrap now available on selected products

This week we are releasing a new optional FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) copolymer wrap for all pre-manufactured vertebrae cable housing (Intervene & Custom ZTA vertebrae).
One advantage of FEP is that it is completely transparent (as opposed to the pre-existing ‘clear’ coloured polyolefin heatshrink which is actually has a more translucent finish).

The main benefit of FEP however is that grease and dirt will not adhere to this material. It simply wipes off with a clean rag, leaving your vertebrae housing completely clean and free of grease marks. FEP is very flexible once it has undergone heatshrinking; FEP also has a very high tolerance to heat, solvents and other chemicals compared to conventional polyolefin heatshrink materials.

NOTE: This option will not be available for the basic self-assembly kits since FEP has a straight tubing form factor before heat shrinkage, complicating the postage of our product.

3 to 5 year limited warranty

This is a limited warranty which covers against falts or defects in workmanship of the ceramic parts only.Warranty periods are as follows: 96% Alumina is guranteed for 3 years from the date of purchase; 99.5% alumina is coming later in 2010 and will be covered for 4 years, while our premium ZTA ceramic vertebrae possess an extended 5 year guarantee!

NOTE: The liner material, SpinalWrap, cables and ferrules constitute consumables and will not be covered under this warranty. Neither does it apply to improper installation.

Nevertheless, this is an industry first for cable housing -there are handlebars out there with shorter warranty periods than ours…. this is simply our way of saying that we are confident that our own product will stand the test of time.

Extra teflon liner with each order…

Extra teflon liner now included with each order! We are now offering a bonus 1.5m teflon liner with each new order provided you spend more than 90€. This brings the total length of teflon liner in the basic self assembly kits to 3.5m (or 5.5m for the complete gear & brake cableset). It enables you to either run full length liner from the beginning or alternatively you can save it for later use…

24hr cable housing conversion…

24hr Custom Vertebrae Installation!

If you are planning a Tenerife cycle training vacation, you should be pleased to know that we are now offering a door-to-door cable housing fitment service with a 24 hour turnaround period.

We first pick your bike up directly from your hotel or apartment in Tenerife, where you will meet Dr. Leslie Brown to discuss your specific requirements; we then perform a professional, customised vertebrae installation to your exact specifications, finally returning your bike to you within 24hrs in perfect working condition.

There is currently a €150 surchage for this premium service (price subject to change). We are pleased to also offer you a courtesy rental bike from Pro Bike Hire while we are working on your bike.

Alternatively, you can opt for a rest day and see some of the attractions in Tenerife while we setup vertebrae on your bike. Please call +34 605 56 2020 for more info.

Why Tenerife?It’s no coincidence that many cyclists choose to train in the Canary Islands -Tenerife- the largest island, offers one of the best cycling locations in Europe all throughout the year.This is home to the world’s third largest volcano, and it serves up some of the biggest and most challenging climbs in all of Europe. Starting from sea level, you can ride up to an altitude of 2300m!

What better place to test the limits of your braking & shifting? Naturally, with all the steep offroad descents to be found, it’s even popular with the DownHill crowd.

For more information on cycling Tenerife, please see our sister site:


Vertebrae “Intervene” cable housing on sale now.

Vertebrae gear kit shown with black Spinal Wrap We now have shorter lengths of pre-assembled vertebrae cable housing available making it even more affordable & accessible to most riders. This is perfect for the rear derailleur loop, which is one of the most important sections as far as gear housing is concerned, since too much friction here can cause shifting issues.
Intervene is also perfect for use on the rear section of brake housing which is often only a very short length yet needs to be one of the most flexible due to cable routing issues on smaller frames. This situation is often exacerbated because the cable housing should also move freely when the rear brake caliper is actuated and released (in order to prevent off-centering).

Finally, intervene is available as a front brake line only for single speed bikes.

Now for example, you can get a 25cm section of ceramic housing for only 30€, including free worldwide postage.

New advert for MBUK magazine.

New campagnolo ultrashift compatible gear housing…

We’ve been working for some time on the latest generation of Vertebrae ceramic cable housing which will be 100% compatible with 2009 & 2010 campagnolo lever bodies previously requiring “ultrashift” 4.1mm cablesets.

The new housing will have a diameter of just under 4.0mm (3.99mm without the spinal wrap to be more precise), hence no modifications will be necessary to your existing levers. This product is currently in the prototype & testing phase. We estimate that it will be ready to purchase online by Autumn/Fall of 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

MBR advert published in issues March and April 2010:

MBR advert published in issues March and April 2010


bike component sale - 25% percent off Regular Retail Price (RRP)

bike component sale - 15% percent off Regular Retail Price (RRP)

In light of the new ZTA version soon to be released, we will be lowering the price of the standard vertebrae 96% alumina ceramic housing. As of the 10th of March 2010, they will retail at just 99 Euros per kit instead of the usual €125.

The only down side is that due to the substantial price drop, we aren’t left with a significant margin for international distributors (yes they cost that much to manufacture). Therefore, you’ll have to purchase them directly from our online shop (or speak with us over the telephone and order a set that way).

Limited Edition Vertebrae ZTA, ready to ship.

Vertebrae ZTA special editition We’re pleased to announce the launch of our latest model vertebrae cable housing, called “Vertebrae ZTA”. These are made of the ultimate ceramic material, zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA). ZTA is considerably stronger and tougher than our standard 96% alumina.
Due to the exhorbitant cost of this material, we have an extremely limited production run, enough for 6 brakesets and 6 gearsets. The ZTA editition is available in all the standard colours and will be on sale at the end of April 2010. If you would like to place an advance order, please contact us.

More about the ceramic toughening mechanism in ZTA:Transformation toughening is a breakthrough in achieving high-strength ceramic materials with very high fracture toughness. ZTA exhibits an internal mechanism for actually inhibiting crack propagation. A crack in a normal ceramic travels all the way through the ceramic with little inhibition, resulting in immediate and brittle fracture and catastrophic failure. Transformation Toughened Zirconia (TTZ) exhibits a fracture toughness (or resistance to crack propagation) which is 3-6 times higher than normal zirconia and most other ceramics. TTZ is so tough that it can be struck with a hammer or even fabricated into a hammer for driving nails. The stress intensity factor values for window glass (silica), transformation toughened alumina, and a typical iron/carbon steel range from 1 to 20 to 50 respectively.

Components manufactured from Zirconia Toughened Alumina (ZTA) show considerable improvement in strength and toughness over alpha alumina engineering ceramics. The increase in strength and toughness in ZTA is attributable to the stress induced transformation toughening mechanism which is introduced with the addition of optimized amounts of fine zirconia particles dispersed thoughout the alumina body.

zirconia transformation toughening in ceramics; a dispersed metastable tetragonal phase transforms into a monoclinic phase in the highly stressed zone around the crack tip, preventing further growth. It's not

Typical zirconia content is between 10% and 20%. As a crack grows through the ceramic, the crystal structure of the zirconia particles in the region of the crack changes from the metastable tetragonal phase to the stable monoclinic phase. The change increases the volume of the particles by about 3-4% and generates compressive stresses in the alumina matrix. This process closes the crack; although it does not ‘heal’ the damage, it does act as an energy barrier to further crack growth. The addition of zirconia to the alumina matrix increases fracture toughness by two times and can be improved by as high as four times, while compressive & flexural strength can be more than doubled.

Environmentally friendly envelopes!

Planting trees for the planet We’re pleased to announce that we’re now using environmentally friendly envelopes on all our shipments. 2¢ from every € spent on these envelopes goes to the Plantemos para el Planeta foundation. These green envolopes are also made of ecological chlorine-free paper with recycled polyethylene bubblewrap. Note you’ll need to separate these before recycling…

bike magazine reviews & product announcements…

We recently sent out some some vertebrae test kits to a few big name bike mags to get reviewed. Namely: BikeRadar, Cycling Weekly, Arueda and PezCyclingNews. Look out for us in their “new product announcement” and/or “product reviews” section in the not too distant future! We are very much looking forward to hearing their opinions & feedback about vertebrae!
Also, we’d like to give a special thanks to those particular publications for merely giving us a chance. We previously thought it was easy to get considered for a review, now we know better. We are still looking for new opportunities with bike several other mag editors, but so far a lot of them have ignored our emails…