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maggyrider

Cutaway cable with clear coating

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Hey everybody,

While inspecting a rig I have discovered a cutaway handle with clear coating instead of the more common yellow one. I have not seen clear coating on a cutaway cable before and remembered reading something about a fatality caused by the failure of the coating. After some research I found the following post - http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4764216#4764216

The recommendation (by the DZ-user) is not to use cables with clear coating anymore. There is no SB by the manufacturer and I have not been able to find anything else on this subject. Did I miss something? Is it safe to use the cable with clear coating or should the handle be replaced?
Thanks!
Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.

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Is this an old rig? Or some unusual more modern rig?

Clear coating was seen in, I dunno, maybe the end of the 70's, early 80s, before the yellow Lolon became used. Here in Canada I've never heard anything about it being banned in any way, it's just inferior technology that nobody sees any more, that may have aged and deteriorated.

You can jump a rig with Capewells and belly mount too if you want. If it seems flexible and not cracking the user can make a choice on using the old cable. On the other hand, since it is relatively easy to find a new handle, that would be the preferred option.

(For those not clicking through, the link in the original post is to a discussion on cutaway cables arising after the accident where a Racer orange coated cable seemed to have failed last year.)

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Strong Enterprises has used a variety of clear-coated cables on their tandems. For a while, SE even used un-coated cutaway cables. SE recommends replacing all older cutaway cables with current-production, clear-coated cables.

Your clear-coated cable is probably air-worthy. To inspect it, look at it, then slide your fingers along the cable. Look closely for cracks, grooves or missing coating. Cracked or missing coating means grounding and replacement.

Caution, yellow-coated cables are not stiff enough for Strong tandems

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As long as the "clear" coating is Lolon (a form of 6/6 Nylon that is very flexible, has low surface friction, and does not crack easily) , the cable is OK. The real danger is that it is vinyl, which yields too much friction for an easy pull. I color coated my Lolon cable yellow simply for easy identification, because otherwise,it is hard to tell.

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It is a pretty new Paratec Next tandem system - not too common but also nothing too special. Most of the Next systems I know are equipped with yellow cutaway cable, just this one is equipped with clear cable.

Inspection did not show any damages. I was just asking because of the incident and the resulting DZ-thread (that is linked in the first post) last year.

Thanks!
Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.

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