Hobie Idler Cable Info

Hobie MirageDrive Idler Cables serve to balance the load over the chains & cables and helps to take some of the pressure off the chains. For this reason it’s important that they are set at the correct tension (not so loose that it is barely doing it’s job and not so tight that it’s creating added pedaling friction) and also that they are in good order.

Idler Cables for Hobie MirageDrive

Corrosion and broken strands will cause issues over time (although this can be mitigated dramatically with regular maintenance) and tired looking cables should be replaced.

Most MirageDrives use the V2 cable, which is compatible with V2, GT, FlowFins (Eclipse), MD180/MD180 KU (Part# 81203).

Hobie Miragedrive chain thread v2

These cables are easily identified by the threaded ends, which have unusually flattened sides. They were designed like this so that the threads lock into the walls of the spine, which makes them easier to install and adjust.

Current Glide Tech Kick-Up and *MD180KU MirageDrives use a slightly different cable (lets call it V3 Idler cable), which is much more like the original V1 cables. Its basically the same as the V2 (same length and width) but the threaded end does not have flattened sides. (*Note: the first batch of MD180 KU drives were supplied with V2 cables). The V3 idler cable is part# 77800160

There is a good reason for Hobie to have reverted back to the regular round threaded type and we suspect that going forward all future MirageDrives chains and cables will be this way. The reason for the change is that the flattened edges of the V2 cables had a tendency to strip away part of the nylon lock from the 1/4″ nuts when they are installed. This resulted in some instances of issues with chain tension, which is why Hobie started installing lock nuts with loctite a few years back. Nylon lock nuts generally have a better effective shelf life when installed on the fully rounded threads. These can be a little trickier to install and adjust because when you install a nut it will grip tighter and thus the cable will twist when you thread it on. This means that you have to grip the cable swage with long nose / vice grip pliers to hold it steady so you can thread on the nut.

The newer idler cables can be used on any drive that was using a V2 cable with just a slight modification. To make this work you need to drill out the hole where there V2 cable slots into the drum. if you look closely at this hole you will see it is not round – it has flat sides in order to lock in the V2 cable ends. You will need to drill this out so that it is round. The hole will need to be 1/4″ in order to fit the thread through.

So in the event that you need to replace a V2 Idler cable but you can’t find one available you can always fall back on the newer V3 cable.

What happens if my Idler Cable breaks on the water?

In the event that an Idler cable breaks during usage the first thing to do in not panic. The MirageDrive should still work, although it will probably feel a little sloppy. Be careful not to pedal too hard because without that idler cable the chains are doing heavier work. This is especially true on MD180 drives, which are less resiliant to excess load on the chains than V2 / GT drives are.