Two short lengths of the full-size NbTi cable-in-conduit (CIC) conductor used to fabricate the ITER poloidal field coil insert were tested in the SULTAN facility. The two investigated conductors, otherwise identical, are distinguished only by the presence and absence of the last stage subcable wraps. The voltage-current (V-I) characteristics and the quench behaviour of the conductors with and without subcable wraps are compared. The dc performance of the conductors is limited by the occurrence of sudden take-offs above approximate to 35 kA in the leg with wraps and above approximate to 45 kA in the leg without wraps. Hall probes used to study the current distribution indicate that the better performance of the conductor without subcable wraps is closely related to the lower transverse resistance providing a more efficient current redistribution. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.