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  1. #1
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    brake housing for derailer cables

    Cable housings for brakes are usually made of spiral wound metal with an inner plastic liner. Derailer housings have lengthwise steel threads with a liner. The spiral wound brake housings should not be used for indexed shifting derailer cables because they can compress and cause sloppy shifting.

    So I've had a couple of road setups where the compressionless housings have had some of the lengthwise strands work their way through the ferrules. I've tried several ferrules that are supposedly made specifically for compressionsless derailer housing, but still had some wire creep. So I just finished a rebuild on one of them using brake cable housing on the derailer cables. I'm planning to use this bike on a long trip as an experiment to see if I can notice any effects.

    If somebody has tried this and definitely seen very sloppy shifting, ..then wave me off this potential misadventure. I just took it out for a short ride and it's shifting great. Doesn't seem sloppy yet.

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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg

    So I've had a couple of road setups where the compressionless housings have had some of the lengthwise strands work their way through the ferrules. I've tried several ferrules that are supposedly made specifically for compressionsless derailer housing, but still had some wire creep.
    Metal ferrules, never an issue. No issues so far with copressionless housing is cut square,but I've seen some damm sloppy cutting.

  3. #3
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    The spiral wound casing increases length when you bend it, so causing ghost shifts when you turn the handle bars. Spiral wound casing should be no problem when used in places where it wont be flexed while riding, such as between the chain stay and the rear der.

  4. #4
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    Cable housings for brakes are usually made of spiral wound metal with an inner plastic liner. Derailer housings have lengthwise steel threads with a liner. The spiral wound brake housings should not be used for indexed shifting derailer cables because they can compress and cause sloppy shifting.

    So I've had a couple of road setups where the compressionless housings have had some of the lengthwise strands work their way through the ferrules. I've tried several ferrules that are supposedly made specifically for compressionsless derailer housing, but still had some wire creep. So I just finished a rebuild on one of them using brake cable housing on the derailer cables. I'm planning to use this bike on a long trip as an experiment to see if I can notice any effects.

    If somebody has tried this and definitely seen very sloppy shifting, ..then wave me off this potential misadventure. I just took it out for a short ride and it's shifting great. Doesn't seem sloppy yet.
    At one time didn't all bikes use spiral wound cable for everything? I had several bikes in the 70's that were that way, some were better quality also.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    At one time didn't all bikes use spiral wound cable for everything? I had several bikes in the 70's that were that way, some were better quality also.

    Tim
    Well yeah! Index shifting didn't come along till 1985 and STI /ERGo with the longer casing was later than that.

  6. #6
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    The Jagwire that came on my Stumpjumper (04) was the stranded brake housing all the way around--I was pretty surprised. Seemed to work ok though.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    The Jagwire that came on my Stumpjumper (04) was the stranded brake housing all the way around--I was pretty surprised. Seemed to work ok though.
    stranded ?? Brake housing is coiled.

  8. #8
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Yikes, I need more sleep.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  9. #9
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    i believe the jagwire housing is intended for use as brake or der. if i remember correctly the jagwire website listed a single ripcord housing without designation of application (brake or der). they also list sets with the corresponding cable.

    i have some jagwire ripcord i got from nashbar which is sold as a brake housing and cable set (the housing is imprinted jagwire ripcord). i have actually cut it open and examined it.

    it has lengthwise compressionless-type steel wires (like der housing). this layer is covered by some plastic, then an outer layer of woven kevlar fibers. the kevlar supposedly gives it the burst strength needed for brake applications. so this stuff can go either way. it is stiffer than conventional brake housing with the spiral wound steel. the jagwire bends pretty much like compressionless housing.

    nashbar doesnt seem to have a der. version of this housing.

    the nashbar branded housing is much cheaper than the jagwire ripcord, $4 vs ~$20.

    btw. i recently purchased several 'der cable and housing" sets from nashbar. its made by delta (they used to have the ads side by side for easy comparison) but cheaper, ~2 bucks. turns out i got der cables with spiral wound housing, not compressionless housing. what a deal huh.

  10. #10
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    The spiral stuff is OK for derailleurs, but if you start having shifting troubles, look there first.

    If you are having trouble with wire creep on compressionless housing, here is a tip: bend the housing into the desired bend BEFORE cutting it. Since the wires on the 'outside' of the bend have to cover more distance than the ones on the 'inside' of the bend, if you cut the housing square while it is straight, it will end up angled once bent, and it won't fit flush against the base of the metal ferrules, which can cause wire creeping. If you bend it first, and THEN cut it square, you are better off.

    peace,
    sam

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