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  1. #1
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    installing new brake cable

    Unfortunately in the process of stripping my commuter frame I destroyed the end of my rear brake cable, and now it needs replacing (too short). Are there any secret tips I need to know, or is this as straight ahead as I like to pretend all my repairs are? Should I oil the cable? I've got this phil's just waiting for a use...

    Also, I'm going to get my first experience in wrapping a handlebar, and unwrapping it for that matter. Exciting for me
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatadonut
    ...it needs replacing (too short). Are there any secret tips I need to know, or is this as straight ahead as I like to pretend all my repairs are? Should I oil the cable? I've got this phil's just waiting for a use...
    Nothing too magic about replacing the cables. Somethings to look for:

    1. If you buy "universal" fit cables, each end has a different fitting to fit the two major type of levers. The unneeded one is cut off. Make sure to size the end with your old cable. Also, once you cut it, you might have loose strands flaring out. Before you start feeding the cable through the housing, make sure any loose strands are put back into place. If you notice, the cable strands are sprially wound along its axis. Use your fingers to set the loose strands back into place, following the spiral of the cable. If you force the cable through with loose strands sticking out, they could get hung up on the housing ends and ruin the cable. Basically, feed the cable gently, and if it does hang up, pull it out and try again.

    2. If you can, I prefer to buy cable made for/by the brake manufacturer. For example, I bought some Shimano cables and of course the end fits perfectly. More importantly, the other end seemed to be tinned with solder, so when the cable essentially has no loose strands. Thus, it was easier to feed through the housing.

    3. I suggest lubing the cable, but not with oil. A dry, chain type lube is preferable, since it won't gum or attract dirt. I use Prolink chain lube for my chain and cables. I presume you could use a hardware store version of a silicone lube - it's cheap and is dry. Oil will stay wet and act like a magnet for grit. The cable are not activate that much, so a thick, "tenacious" lube is probably not necessary.

    4. Cap off the cable end with an end crimp. Sometime, I could tin the free end with a dab of solder which is a very clean look, but solder may not adhere to all cable materials, like stainless steel.
    Last edited by MudPie; 07-28-05 at 11:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Ya, nothing too difficult here. If you buy a universal brake cable you would cut off the end that looks like a barrel and leave the end that looks like a mushroom. As for greasing cables, its all personal preference. I like to. Phil's is fine, also "Honey Slick" suspension grease is great also, becasue it is not a heavy grease, but it is grease so it will stay where you put it, not run down the cable. All you need to grease/lube is the parts of cable that run through the housing. Greasing the exposed partsw is just going to collect dust/dirt.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I'd replace it with a teflon coated cable and teflon lined housing. No lube needed

  5. #5
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    I followed these instructions:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/cable.shtml

    Turns out to have been the easiest maintenance tast I've ever carried out on my bike. Well, besides oiling the chain.

  6. #6
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    I'd replace it with a teflon coated cable and teflon lined housing. No lube needed

    yeah, but can i find teflon housing in white with pink lettering?
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  7. #7
    Commuter/Roadie mtn_mojo's Avatar
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    Looks like I get to attempt this tonight: snapped my cable on my ride to work. Was a little hairy riding the rest of the way using only my front brake. Figure it's a good opportunity to replace the pads, they're getting a bit worn.
    Bike to Work!

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