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  1. #1
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    I bought some new handlebars from Rivendell and realized that my cables are about 3 inches too short. The LBS quoted me $80 for two brake cables, two derailer cables and $16 for labor.

    Does this sound like I'm getting hosed? Has anyone gotten a cable replaced recently?
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  2. #2
    Ferrous wheel
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    These must be the special wound platinum cables.
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  3. #3
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    Find a new LBS

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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Did they also show you $10 cables/housings as well??...
    Last edited by roadfix; 02-19-06 at 10:57 AM.
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  5. #5
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Ok, if your face didn't look something like this when they told you the price, then it should have been....



    What handlebars/shifters do you have. I buy all my cables from loosescrews.com. A full set of cables runs me about $20 delivered if I get the "good" ones. About 90% of the labor in replacing cables is getting the indexing right. Which, is probably why I run friction shifting myself.

  6. #6
    cptn. x-chains sidekick gmoneyhobbit's Avatar
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    whats worse.. i went into my lbs <which is now closed due to lack of business><and them being arseheads>

    but i just went in asked for cables and housing.. it was some cheap ol giant cable... he rang it up 31 friggin bux... so i was like w/e and just bought it...

    i could gotten some shimano or avid for that price.. all i kno.. lbs's are getting worse and worse now adays.. im going to stick to the net from now on as far as bike parts are concerned

  7. #7
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    It depends on the quality of the housing (I assume the LBS is supplying both wire and housing). Avid Flack Jackets go for $30 brake, and $30 gear sets, at JensonUSA, or $60 for just the parts.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ke+Cables.aspx.

    If the LBS is iselling Avid Flack Jackets for $80 total, then it might seem to be a reasonable price for an LBS.

    The $16 labor doesn't seem terribly bad to prep, install and adjust the brakes and deraillure.

    Also, this is probably something you can do yourself.

  8. #8
    cptn. x-chains sidekick gmoneyhobbit's Avatar
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    oh yeh forgot to mention 16 is awesome compared to my old lbs.. that day i bought those cables... before i saw the price of them... i asked how much to have them install.. they said 50 dollars and it would be ready the next day...

  9. #9
    Obeying Gravity
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    That is insane. Standard cables at my lbs are $3 a pop.

  10. #10
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I recently re-did all the cable-age on my Schwinn, and I didn't pay more than $15 for all the parts - inners, outers, ferrules and ends. I did the work myself - it took an hour or so. Sounds like you were ripped off…

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  11. #11
    cptn. x-chains sidekick gmoneyhobbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis
    I recently re-did all the cable-age on my Schwinn, and I didn't pay more than $15 for all the parts - inners, outers, ferrules and ends. I did the work myself - it took an hour or so. Sounds like you were ripped off…

    - Wil
    thats kinda what i was getting at with my post .. that i was jacked.. thats why i said that im sticking to the net for bike parts...

  12. #12
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    I remember at the LBS I worked at in the '90's they carried some high-end fancy-schmancy cable set that cost $50 for just the brake cables (one bike's worth) and the same for derailler cables. They had the outer housing and a smaller spagetti-housing under that and it was supposed to be super-slippery. I forgot the brand name.

    Are these cables worth the extra cost? I always have wondered about this.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Replacing two sets of cables. Should take less than an hour. at $16 an hour, they could do a complete overhaul.

  14. #14
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    last cable (and housing) i had installed was part of a driveline tune-up. the whole tune-up was nine bucks and change. so yeah, you're getting hosed.

  15. #15
    RidesOldTrek
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoridog
    I bought some new handlebars from Rivendell and realized that my cables are about 3 inches too short. The LBS quoted me $80 for two brake cables, two derailer cables and $16 for labor.
    I look at it this way: Rivendell sells very expensive custom frames, recognizing that much of the riding experience is due to the frame design/quality, and outfits their expensive frames with "sensible" components that won't compromise that experience. Now I'm assuming the brake cable/housing set they list in their catalog is the same one they use on their bikes - and costs $15 for a complete set. Of course you can always find someone to sell something very fancy that performs no better, sometimes worse, than the basic mid-priced-best-value item.

    That said, I have a set of brake cables/housings on my older Trek, bought in 1977, which were a bit fancy at the time, with nice braided cable and teflon housing linings, and they are still great almost 30 years later. I think the current good-quality lined housings are about the same. I'm sure I paid more for my old cables than I would have for the basic ones, but I was poor back then, so I couldn't have spent that much. So don't break the bank, but don't buy the cheapest crap out there either.

    I heard someone say - "the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten." How true that is.

  16. #16
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    Just bought XTR brake cable/housings off ebay for $9.95, have seen XTR shifter cables there for near same price- ca. $10-20.00. Invest $25.00 in some cutters to do shifter cable housings, can cut brake cable housings with snips if you grind the ends flat with a file/grinder. Invest an hour or two of your time to learn how to do the installation and readjust the brakes/shifters.

    The next time you'll have the tools and the knowledge to do it (in half the time).

  17. #17
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoridog
    I bought some new handlebars from Rivendell and realized that my cables are about 3 inches too short. The LBS quoted me $80 for two brake cables, two derailer cables and $16 for labor.

    Does this sound like I'm getting hosed? Has anyone gotten a cable replaced recently?
    Unless they are Nokon that's at least double retail. Are you being charged for cables and casings or just the internal cable itself. Really good stainless cables, no casings, are $5 max at an LBS. The $16 labor doesn't seem out of line. It isn't hard to cut and install cables & casings just time consuming.

    I can buy NIB Campy cables & casings, and Campy ain't known for being cheap, for $40/set less installation. That is FULL RETAIL price. I think you should probably check out a few other stores.

    If you can remember sydney's advice on cables, buy cheap bulk housing and save your cash for some fine smoking carpet. AHH what a really twisted sense of humor, I'll miss him. If you consider yourself handy search ebay or loose screws for good deals on housing and cables. Buy a good quality Shimano or Park cable cutter and do it yourself. You can buy the Park cutter and the cables for what the LBS is going to charge. Don't throw away your current housing if it's is still new. You can use on another bike later. Good luck.


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  18. #18
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Sounds ridiculous to me. Quality cables, (teflon-coated and the like,) can be had for well below $10 a pop. It seems like a more astute salesman would represent the entire price range of cables you could potentially buy from him, or maybe you look like you're made of money? Ridiculous.
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  19. #19
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    $80 for cable
    $16 for labor
    Getting hosed by your LBS

    Priceless

    That being said, a decent set of brake cables and housing is about $10 (retail), ditto for the derailleurs. An upper end set of cables, say Jagwires, is about $25 a set. Throw in a handful of ferrules, you're still under $60.

    Labor seems about right though.

    I'd ask them what's so special about the cables. A well informed consumer makes for a happy customer.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Hate to say what you already know, but you got screwed big time. Caveat emptor, maybe next time ask for a quote first. I can get new cables and new bar tape for about 35 USD. Course doing it yourself is a bit cheaper.

  21. #21
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    Are you sure that the parts qoute was only for cables? I'm assuming it included housing and ferrules and end caps and the like. Did they include bar tape in the estimate? Can you tell us what brand and style of cables? Did you tell them that you didn't want to pay that much and ask if they had something less expensive? Sometimes there can be miscommunications and if you don't express that you are unhappy with something then the shop can't try to make it right. Did you ask them to explain the reason for the high parts estimate? What cables and housing are on the bike now? I'm not trying to insinuate that you did something wrong but something doesn't seem right. I'm genuinely curious about these things because I am an LBS service manager.

    p.s. there are housing connectors that allow you to splice in extra housing. They look like double ended ferrules. I have seen them used in situations like yours so that people won't have to unwrap and re-wrap their bars to increase housing lengths.

  22. #22
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hamer
    .....p.s. there are housing connectors that allow you to splice in extra housing. They look like double ended ferrules. I have seen them used in situations like yours so that people won't have to unwrap and re-wrap their bars to increase housing lengths.
    You can also install in-line cable adjusters, if you can't find the double-ended furreles.

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