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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dominae's Avatar
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    Cutting Derailluer Cable

    I assume that this has already been asked and answered, but since the search function is disabled, here goes: I am geeting ready to install new Ultegra shifters on my bike. The shifters come with cable and housing. I read somewhere (I think) that you cannot cut this cable housing with the type of cable cutter you would use to cut brake cable housing. However, the instructions that come with the shifters do not indicate that you need to use a certain type of cable cutter to cut the housing. Will I have to take my cable housing to the LBS to have it cut? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Jim

  2. #2
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    Get a bike-specific cable cutter (Park makes a good one). Derailleur cable housing has parallel (lengthwise) reinforcing wires and should be cut with the proper type of cutter. The same cutter is the best tool for cutting the inner wires too. Good cable cutters aren't very expensive and are a lifetime investment.

    Regular side cutter pliers will crush these cables rather than cutting them cleanly.

  3. #3
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    Using a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel attachment works extremely well too.

  4. #4
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    Standard cable cutters from the hardware store work pretty good. If you do not use a dremel, you'll need a pointy object to open up the end after the cat.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Standard cable cutters from the hardware store work pretty good.
    Note that these should be cable cutters, i.e. meant to cut stranded wire cable, not regular side cutters.

  6. #6
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you have a Dremel + cut-off wheel, use that but if not, spend the money to get a proper cable/housing cutter. Park's is excellent but the Performance one works just fine, too.

    I use the old cable to open up the plastic inner sleve after cutting. Run it through then kind of angle it out to the side while pulling and rotating...kind of hard to describe I guess but works well. Or use an awl or heavy-duty paperclip in a pinch.
    Can you pass the test?
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  7. #7
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    Another nomination for the dremel tool and cut off wheel. Super clean cuts and you can file off any burrs. I use a 1/16" drill bit (by hand) to open up the plastic tubing that usually gets melted in the process.

    Plus you get to see cool sparks.

  8. #8
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    I use hardened sidecutters, the same as for inner cables and guitar strings, and then square up the end on a bench grinder.
    1981 Nishiki Ultimate
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  9. #9
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    I went through this back in November. Get the cable cutter. It sounds expensive for a tool you'll only use every once in a while, but I'm glad I got it. FYI, I got a Pedro's cutter because that's what I could find on short notice. It works perfectly well but lacks the cool crimper on the Park tool.
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  10. #10
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    lacks the cool crimper on the Park tool.
    Meh, this is easily worked around with other common tools. Heck, just use your teeth in a real pinch
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  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
    I use hardened sidecutters, the same as for inner cables and guitar strings, and then square up the end on a bench grinder.
    I do the same, it works great.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I've been using these for both cables and housings for many years:

    http://tinyurl.com/gavl5

    They're only $10 at home Depot.

    I finally broke down and bought some Park cutters and found out that they don't work any better for me than my old Wiss shears.

    Disclaimer:
    Your results may vary. You have to hold the cable and shears just right to get a clean cut.
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 08-22-06 at 08:07 PM.

  13. #13
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    Meh, this is easily worked around with other common tools. Heck, just use your teeth in a real pinch
    Haha unless you have gold teeth. Seriously, though, yes, the crimping can be done with a set of pliers, a vise, whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
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