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  1. #1
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Brake Cable Housing - how bad of an idea is this?

    So tonight I'm installing the brake cables on my Serotta. And after measuring 3 times, I cut the rear brake cable housing about an inch or so too short. Just enough to where it flows very directly from the last guide on the top tube down to the brake, and will pull a bit more once everything is hooked up.

    So I need a few inches back, and don't have enough of the housing to run a new line. So I figure I'll cut off 3 inches or so of my spare housing, run it from the brake lever along the bar, and butt the rest of the line up next to it. Tape it down tight to the bar, plus the bar tape will hold it in place.

    So, I know this isn't the brightest idea ever, but since we're talking about the rear brake, and the location of the joined ends, I wonder if it'll get me through a few months till I am sure that the stem is a good length and all that.

    Thanks for the feedback in advance.
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  2. #2
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    We all love these "thinning the gene pool" stories and experiments,

    Seriously, since it's just the rear brake I think you'll survive. If you're still a little concerned you might add some heat-shrink tubing over the housing to keep it together.

  3. #3
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    Should work.

    On a vintage handlebar I have a small metal piece to connect two housing together. I can use one short housing which is taped with bar tape and a second housing for the rest of the way. Visually is look like a small metal tube with a stop inside. Conceptually it look like two housing metal end (no idea how we call that part) fused face to face

    So if I want to change only the housing outside the handlebar .I don't have to undo the handlebar tape.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    you can get those little metal sleeves from the bike shop that join two pieces of housing. they work fine under tape, i ran a front brake like that for about a year.

  5. #5
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    You could install an inline adjuster somewhere as well.
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  6. #6
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    I've got to get over to the LBS for a pin spanner for the record bottom bracket anyways. I'll see if they have anything that fits the bill to give a little more strength to the joint. I thought about cutting off the end of a ferrel with my dremel but never got around to it.
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  7. #7
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    It's a brake line. You'll be fine. I've run brake lines in all sorts of disrepair; as long as it can handle the longitudinal stresses, it will work wonderfully.

  8. #8
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    Buy a longer piece of housing rather than jury-rigging it. Cable housing is cheap.

    http://store.valueweb.com/servlet/poweron/Detail?no=29

    Bob

  9. #9
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    If your going to the LBS why not pick up some new housing?
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Yeah, really. It's cheap compared to neuro-rehab.

  11. #11
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    The housing is a braided silver housing that I ordered from velo-orange. I'll see if the LBS has some, but I somehow doubt they stock it.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    The housing is a braided silver housing that I ordered from velo-orange. I'll see if the LBS has some, but I somehow doubt they stock it.
    All the more reason not to cut and splice or do anything else half-assed.

    Bob

  13. #13
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    The housing is a braided silver housing that I ordered from velo-orange. I'll see if the LBS has some, but I somehow doubt they stock it.

    Ah, explains the rational behind trying to salvage it.

    I'd go with the prior suggestions then of a suitable ferrule. Maybe two ferrules butted up against each other and contained inside a section of small diameter tubing.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  14. #14
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    If it were the front brake I'd be more nervous about jury-rigging it, but since it's the rear, I agree that you could either get a ferrule specifically made for this purpose (which the LBS might have), or butt two regular ferrules together and maybe superglue/JB Weld them or put some heat shrink or electrical tape around them to keep them from shifting around too much relative to each other. If you're really hauling on the rear brake you're going to skid/crash anyway so I don't know if it's worth obsessing over how this setup will behave under high tension (and even then, with the correct ferrule it should be no less safe than continuous piece of housing). I'd try to place the ferrule in an area where the housing is running straight. If it's on a curve the inner wire might rub against the ferrule and wear prematurely.

  15. #15
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I would be perfectly happy with 2 ferrules to keep the ends of the housing from mushrooming... The effect shouldn't be significantly different than on a bike with stops on the front and back of the top tube for exposed cables... or to use cross levers... It is not a big deal.

    In fact, since the tension of the brakes would keep it snug, I wouldn't hesitate to do something similar with the front brake.
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  16. #16
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    But the self knowing that it was rigged would haunt me.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr
    You could install an inline adjuster somewhere as well.
    +1 And it has the added benefit of looking like you did it on purpose...rather then like a hack job

    "Why do you have an in-line adjuster on the back of the bike?", asks the busy body.

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