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Old 06-17-08, 09:12 PM   #1
zacster
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Cable housing routing question

I'm installing new housing and cable, as well as new levers and calipers, on my old steel road bike. This bike has 3 rings on the top for the cable to go through, giving a long continuous run from the lever to the caliper. Every other bike I own has braze ons where the housing ends and the cable is bare, and another at the calipers for the short stretch of housing.

Which method is better? And would there be any point in changing it to the other method, if I could even do that without sending the frame to be redone. I'm just curious really as I'm doing an upgrade on the cheap for this bike. The whole brake setup came to $88 so far, with Tektro levers and calipers, cables and koolstops. I've already tried the calipers while I waited for the new levers to come and they work so much better than the old ones. And the levers are nice Campy clones, they feel just like my Chorus on my good bike.

And since I'm asking, how do you cut housing cleanly anyway? From what I've read so far, even the Park tool doesn't leave a clean cut all the time. I tried the cutter that my son uses for guitar string and it gave a pretty good cut on the housing, but maybe I was just lucky on that one. Dremel is the one always mentioned, but I don't have one and I'm not buying one just to do this, although I wanted one for some other hobbies. Almost all the tools I have are for woodworking, so not much that could be useful there.
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Old 06-17-08, 09:18 PM   #2
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1. Six of one, a half dozen of the other.

2. Cut your cable housing as squarely as you can with your tool of choice. Use an awl or something similar (most bike mechanics use an old sharpened spoke) to open and round out the cut end. Finally, use a file or bench grinder to make sure that you don't leave a burr.
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Old 06-19-08, 11:55 AM   #3
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I discovered how difficult this housing is to cut without a dremel tool. That stuff is tough! By the time I got to the second cut the tool had dulled to the point it wasn't working anymore. I had to use the edge of a file to cut all the parallel strands, and once through to the coil I was able to cut that with the cutters. It still isn't very clean.
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Old 06-19-08, 02:05 PM   #4
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When you mention 'parallel strands' it sounds like you might be using gear casing for the brakes. If I read that right it would be a bad idea. Gear casing has the strands and brake cable is a coil. The cable tension of a handful of brake can cause gear casing to collapse and suddenly no brake.

I personally prefer full length casing. Less places for dirt and water to get in.
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Old 06-19-08, 02:09 PM   #5
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go get a Dremel........you'll love it; it's worth every cent and you'll find 10,000 uses for it the first month alone.............

it's like buying a good pressure washer for the driveway.............8 days later you've washed everything you can reach with it......twice......
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Old 06-19-08, 02:31 PM   #6
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When you mention 'parallel strands' it sounds like you might be using gear casing for the brakes. If I read that right it would be a bad idea. Gear casing has the strands and brake cable is a coil. The cable tension of a handful of brake can cause gear casing to collapse and suddenly no brake.

I personally prefer full length casing. Less places for dirt and water to get in.
This was Aztec Teflon brake cable. It has both parallel and coil. I checked the package a few times just to be sure as I understood the difference.
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Old 06-19-08, 06:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I discovered how difficult this housing is to cut without a dremel tool. That stuff is tough! By the time I got to the second cut the tool had dulled to the point it wasn't working anymore. I had to use the edge of a file to cut all the parallel strands, and once through to the coil I was able to cut that with the cutters. It still isn't very clean.
That's because you skimped and bought a cheap tool. A real park cable cutter or shimano one will cut thousands of cables before dulling. Perfectly, each time.
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Old 06-19-08, 08:00 PM   #8
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The Shimano cutter is prety darn good and not expensive.
http://cgi.ebay.com/SHIMANO-BICYCLE-...QQcmdZViewItem

Or you could get the Felco C7's. Nice stuff
http://www.felcostore.com/order1.jsp...blecutters.jsp

Just be sure to hold the housing straight or it won't matter which of the cutters you used. It won't be a good cut.
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Old 06-20-08, 08:30 AM   #9
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The Shimano cutter is prety darn good and not expensive.
http://cgi.ebay.com/SHIMANO-BICYCLE-...QQcmdZViewItem

Or you could get the Felco C7's. Nice stuff
http://www.felcostore.com/order1.jsp...blecutters.jsp

Just be sure to hold the housing straight or it won't matter which of the cutters you used. It won't be a good cut.
Those are both more than the Park tool, which is 29.95 I think, although they look pretty good. The tool I used wasn't a cheap tool, it just wasn't the right tool. I never buy cheap tools as I know what always ends up happening.

In any case I may invest in the Park cutter, as I am also in need of some cables on my other bike and I may as well make it easy on myself.
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Old 06-22-08, 10:24 AM   #10
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They are the two I have tried based on suggestions here on the forums.
They have both worked well for me.

From what I recall the reason I didn't try the Park cutter is that it was suggested that they aren't very durable.
To me that suggests they are a cheap or poorly constructed tool.

There's a reason I don't shop at Harbor Freight for tools.
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