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Old 10-23-08, 05:09 PM   #1
fueledbymetal
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Do I need any specialty tools to intsall a new set of shifters?

I'm switching my shifters, FD & RD from shimano (ulterga) to SRAM (Red) and was wondering if I need any special tools for this job. In particular, will I be OK with the wire cutters I use for stereo installations or do I need dedicated bike cabel cutters? I have a wide range of allen wrenches and all other basic tools for home audio/video and car maintenance.

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Old 10-23-08, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'd say having a set of bicycle-dedicated* cable-cutters - with the diamond-hex jaws - is a valuable investment. Using cheap cutters will result in frayed cables and squashed housing. Both Park Tool and Shimano make excellent ones. Probably others, too. I have a set of old Shimano TL-CT10's from 1984 - never a problem.

* - dedicated inferring you only use them for bicycle work - no cutting nails. LOL
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Old 10-23-08, 05:20 PM   #3
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your basic tools should be ok, a long skinny set of screw drivers and allen bolt wrenches are very helpfull too. as far as wire cutting tools, and i used to be a car stereo installer long ago, the proper tools are best. a good set of conventional and sharp wire cutter may be ok with the cutting of the wire, but if its not a clean cut and it leaves split ends on the cable, the end of the cable could be ruined, and in my book, is. as far as those universal wire crimper, cutter multi tool found in cheaper basic tool sets, the one with all the holes in it for wire stipping stereo/elect wires, don't even use it. not strong or sharp enough for the clean precision caut you want. and if you do cut your own cable end, do it AFTER you ran it thru all your housings and its all hooked up. if you get ONE split end on your cable from a bad cut, forget about threading that cable thru housing. you COULD get it thru maybe, but it won't be right and will be compermised.

as far as cutting your housing goes, maybe with good, strong, sharp wire cutters you can do it, but again you NEEDa clean cut so that you won't get any metal burrs at the end that wouldn't let the cable slide thru.
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Old 10-23-08, 05:44 PM   #4
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If you have some Wiss compound action snips, they will work for both housings and cables. I have a Park and a Wrench Force cutter, but I prefer to use the Wiss snips I've been using for about 20 years. I've seen them for around $12 at home Depot.

http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/wi...oundaction.htm
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Old 10-23-08, 06:00 PM   #5
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no special tools needed

While it using a set of snips designed to cut cable and housing would make things quick and easy you can get by with what you have as long as they are sharp and will cut instead of crush. The ones that are dedicated for bicycle maintenance have jaws that encircle the cable/housing and cut on all sides at once. With housing, if you muss it up you can take a dremel tool with a grinding stone or a bench grinder and grind the end down to make it right...in fact I do this to remove any burrs and to file the end flat after I use my park cutters. You cant grind the cables so you need to make sure you get a clean cut otherwise the cable will fray from it being crushed. Just make sure your snips are sharp or go spend a couple buck as Home depot on a nice sharp set of dikes (diagonal cutters). I think the only only other tool you will need is a 5mm allen key but that is just speculation as I have campy on my bike and have not worked with SRAM yet.
Cheers.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:23 PM   #6
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I'd also suggest getting proper bike cable/housing cutters; my diagonal cutters weren't up to it.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:30 PM   #7
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Good side cutters followed by a flat file will work ok for spiral wound brake housing but dedicated bike cable cutters are highly recommended for shift housing and both brake and shifter inner wires. They are reasonably priced and good ones will last for decades.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:41 PM   #8
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My Suntour cable cutters are still going strong, and they're nearly 30 years old. I bet the Park or Shimano cutters will give you similar service, but these Lifu cutters are about as cheap as I'd go:
http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...tem_id=LF-67B3
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Old 10-23-08, 07:30 PM   #9
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If you want to be able to leave your cable cutters to your children, the Felco is the ultimate in cable cutters, and cost like it too.

Here's a link: http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=FE-C7
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Old 10-23-08, 07:42 PM   #10
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Those Swiss one's aren't supposed to be used for cable-housing? Sure I'll take a pair - if they throw in a cuckoo-clock.
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Old 10-24-08, 05:19 AM   #11
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Thanks for all of the feedback!

One more question:

All of the SRAM parts I'm upgrading to are new and as I went through the parts I noticed that there aren't any barrel adjusters included with the shifters (but they do come with new shift & brake cables & housings). On my current Ultegra setup the barrel adjusters are located on the shift cables about an inch from the shifters, not on the frame. So do I need to buy barrel adjusters separately or will I be OK with adjuster on the RD and nothing on the FD?
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Old 10-24-08, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If you want to be able to leave your cable cutters to your children, the Felco is the ultimate in cable cutters, and cost like it too.

Here's a link: http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=FE-C7
I hate the felco cutter. I personally like the shimano one.

Other than a cable cutter, you really don't need anything special. You could even in fact cut the housing with a dremel. Just be sure to open the housing liner back up with a awl
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Old 10-24-08, 07:06 AM   #13
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Many current derailleurs and shifters don't come with barrel adjusters under the assumption that new frames have them built into the "brazed-on" headtube or downtube cable stops. If your frame doesn't have these stops or have downtube shifter bosses you can bolt stops to, then you will need inline cable adjusters to install in your cables.
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