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  1. #1
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    Replacing stock brakes with Avid SD5s - Noodle doesn't fit

    I'm replacing the stock V-brakes on my Dahon D7 with Avid SD5s. My plan is to reuse the original brake cable which is still in good shape. So far so good, until I tried to fit the cable into the Avid noodle. The brake cable end is exactly the same diameter as the noodle end. I can't slide the brake cable into the noodle. Here's a picture:



    So what to do?

    Reuse stock Dahon brake noodle. Avid specifically warns in their instructions to use their noodle. Maybe it's to protect them from liability, maybe it's something real. I don't know. I could use the new plastic sleeve from Avid along with the old Dahon brake noodle.

    Or, buy new brake cable. Not sure where to get thinner diameter brake cable?

    Any suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    The brake cable end is exactly the same diameter as the noodle end.
    You mean the housing? (Housing and cable are two different things.) From the pic it looks like there's an end cap/ferrule on the housing. You have to remove it so the cable can seat in the noodle.

    But if the pic is of the new noodle, why is there already a cap on the cable? Someone getting ahead of themselves?
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  3. #3
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    >You mean the housing? (Housing and cable are two different things.)

    The housing.

    >But if the pic is of the new noodle, why is there already a cap on the cable?

    Ah, I should explain. I cut the cable and slid a ferrule on there to keep the end protected while I ponder my options. It's not crimped on. I do not have my own cable cutter yet (a Dremel is on order). The LBS was nice enough to cut the cable for me.

  4. #4
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Old habits don't die...

    Cable or housing cutter? Dremel is usually used for housing. Cable is too floppy for Dremel without some kind of jig. Side cutters will work on cable for trimming, though few side cutters are sharp enough to make a really clean cut.

    You shouldn't need a Dremel to get the end cap off the housing. Pliers will probably work, just be careful not to crush the housing. If it's on real tight, file along the length as best you can and you can split it off.

    Worst case you may need to cut it off, but be sure the cable isn't in the housing when you do. Nick a cable and you'll find yourself without brakes at the worst possible moment.

    Also, read up on cutting housing. It's tricky, even with a Dremel.
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    DMF, I'm not understanding something.

    On the stock setup, the brake housing and end cap fit very nicely in the brake noodle.
    You are suggesting that I remove the end cap with pliers - and then what? Install the housing in the noodle without an end cap? Fit a smaller end cap to the housing?

    Re: Dremel. Hmm, I have seen a lot of people posting about how they use a dremel to cut cables, I assumed this included housing + cable, not just housing. I am reluctant to spend $$$ on a single purpose tool; the Dremel is much more appealing if in fact it can do the job. I only have a couple of bikes to work on so I'm not cutting cable every day.

  6. #6
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    On the stock setup, the brake housing and end cap fit very nicely in the brake noodle.
    Different noodle.

    You are suggesting that I remove the end cap with pliers - and then what? Install the housing in the noodle without an end cap?
    Yes. The noodle itself acts as an end cap. The housing should fit snugly.


    If it were me, I wouldn't buy a Dremel. Get a good cutter like the Shimano TL-CT11 or Felpro (if that's not too rich for you), or a Lifu or Park Tool cutter for $20-30. Those you can use for both cable and housing, and for other things around the shop (avoid spokes or steel wire).

    Check out Bike Tools etc.
    Last edited by DMF; 09-25-09 at 11:52 AM.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  7. #7
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    I'm a bit wary of destroying the cable housing when I pull the end cap off it. If I chose to keep the stock noodle in place, and use the new Avid plastic noodle sleeve, do y'think it'd result in a dangerous situation, or is Avid just trying to fend off lawsuits with that warning?

  8. #8
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I recommend you do it right. Brakes aren't optional.

    Beside, other than squashing the (steel-lined) housing, what damage could you do? Have you actually tried getting it off? Or are you just thinking way too much?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  9. #9
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    Perhaps the piece on the end of the noddle is on backwards?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    If the stock Dahon brake noodle fits/is the same size as the Avid ones, then why jump through hoops doing all kinds of mods? Just re-use it. From what I've seen, the noodle is pretty generic stuff on the brake arm hook up end and angle (135 or 90) or length and just varies in detail on the cable housing side on some bikes...in this case Dahon, which appears to favor using a ferrule on it's cable housings (sealed cable maybe?) instead of the more common housing insertion.

  11. #11
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Lot's of mixed up terminology flying around here. The end cap is what goes on the end of the inner wire (cable). The ferrule is what goes on the housing. The plastic sleeve refered to is just to protect the cable and the noodle from wear as the cable slides back and forth. OP, you need remove the ferrule from the housing, its fits into the noodle without a ferrule. This is normal. Also new brakes is a good time for a new cable. They're cheap, don't get emotionally attached to them. And finally Dremels work fine (with the proper cutting disc) to cut both cables and housing. It's all I ever use.
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  12. #12
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    My goals with this project were:

    1) Safety
    2) Learn how to replace and adjust my own brakes
    3) Spend the minimum $ necessary
    4) Ride this weekend

    I'm not emotionally attached to my existing brake cables, but I would prefer to reuse them because they are in perfect condition and I don't have the proper tool to cut housing (yet). The Dahon stock brake noodle is kinda strange, it's a curved, flexible metal housing - not the usual curved metal tube. But it fits right I don't see how it would be dangerous.

  13. #13
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Neither do I. I'm not the engineer that designed either one of them. Nor do I have them in front of me. If you want to make the decision to mix parts, then make the decision and stop trying to pass the liability on to us.

    Your greatest concern (probably) should be how well the noodle seats in the stirrup.


    The end cap is what goes on the end of the inner wire (cable). The ferrule is what goes on the housing.
    Yeah, I know. But "ferrule" is a mystery word to most people so I use both when talking to noobs.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  14. #14
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sci-Fi View Post
    If the stock Dahon brake noodle fits/is the same size as the Avid ones, then why jump through hoops doing all kinds of mods?
    Well obviously it's not. The ferrule fits into one and not the other.

    And not a good idea to use it if the housing isn't seated. It could wedge itself in under braking load and take out all the tension, making that brake useless until re-adjusted.
    Last edited by DMF; 09-25-09 at 05:43 PM.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  15. #15
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    there are two equally simple solutions, 1) use the noodles from the stock brakeset, or 2) remove the metal ferrule (or cut that portion of the housing) from the cable housing and insert the housing directly into the noodle.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  16. #16
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Buying REAL bicycle cable-cutters is a true investment. You can buy a pair 20-times for cheap from Harbor Fright (er..Freight) for under $20. But soon it will be 21 times. This one particular tool is one where cutting corners will cost you. New cable-cutters. New cables they ruined. New housing they ate. Etc. The best ones are the Shimano suggested above. They will cost you around $40 to $50. But they will last a lifetime if you use them as they are intended and give them an occasional drop of oil. The Felco ones from Switzerland are also supposed to be as good. But I don't have personal experience. I bought my Shimano set in 1984. Still perfect after countless jobs.

    So install your spine and get the best straight out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  17. #17
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    Thanks to all for your advice. I appreciate it.

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