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  1. #1
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    how to tell shift from break housing

    I have jagwire cable and discovered too late that there is a difference between the shift housing and break housing cables. So far I have cut and installed only the shift housing. This means I have a 50/50 chance that I've blown it.

    How can you tell the difference? One is very smooth the other has very slight ridges showing through the plastic.


    Any help greatly appreciated. Fingers crossed that the cable with slight ridges if for breaks !

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Shift housing has longitudional wires running through it. On brake housing the reinforcing cables spiral around the housing.

  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovetheewind View Post
    I have jagwire cable and discovered too late that there is a difference between the shift housing and break housing cables. So far I have cut and installed only the shift housing. This means I have a 50/50 chance that I've blown it.

    How can you tell the difference? One is very smooth the other has very slight ridges showing through the plastic.


    Any help greatly appreciated. Fingers crossed that the cable with slight ridges if for breaks !

    You may have it right- shift housing tends to be smoother and harder to bend due to the longitudional wires. Shift housing is much harder to cut with diagonal cutters, too- it tends to crush instead of being slided cleanly.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    It's brakes.



    That's what they look like.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
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    Thanks much all. I'm almost done with my first restore project. (An old Specialized Allez M2 from early 90's)

    All I need to do now is install the chain and this thing is looking very good. Very rewarding to rebuild an old bike.

    Any tips on the chain install? I've got a new SRAM chain (8spd to match my gears) and it comes with a master link. How do I get the length just right?

    Also, is this bike worthy of a restore? I plan to use it for comuting and my trainer so its worth it to me. I'm just wondering if the bike is junk. Shimano ultegra 600 etc...

  6. #6
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    not junk at all

    pretty nice setup in terms of parts (second from the top of the line)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Park Tool Repair website for Chain Sizing http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=26. I use the Largest Cog and Largest Chainring + one link method.
    You go where you look

  8. #8
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Or use the small/small and the correct chain length will be with the chain just under (1/2 inch or so...not touching) the jockey wheel.

    (edit: this is with the chain threaded correctly through the deraillers)
    Last edited by speedlever; 10-22-09 at 02:50 PM.

  9. #9
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    If it's shimano they reccomend that the pulleys be verticle when in the big ring and small cog.

  10. #10
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Another method - brake-cable housing is about 5mm in diameter. Shift housing is closer to 4mm.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Digital-Caliper-Screen/dp/B000GSLKIW"]Amazon.com: Stainless Steel 6" Digital Caliper with Extra Large LCD Screen - Instant SAE-Metric Conversion: Home Improvement[/ame]

    So useful, it should be a crime not to have one.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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