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  1. #1
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Replacing cables on a bike with braised on cable guides running along the top tube

    My bicycle is an older Roberts bike from the late 80's and it has cable guides on the cross tube that currently have Campy cables running through. I think it is time to replace the cables and I want the best I can get for easy shifting. Are there better cables than my current ones from Campy? This is an eight speed Record rear and a Record double up front if that makes any difference. I believe I put that gruppo on in '98. This is my second set of Campy cables. Maybe there is something better?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Beef is good braised, but cable guides are better brazed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Beef is good braised, but cable guides are better brazed.
    Thanks for the grammar lesson. I take it you don't have an answer for my question?

  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    There's really nothing wrong with using full length housings. If that's what you have and your paint is in any sort of decent shape you really don't want to change things by brazing on any fittings. A total repaint would be in order if you do decide to get anything of the sort done.

    If your cables are the originals from the 80's then you're in for a real treat since the new lined housings and slick drawn cables feel a lot better than the old stuff.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  5. #5
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    The only issue might be housing OD, depending on the exact vintage of your bike. yes, I know it's from the late 80's bur sadly don't have a detailed timelime in my head.

    Anyway, housing ODs have changed over the years. For a number of years they were larger than today to accomodate the change from unlined to slip in liner housings. Then technology improved the the housings were wound onto the liners saving space and allowing smaller ODs again.

    If your guides are too big for today's 5mm housing, the housing will move around continually. You can source older larger housing, of look for a creative way to tighten the fit so modern housing stays put. Either way you can make these work very nicely.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Interesting. I was under the impression that housing might be too large to fit through the wee cable guides. Any suggestions on brands to buy, if costs isn't an issue?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
    Thanks for the grammar lesson. ...
    It was spelling, not grammar.

  8. #8
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    h_curtis, If like my older Cannondales only the rear brake cable (+ housing) runs atop the top tube. There hasn't been quite the evolution with brake cable/housing as there has been with shifter cable/housing over the last few years. Jagwire cable and housings are a favorite of many, I use Shimano and surely Campy is just as good. Proper trimming of the cable housing can improve performance.Brad

  9. #9
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    JagWire offers good quality lined 5mm OD housing of excellent quality at a decent price. You can buy kits, or bulk housing. Before buying, I'd double check the braze-ons diameter and make sure it matches.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Thanks bradtx and FB.

  11. #11
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    I had an '83 Trek 400 that had the same type of braze-on toptube guides and used a continuous housing rear brake cable. "Standard" 5 mm lined housing fit properly in these guides and the brakes worked well. I used Shimano branded housing but Jagwire is also very good.

    I assume your shift cables and housing are not routed along the top tube.

  12. #12
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I had an '83 Trek 400 that had the same type of braze-on toptube guides and used a continuous housing rear brake cable. "Standard" 5 mm lined housing fit properly in these guides and the brakes worked well. I used Shimano branded housing but Jagwire is also very good.

    I assume your shift cables and housing are not routed along the top tube.
    Correct. I was thinking of replacing all cables at once, but just got off the phone with a LBS and they said, bring what you want replaced and we will cut them for you and you can do the work yourself. Sounds like a plan. They have Jagwire, Shimano and several brands to choose from.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Replacing your rear brake cable housing won't improve your shifting one bit.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
    Replacing your rear brake cable housing won't improve your shifting one bit.
    Couldn't hurt.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
    ....just got off the phone with a LBS
    Considering your location and mine, which LBS are you using?

  16. #16
    Senior Member h_curtis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Considering your location and mine, which LBS are you using?
    To be honest, I haven't been all that thrilled with any of them. Went to Pittsburgh Pro and of course they want to sell me a new bike. Performance is a bit limited and no campy. My favorite is Ambridge, but it is so far away. Trek is okay. We have tons of them, but I don't have much of a vibe with any. Suggestions? No one likes campy around here except Big Bang and they don't know the old 8 speeds all that well and are really into high end.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
    To be honest, I haven't been all that thrilled with any of them. Went to Pittsburgh Pro and of course they want to sell me a new bike. Performance is a bit limited and no campy. My favorite is Ambridge, but it is so far away. Trek is okay. We have tons of them, but I don't have much of a vibe with any. Suggestions? No one likes campy around here except Big Bang and they don't know the old 8 speeds all that well and are really into high end.
    Ambridge is by far my favorite for attitude and friendliness as well as competence but, as you said, it's quite a trip.

    Pittsburgh Pro is high-line in both products and cost as you've noticed. Bring deep plastic if you go there!

    I've been in but never purchased from Big Bang. They have a good reputation for expertise but their prices are quite high. Also very high line product orientation.

    West Liberty Cycles is a good shop and my most convenient one. I can get there by bike and they usually have what I need.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Couldn't hurt.
    Think about it.

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