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Old 05-26-11, 08:55 PM   #1
Atavar
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Frustrating brake night

Only a few screams but I am very frustrated. Let me start by saying I live 70 miles from the nearest LBS.

My project, which seemed simple on the surface, was to put reverse brake levers and interrupter leavers on the trekker bars on my Bianchi Adventure hybrid. (Go ahead, call me a fred, I admit it) I really want brakes in multiple hand positions on the trekker bars.

The reverse and interrupter levers are both road levers. I have an MTB BB5 brake on the front, and linear pulls on the rear. To get past the incompatibility I got travel agents for both front and back.

At the same time I thought the VO braided stainless housings would look nice so I ordered a set of those for both brakes and shifters.

The first frustration came when I found I didn't have a long enough bolt to mount the travel agent to the front brake boss. Of course I am doing this after work so by now the hardware stores in town are closed. Luckily I live in a small town so I wheedled the HW store manager in to letting me in to get a longer 8mm socket cap bolt.

I got home and finished stripping the pieces off the bike and got all the new handles and the front travel agent mounted. I opened up the VO cable kits and guess what.. after routing the front cable through both brake levers and around the travel agent the inner cable is about 4" too short. Dang you VO!!

So I use the rear cable and string it through, and the cable housing is too short too, so I use a short chunk of the old black housing between the two brake levers (it will be under the bar tape anyway so it doesn't really matter). Now the braided SS housing is exactly long enough. I go ahead and cut the last chunk off of the housing with my trusty dremel tool (I forgot my cable cutter is on loan).. and *after* cutting the housing I discover I had left the inner cable in the housing!!! I dig around in my parts bin and find another rear brake inner cable.

One sort of silver lining to this is that I discovered that if you have to cut a cable housing with a dremel and you leave the inner cable inside it makes a really nice clean cut and keeps the lining open and unmangled. I think I will start saving cable scraps for when I cut housings. I bet they will even cut cleaner with the cable cutting tool if there is a piece of inner cable inside the housing.

So the front brake is done. I dig through my parts bins looking for yet another rear cable and do you think I could have one? No way..

So the bike is un-rideable until I make a 150 mile round trip to the LBS Saturday for a $5 inner cable. They better be open on this holiday weekend. It will really p me off if I have to use a Wally World brake cable.

I know, all my problems are of my own making because of inexperience and lack of proper planning. I should have slowed down and had a beer when I started this project. Thanks for listening to me vent. I feel slightly better now.
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Old 05-26-11, 09:17 PM   #2
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Don't feel bad. Although I live much closer to the LBS, I too have had to run there to replace an inner cable after leaving it in the housing while cutting it with a dremel. I probably won't do that again! In the end, it will all be fine and be a joy to use.
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Old 05-26-11, 09:35 PM   #3
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Tangentially, if you sharpen up an old spoke, it's great for opening up housing linings.
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Old 05-26-11, 11:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kayaker View Post
............I too have had to run there to replace an inner cable after leaving it in the housing while cutting it with a dremel. I probably won't do that again! ................

Yup. Me too. Probably won't do that again.
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Old 05-27-11, 06:50 AM   #5
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I use a good quality cable cutter and then make the opening round with an awl. If I'm ambitious I'll also file the cut flat.

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Old 05-27-11, 06:56 AM   #6
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Buy a Wally World cable for the short term and order a dozen good quality cables from Performance, Nashbar, Jenson, Bike tools Etc or The Third Hand. Even if you pay overnight or next day shipping they have to be cheaper than a 150 mile drive.

Your experience of cutting the housing with the wire still inside is like that of anyone who changes their own automobile oil. You WILL leave the drain plug out ONCE.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:26 AM   #7
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Unfortunately wally world is 75 miles away too.. Luckily it is raining cats and dogs outside so I don't feel too bad driving the jeep for my commute today.
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