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Old 08-23-11, 09:15 PM   #1
AlphaDogg
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Flipped my stem... Issue with cable housing length.

A couple weeks ago, I flipped the stem on my hybrid so it has a downward slope. I like the new more aero position that I have since I flipped it. But here's my problem. It dropped the bars about 2-3 inches. Because of this, the cable housing is too long and gets in the way of the front v brake, and rubs on middle of the head tube instead of the bottom of the headtube (like it was when the stem had an upward slope). I thought it was no big deal. But today, my cyclocomputer stopped working. I wondered why. I figured out that the constant rubbing action of the shift cable on the head tube frayed the cable from the sensor to the cyclocomputer's mount. I figured I would do the cable routing with zipties on the fork, but that's just a bandaid solution. I would like to shorten the cable housing to fix the issues. But that requires retensioning of the derailleurs (something I HATE doing). Should I just take it to the LBS and have them do it? How much do you guys think it would run me? I can also stand to get a longer stem if that will solve it for cheaper.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:29 PM   #2
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It's hard to say what any shop will charge because labor prices vary so much throughout the country. The condition of your cables may also be a factor, since any fraying may make it hard to re-use the inner wires.

Note, that shortening the housings means the inners will shorten also, so if there's only minor fraying after the pinch bolts, the wires can probably be cut back to good, reusable sections.

I'd seek out a bike co-op, or a shop that specializes in repairs and used bikes over new bike sales. These are more likely to be willing to work with you, and give you a decent price. Otherwise, since you say you hate cabling derailleurs, which implies you're at least able to, you might put 2 beers in the fridge, and bite the bullet and do the job yourself.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:33 PM   #3
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which implies you're at least able to, you might put 2 beers in the fridge, and bite the bullet and do the job yourself.
Yes, I have done the front derailleur before, when the shop (well, Sports Authority.. but at least they are competent unlike Wally-world) told me it would be 3 days before they could reposition and retension the fd. I said "**** it. I'll do it myself." Most tedious 3 hours I've ever spent. I've never done a rd, but I am up to the challenge .

Oh and I'm a minor.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:45 PM   #4
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.

Oh and I'm a minor.
A minor what?
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Old 08-23-11, 09:47 PM   #5
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A minor what?
Under 18...?
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Old 08-23-11, 09:53 PM   #6
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Under 18...?
Sorry, just pulling your leg.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:23 PM   #7
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Seriously out of having to uncable/recable the biggest issue you see is retensioning the derailleurs?

Ultimately you have three options.

a) Deal with it as is, put some Jagwire rubber cable/frame protectors on the cables and put a wireless computer on - 5 minutes and the cost of a wireless computer, prob $50 or so.

b) Do the cables yourself. You'll be able to reuse the outers if they are in good shape, you should do the inners tho - an hour or so and $20 for the 4 inners deal with retensioning, its really not that hard.

c) Put the bike into a shop - no time on your part, and prob $50 or so I'd guess, but different shops will have different rates.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:54 PM   #8
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If you hate to adjust your derailleurs, have the shop do it. The cable fairy certainly isn't going to do it.

For cable replacement we charge roughly $8 labor per cable. Cables are $3 each and housing is $3 per foot. That includes ferrules and crimps, and proper adjustment of the controls the cables are attached to.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 08-23-11 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 08-24-11, 05:30 AM   #9
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AlphaDogg, A longer stem is going to mess with fitment, unless you need a longer stem leave it as is.

Place the RD on the outermost gear, disconnect the cable, pull the cable from the brake lever far enough to clear the housing's trim cut, cut and square the new end of the cable and ream the interior with a finishing nail or old spoke, reconnect cable to the RD, attach a new cable cap and that's that. Do not use diagonal cutters.

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Last edited by bradtx; 08-24-11 at 05:32 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 08-24-11, 08:00 PM   #10
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+1. You hate doing it. That's what money is for, to be able to pay someone to do jobs you hate. I hate yard work, so I pay someone. I love working on bikes, so I do all that work myself.
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Old 08-24-11, 08:58 PM   #11
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AlphaDogg, A longer stem is going to mess with fitment, unless you need a longer stem leave it as is.
+1
If the bike fits you now do not change the stem length. If it fit you better before you flipped it, flip it back.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:03 PM   #12
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If you do it right, the biggest hassle is grinding/filing the housing ends flat.

Just shift the derailleurs against the limit screws they rest on when the cable's slack, and when the cable is replaced (screw in the barrel adjusters first), it shouldn't need much adjustment. Take the opportunity to clean and lube your cables.

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$20 for the 4 inners deal with retensioning, its really not that hard.
Pff, just replace the cables for the rear brake and derailleur, and use the old rear ones on the fronts.

And replacing inners is pointless if the cable is undamaged before the clamp point.
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Old 10-27-11, 07:43 PM   #13
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The cable length had been fine to this point, but I've decided just to deal with it. I wanted white cable housings, but all the LBS had in white was brake cable housing. I had them cut it to the correct lengths and I took it home and installed it. I ordered a Jagwire hyper shifter cable kit in white from ebay. When it arrives, I will take it to the LBS who has agreed to cut it down to size for free and I will install it. I am confident in my skills with tensioning a fd cable, but not a rd cable. I may end up paying the shop to do the rd adjustment after I replace the cable.

There is quite a bit of friction with the new rear brake cable and housing. I am 99% sure it is at the noodle for the v-brake, so when I take it in with the shifter cables, I will also buy a new noodle. I bought a new one for the front brake (at the same time I got brake cables+housing) because it was in pretty bad shape and the shop recommended replacing it.
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Old 10-28-11, 06:35 PM   #14
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I got the new noodle, and there is very little friction in the cable now.
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Old 10-28-11, 06:43 PM   #15
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I guess this post is too little too late, but I would've just left the cables alone. Now if you ever decide to flip the stem back all your cables will be too short!

The cyclocomputer issue could've been avoided with proper wire routing/installation: http://sheldonbrown.com/cyclecomputer-installation.html
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Old 10-28-11, 07:35 PM   #16
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I guess this post is too little too late, but I would've just left the cables alone. Now if you ever decide to flip the stem back all your cables will be too short!

The cyclocomputer issue could've been avoided with proper wire routing/installation: http://sheldonbrown.com/cyclecomputer-installation.html
After I went through that cyclocomputer cable, I decided to mount the new one in a better way. I used the sheldon method, although I did not know it was the sheldon method at the time. I just (20min ago) redid the cyclocomputer mounting, by getting rid of the unsightly zipties in favor of some clear tape (never thought about using clear tape, the sheldon link above gave me the idea).

I also will not flip the stem back, because I am so used to the downward sloping stem now.
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