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  1. #1
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Tips for threading cable into housing?

    This seems like it should be a common question, but a little searching didn't reveal an answer, so I'll ask it anyways.

    I picked up a Giant Farrago hybrid on CL for the Right Price (i.e. FREE). One of its problems was a destroyed cable housing coming out of the grip-shifter for the RD. I figured, no problem, I should be able to fix that. I measured 50cm and bought a length of housing (with plastic caps) for $2 from my LBS. That guy was probably laughing with his buddies as soon as I walked out the door, "Look at that noob, he's going to try to put old cable through new housing!"

    A few hours and much frazzled cable later, I've given up; I'll be taking it into LBS for a new cable (shouldn't cost much I'd imagine), but for future reference, how is it possible to get cable into and out of the housing end-caps? It's hard enough to get all the strands INTO one end, but getting them all to come out the plastic cap on the other end, when you can't access the inside of the hole, seems impossible!

    Is there some kind of mini wire nut that can make the end firm enough to get through the holes or something?

  2. #2
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    You need to take the cap off. Thread the cable through the housing first then put the cap on. Using a good/proper cable/wire cutter will be minimize or eliminate the fraying, making it much easier for threading.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    you need to do a clean cut on the cable , using cable cutter like Item # CN-10 Professional Cable and Housing Cutter .try putting the end caps onto the housing before you run the cable .
    bikeman715

  4. #4
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    Its almost impossible to thread frayed cable, at least thats what i found. You need some good wire cutters to trim the cable, even if theres just one strand frayed it makes the job very hard. Also i found that threading through the end caps separately (without the end caps being on the cable outer sleeve) is much easier.

  5. #5
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I did work with the end caps separately, and it was hard enough to get it into cap 1 in the first place, then when I pushed the cable through the housing I realized it would be impossible to get it through the 2nd end cap since I would have to work from the inside.

    I did not trim the cable though, that must be the missing piece of information. I don't have all that much leeway, the extra cable beyond the RD locknut was not too long, and now that I've frayed it worse I probably can't get a good trim. I'll give it a try though, now that I'm resigned to LBS doing it for me, I've got nothing to lose!

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    When the cable is nicely cut and its all ready to go together grease the cable itself before inserting it into the sleeve.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    I'll give it a try though, now that I'm resigned to LBS doing it for me, I've got nothing to lose!
    Why let the LBS do it? They will charge you for a new cable (they won't even bother trying to get the old one in) plus the labor charge. Just buy a cable and install it yourself.

  8. #8
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    For future reference halfords do a great cable cutter for 18. If you're going to be cycling regular it will pay for itself over and over.

  9. #9
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    Why let the LBS do it?
    The shifter seems in fine shape, and I'm reluctant to take it apart to swap a cable. Just sliding housing off/on the existing cable seemed a much more manageable job.

    If I start taking screws out of the grip shifter to open it up, will it be easy/obvious how to replace the cable? Or will springs and gadgets and tensioned doodads explode out so I'll never be able to figure out how to get it back together again?

  10. #10
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    You shouldnt have to open the gripshift mechanism to change the cable. Although i've never owned gripshift, and only triggers, on the triggershifters there is a external hole, outside of the mechanism to thread the cable through.

  11. #11
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    On grip shifts, the hole is on the edge of the rotating cuff with index markings on them, but often underneath a rubber shield where you can't see them. If you thought threading cable was hard through new housing, wait until you try threading the grip shift! It's not hard if you prep. I start with clean raw cut cable. I take standard solder and soldering iron and heat up and melt just a tiny bit on the tip of a clean cut cable and let soak into strands of steel. Let cool. Now this has united all the fraying strands and it becomes very easy to thread the cable through.

    BTW, I thread the cable through housing with the last cap off. Push the cable out, lube with grease the portion of cable that will remain inside housing, and then slide housing up, slide the last end cap too, and then find a way to compress that cap snug onto the end of the housing, and then attach the derailleur cable to the derailleur.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  12. #12
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    RubeRad: I cut the wire clean and bind the strands together with Crazy-type glue; I use enough that it leaves a rounded end on the cable which slips easily through the housing. I use stainless cable which is difficult to solder. Or I just bite the bullet and use a new inner cable which comes with the strands welded or soldered together and forms a smooth tip.

  13. #13
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Frayed cables are often simple to fix; you just twirl the end between your fingers to rewind it, then pick out any out of place strands with your fingernails and push them into place as you twirl the cable. Unwind any bent strands a few turns and cut them off before the bend (you can't easily bend them right again), and rewind them.

    To get the end of a cable through any resistance? Twirl it, baby

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    best thing : solder the cable end, then cut where it's soldered.

    New cables have been hot cut, so the end is fused.

  15. #15
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

  16. #16
    Noob mikezs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    To get the end of a cable through any resistance? Twirl it, baby
    Get a clean cut in the table (so it's not pinched, frayed or flattened) and then get twisting when you install it! Easy

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I twirl the cable as I push it through the housing to prevent the end from fraying in the housing. On a different thread a poster recommed supergluing the end so it wouldn't fray. That also seems to work for me.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  18. #18
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Thx all for great advice. I bought a new cable from LBS and it was not the double-ended kind where you have to cut off the wrong kind of stopper-end, it just had the little barrel kind I needed, AND the tip was already very nicely soldered. It slid through the front gripshift and both housings like a dream! When I got a free bike off CL with a messed up housing, I should have never considered trying to reuse the cable in the first place!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    Sometimes even a less than perfect cable can be teased through by twisting it counter-clockwise as you slowly feed it into the housing.
    The idea is to encourage any stray cable strands to lay back down as opposed to peel off of the cable.
    Yep, THAT Ira

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