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Thread: Cable housings

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    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    Cable housings

    I'm about to perform my first cable and housing change on my bike to accompany a new set of shifters I found on eBay recently (chorus 9 speed, old stock but untouched to replace the worn out units that have been on my bike for 12 years). I've only ever had mechanics do this task, but now that I have a housing cutter and a spare set of ergopower cables I figure it's a waste of money not to do it myself. Anyway, I'm going to follow the guidelines in my Zinn maintenance book and Sheldon's website, but I can't find any info on how the cable housings go in to the barrel adjusters. Do I add a ferrule and have the adjuster twisted to its limit one direction or another before I insert the housing? Also, how does the housing lock into the shifter itself? Is there a notch to hold on to the ferrule? I haven't really explored "under the hood" of the shifters, is it best to perform the cable installation while I have the shifers off the bars, or should I put them on and in position before feeding the housings in? Sorry for the number of questions, just don't want to screw up and have to buy another $$$$ set of campy cables.

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    If you peel back the hoods you'll find some grooves, leading to holes. Housings go in there. For one of the housings there's a routing option. I can't really imagine doing this with the shifters off the bike, but I suppose it's possible. It's often easier to get the cable through if you poke the cable through the shifter first, then thread on the housing and slide it into position.
    I like to use ferrules wherever possible, but the priority is:
    1) on shifter housing with longitudinal strands
    2) where the housing ends up against a rotating surface, as the turning end of a barrel adjuster

    Ferrules anywhere else can't hurt (as long as they fit), but won't do that much good either.

    Where to have the barrel adjuster at the start is an open question. It really depends on your habit/skills at hooking up the cable. These days, I try to use a clamp, a bungee cord or maybe have someone help me for a minute to hold the derailer/brake in a suitable position before clamping down on the cable. This way, I can have the adjuster somewhere 1/3 out, and still have room to dial it in with a suitable margin left for the road. There are even special tools called 4th hand or something to help with this procedure.

    But anything goes. If you prefer to work with a slacker cable and an adjuster turned all the way in at hook-up, that can work too. As long as you have a bit of travel either way left for the road you're OK.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Clever thing, I recall, is Campag giving you a choice.
    you can run both cables to the front of the bar ,
    or run the shifter around the back/outside, and the brake in the front/inside.
    depending on whether you have a double grooved bar, for the latter, or not.

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    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    New cables stretch. My plan is always to account for that. I put the adjusters in about 1 turn shy of in all the way, then my initial adjustment may call for another full turn, later when the cables have stretched out, I have more adjustment there thus avoiding having to take the cable loose and retightened.
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    I've been through this procedure recently. My observations with installing cables for 2010 Campagnolo Veloce:
    There are two types of housing - brake housing, which is spiral wounded and shift housing, also called compresionless, which has a longitudinal steel wires along the length of the housing. There are also two types of inner wire 1.2 mm for shift and 1.8 mm for brakes (Campagnolo). I used a plain sidecutters to cut the brake housing, which resulted in not so good cut. After that I used a file to finish the end of the housing. In order to be able to hold still the housing, when filing it, I used a piece of wood in which I drilled openings in which to put the housing.

    By the_villain at 2012-02-09
    I used bench vise to hold the piece of wood and inserted the housing. When the end of the housing emerged form the other side, I was able to file it clean.
    As I haven't got housing cutters or Dremel I had to think of a way to cut the shift housing. This isn't possible with sidecutters or wirecutters (I tried this afterwards with the leftovers from the housing). To be able to cut the shift housing I used the same piece of wood, used for filing the brake housing. I made a partial slice in the wood perpendicular to the predrilled opening in which the housing is to be inserted. Then I used an angle grinder with 1 mm disk to cut the shift housing. It turned out pretty well.

    By the_villain at 2012-02-09
    Next important step is to ensure that the housings are cut the right length. There are numerous articles on the net about this matter. With the housings installed you have to be able to turn the bars all the way in both directions, wthout the housings interfering. On the other hand the housings shouldn't be longer than necessary.
    I used ferrules on all the shift cables - at the two cable stops on the frame downtube, on the derailleur and the cable stop at the chainstay. There is no need to use ferrules for the shift housing in the shifter, as it fits snuggly inside the openings and there is a brass?? ring inside to hold the housing (Veloce 2010). The brake housings don't need ferrules anywhere (Veloce 2010).
    The cable stops (adjusters) on the downtube need to be 1 - 1.5 turns from all in, when installing the housings and cables, as to have room for future adjustments - tightening.

    By the_villain at 2012-02-09
    Hope this helps a bit.
    Last edited by the_villain; 02-09-12 at 03:44 PM. Reason: adding pictures

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    That should help a great deal, thank you! I'm gonna set aside a couple hours tomorrow night to get my hands dirty with these cables, hopefully all goes well and I don't need a bailout trip to the LBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
    .....(chorus 9 speed, old stock but untouched to replace the worn out units that have been on my bike for 12 years)....
    Dan, nothing to do with the cables, but a heads up on a possible problem you may encounter. Campagnolo changed the geometry of their derailleurs in 2001. Your old levers predate that, and the levers you bought may post date that. The giveaway is if the right lever says 9s (2001 and later) instead of carbon BB system (pre 2001). The newer levers will not index precisely with the old derailleur. I said may because there are mixed reports, Campagnolo says it definitely won't, but some report no issue, while others report only minor sloppiness,

    I didn't post this to scare you, but to alert you so if you have trouble with shift performance and trim you know why. The remedy is to rebuild the lever with the older 9s cam, marked with a 9, vs the newer one marked with a 1 for 2001.
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    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    You gave me a little scare there! I just had a look, and the levers appear exactly identical to my '99 levers, including the "Carbon BB System" printed above the brake lever handle on the black plastic, and the non-hollowed out shift paddle (I've seen paddles with hollow middles for older chorus/record shifters). Must be the same year or maybe 2000, so hopefully I'll have no issues there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
    You gave me a little scare there! I just had a look, and the levers appear exactly identical to my '99 levers, including the "Carbon BB System" printed above the brake lever handle on the black plastic, and the non-hollowed out shift paddle (I've seen paddles with hollow middles for older chorus/record shifters). Must be the same year or maybe 2000, so hopefully I'll have no issues there.
    You're in luck, these are definitely Pre-2001. Better to know, that to be surprised later.
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    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    A final question related to my cable change... Everything went off without a hitch and the bike shifts and brakes 100% better with the new cables and shifters. However, I didn't have a file handly to clean up the ends of the brake cable housings. A little nub of metal is sticking up, though I pushed it out of the path of the cable with a nail. Does that little nub pose a risk to the cable in terms of gradual fraying and possible failure? I can always untension the cables and touch up the housings, but if it's nothing to worry about I'll let it be.

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    If your little nub isn't bent inward where it could chafe the moving inner wire, don't worry about it.

    When I cut brake housing, try to have the end still in line with coil. Sometimes it takes a trim cut to get that. Then I don't worry whether the end is perfectly flat (it rarely is). I use good ferrules to support the end of the coil and spread the load so it's as good as if ground it flat.

    That's the tip-off. If when you apply some tension the housing tries to flex sideways, you need to trim it flatter, or use a better fitting ferrule. OTOH if there's zero deflection under load than all is good.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

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