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Old 06-14-12, 10:45 PM   #1
lhorn
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Wired bike computer - can the wire be shortened?

I like the reliability of wired bike computers but hate the look or 3 extra feet of wire coiled around my brake cable. Is it possible to cut out the extra and splice the ends together? I guess what I'm asking is there one wire, two wires or more. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:51 PM   #2
Drew Eckhardt
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Yes. There should be two wires. in the cable.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:52 PM   #3
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There is typically two wires and they can be shortened if you are skilled at splicing/soldering very small wires. Seal it with heat shrink.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:54 PM   #4
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You really care what your bike looks like? As long as you do it nicely, you are not fred'ing or jack-ass'ing your bike up. I think it would be easier to sale off your wired one and buy wireless. Or perhaps after you wrap the cable around your housing you can use shrink wraping over it.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:04 PM   #5
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You really care what your bike looks like? As long as you do it nicely, you are not fred'ing or jack-ass'ing your bike up.
It can be shortened and it will look very nice. It is really no different than a custom di2 install.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:11 PM   #6
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It can be shortened and it will look very nice. It is really no different than a custom di2 install.
Wireless can look even nicer.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:14 PM   #7
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Wireless can look even nicer.
Wireless transmitters are huge. A properly installed wired computer is nearly invisible. (this coming from a guy that uses wireless)
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Old 06-14-12, 11:27 PM   #8
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just make a loop in the wire, tape over it, then then zip-tie the loop down,
to secure it.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhorn View Post
I like the reliability of wired bike computers but hate the look or 3 extra feet of wire coiled around my brake cable. Is it possible to cut out the extra and splice the ends together? I guess what I'm asking is there one wire, two wires or more. Thanks.
Shortening a cyclometer wire is do-able, but many of them have two wires that are coaxial. They can be cut and re-joined, but it's pretty tough and the joint can be ugly.

I've had better success winding the excess in a tight coil around my brake cable and securing it with small zip ties.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:41 PM   #10
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How about running it through the fork? You'd still have to make a splice, but all the extra cable hides inside the fork arm.
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Old 06-14-12, 11:56 PM   #11
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How about running it through the fork? You'd still have to make a splice, but all the extra cable hides inside the fork arm.
This will work if you have an avocet and a steel fork. You go in the crown, down the leg, and out the drain hole at the bottom of the leg. My dad did it in the early 90s. Most other computers the pickup mounts too high to bother unless you have rack bosses mid way up the leg.
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Old 06-15-12, 04:24 AM   #12
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FWIW, here's how the pros do it...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...oeckler/226631
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Old 06-15-12, 04:31 AM   #13
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I've done it - I replaced the thick, ugly, and overlong black cable on my Planet Bike computer with a thin piece of clear jacketed speaker wire (two conductors) of a good length that looked a lot better on the bike. Yes, I did care how the bike looked.

It's about as easy a job as you can do with soldering iron, if you know how to solder. I sealed the ends at the computer mount and sensor with a coating of hot glue (to keep water out) and heat shrink (so it looked neat, and not like a DIY job). The heat gun that shrinks the heat shrink also re-liquefies the hot glue, completing the water-sealing.

It's been running without a hitch for 5 years like that.

Last edited by robo; 06-15-12 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 06-15-12, 05:11 AM   #14
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It can be easily done if you have access to and can use a soldering iron. Somebody soldered it on in the first place, right? As robo mentions above a little hot melt and heat shrink can make a very professional job of it. Soldering is an easy and very worthwhile skill to acquire.
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Old 06-15-12, 08:08 AM   #15
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My answer to your question is in agreement with those saying yes it can be done. And it is quite simple if, as they say, you are comfortable cutting, splicing, soldering and protecting the joint. It definitely is not rocket science though NASA does have standards for this kind of repair/modification. How rigorous you get depends on your bike launching plans.

If you don't feel confident in doing it yourself find an electronic hobbyist or a ham radio operator. They will have the necessary stuff and knowledge and likely do it to help out. I would do it.

One of the worst pit falls to avoid is cutting the existing wire so that when re-joined it becomes too short.
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Old 06-15-12, 08:22 AM   #16
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Guess you can drill a wee hole in your threadless top cap ,
might want to re align the 2 discs in your starfangled nuts, so they are lined up too..
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Old 06-15-12, 11:46 AM   #17
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Thanks. I've done a little soldering so that part doesn't concern me. I might try to find some white wire to make it a little more stealthy.

My bike has internal cable routing so I thought about routing the wire to the cadence sensor internally but my LBS who sold me the bike convinced me that it wasn't a good idea.

Thanks.
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Old 06-15-12, 12:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
This will work if you have an avocet and a steel fork. You go in the crown, down the leg, and out the drain hole at the bottom of the leg. My dad did it in the early 90s. Most other computers the pickup mounts too high to bother unless you have rack bosses mid way up the leg.
I did this on a Diamondback mtb. Avenir perhaps? IIRC, I drilled a hole in the stem just above the nut, and the wire went in there and down through the fork leg. The drain hole was too small to use so I drilled another hole an inch above the drain. I can't remeber how the wire went past the stem wedge though.
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Old 06-15-12, 01:37 PM   #19
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Personally, I like the look of a finely coiled wire for a bike computer snaking up the brake cable. It says something about the assembly of the bike and attention to detail. Of course, if the job is sloppy, that says something as well. If you plan to cut/solder the wires and use heat shrink, I would suggest dribbling some epoxy mix over the wires before sliding the heat shrink on and heating. Wipe any excess ooze that comes out. Reason I do this is to prevent any amount of moisture from getting into the joint and interfering with the magnetic pickup signal.
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Old 06-15-12, 02:07 PM   #20
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To answer the original question............YES
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