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  1. #1
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Good price for new cable/housing job

    Last time I had my bike in to the shop, my repair guy told me that I'm going to need what he said was "fairly major" work, consisting of a complete new set of cables/housings. I didn't ask, and he didn't give a price, but I got the impression from him that it would be somewhat costly. To prepare myself for sticker shock and/or negotiating my children's limbs, what should I expect to pay for this kind of work, all parts + labor. I'm aware the labor will vary significanty regionally; here everything's more expensive ?

    And am I right in thinking this is something best left to a pro wrench; not a simple DIYer kind of thing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    Last time I had my bike in to the shop, my repair guy told me that I'm going to need what he said was "fairly major" work, consisting of a complete new set of cables/housings. I didn't ask, and he didn't give a price, but I got the impression from him that it would be somewhat costly. To prepare myself for sticker shock and/or negotiating my children's limbs, what should I expect to pay for this kind of work, all parts + labor. I'm aware the labor will vary significanty regionally; here everything's more expensive ?

    And am I right in thinking this is something best left to a pro wrench; not a simple DIYer kind of thing?
    All depends on what materials are used.There are high $$ very chi chi cables and housing and there is generic stuff, that works well. Not a major do it yourself project if you know how to adjust derailers.You also have to be able to cut casing to length with a proper tool. Don't be bashful about getting a price and asking what's being used.

  3. #3
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    That job usually consists of the cost of the new cables and housing, installation, and then adjusting the bakes and derailleurs. $2.99 x 4 for cables, $1.00 per foot of housing, labor for install $5-$10 each, then adjustments will vary. $10-$15 per brake, $15-$20 per derailleur. Then just add it all up. I would take the higher amounts, then if it comes in cheaper, its a nice suprise.
    We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye.~Clark Griswold

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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midgie
    That job usually consists of the cost of the new cables and housing, installation, and then adjusting the bakes and derailleurs. $2.99 x 4 for cables, $1.00 per foot of housing, labor for install $5-$10 each, then adjustments will vary. $10-$15 per brake, $15-$20 per derailleur. Then just add it all up. I would take the higher amounts, then if it comes in cheaper, its a nice suprise.
    You gotta be kidding!

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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    Last time I had my bike in to the shop, my repair guy told me that I'm going to need what he said was "fairly major" work, consisting of a complete new set of cables/housings. I didn't ask, and he didn't give a price, but I got the impression from him that it would be somewhat costly. To prepare myself for sticker shock and/or negotiating my children's limbs, what should I expect to pay for this kind of work, all parts + labor. I'm aware the labor will vary significanty regionally; here everything's more expensive ?

    And am I right in thinking this is something best left to a pro wrench; not a simple DIYer kind of thing?
    Another aspect is do you really even need a new cable and casing job? Many shops will try and sell this every year even if you don't need it. If things work right you don't need it,and you will need brake cable and casing alot less often than the derailer stuff. Seldom do you even need new brake casing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    You gotta be kidding!
    Am I to high or to low? Thats what it would cost you in my shop. According to the math in sutherlands book. Usually runs between $75-$95 to run all new cables and housing.
    We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye.~Clark Griswold

  7. #7
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I like to support my LBS with stuff like that, plus they have two cool dogs to play with while I'm waiting. Took a bike in last month; new brake and derailler cables plus new bar tape and complete adjustment ... $40.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater
    I like to support my LBS with stuff like that, plus they have two cool dogs to play with while I'm waiting. Took a bike in last month; new brake and derailler cables plus new bar tape and complete adjustment ... $40.
    That's $40 more I'd have for beer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater
    I like to support my LBS with stuff like that, plus they have two cool dogs to play with while I'm waiting. Took a bike in last month; new brake and derailler cables plus new bar tape and complete adjustment ... $40.

    That is a VERY good price. You must be a regular customer, cuz that seems extremely low.
    And IMO you should change housing if you change cables. Unless they were both fairly new and the cable needed replacement for some reason.
    We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye.~Clark Griswold

  10. #10
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Ya need to shop around, prices vary. I've seen wheel truing prices range from $10 to $25 so I reckon cabling jobs have the same fluctuation.

  11. #11
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Take a class or get a book at the library. Buy/borrow a cable cutter ($8 harbor freight) and do it yourself.
    Maybe practice with one of those cheap cable kits from X-mart ($5) before you spend money on the good stuff.
    Enjoy

  12. #12
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    DIY it. Use old cables & housing as templates to cut the new ones.

    Minimal tools required. Check Sheldon's or Park websites for howto. Perfect job to get started into maintaining your own bike.

    Have fun!

  13. #13
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    I just did a quick re-greasing of my front brake. It took minimal work, and I figured it couldn't hurt. It was a nice intro to the task at hand. I recommend trying it, just to get an idea of what you're spending your money on. Personally, I don't think a lot of the work that you get charged for in a bike shop is worth it. I recently had to have a non-driveside crank replaced--they charged me 15 dollars (NYC prices) to unscrew the bolt and put the new crank back on. All of 4 minutes of labor. I didn't even have time to browse the inventory. And that was on top of the crank itself. DIY, DIY.

  14. #14
    Senior Member midgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic
    I just did a quick re-greasing of my front brake. It took minimal work, and I figured it couldn't hurt. It was a nice intro to the task at hand. I recommend trying it, just to get an idea of what you're spending your money on. Personally, I don't think a lot of the work that you get charged for in a bike shop is worth it. I recently had to have a non-driveside crank replaced--they charged me 15 dollars (NYC prices) to unscrew the bolt and put the new crank back on. All of 4 minutes of labor. I didn't even have time to browse the inventory. And that was on top of the crank itself. DIY, DIY.

    It should've cost you $4.00 for labor.
    We're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ****ing Kaye.~Clark Griswold

  15. #15
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midgie
    It should've cost you $4.00 for labor.

    Oh, I'm not kidding myself here. But the guy had the tool and the part, and I had the bike that I needed to ride home. This is a chain store in Manhattan, so all prices suffer the inevitable NYC inflation. My point was: the labor, when you can do it yourself, is often not worth the cost.

  16. #16
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Thanks, all. So somewhere in the $75 range would be about right? Maybe a little more for my area?

    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Another aspect is do you really even need a new cable and casing job? Many shops will try and sell this every year even if you don't need it. If things work right you don't need it,and you will need brake cable and casing alot less often than the derailer stuff. Seldom do you even need new brake casing.
    Well, I am no expert, but he did demonstrate some of the symptoms to me, particularly on the rear brake cable, it's like it's gunked up inside the housing as it doesn't glide through as it should. I doubt they're all like that but who knows if the others are on their way. My naive view is to look at them like guitar strings, change 'em all but maybe that's overkill.

    I'm probably not gonna DIY this one; derailers I could see doing but the brakes are an important safety device on there and I don't wanna screw that up. Maybe after a little more time with the wrench on other repairs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Brake cables are easy. The deraillers look like a pain in the ass.

  18. #18
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Beat me to it.
    The brakes are the easy ones.
    Enjoy

  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Cables are easy period. I use bulk roll housing with the teflon center (usually Jagwire) and whatever teflon coated cables we have in stock to do my bikes as needed. Cables are like $5 and the housing is a buck a foot.

  20. #20
    Banned.
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    Replacing cables and housing is very easy. If i can find someone to pay me $75 to do it, i think i am going to change professions. If you can read and have a 10th grade level of comprehension you can swap out the cables and housings.

    The deraillers can be a bit more troublesome until it all finally clicks. Fortunately it is all very well detailed at parktool.com. It even had pictures for those that can't read so well. The biggest trouble i have had with cables and housing swapping is my LBS selling me the wrong stuff to do the job. I finally learned to buy it all online and illminate the pain and suffering.

    Again this is considered novice level repair.


  21. #21
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    $75, that is robbery.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

  22. #22
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I agree it's a pretty easy job.

    I'd start by not replacing the housing and cables and just cleaning them.

    This is simple and will be a cheap introduction to DIY. If you do screw it up, then you can take it in to the LBS for the repair.

    www.parktool.com has a great "how-to" guide with pictures and text. It's great!

    To clean your housing, you remove the cable and housing from your bike, wipe down the cable with a cloth and a little degreaser and run the cable through the cloth. To clean the housing, buy some WD-40 and use the little red hose insert into the housing and ****** (sp?) the heck out of it. Let it drip dry overnight.

    Then when you put it back together you can apply a bit of lube to the end which you insert the cable and slide the housing back and forth to push out any rough spots.

    I use a little bit of grease and then wipe off the extra on the exposed portions of the cable. Some people claim this attracks dirt. I don't have this problem, but I don't live in a dry dusty climate either.

    Put everything back on the opposite that you took it off, and then read at the Park website how to adjust it all.

    If you run into a wall and get confused, PM me and I'll walk you through it!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  23. #23
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    Replace the cables DYI. If you have troble the take it to another shop for an adjustment.

  24. #24
    Senior Member FLBandit's Avatar
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    I had new, wider bars put on awhile back that made it necessary for new cables and housings. Total cost for bars, tape, cables and housings, and labor was about $85.
    I wanna ride!
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  25. #25
    Senior Member liv_rong's Avatar
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    Dont use old cables if theres any rust.$75 is a total rip off,dont ever pay that.You should talk to your local shop again and have them give you a better idea of cost.Sometimes you can talk to the mechanic and sort of hagle with them a little.Most prices are not set in stone.A lot of shops wont charge you for each adjustment,they will do it all in one price,like two brakes for $15 and so forth.And if you work something out see if you can watch them do it,its fairly easy.Derailers are hardest for sure.
    Or just do it all yourself and if u cant adjust gears then bring to shop to save some cash. Also you dont always have to replace the cables.If they are not in bad condition then either spray some teflon lube in casing or put park grease on new cable and things will flow great..good luck

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