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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gege-Bubu's Avatar
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    How to Secure Cut Cable Ends?

    I need to re-route the cables on my bike. The cables are good, but as I cut off the cable cup, I have to be extremely careful as I route them back into housings. If I am not careful the cable end will separate and will not fit into housing.

    I have used a superglue before. Just put a drop of super glue on cable end and wait for a minute.
    The problem with the superglue is that I never have it handy. The small tubes I buy either lost or dry out quickly. So they are good for singly use only. And I need to buy them in advance, which means I have to plan to use it. I am not good at planing.

    Is there anything else I can use to keep a cut cable end together?

  2. #2
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    In over 20 years of working on bikes I never had a huge issue with cable ends after cutting. The only ones that were difficult were some brake cables that were supposedly high end, as they had many more strands that were more intertwined and therefore were more prone to fraying when cut.

    If one uses the proper cutting tool and then re-twist the cable end a bit if needed, as well as opening the end of the housing with an awl, there is very seldom a problem.

    How did we ever get by in the 70's and 80's without Superglue, tension meters, torque wrenches and the Internet? Our shop had one reference book - Sutherland's, and almost no part came with any type of instructions. The rest was handled by logic and a methodical approach.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 02-24-14 at 07:50 AM.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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    If you want to use super glue you can buy 12 tubes of it at Harbor Freight for 2 or 3 dollars. Use what you need and throw the rest of the tube away. When I started with bikes in the 1960s you soldered the ends together. Roger

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    just use a new cable

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gege-Bubu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    In over 20 years of working on bikes I never had a huge issue with cable ends after cutting.

    It is not a huge issue, just nuisance




    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    just use a new cable
    Not economical It is better to use $.99 glue tube than $5 cable.


    Quote Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
    If you want to use super glue you can buy 12 tubes of it at Harbor Freight for 2 or 3 dollars. Use what you need and throw the rest of the tube away. When I started with bikes in the 1960s you soldered the ends together. Roger

    I didn't think about Harbor Freight, I will definitely will buy a pack from them.
    I have tried to use solder, but for some reason it did not stay on the cable, but slipped off. How did you do it?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gege-Bubu View Post
    It is not a huge issue, just nuisance
    That was intentional overstatement. It was not even to annoyance level. At worst once in a great while I would have to recut the cable. I know that's not always practical when the cable is already installed, but that's why one needs to leave a decent amount after the clamp.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

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    It also helps if you rotate the inner wire such that it twists the strands back into alignment as you push it back into the housing, although lined housings are more likely to have the strands catch.

    If you have stainless wires you need a special aggressive flux and silver-bearing solder for success. I generally just put in a new wire if I am having trouble. Buying them in bulk helps keep the cost down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    How did we ever get by in the 70's and 80's without Superglue, tension meters, torque wrenches and the Internet? Our shop had one reference book - Sutherland's, and almost no part came with any type of instructions. The rest was handled by logic and a methodical approach.
    Well, in the 70's and '80's we didn't have carbon frames and components, low spoke count wheels, matched indexing systems, 9, 10 and 11-speed drivetrains and brifters to contend with. The bicycle world was a lot simpler and, at that, we still broke things.

  9. #9
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    If you use a torch and a pair of vise grips to cut the cable in the first place it will never fray again. Just heat up the cable where you want to cut it then twist the vise grips in the direction of the strands of cable and it makes a perfect end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    If you have stainless wires you need a special aggressive flux and silver-bearing solder for success.
    At an Arts & crafts store I managed to find a solder that would handle just like regular rosin-core solder for an electrical iron, and still whet and stick to SS cables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    At an Arts & crafts store I managed to find a solder that would handle just like regular rosin-core solder for an electrical iron, and still whet and stick to SS cables.
    What shop and the brand name of the solder please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gege-Bubu View Post
    . . . And I need to buy them in advance, which means I have to plan to use it. I am not good at planing. . .
    Aglets, solder, shrink tubing, glue all require advance planning. Probably, you should not re-route your cables (or get out of bed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    How did we ever get by in the 70's and 80's without Superglue, tension meters, torque wrenches and the Internet? Our shop had one reference book - Sutherland's, and almost no part came with any type of instructions. The rest was handled by logic and a methodical approach.
    You forgot to tell the kids to get off your lawn.
    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
    No single raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Well, in the 70's and '80's we didn't have carbon frames and components, low spoke count wheels, matched indexing systems, 9, 10 and 11-speed drivetrains and brifters to contend with. The bicycle world was a lot simpler and, at that, we still broke things.
    Yes, some changes since that time call for a different approach, but there are still relatively few wheels that call for a tension meter and relatively few situations that require a torque wrench, and a lot of people who seem to think that they are required items. As for simpler, we had French, Swiss, Italian, English, and Whitworth (Raleigh) threading "standards," English and Metric nuts and bolts, well over a dozen common freewheels, each with it's own remover, three different spoke nipple sizes, and this formula to use to determine spoke length: spokeFormula.gif.

    Each period has had it's own challenges. My point was mainly that it does not always take a complex solution to solve a problem.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 02-24-14 at 09:41 AM.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    this formula to use to determine spoke length: spokeFormula.gif.
    And that was before we figured out how to miniaturize our slide rules, even!


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    Heat shrink tubing, available at your local hardware store. End of story. bk

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    Heat shrink tubing, available at your local hardware store. End of story. bk
    Except that the OP's problem is with inserting the cable into housing.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    What shop and the brand name of the solder please?
    "Stannol Arax"
    Shop name probably wouldn't be of much use, since it's in Sweden.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    And that was before we figured out how to miniaturize our slide rules, even!

    Wow, I haven't seen one of those demo slide rules since high school chemistry class in the late 1950's! Where did you get it?

    I still have my Post Versalog slide rule complete with leather case, belt hanging loop and 113 page instruction book that cost over $25 in 1960. These days you can buy an electronic scientific calculator with vastly greater range and accuracy for less than half of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    Yes, some changes since that time call for a different approach, but there are still relatively few wheels that call for a tension meter and relatively few situations that require a torque wrench, and a lot of people who seem to think that they are required items. As for simpler, we had French, Swiss, Italian, English, and Whitworth (Raleigh) threading "standards," English and Metric nuts and bolts, well over a dozen common freewheels, each with it's own remover, three different spoke nipple sizes, and this formula to use to determine spoke length: spokeFormula.gif.

    Each period has had it's own challenges. My point was mainly that it does not always take a complex solution to solve a problem.
    I can agree about the torque wrench, but tension meters are indispensible for scratch builds of wheels. Any approximate method of setting spoke tension is just a recipe for short-lived spokes. Very few of us have the sensory qualifications to build wheels by tone or feel.
    Robert

    My hero: "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'..." (Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus")

  21. #21
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Wow, I haven't seen one of those demo slide rules since high school chemistry class in the late 1950's! Where did you get it?

    I still have my Post Versalog slide rule complete with leather case, belt hanging loop and 113 page instruction book that cost over $25 in 1960. These days you can buy an electronic scientific calculator with vastly greater range and accuracy for less than half of that.
    My wife is a teacher, and when they moved into a new building several years ago, this was one of the things destined for the dump. She snagged it for me!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gege-Bubu View Post
    The small tubes I buy either lost or dry out quickly. So they are good for singly use only. And I need to buy them in advance, which means I have to plan to use it.
    Buy Henkel (German company marketed in the US as Loctite) superglue. It comes in small bottles that are designed to slow the drying out of the glue and be easy to open. Provided you always close the bottle quickly, the glue can last for 2 years after first use. Containers for many US born products have seemingly no thought put into them .

  23. #23
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    I use Gorilla superglue in 15g container. I store it upside down and get plenty of use, haven't thrown any away yet.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Gege-Bubu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    Heat shrink tubing, available at your local hardware store. End of story. bk
    If I use heat shrink tubes, the cable will not fit into the housing, right?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Gege-Bubu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    Buy Henkel (German company marketed in the US as Loctite) superglue. It comes in small bottles that are designed to slow the drying out of the glue and be easy to open. Provided you always close the bottle quickly, the glue can last for 2 years after first use. Containers for many US born products have seemingly no thought put into them .
    I would like to use the glue that dries quickly for the cable job

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