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Old 11-13-10, 11:21 PM   #1
AL NZ
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Raleigh brake cable availability?

Has anyone found a source of the complete Raleigh brake cables with the bolt-on adjuster ferule for the caliper end?
My '55 4 speed came with what I assume are the colour-coded dark-green originals, but one day I will need some more.
I cannot find'em on UK ebay

Any leads...?
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Old 11-14-10, 01:38 AM   #2
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I did see someone selling a few of those on the internet a month or two back. It might have been Yellow Jersey. At any rate, they had a few in one color and they were all rear brake cables, no front ones. Interesting, but not encouraging.

Probably more useful, there was a thread on making do without the very same cables, in this forum, maybe three months ago. I can't remember enough about it to do a search. Anyway, there were some useful suggestions there, including a cable knarp you can get from a lot of bike related internet sellers; it's not quite as attractive as the correct GB cable, but it'll do. Some people have success casting or soldering an end onto a cable; when I tried that, though, I could not make any kind of solder stick to the cable. Probably didn't have the right flux or something.
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Old 11-14-10, 05:54 AM   #3
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I am going to try casting the ends myself also. My older Raleighs have cloth covered housings.
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Old 11-14-10, 06:24 AM   #4
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I've got one of those calipers on the front of my Lenton. I think my go-to move is going to be to just swap it out for a clamp-style caliper, to match the back one and be more serviceable, as I'd really care to ride this bike and not have to worry about a 60 year old brake cable.
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Old 11-14-10, 06:45 AM   #5
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I have some NOS double-ended rear brake cables with white ribbed housing. PM me if interested. Otherwise, using a standard cable and on the end that fits in the caliper arm, use a cable knarp as rhm said or crimp a small piece of brass tubing on the end. You can get that tubing at hobby shops and art supply stores.

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Old 11-14-10, 01:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I have some NOS double-ended rear brake cables with white ribbed housing. PM me if interested. Otherwise, using a standard cable and on the end that fits in the caliper arm, use a cable knarp as rhm said or crimp a small piece of brass tubing on the end. You can get that tubing at hobby shops and art supply stores.

Neal
That would work if you had standard brake levers... I actually bought a set of knarps to try that when I bought the Lenton, then I looked at the brake lever - both sides take bullet-shaped (i.e. "road" style) cable ends, so a knarp wouldn't fit in it.
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Old 11-14-10, 02:11 PM   #7
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I've used the knarp for the caliper end, but I know what you're describing--there were at least two different fittings on the caliper side. On my '51 Clubman, I have brass tubing plus a blob of solder. It's not particularly pretty, but it seems to be holding.

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Old 11-14-10, 03:15 PM   #8
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I almost refrain from mentioning such a low-tech alternative, but you can tie a knot in a cable. The trick is to get it at exactly the spot where you want the knarp; then pull the cable as tight as possible, squeezing the knot together with pliers while pulling really hard from both ends. You'll end up with a knot about the size of the ball that was supposed to be cast onto the cable. It's a good idea to back that knot up with a second one, as close as possible to the first one (like, with nothing between them), then clip the loose end to about 1 cm and secure it with the stoutest cable end you have. A spoke nipple is good.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:25 AM   #9
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I put the knarp at the caliper and use a standard brake cable in the original Raleigh cable housing and threaded adjuster (Although you could replace the housing with new material at this point since you are using a single-ended cable and it all is apart).

A spoke nipple above the knarp keeps the assembly from falling apart randomly on you leaving you with no brakes and replicates the Raleigh-branded lower "knob." If you shorten the nipple a little you can still pull it out of the caliper when you loosen the cable adjuster so that you can remove the wheel without moving the knarp.

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