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    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Where do you get your cables/housings?

    Where do you get your cables and housings, and for how much? Is it one unit price, or do you buy it by the foot?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Creme Brulee's Avatar
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    shoot i just buy it at the bike shop every time i need it... they probably hate me over there cause i like switching bars and levers and i tend to start fresh every time

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    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    I think my preferred bike shop quoted me about 1.90 or 1.98 a foot for cables and housing... I would call again to clarify, but they're closed at this time. I just want to know how much brake and shifter cable housing I need. Brake and STI cables are pretty much all the same size, and it's trim to fit?

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    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    For lower end bikes with DT shifting, I use the Bell kit from Walmart for $6. It works, it's black, and it's cheap.

    For my riders, if I need a complete kit, I get the Jagwire Racer kits on line.

    If you need colors, you can often get the "Jagwire" housing and brake cables from China pretty cheap.

    If I only need white or black, good stuff, I use the local bike shop, 2.00/ft for brake cable, 2.50 for STI cable.
    I also buy my Jagwire shifter cables, as needed, from the same shop, about 4.99/ea.

    Brake and STI cables are not the same size, and neither are the housings. Don't let a shop tell you that.
    The shop most likely has no STI housing on hand, and wants to sell you brake housing instead.
    Find a more honest shop, if that's the case.

    For the bike you're building, I'd probably get the Walmart kit in black, use the brake housing and the brake cables.
    Then I'd buy black STI housing for the shifters, and some Jagwire cables for the shifters.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 04-27-12 at 08:11 PM.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    For lower end bikes with DT shifting, I use the Bell kit from Walmart for $6. It works, it's black, and it's cheap.

    For my riders, if I need a complete kit, I get the Jagwire Racer kits on line.

    If you need colors, you can often get the "Jagwire" housing and brake cables from China pretty cheap.

    If I only need white or black, good stuff, I use the local bike shop, 2.00/ft for brake cable, 2.50 for STI cable.
    I also buy my Jagwire shifter cables, as needed, from the same shop, about 4.99/ea.

    Brake and STI cables are not the same size, and neither are the housings. Don't let a shop tell you that.
    The shop most likely has no STI housing on hand, and wants to sell you brake housing instead.
    Find a more honest shop, if that's the case.

    How much you need depends on the size of the bike. Cables are all made to be cut.
    Brake housing, measure along the bar from the lever to the caliper, with room for bends, maybe 6'

    Shifter housing, you need about 1' for the RD and about 2' max each side up front. Figure 5'
    Is there any particular difference between "Jagwire" and "Shimano" cables/housings? I've searched threads, and I get mixed results.

  6. #6
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    I buy Jagwire brake housing* in bulk and good quality stainless cables from Niagara Cycle.
    After removing a ton of rusted/corroded cables, I won't use galvanized, not even on low end flippers. Stainless costs a few bucks more but it's worth it.

    (* I don't bother with shift-specific cable housing, because I never buy any bikes with indexed shifting.)
    - Auchen

  7. #7
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    We don' need no steenkeeng STI housing!
    Geoff
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  8. #8
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    Campy OE kits for black, red, or white or Jagwire Racer kits (with swapped inner cables) for all other colors.
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    Never Nude guygadois's Avatar
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    VO has some beautiful cables and housing (braided alloy stuff)

    GG
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  10. #10
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Last couple of times I brought housing I ordered off ebay so I could get the color I wanted and payed about four dollars for an 8 foot length enough for one bike. Loose cables should run you about $4 dollars a piece at most shops.

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    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    Cables: $1/each from the co-op or Niagara cycle
    Housing: $1/foot from the LBS
    Kits: Jagwire from China/Ebay

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    I just bought some of this clear jacketed cable from Porkchop BMX for my Voyageur. I buy bulk rolls from Niagara and other places (the cheap Avenir stuff works fine for indexed systems.)

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    They've got some nice choices for brake housing...but...no matching gear cable, unfortunately (being BMX and all).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
    I just bought some of this clear jacketed cable from Porkchop BMX for my Voyageur. I buy bulk rolls from Niagara and other places (the cheap Avenir stuff works fine for indexed systems.)
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  14. #14
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buldogge View Post
    They've got some nice choices for brake housing...but...no matching gear cable, unfortunately (being BMX and all).
    Just about any decent Cables well work just fine in these if are what you want to use. When buying getting generic type parts I often mix road and better BMX stuff to get what I want no real probelm on simple stuff like cables.

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    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    I ordered from BikePartsMart today, got 3 fifty-foot lined brake housings, different colors, all for $50 shipped. That's .33/ft.

    For cables, the WalMart pack supplies 4 cables for $5, plus unlined housing.

    I have a huge supply of STI 4mm shift housings that I bought on clearance for .50 each, genuine Shimano.

    I've also cleaned and recycled many hundreds of discarded cables and housings.

  16. #16
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    ebay//campy//$50
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  17. #17
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Seems like beating a dead horse but for simply basic cable Wally world gives the best deal and they are likely the same as come on most bikes or better.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JDMKidBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    Seems like beating a dead horse but for simply basic cable Wally world gives the best deal and they are likely the same as come on most bikes or beater.
    My local Walmarts don't have the Bell tune up kits in stock. I'm looking to complete my project within the week. Are there any other alternatives besides buying cables/housings in bulk?

  19. #19
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    my LBS has cables and cable/housing kits for cheap
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    I get it at the LBS, the have the basic white, black, campy grey, yellow, red, and clear jacketed brake cable housing. For STI, they have Black, White, Red, Grey. I get any of them for $1.00 foot. My favorite shift cable is SRAM ultra slick, very smooth shift cables, perfect for Ergo systems.

  21. #21
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    My local Walmarts don't have the Bell tune up kits in stock. I'm looking to complete my project within the week. Are there any other alternatives besides buying cables/housings in bulk?
    A lot of Kmarts often stock the same Bell cable kits.

  22. #22
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    Huh? They don't sell the matching gear outer cable...brake and gear cable outer are not the same thing, plus if you are going into Ergo or STI shifter bodies, 5mm won't even fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    Just about any decent Cables well work just fine in these if are what you want to use. When buying getting generic type parts I often mix road and better BMX stuff to get what I want no real probelm on simple stuff like cables.
    The SRAM stuff works well and is reasonably priced...I have the white cabling on my De Rosa because my LBS had it in stock.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
    I get it at the LBS, the have the basic white, black, campy grey, yellow, red, and clear jacketed brake cable housing. For STI, they have Black, White, Red, Grey. I get any of them for $1.00 foot. My favorite shift cable is SRAM ultra slick, very smooth shift cables, perfect for Ergo systems.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    For lower end bikes with DT shifting, I use the Bell kit from Walmart for $6. I'd probably get the Walmart kit in black.
    Quote Originally Posted by dddd View Post
    For cables, the WalMart pack supplies 4 cables for $5.
    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    for simply basic cable Wally world .
    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    A lot of Kmarts often stock the same Bell cable kits.
    Last time i checked WalMart and Kmart cable kits did NOT come with lined housing. Lined housing is a must. The last time I checked cables from Dicks Sporting goods DID come with lined housing. When I flipping alot of bikes i'd buy kits from Kmart for the inner wires and cables from DSG for the housing. The DSG cables had eonough housing left over housing which I'd pair up with the WalMart inner wires.

    Awhile back I began buying brake housing in bulk.....something like 100 foot rolls for $25 or so and I'd still use the WalMart inner wires. There is a huge difference in housing out there, cheap stuff in a roll compresses alot, I mean alot. Higher quality Jagwire and Shimano (if you can find it) are very low compression. It makes a difference.

    For gear systems nothing but Jagwaire, Shimano or Campagnolo index specific housing. I dont care if the label says index compatible or not...if it's not Jagwire, Shimano, or Campagnolo it's going to shift like crap. OK, mabe there's some others but I think you get my point...cheap housings will index very poorly.
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  24. #24
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMKidBill View Post
    Is there any particular difference between "Jagwire" and "Shimano" cables/housings? I've searched threads, and I get mixed results.
    YES, The top of the line Shimano is really slik and it does make a difference if you are rebuilding a STI shifter bike. I believe the Shimano housing is coated on the inside, but no matter, it is superior to the Jagwire. If you are talking about a downtube shifter or a friction shifter bike, save your money cause you'll never know the difference. I use the Shimano cable housing and the black coated Shimano XT cable on my top end bikes with DA, XT or SRAM X9. For a SORA equipped bike, Jagwire will do just fine.
    For brake cable housing, it doesn't make much difference and I go with jagwire.
    Like Robbie, on a friction shifter flipper, I use the $5.95 Bell pack from Wally World.
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  25. #25
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    "YES, The top of the line Shimano is really slik and it does make a difference if you are rebuilding a STI shifter bike. I believe the Shimano housing is coated on the inside, but no matter, it is superior to the Jagwire."

    This sounds right to me, but the Shimano housings are pre-cut and with special grease inside that's pre-measured and especially good.

    Note especially that this grease IS NOT distributed within the length of the housing!
    It is injected only into the end with the Shimano, SP-41 or SLR logo!
    Never cut this end off, and always feed the cable inner wire into this end to pull the grease thru the housing!
    Do Not supplement this grease with any supplementary lubrication, which can only dilute or contaminate it's formulation.
    Shimano offers costly sealed ferrules which keep the sliding cable surfaces clean, but are not really needed on the longer front housings. I always recycle these from discarded housings if the seal isn't too hogged out.


    "Huh? They don't sell the matching gear outer cable...brake and gear cable outer are not the same thing, plus if you are going into Ergo or STI shifter bodies, 5mm won't even fit."

    Not true, you can fit 5mm housings into the SHIFT cable port because both 4mm and 5mm housing BOTH utilize a 6mm O.D. ferrule diameter. Shimano has also offered 5mm SIS housing, btw.
    Ergo levers are made to utilize a 6mm O.D. ferrule on both shift and brake housings, and any 6mm O.D. ferrule will fit. Campy does have a unique 4.5mm shift housing and ferrules with this I.D. however.

    Shimano's STI and aero BRAKE levers have a port for 5mm housing, and no ferrule should ever be fitted. Jamming a 6mm O.D. ferrule in will make future cable housing installation difficult, and likely to allow housing slippage into the ferrule during actual use, with loss of braking force!
    Last edited by dddd; 04-28-12 at 10:35 PM.

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