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  1. #1
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    Routing The Derailleur Cable Through The Chainstay On An Old Trek

    I was working on my 1986 Trek 400 Elance-

    The bike is in wonderful shape- it's such a beautiful bike- I assume it's a straight gage 531 main triangle with I assume 4130 fork and stays.

    For a long time, I've had the urge to "bling" up the bike, over the past few months I've gotten a few parts here and there, and when Junior was home from college, he was complaining about a squeak coming from the back end of the bike- so I decided I was going to replace the rear derailleur- I've had an old Deore XT sitting around, planning for it to go onto this bike because I thought it would look cool. Since I was doing the Rear Derailleur, I decided I was going to replace the shifters with a set of Tri-Color 600 shifters I'd bought for exactly this purpose.

    After I pulled the cable, I thought how on earth does this cable go through the chainstay? I tried for like half an hour to poke the cable through. I had the bike on a Park stand, had it straight up and down, a couple of degrees back and forth- and I could NOT get that cable out the exit hole of the chainstay.

    I headed to Skip Echert's Vintage Trek site and found a link to a blog with a comment- and that was it for me:


    Skip's Site:

    http://www.vintage-trek.com/refurbish.htm#threading

    The linked site (the tongfamily website):

    http://www.tongfamily.com/archives/2...ailleur-cable/

    There was a comment from "Paul" mentioning a heavy needle and thread. I found the thickest needle I could and tied off a yard of thread and dropped it in. Doggone it if it didn't go right on through. I then tied the thread to the cable (about 2-3" up) and twisted the thread around the cable all the way to the end- carefully pulled it through (with the bike vertical on the stand), and it came right out.

    I thought it odd that I didn't see a thread like this here (although someone will dig something up quite easily now), so I figured an easily searchable thread would be a good idea!
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  2. #2
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    I had to wonder if you were using a brand-new cable with welded tip, or if you were putting a used cable thru. It makes a big difference.

    I recall putting a cleanly-cut used cable thru one of those, but did have to experiment a bit with a slight amount of curvature in the cable and then to poke it around perhaps a few hundred times (with the bike resting on it's wheels).

  3. #3
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    I used a magnet to guide the cable on my Klein.

    Another trick is to thread the cable backwards then attach the new cable to the backwards one and pull it through. Easier said than done though..
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the "needle and thread" tip! Good stuff to know.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dddd View Post
    I had to wonder if you were using a brand-new cable with welded tip, or if you were putting a used cable thru. It makes a big difference.

    I recall putting a cleanly-cut used cable thru one of those, but did have to experiment a bit with a slight amount of curvature in the cable and then to poke it around perhaps a few hundred times (with the bike resting on it's wheels).
    It's a "new" cable- but coiled in the package for 20 years.

    There was a slight bend to it, so yes it was straight, but there was definitely an arc.

    I don't know that the tip is welded- but it's actually cut so there's a point.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  6. #6
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    After I pulled the cable, I thought how on earth does this cable go through the chainstay? I tried for like half an hour to poke the cable through. I had the bike on a Park stand, had it straight up and down, a couple of degrees back and forth- and I could NOT get that cable out the exit hole of the chainstay.
    Those frames with internal shift cable routing left the factory with a small plastic funnel installed in the right chainstay to help guide the cable through the hole in the dropout. It works best with a new (un-kinked) cable with a soldered end.

    Full disclosure: one of my duties at Trek was to make the tools that installed those little plastic funnels. It was marketing's idea to route the cable that way, not mine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    It was marketing's idea to route the cable that way, not mine.
    Methinks thou doest prostesteth too much.






    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  8. #8
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    Methinks maybe these funnels sometimes go missing(?).

  9. #9
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    I've threaded the needle with that cable on my two 400's six or eight times. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but it always goes through without too much drama. I'd make sure the end is soldered and has a bit of a point to it and then fiddle with the bends. I'm sure you can get it to go. Patience grasshopper.

    Gratuitous shot of the one I most recently rebuilt. This is an amazingly nice bike to ride:



    - Mark
    Last edited by markjenn; 08-18-12 at 10:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    I've threaded the needle with that cable on my two 400's six or eight times. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but it always goes through without too much drama. I'd make sure the end is soldered and has a bit of a point to it and then fiddle with the bends. I'm sure you can get it to go. Patience grasshopper.

    Gratuitous shot of the one I most recently rebuilt. This is an amazingly nice bike to ride:



    - Mark
    Hey Mark- I had a 400T like that. Just a touch too big for me.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  11. #11
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    As long as I've used a new cable, they've always gone through in one shot for me, first time, no drama. When I've tried to reuse an old one, it's turned into a suckfest.
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  12. #12
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
    As long as I've used a new cable, they've always gone through in one shot for me, first time, no drama. When I've tried to reuse an old one, it's turned into a suckfest.
    +10 thirty seconds
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    I've threaded the needle with that cable on my two 400's six or eight times. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but it always goes through without too much drama. I'd make sure the end is soldered and has a bit of a point to it and then fiddle with the bends. I'm sure you can get it to go. Patience grasshopper.

    Gratuitous shot of the one I most recently rebuilt. This is an amazingly nice bike to ride:



    - Mark
    Holy crossed chains and tortured derailleurs bat man! It hurts seeing that.
    You cant have a signature unless it fits in this box

  14. #14
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    I couldn't get it until i got the bike at the correct angle. Then it went through with just a few tries.
    2005 Cannondale six13 10s SRAM

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoota View Post
    I couldn't get it until i got the bike at the correct angle. Then it went through with just a few tries.
    I had to do this on a Klein. I have a Parks commercial stand, so I had the frame almost horizontal, maybe a 15 degree angle. Gravity did the rest. I took a pic of the bike on the stand. Its around here somewhere.

  16. #16
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    I've threaded the needle with that cable on my two 400's six or eight times. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but it always goes through without too much drama. I'd make sure the end is soldered and has a bit of a point to it and then fiddle with the bends. I'm sure you can get it to go. Patience grasshopper.

    Gratuitous shot of the one I most recently rebuilt. This is an amazingly nice bike to ride:



    - Mark

    Pretty bike! Nice work. But I think that chain is too short.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  17. #17
    Senior Member cdale4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    +10 thirty seconds
    What he said...
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  18. #18
    Senior Member RubberLegs's Avatar
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    The Crossed Chain of Shame! :-)
    Interesting thread....have an 87 Elance sitting waiting for some love...good tip to know!

  19. #19
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    This job was agony for my '85 600, and I managed to just get the cable through by sheer stupid luck after multiple attempts.

    The internal routing is easily lubricated if you happen to have an old WTB GreaseGuard *** available.

  20. #20
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    I can't remember the application, it wasn't this, but we poked a light string in the hole and sucked it through with a vacuum cleaner.
    Then you tied it on the cable and pulled it through.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  21. #21
    Rides Majestic
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    When I changed the cable, I left the old one in and taped the new cable to it . I then pushed the new cable in and the old cable out.

  22. #22
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
    Methinks thou doest prostesteth too much.
    Quote Originally Posted by cdale4ever View Post
    What he said...
    Me thinks the non-midwesterners are somewhat mechanically challenged, relative to those from the industrial heartland!


    Just had to pull a another cable through the TT of a Motobecane Grand Touring. Same EZ peazy success.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1, Miyata 912

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