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  1. #1
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Raleigh Sports brake cables?

    I've fixed up a number of old Raleigh Sportses, but until now have never run into one where the brake cables couldn't be reused. The double-ended cables that go on the proprietary Raleigh sidepull brakes are no longer made, correct? Is there some practical workaround? I'm not up to going on ebay and bidding a small fortune for any NOS cables that might show up there. But I would also like to keep the original brake calipers.
    What to do? I'm sure this question has been addressed here before, probably many times. I made a good-faith effort to find such an existing thread, but came up empty.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member conradpdx's Avatar
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    It's a big thread and I'm not sure where in it, but I'm pretty sure the issue has been discussed somewhere in the "Love of English 3 speed" thread.
    Does having had a vasectomy make me a "fixie"?

    1971 Raleigh Superbe, 1959 Murray Vanguard, 1974 Raleigh Super Course Mark II and a garage full of three speeds now in various states of dis/repair.

  3. #3
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I got a couple Bell Telephone crimpers on ebay for about $10 each. One has two small dies and is very useful for crimping No 3 fishing line leader sleeves to derailleur cables to make Sturmey Archer cables. That's the one I meant to buy. The other I got by mistake; it has a single die and is perfect for crimping a spoke nipple to a brake cable. That's how I make Raleigh double-ended cables. No failures yet!
    Last edited by rhm; 03-24-14 at 12:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Motorcycle throttle cables are double ended. I would suggest poking around motorcycle forums on how to solder the ends of throttle cables, or go to a motorcycle shop to do it for you, make sure to provide the example of the brake end as reference.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    I got a couple Bell Telephone crimpers on ebay for about $10 each. One has two small dies and is very useful for crimping fishing line leaders to derailleur cables to make Sturmey Archer cables. That's the one I meant to buy. The other I got by mistake; it has a single die and is perfect for crimping a spoke nipple to a brake cable. That's how I make Raleigh double-ended cables. No failures yet!
    Aha! So you use a mountain brake cable, the brake-end threaded fitting from the original cable, a length of housing, and a spoke nipple to cobble together a reasonable approximation of an original-style cable? I don't have your magical crimper, but I'm a pretty good hand with a propane torch. Have you ever tried soldering the spoke nipple to the cable rather than crimping it?
    Or perhaps you could salvage the original brake-end fitting--what is it, tin or some other cast metal?--drill out the original cable, insert the new cable, and solder it in place? Or is the melting point of the original fitting too low for that to work?
    Last edited by jonwvara; 08-20-12 at 08:11 PM. Reason: sin of pride
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  6. #6
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    There's a local 3 speed guy who uses a cable pinch bolt which I personally thing is a little unsightly. One can also use a knarp but also unsightly. I like the idea of crimping or soldering something on but it hasnt come up for me yet.

  7. #7
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
    Aha! So you use a mountain brake cable, the brake-end threaded fitting from the original cable, a length of housing, and a spoke nipple to cobble together a reasonable approximation of an original-style cable?
    Just so.
    Quote Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
    I don't have your magical crimper, but I'm a pretty good hand with a propane torch. Have you ever tried soldering the spoke nipple to the cable rather than crimping it?
    Or perhaps you could salvage the original brake-end fitting--what is it, tin or some other cast metal?--drill out the original cable, insert the new cable, and solder it in place? Or is the melting point of the original fitting too low for that to work?
    I have tried various forms of soldering but have never been able to get any solder to stick to the steel cable, even galvanized. I don't know why, whether to blame the temperature or the solder or the flux or all of the above.

    Spoke nipples being brass, they should take solder well; and the shape is nearly perfect for this application. I wouldn't bother trying to reuse the original bits; who knows what metal that is, or what holds it on. It's a lot harder than tin or zinc.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Just so. I have tried various forms of soldering but have never been able to get any solder to stick to the steel cable, even galvanized. I don't know why, whether to blame the temperature or the solder or the flux or all of the above.
    I was afraid of that. I may give it a try anyway. I wonder what other sort of crimping tool would work?
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  9. #9
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
    I was afraid of that. I may give it a try anyway. I wonder what other sort of crimping tool would work?
    Harbor Freight has a 'ratcheting crimping tool' that might do the trick, but I don't know:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/ratchet...ool-97420.html

    For sure, if Harbor Freight carries such a thing you can get a better one if you're willing to spend more money elsewhere. Just bring a couple rounded off spoke nipples when you go looking at them, to make sure the dies are the right size. As for soldering, lots of people have posted on this forum that they successfully soldered stuff to galvanized cable; you may have similarly good luck. All I know is, I tried and failed.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Harbor Freight has a 'ratcheting crimping tool' that might do the trick, but I don't know:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/ratchet...ool-97420.html

    For sure, if Harbor Freight carries such a thing you can get a better one if you're willing to spend more money elsewhere. Just bring a couple rounded off spoke nipples when you go looking at them, to make sure the dies are the right size. As for soldering, lots of people have posted on this forum that they successfully soldered stuff to galvanized cable; you may have similarly good luck. All I know is, I tried and failed.
    Rhm, if you're ever in the mood, could you post a photo or two of your crimping tool, and a photo of what the spoke head looks like after crimping? Brass spokes heads seem pretty robust to me--I'd imagine that a crimping tool would have to deliver substantial leverage to deform them as required. The Harbor Freight tool seems kind of light-duty to me, but that may be because I don't really understand what's involved. My optimistic plan at this point is to solder if I can but crimp if I must.
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  11. #11
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Jon, here are a couple of the same tools on ebay now:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...ht_4672wt_1141
    that's the one for brakes; see how there's one hole in the jaws?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BELL-SYSTEMS...#ht_485wt_1398

    This is the one you'd use for making gear cables; this one has two dies in the jaws.

    I will try to remember to send photos of mine tomorrow or the next day.

    They are surprisingly small tools, maybe six inches long.

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