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Old 07-06-13, 07:04 PM   #1
JBC353 
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Suntour shift cables source.

Google did not help me find shift cables for the Suntour friction stem mounted shifters on my '83 Schwinn World Sport. The cable is 1.6 mm diameter and the ends are 4.5 mm diameter cylinders with the cable going into the end of the cylinder. The derailleurs are Suntour ARs. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Jeff
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Old 07-06-13, 07:33 PM   #2
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"Standard" double ended cables should work.
Just cut off the end you don't use.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:39 PM   #3
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Maybe I could cut the knob off the end of a Shimano or Campagnolo brake cable leaving just the smaller cylinder. I will have to measure that diameter but it looks close.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:57 PM   #4
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I can't imagine that any Sun Tour shifter wouldn't use a standard derailleur cable (using the 'barrel end", cut off the 'pill end') and I can't imagine that any brake cable will have an end that fits. Maybe you found something I have yet to encounter...4.5mm diameter sure doesn't sound like a typical shifter cable end. I just measured a few and they all are about 3.8-3.9mm, so fit a 4mm hole.

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Old 07-06-13, 10:03 PM   #5
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I know the shifters you're talking about, they're weird and would have originally taken a cable with a larger barrel than you'd normally find on a derailleur cable... When I rehabbed a bike with those shifters I just used a standard derailleur cable and it seemed to work perfectly fine.
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Old 07-06-13, 11:09 PM   #6
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Could you just wrap some sort of tape around a standard cable end as a shim?
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Old 07-07-13, 12:25 AM   #7
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For anyone confused by the OP's question, I found a picture of the shifters that I assume he is talking about. Looks like they may have originally used a cable with a ball on the end instead of a barrel.
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File Type: jpg Suntour-Power-Shift-Lever-Made-in-Japan..jpg (96.3 KB, 57 views)
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Old 07-07-13, 12:47 AM   #8
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^thanks for the clarification: indeed it's one Sun Tour set I have never worked on, (hard to believe).
If you try the "pill" end of a standard shifter cable (typically for a Huret lever) and it doesn't work, then your idea of going with a brake cable "barrel" (as you'd use for MTB or city levers) might be the choice. I'd try to find light-gauge brake cables and you might have to file down the barrel to get a fit.

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Old 07-07-13, 12:59 AM   #9
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Yeah, a brake cable barrel won't fit (at least not without some pretty significant filing down), I tried that on the one I worked on.
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Old 07-07-13, 01:23 AM   #10
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OK... here's what you use:

Go to the LBS and ask for a universal 3 speed cable. One end has a small crimped 'sleeve' over the cable about 3/8" long. Cut this side off. The other side has a barrel end that should fit into the receptacle on the shift lever.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:10 AM   #11
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Our Bike Co-Op just got a bunch of old stuff donated, including suntour shifter kits still in bags...I will check and see if there are any cable kits that look like they will fit (they are usually quite reasonable with prices. Just picked up a pair of Exage brake hoods for $2....now I need to build a bike under them! ;-)
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Old 07-07-13, 06:55 AM   #12
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Here's the shifter. The cables are 1.6 mm diameter, just like brake cable. That end is 4.4 mm in diameter.



Maybe one of these ends (the top two) will work. The shiny one is a universal brake cable. The bottom is the original brake cable that fit the Dia-compe levers I replaced. Is that a Campagnolo style brake cable?



If I cut off the big part of the end I would have something pretty close. The smaller part of the universal cable is about 3 mm and the smaller part of the original is about 4 mm.
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File Type: jpg shifter.jpg (87.6 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg ends.jpg (95.1 KB, 32 views)
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Old 07-07-13, 10:58 AM   #13
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I always just file down a road-brake cable to fit. Takes about 15-minutes.
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Old 07-07-13, 12:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post
Here's the shifter. The cables are 1.6 mm diameter, just like brake cable. That end is 4.4 mm in diameter.


This is a bone-stock shifter with a bone-stock shifter cable, unlike the pic that pattheslat posted above.
Therefore: you should be able to buy a universal shifter cable (available at hundreds of sources), cut off the "pill" shaped end and use it...don't over-think it, it will fit and it will work.
Easy-peasy.
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Old 07-07-13, 01:44 PM   #15
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What, me over think something? Uh, let me get back to you on that.

I will order the Shimano kit from Amazon (no LBS here) and see how it fits. When did shift cable go to 1.2 mm from 1.6 mm?
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Old 07-07-13, 02:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBC353 View Post

When did shift cable go to 1.2 mm from 1.6 mm?
I apologize for any over-ranting: you are free to think, under or over as you wish, I'm just serving up free advice.

I'll guess (and have a little info from Sutherland's to help) that this 1.2mm shifter cable size standard certainly occurred when indexed shifting was introduced, but probably even earlier when internal-lined cable housing caught on (and this is all I ever use).

BTW, according to Sutherland's the recommended shifter cable for all SunTour indexed systems is 1.2mm and the same for indexed Shimano EXCEPT for some DuraAce systems that use a 1.5mm braided cable and '95 XT and XTR that use a 1.1 cable but can use the 1.2.
The recommended size for all SRAM Grip Shifters (and other brands of twist shift control) is 1.1mm.

They state that Campagnolo braided cable is thicker, and so not recommended for these other brands, but don't state what the Campy cable diameter is.
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Old 07-07-13, 06:24 PM   #17
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No worries, I appreciate the advice.

Looking closely at my son's '86 Technium I note that the Shimano brand shifters are nearly identical to the Suntours. They are sized for the same ends and cable diameter but are using the 1.2 mm inner cable with same 5 mm housing as the World Sport, that kinda clear housing where you can see the wound inner casing. On the World Sport the shift cables pass through some weird origami cable guides brazed to the top BB. The Technium has a plastic guide in the bottom of the BB. Progress marched on, even in the '80s.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:14 PM   #18
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J&B Importers still sell a double-ended Sunlite cable (listed as 1.3mm) for this shifter. Any shop that has an account with J&B should be able to get you one
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Old 07-07-13, 08:42 PM   #19
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Noah, thanks. JB-1488. In stainless or regular steel. Double ended Shimano and Campy style heads.
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