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  1. #1
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    Building my first bike - Questions

    Currently I have a frame with tires and wheels and fork/stem/handlebar installed. My LBS is going to install my crank and BB on Tuesday. I felt more comfortable letting them install it. Now, all I need to do is mount my derailleurs and brake calipers and run to cables. My question comes in running the cables, and connecting them to the derailluer. When initially running cables to derailluers, what gear should the derailluer be in, and how much tension should the cable have? Any help on this task would be appreciated.

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    Dismember harov3's Avatar
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    Mmmmm...shiney new parts...mmmm

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    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    derailleur naturally sits on the smallest cog, both front and rear, unless you have that silly backwards shimano stuff. As a result, your shifter should be in the corresponding gear ("9" rear and "1" front). It is handy that these are the only gears that allow you to insert the cable into the shifter, so you can't possibly mess up.

    As for cable tension: Pull the cable tight, and crimp on the derailleur. Pull on the cable to seat the housing well, then pull in the slack that is created with the micro adjuster. From there, you can adjust the cable tension with the micro adjust. More tension = shifts to easier gears (larger cogs) better, less tension is the opposite. So if you can't get it to go from 7 to 6, turn the adjuster out. If you can't get it to go from 6 to 7, turn it in.

    Hope that makes sense. I tried to simplify it a bit.
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    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    Expect to cuss and scream when dialing in your rear der., the front isn't that bad.
    Santa Cruz Tall Boy
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    Thanks

    Ok that sounds simple enough. One more question. I bought a set of brakes with the cables already connected. I was hoping that they would be the right length, but they are about 1 inch too short going to the rear brake. Is there any way to sauder some more cable on until I can get some new ones in, or am I just SOL? Thanks

  6. #6
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadesy View Post
    Ok that sounds simple enough. One more question. I bought a set of brakes with the cables already connected. I was hoping that they would be the right length, but they are about 1 inch too short going to the rear brake. Is there any way to sauder some more cable on until I can get some new ones in, or am I just SOL? Thanks
    You can keep the cable housing if it's length is OK--if it has a smooth bend and isn't pulled at a sharp angle. You just need a new brake cable to slide into the housing, it'll be longer than you need, you cut off the excess after attaching to the brake. It's cheap at the LBS. Have them give you some cable ends to crimp on the cables. Just use pliers.

  7. #7
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadesy View Post
    Currently I have a frame with tires and wheels and fork/stem/handlebar installed. My LBS is going to install my crank and BB on Tuesday. I felt more comfortable letting them install it. Now, all I need to do is mount my derailleurs and brake calipers and run to cables. My question comes in running the cables, and connecting them to the derailluer. When initially running cables to derailluers, what gear should the derailluer be in, and how much tension should the cable have? Any help on this task would be appreciated.
    it boils down to common sense. it doesn't really matter what gear you set it up in.

    typically, i'll choose a mid cassette gear...4th or 5th. set the shifter to chosen gear. now clamp the cable down with the set bolt while lining the jockey wheels underneath the chosen cassette gear. you can hold the cable with pliers near the clamp bolt. hold the cable with the non-serrated part of pliers and don't kink it. no reason to make it look like sh it. lots of people use shrink tubing on cable ends.

    now, after you clamp the cable and release the derailleur it will have a tendency to deviate a couple millimeters as it sets into place. so loosen up the cable clamp bolt and compensate for this. do this a couple times until the jockey wheels stay lined up underneath when you let everything relax.

    tip: cut the cable at the very end. it gives you plenty of room to hold the cable. you might not even need pliers if you can grasp it good enough with hands. kind of like dental floss. is it easy to floss with short string?

    no reason to mess with adjustments on derailleur. just do the to travel limiters at each extreme.

    another tip: be sure the shifter adj are at their mid point before you start any of this. this goes for the cable adjuster on the RD too. generally, you always want adj at their midpoints for everything! suspension, brakes, etc...


    if you set it up the way i described, it will pretty much be perfect from the get go.

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    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadesy View Post
    Ok that sounds simple enough. One more question. I bought a set of brakes with the cables already connected. I was hoping that they would be the right length, but they are about 1 inch too short going to the rear brake. Is there any way to sauder some more cable on until I can get some new ones in, or am I just SOL? Thanks
    you cannot solder.

    serves you right for not going with hydraulic brakes.

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