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Cable housings -- possible to buy separately?

Old 03-24-16, 11:50 AM
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Cable housings -- possible to buy separately?

Or is the housing purchased with the brake or derailleur cable usually?

I've got some spare brake and derailleur cables. I noticed my housing look pretty crappy -- ie rust on the end pieces I think.

They haven't been replaced for a while. Still work now though. And replacing them didn't look like rocket science. So the next time one breaks... Maybe I'll see if I can replace the housings too.

But I've got several cables as spares. I would just need the housings.
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Old 03-24-16, 11:52 AM
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They sell it in rolls, which is usually much more than you need. Your LBS should be able to sell you a length of it though, and charge per foot. Go ask them.
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Old 03-24-16, 02:34 PM
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housing can be sold separately, or in a kit including cables (and ferrules and end caps etc). If you go to your LBS with your previous lengths of housing, they will happily cut new housing to the same lengths as they sell it to you by the foot. (But from your other thread I know you have your own brand new cable cutter, so you probably want to make use of it)
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Old 03-24-16, 02:50 PM
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Can I get housing to cover the whole length? On the underside of the bike, along the main part of the frame, the cable is exposed. I've never understood why it's just bare like that. Then again, it only breaks by the handlebar. The bare spot has never had an issue that I know of.

Sounds like I'm looking for cable I would cut myself and some ferrules/endcaps... I need to order some spokes so I can probably throw that in. I want to avoid my local bike shop if I can.
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Old 03-24-16, 03:42 PM
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The question is how the cable will stay attached to your frame. Since the bottom of your downtube currently has exposed cable, that means you have a typical bike with housing from the shifter/bars down to a cable stop at the top of the downtube, then bare cable under the bottom bracket (probably through a little plastic screw-on cable-guide), and then bare cable to the front derailleur, and bare cable to another cable stop on the chainstay, where a final loop of housing guides it around into the rear derailleur.

For the rear derailleur, you can do full housing all the way from the shifter to teh drailleur, but then you can't take advantage fo the cable stops to hold them in place. You could use zipties if you wanted. But unless you're really having a mud problem gacking up your shifting, it is not necessary, and very uncommon.

For the front derailleur, I don't think it's possible to full-housing all the way to the derailleur, you have to have a cable stop somewhere to hold still while the cable pulls through.

You might want to look for cable protectors, lighter-weight rubber sleeves for where your cable is bare and exposed, but still that's overkill, I've only ever seen them used on mountain bikes where lots of mud is expected.
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Old 03-24-16, 04:02 PM
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That's what I was wondering for the frame length... Duck tape?

I have heard of getting a foam pipe insulation cover for the top frame pipe. I'd like to do that to protect it (and the cables too then), but I never found one. The paint gets chipped up eventually.
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Old 03-24-16, 05:19 PM
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duct tape would work for full-length RE housing, but for (almost) full-length FD housing you'd need some kind of clamp-on cable stop.

A bike covered in foam would look stupid, where as a bike with chipped paint would look bada$$. Your choice. You could also cover the whole bike in duct tape, that would also protect the paint. You could also lock your bike in an underground bunker suspended in mineral oil and never ride it, that would also protect the paint.
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Old 03-24-16, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb
Can I get housing to cover the whole length? On the underside of the bike, along the main part of the frame, the cable is exposed. I've never understood why it's just bare like that. Then again, it only breaks by the handlebar. The bare spot has never had an issue that I know of.

Sounds like I'm looking for cable I would cut myself and some ferrules/endcaps... I need to order some spokes so I can probably throw that in. I want to avoid my local bike shop if I can.
The housing is pretty tough, so you'll need something to cut it with. The Park Tool CN-10 does a pretty decent job, though for brake cables I still need to clean up the end with a rotary tool. You may have something already that will cut the cables, but if you plan to work on your bike(s) often getting the right tool is well worth it to get clean and consistent cuts. The CN-10 snips cables like scissors cut paper. Along with my 4, 5 and 6 mm hex wrenches, it's one of my most used tools.

I like to keep cable housing on hand, so I buy the 25 foot rolls. You can also get 5-foot sections for a reasonable price. I like Jagwire housing, but unless your bike is using 10 or 11 speed indexed shifting you probably won't notice a huge drop off with whatever you buy.

I'm sure there's a historical reason for not using full length cables. It may be because when bikes used downtube shifters it was natural for the inner cable to be exposed. It may be a weight weenie thing. Whatever the reason, it's best to just embrace it. It works. If you have concerns about the bare cable rubbing the frame of your bike you can get cable donuts to put on the exposed part of the cable and act as bumpers.
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Old 03-24-16, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb
Can I get housing to cover the whole length?
You don't want to do that.

With increasing gear counts putting cogs closer together small hangups from a little extra cable friction are much more likely to cause noise and failures to shift. Housing in that location will increase friction and your odds of problems.

On the underside of the bike, along the main part of the frame, the cable is exposed. I've never understood why it's just bare like that.
It's lighter and works better.
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Old 03-24-16, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerbobbbb
Can I get housing to cover the whole length? On the underside of the bike, along the main part of the frame, the cable is exposed. I've never understood why it's just bare like that.
Yes, you can run housing for almost the full length of the cable, but it's seldom a good idea. Housing, even lined housing with teflon coated cables, adds friction to the cable actuation and should be avoided to the degree possible. And dependent loops of housing can collect water and promote rust, further impeding free movement of the cable.

In short, use the least amount of housing required for your cables to function properly.
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Old 03-24-16, 10:24 PM
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You get these little donuts to keep the bare cable off of your frame.

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