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Broken brake cable - what parts do I need?

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Broken brake cable - what parts do I need?

Old 05-02-16, 01:57 PM
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seanspotatobiz
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Broken brake cable - what parts do I need?

My brake cable broke! I lost the nipple and the bit of metal at the end of the sheath. Am I correct in assuming that all barrel nipples are the same size? What is the name of the part that goes at the end of the sheath, next to the nipple? I guess I can reuse the sheath and I'm not sure whether it needs oil. I think the bike was built in 1982 and it's a Hercules Commuter, if that matters.






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Old 05-02-16, 02:13 PM
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That looks more like 1962 than 1982. But anyway, I'm a little confused by what you're trying to show in your photos. The front brake cable is intact, but the cable is not attached at the lever correctly. The right lever has nothing attached, but I see what looks like the cable housing (what you called sheath) in the second photo. Is it the right one that has parts broken and/or missing? You can buy an brake cable kit that will have all the parts you need, you just have to get one that has a ferrule that will mate with the lever on the handlebar. Something like this should work: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product//B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 You can buy similar/identical cable kits at WalMart, Target, etc.
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Old 05-02-16, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by techsensei View Post
That looks more like 1962 than 1982.
That's a 1980s Sturmey Archer 3 speed gear lever in the 2nd photo.
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Old 05-02-16, 02:24 PM
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techsensei
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
That's a 1980s Sturmey Archer 3 speed gear lever in the 2nd photo.
Ha, you're right. I was too focused on the third picture, and looking at all the rust.
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Old 05-02-16, 02:28 PM
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New 'Mountain' barrel end brake cable and Housing.. they have gotten better over 50+ years..

S-A Gear cables are their Own Type.
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Old 05-02-16, 04:52 PM
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Brakes are not the place to begin learning bike maintenance.

You need a bike shop...
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Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
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Old 02-05-17, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
Brakes are not the place to begin learning bike maintenance.

You need a bike shop...
Poppycock; I put it off for a year (it's my back-up bike) but did it today and it was as easy as pie. Besides, I've been maintaining my own bikes for over ten years. Just because I don't polish the rims every week doesn't mean I should be discouraged from changing a brake cable. For some people a bike is just a tool and aesthetics are of low priority.
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Old 02-05-17, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by seanspotatobiz View Post
Poppycock; I put it off for a year (it's my back-up bike) but did it today and it was as easy as pie. Besides, I've been maintaining my own bikes for over ten years. Just because I don't polish the rims every week doesn't mean I should be discouraged from changing a brake cable. For some people a bike is just a tool and aesthetics are of low priority.

I think rmfnla's comment had nothing to do with rim polish and everything to do with safe bike control when having to stop, like when a car pulls out in front of you and you aren't looking. Andy
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Old 02-05-17, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by seanspotatobiz View Post
Poppycock; I put it off for a year (it's my back-up bike) but did it today and it was as easy as pie. Besides, I've been maintaining my own bikes for over ten years. Just because I don't polish the rims every week doesn't mean I should be discouraged from changing a brake cable. For some people a bike is just a tool and aesthetics are of low priority.
I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but if you've been maintaining you're own bikes for over ten years then why do you need advice how to replace a brake cable?
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Old 02-05-17, 09:56 PM
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There's another point. As techsensei notes, the cable doesn't look broken, it just looks like someone disengaged it. I don't want to disparage the skill set you have, but if you don't see the difference, and immediately see how to fix it, what's the harm in going to a bike shop?

If the situation is different from what we infer from the pics, the cables that bike brake and deraillers use are called Bowden cables. Modern Bowden cables for brakes and older shifter cables (both of which are spiral wound and very strong and a slight bit stretchy) are VERY different from the newer non-stretchy derailler cables (which have strands that are axial lay, and are non-stretchy but weaker), so make sure you get a spiral wound brake cable. The ends can vary, but most terminate in a sideways cylinder like yours. If you replace the cable, I'd replace the cable housing for something that old. Heck, even if the thing were not broken, I'd probably try to lubricate the cable in its housing. If its 1980... well, 37 years without lubrication - those brakes might be a bit stiff to operate.

That said, if you can have a friend hold your brake calipers closed, and can pull on the brake housing near the handle, you may find that you have enough slack to slip the cable through the slot in the handle, allowing you to seat the end of the brake cable in the handle.
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Old 02-05-17, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by seanspotatobiz View Post
My brake cable broke! I lost the nipple and the bit of metal at the end of the sheath. Am I correct in assuming that all barrel nipples are the same size? What is the name of the part that goes at the end of the sheath, next to the nipple? I guess I can reuse the sheath and I'm not sure whether it needs oil. I think the bike was built in 1982 and it's a Hercules Commuter, if that matters.

Looks like you're missing the step-down ferrule that anchors the cable housing in the brake lever:



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