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How to keep cut cable from fraying?

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How to keep cut cable from fraying?

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Old 09-12-18, 01:19 PM
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dglevy
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How to keep cut cable from fraying?

Hi all,

This is a follow-up to my last query, about lubing/not lubing shifter and brake cable housings.

Is there a way to seal the ends of cut shifter and brake cables without a soldering iron so that they don't fray and can be re-inserted into cable housings? I looked on the 'tips & tricks' thread and didn't find anything. I had a friend who used a soldering iron to do it, but I don't have one, and I won't buy one just for this one application. I do have a glue gun, am wondering if that would work. I tried using super glue, but it doesn't seem to adhere to the wire strands, perhaps because they are lightly oiled at the factory, so I doubt a glue gun would work...

As always, thoughtful, well-informed replies are appreciated the most!
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Old 09-12-18, 01:28 PM
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First thing is to cut them with cable cutters, not side-cutters, dikes or lineman's pliers. Don't cut them until you're ready for them. Use immediately after cutting. You can always install the little cable end caps and crimp in place after the installation is completed.
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Old 09-12-18, 01:29 PM
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If you have a good set of wire cutters you should be able to just trim a tiny bit of the frayed end off without causing additional issues. Then, what has worked for me is spinning the cable (or housing) as you insert it. Since the cables are made of smaller wires spun together, you should be able to spin it so the cable rubs against the housing in the direction that will keep the wires together... I realize now that this technique is difficult to explain without some sort of visual aid, but hopefully this helps.
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Old 09-12-18, 01:30 PM
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The best spent money is on a good pair of cable cutters so cables don't fray when running them through housings and stops.

Or if you know what type of cable end you need (mtn vs road for brake cable; Campy vs Shimano/Sram for shifter cable) you can buy cables with only one end and the other is pre-soldered.
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Old 09-12-18, 01:30 PM
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These-
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Old 09-12-18, 02:01 PM
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I need to buy a lifetime's supply of "these". Hopefully there is a size that fits both brake and shift cables. I used to use cheap spoke nipples, the long flimsy kind, and a squeeze from some pliers, but really cheap spoke nipples like that are hard to find these days.
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Old 09-12-18, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for everyone's quick replies!

Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
[...] Or if you know what type of cable end you need (mtn vs road for brake cable; Campy vs Shimano/Sram for shifter cable) you can buy cables with only one end and the other is pre-soldered.
Yeah, I noticed that the cable I bought was nicely soldered at the end--and rounded too. But it's way too long..

A couple of you mentioned buying a good pair of cable cutters. I think that might be the best solution. I have a pair of wire cutters, but they're not very good. And I have a very high quality pair of pliers from my father (vintage ~1950) that has chisel jaws built in. They are hard and tough enough to cut cables but I suspect that they are not sharp enough to make a clean cut--or, rather, not designed to do so b/c they spread the individual wires out as the cut is made. That's why I have trouble re-threading cables after cutting them.

Can anyone recommend a good pair of cable cutters?

Last edited by dglevy; 09-12-18 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 09-12-18, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dglevy View Post
Can anyone recommend a good pair of cable cutters?
Park and Shimano make decent cable cutters. Felco makes the best.


https://www.felco.com/ca_en/felco-c7.html
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Old 09-12-18, 02:34 PM
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I use superglue
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Old 09-12-18, 03:42 PM
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Pedros probably has the best bang for the buck cable cutters. They have the same design and jaw shape as the Felco's; the difference in cost is most likely due to better materials and tighter tolerances on the Felco's.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...0&category=747
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Old 09-12-18, 03:55 PM
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put the cable through the housing and brakes/shifters and cut afterward, then put the endcaps on the cables. A lot of modern cables are not partial to soldering (teflon coating etc)
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Old 09-12-18, 03:58 PM
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Wrap the cable with a layer of masking tape before you cut.
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Old 09-12-18, 04:00 PM
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dip it in glue ?
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Old 09-12-18, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
put the cable through the housing and brakes/shifters and cut afterward, then put the endcaps on the cables. A lot of modern cables are not partial to soldering (teflon coating etc)
All good until you get into the double ended universal cables. My secret is putting on my glasses before I start threading it through...
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Old 09-12-18, 04:14 PM
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I use a heat shrink tube, mostly because I like the look.
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Old 09-12-18, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
All good until you get into the double ended universal cables. My secret is putting on my glasses before I start threading it through...
LOL the glasses on top of the bifocal contacts are a requirement for me also
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Old 09-12-18, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Humpy View Post
I use a heat shrink tube, mostly because I like the look.
I wonder if those plastic "things" that go on the end of shoelaces, to keep them from getting frayed, would work? They seem about the right size, I just have no idea what they're called.
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Old 09-12-18, 05:29 PM
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:foo:

in a bike shop see # 5

I for my bike, Solder it before I cut it, where you plan on cutting it..
with proper cable cutters.
fit , mark, pull, solder, cut , then grease.

you don't want to,? ... that's the best way.. your choice..

silver solder * is needed for stainless, But not for Zn treated steel.

* I got 400F melt, from welder supply .. (but metal must be clean)





..
...

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Old 09-12-18, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
I wonder if those plastic "things" that go on the end of shoelaces
Aglet. The word you are looking for is "aglet".
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Old 09-12-18, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
Aglet. The word you are looking for is "aglet".
Thank you. Ebay has a rather wide aglet selection, people get fancy ones to customize their prestigious shoes.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/25Pcs-Shoel...sSonAa-LkjXR7Q

I bet these would work on bike cables, and add a little style too.

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Old 09-12-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
First thing is to cut them with cable cutters, not side-cutters, dikes or lineman's pliers. Don't cut them until you're ready for them. Use immediately after cutting. You can always install the little cable end caps and crimp in place after the installation is completed.
Jon
Good quality straight jaw cutters will easily go through wound cables of the types/sizes on modern bicycles, without fraying, no less. Completely different story for the old-style braided cables or for SIS housing, but nonetheless. $25 Kleins are about the best you can get before you start spending $40-$80 on specialty side cutters.

That said, you need the wire-rope cutters anyway, so...

As FB mentioned, you can use solder on stainless cables, but it has to be silver, and you need to clean it with an acid wash/thoroughly degrease for it to stick. Tin is fine on plain/galvanized cables. Superglue will work, but will work better if it is immediately sprayed with CA accelerator (available at hobby shops). Grab a bottle of CA remover while you're at it--way faster than using acetone to dissolve a bond between skin.
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Old 09-12-18, 07:57 PM
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I used to use Krazy-type glue but I've started doing it this way, with a torch and drill (really!) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUQQ9aggSt
And +1 for Felco cutters, wouldn't use any others.
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Old 09-12-18, 08:00 PM
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I TIG weld mine. Quick and easy. The problem is to get just enough weld to tie the ends together without getting too big of a ball (and thus not being able to pull the cable without cutting the end).

I've seen notes about twist welding. Perhaps I'll try that someday.
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Old 09-12-18, 08:14 PM
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Superglue works if you clean the cable end. Acetone does a good job of removing any oil and dirt.
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Old 09-12-18, 10:35 PM
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Thanks, y'all, for chiming in! I don't know what I'm gonna do, yet, but it looks like a new pair of cable cutters and superglue are in my future, since I live in a tiny studio apartment and would have a bit of trouble storing--and using--a TIG welder in it...
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