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Bar end shifters and cable housing question

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Bar end shifters and cable housing question

Old 03-28-19, 03:26 PM
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Phamilton
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Bar end shifters and cable housing question

Hello, I have these bar end shifters installed on my commuter bike. I installed them with the cable housings that came with them, like a flexible wound stainless (?) steel housing, Iíve never seen it before. They held up fine through the winter, since thereís no coating of any sort I was concerned that water could get inside and freeze and make shifting a mess but it never happened. But I AM wondering if I need to use specifically this type of housing or can I use regular coated housing. Any advice, thanks in advance.



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Old 03-28-19, 03:33 PM
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Additionally, I was wondering whether or not standard shift cable housing would change the shifting response. Maybe itís due to how flexible the current housings are, maybe itís for some other reason, but the shifting doesnít have a very ďlinearĒ response - thereís a lot of slack through the first half of the shifter rotation and all the shifts occur very close together through the last half. Front and rear. They could be out of adjustment I guess for all I know. Prior to the bar ends it had the factory riser bar and grip shifters and it shifted/indexed fine. Obviously thereís no longer indexing.
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Old 03-28-19, 03:41 PM
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Your cable stops on the downtube are too far up IMO, which could cause those housings to wear the paint off on the headtube

otherwise they look trick, similar to braided stuff?
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Old 03-28-19, 03:45 PM
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Stainless steel coil was commonly used in the old days.
It's pretty springy stuff, pulling the cable compresses it by an unpredictable amount that varies by setup, so it's not very compatible with indexed drivetrains. That's the main reason that it stopped being used.
In my experience, when you've got long runs of cable housing on a bike, modern shift housing can give a more crisp response.

A housing change probably won't fix the issue of the shifts being very close together on your shifter throw, though. What are your derailleurs, and what cassette are you using?
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Old 03-28-19, 03:50 PM
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Itís the stock Altus RD and 7 spd 11-28 cassette.

I wouldnt say the shifting is bad, and I donít shift a bunch so itís no big deal.

It IS totally wearing away the paint on my HT which isnít a huge deal, itís a cheap bike and a commuter but I also donít need the corrosion.
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Old 03-28-19, 03:58 PM
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I don't understand your concerns of corrosion, does water seep through those housings, not water proof?
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Old 03-28-19, 04:04 PM
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The coiled cable housing was stock with old Suntour Barcons. I use it on a couple bikes with no issues as far as corrosion is concerned, but when I get the chance I will swap them out for modern housing. The reason, as others have mentioned above, is that the housing compresses a bit under pressure, which makes the shifting less precise than with modern housing. The difference is quite noticeable!
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Old 03-28-19, 04:13 PM
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Sorry, I mean corrosion on the head tube where the paint is wearing away from the housings rubbing.
It was the paint that got me to thinking about changing the housings and Iíll be changing the bar tape and brake housings soon and was thinking whether or not I could/should do the shift housings at the same time. I think I will. I need to install some in line barrel adjusters for the brakes as I lost the adjustability when I did the drop bar swap on this bike.
Side note, Iím pretty impressed with even the lower end Altus stuff. It seems to stand up to commuting abuse well pretty well.
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Old 03-28-19, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Additionally, I was wondering whether or not standard shift cable housing would change the shifting response. Maybe it’s due to how flexible the current housings are, maybe it’s for some other reason, but the shifting doesn’t have a very “linear” response - there’s a lot of slack through the first half of the shifter rotation and all the shifts occur very close together through the last half.
Sounds like the the housing is being compressed in the first half of the pull, hence the slop, then the second half feels close together because the housing is already compressed.

New, "compressionless" housing would fix that.
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Old 03-28-19, 05:01 PM
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I have several bikes set up with the stainless housing that you show. Been using it since 1986 on my bikes and never have had any trouble. The stuff lasts a very, very loonnggg time. Same housing in use all these years. Does not corrode, or freeze up with water since it immediately drains out. Compression-less housing has been in use since the advent of indexed shifting, and is easy to find if you want to go that route. The Jagwire stuff for brakes will last longer than the stuff made for shifting as it has a thicker coating over the wire strands. It won't last anywhere near as long as the stainless stuff you have now, however it will go a good ways.
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Old 03-28-19, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Sounds like the the housing is being compressed in the first half of the pull, hence the slop, then the second half feels close together because the housing is already compressed.

New, "compressionless" housing would fix that.
Sounds correct. Get the shifter housing with linear strands and a nice die drawn/ pre-stretched inner cable.
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Old 03-28-19, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
It’s the stock Altus RD and 7 spd 11-28 cassette.
Strange. I've used those SunTour LD-1400 barcons with derailleurs of the same pull ratio, on similar-width cassettes, and it didn't seem like there was that much dead space in the shifter pull. And housing compression should spread the shifts out, not tighten them together.

It IS totally wearing away the paint on my HT which isn’t a huge deal, it’s a cheap bike and a commuter but I also don’t need the corrosion.
They make frame protector stickers for that, which often come on new bikes. Some bike ships will let you take some for free.

Originally Posted by le mans View Post
I don't understand your concerns of corrosion, does water seep through those housings, not water proof?
The housings are literally just metal coils. They're not waterproof.

In practice, though, they can last a very long time.
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Old 03-29-19, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Sorry, I mean corrosion on the head tube where the paint is wearing away from the housings rubbing.
Originally Posted by le mans View Post
Your cable stops on the downtube are too far up IMO, which could cause those housings to wear the paint off on the headtube
Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
They make frame protector stickers for that, which often come on new bikes. Some bike ships will let you take some for free.
I agree with Le Mans, the cable stops on the downtube are too high on the downtube. If they are moveable, slide them down a few inches. Even then, though, your housings will rub against the head tube. I have used both black electrical tape and clear packing tape to protect the head tube against rubbing from the shift cables. Using a modern housing instead of the SS housings would help to minimize the damage to the HT.
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Old 03-29-19, 08:13 AM
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I'm pretty sure linear stranded housing would work with your old barcons. If it doesn't, some modern coiled housing with casings would probably be an improvement. I had that set with the stainless housings, and it wasn't terrible, but it did give you that performance hit from being so springy. So anything will be an upgrade. Just do it.
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Old 03-29-19, 09:04 AM
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Just so I'm clear, you're running these shifters as friction, not indexed, right?
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Old 03-29-19, 09:52 AM
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They're old Suntour ratcheting barcons, no index mode to speak of.


The cable stops are brazed on.


I may look into some sort of clear protector or something for the head tube. It'll only need to cover about the bottom 1/2" or so. I think even a vinyl wrapped cable housing or electrical tape might still wear away the paint over time.


None of these problems are big ones, though. I'll reiterate that it's a cheap bike, and a commuter on top of that. Most recent photo below. Thanks all for the replies!

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Old 03-29-19, 10:01 AM
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back a few years..

I’ve never seen it before.
Probably because you were an infant or younger, when those were new,
that is the original housing from 1980's
or before..

you may choose to modernize it
some slick die drawn cable and plastic lined and coated coiled square wire ..

a bit more flexible than the ring of wires on end indexed shifter housing

That original stuff was combined with braided rather than twist made 'Bowden cable'
which is now used universally..


I have used mine since the mid 70's, and were part of my reliable international touring bike build..
20+ years later..






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-29-19 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:26 AM
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I could just sticker-bomb the whole bike, that would provide lots of protection from cable housing abrasions and just about anything else.
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Old 03-29-19, 11:30 AM
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housing run upwards to a straight bar was what they had in mind,

you chose to put drop bars on that hybrid..

perhaps run the shift and brake housing all the way under the tape, to the top center,

and the housing line will be improved..








...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-29-19 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-29-19, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
housing run upwards to a straight bar was what they had in mind,

you chose to put drop bars on that hybrid..

perhaps run the shift and brake housing all the way under the tape, to the top center,

and the housing line will be improved..








...
I DID choose to put drop bars on a hybrid. I think it was a smart choice, shifter housing squawks notwithstanding.

Edit: if I may indulge, I'd like to call it a poor man's touring bike. Very good commuter.

Last edited by Phamilton; 03-29-19 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-29-19, 12:21 PM
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If you were running a modern system with indexed shifters, you would really need to use modern lined cables. Similarly, when I ran this old stainless stuff on a 1960 bike with Campagnolo Gran Sport bar end shifter, that was pretty awful. But you're using a Suntour shifter, so you're not having trouble, right? If that's the case, running modern cable might be a little better, but maybe not worth the effort.
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Old 03-29-19, 02:00 PM
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You can use lined housing and die-drawn cables with those shifters, no problem. But as @le mans noted, you should move the down tube cable stop further down the down tube to avoid those abrupt bends in the cable where it has to get around the head tube. That will reduce the paint wear on the frame and likely improve shifting performance as well.
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Old 03-29-19, 02:13 PM
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BITD they were widely spaced 5 speeds then 6 (not 'ultra') so the shifting could be less precise , as wide spaces allowed for it..

Ultra 6 spacing returned in common use as 7 speeds became a thing..






..
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Old 03-29-19, 02:34 PM
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You could try routing your cables to the opposite sides of the head tube, then cross back under the down tube.
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Old 03-30-19, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
Additionally, I was wondering whether or not standard shift cable housing would change the shifting response. Maybe itís due to how flexible the current housings are, maybe itís for some other reason, but the shifting doesnít have a very ďlinearĒ response - thereís a lot of slack through the first half of the shifter rotation and all the shifts occur very close together through the last half. Front and rear. They could be out of adjustment I guess for all I know. Prior to the bar ends it had the factory riser bar and grip shifters and it shifted/indexed fine. Obviously thereís no longer indexing.
It's probably got something to do with both housing and setup/tuning. Modern shifter cables should help.

Also, you could go with a rear derailleur that moves less per 1mm of cable movement. Table of RD lateral movement per 1 mm of cable movement:

https://bike.bikegremlin.com/1278/bi...mpatibility/#3
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