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What cables and housing?

Old 05-02-22, 09:36 PM
  #1  
greatbasin
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What cables and housing?

I need to replace cables and housing.

I used Jagwire Road Pro the last time, back in 2014. It's braided stainless with a clear cover. The cover is all cracked up and peeling. The original housing on the bike was 30 years old and looked better than this Jagwire after only 5 years or so. I know it's been 8 now but it's been bad for a long time.

I don't know what else is good, but I've got two bikes to do now.

They're vintage bikes with downtube shifters, so I only need the shortest piece of housing for the rear derailleur. Most of the cable run is bare. Do I get Jagwire Elite Ultra Slick? and then just a little piece of housing separately? Can I get a short piece of the aluminum "link" housing? I don't want to get the Road Elite Sealed when most of the cable run is bare. What's the best cable for running bare along the frame?

For brake cables, I have housing all the way to the side-pulls or to the center-pull brackets. I don't want the link housing for this, but something more traditional-looking, black. Road Elite Sealed?
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Old 05-03-22, 05:30 AM
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The jagwire stuff is generally good but Iíve had the same experience with the clear housing cracking and degrading quickly, Iíd just stay away from that in particular.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:07 AM
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With vintage bikes and down tube shifters try porkchop bmx. Putting that in a search engine usually brings up their eBay site, but they also have also have their own site. Quality stuff, lots of color choices, sold in complete sets for mountain bikes, or road bikes. All my vintage bikes have their cables and housing, here are two of them. Actually on the Raleigh the shifter housing and cables, there is a lot of it on that bike, are from the Yokozuna USA site, they still sell the old thicker 1.5 stainless shifter cables. Yokozuna also sells that coiled stainless piece of liner for the rear derailleur.
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78 Supercourse

85 Trek 670

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Old 05-03-22, 06:22 AM
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I went with Aican compressionless for the brakes. Basically the same as Jagwire, but less expensive. It 's dimensions are the same as regular housing, and look identical from the outside. Improved breaking immensely, at the same time saving me some weight. Available in at least black and white.

The bit of housing for the rear derailleur is just Shimano SIS housing.

I used some teflon-coated cables for the derailleurs; not sure if they help much--there's not many friction points to begin with. I also used teflon cable liners to guide the cables under the bottom bracket. Rock 'n' Roll cable lubricant for all cables, although that brand certainly isn't necessary; any lube will help. We routinely wiped the cables in white lithium grease at the bike stores.
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Old 05-03-22, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I used some teflon-coated cables for the derailleurs; not sure if they help much--there's not many friction points to begin with.
I used some of these once and discovered no matter how tight I made the clamp bolts, the cable would gradually slip under tension and change the shifting. I had to scrape off the coating over a couple of inches at the clamp locations to stabilize shifting performance. As you noted, there didn't seem to be any real benefit even when they were adjusted properly and I've avoided coated cables ever since.
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Old 05-03-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I used some of these once and discovered no matter how tight I made the clamp bolts, the cable would gradually slip under tension and change the shifting. I had to scrape off the coating over a couple of inches at the clamp locations to stabilize shifting performance. As you noted, there didn't seem to be any real benefit even when they were adjusted properly and I've avoided coated cables ever since.
Thanks for the heads-up. The cables are new this season, so I will definitely keep an eye on that. They did seem more of a novelty than anything else--especially on a DT shifter bike.
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Old 05-03-22, 10:28 AM
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Another vote for Porkchop BMX cable housing.
The cables themselves are nothing special-galvanized- but thr housing is superb.
Also recommend Shimano’s stainless drawn cables. Slick shifting, no coating, last pretty much forever.
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Old 05-04-22, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I need to replace cables and housing... They're vintage bikes with downtube shifters...
Here's a 4-piece Shimano kit ($10 shipped) that I use on most all my vintage road bikes:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/39282598568...sAAOSw0Q1hCDCm

There's enough housing and two brake cables for non-aero levers. There's even enough housing left over for down tube friction shifting. I think grey housing looks classy on pretty much everything. There is a very small, random Shimano label on the housing, but I don't mind it. You can usually hide it. And if you do need to remove it, I think it comes off easily with acetone.
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Old 05-05-22, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Here's a 4-piece Shimano kit ($10 shipped) that I use on most all my vintage road bikes:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/39282598568...sAAOSw0Q1hCDCm

There's enough housing and two brake cables for non-aero levers. There's even enough housing left over for down tube friction shifting. I think grey housing looks classy on pretty much everything. There is a very small, random Shimano label on the housing, but I don't mind it. You can usually hide it. And if you do need to remove it, I think it comes off easily with acetone.
Hah, just bought that set yesterday for a Schwinn Traveler Iím redoing for a friend. Thats a really good deal on Shimano SLR cable, and your right, grey goes with everything!
Tim
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Old 05-05-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I don't want to get the Road Elite Sealed when most of the cable run is bare. What's the best cable for running bare along the frame?

For brake cables, I have housing all the way to the side-pulls or to the center-pull brackets. I don't want the link housing for this, but something more traditional-looking, black. Road Elite Sealed?
For just a derailleur loop go to your local bike shop that will sell a short piece of bulk housing. No need to buy full shift cable kits for DT shifters.
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Old 05-05-22, 10:48 AM
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Just a note on kits that have double ended wires. You cut off the end not needed. Even with good cutters you end up with a less than ideal cable end to feed through the housing. I had to go really old school and solder the end to prevent fraying.
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Old 05-05-22, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
Just a note on kits that have double ended wires. You cut off the end not needed. Even with good cutters you end up with a less than ideal cable end to feed through the housing. I had to go really old school and solder the end to prevent fraying.
You need cutters made especially for cutting bike cables, which will not fray the cables. Regular diagonal cutters won't cut it (so to speak).

My old standby's are a pair of old Shimano cable cutters from the 1980s. The new Shimano cutters look similar. I also have the Park cutters, which I haven't used. They certainly look like they can do the job (maybe I'll test them on some scrap cables and get back to you). There are also other makes.

If you do get a nice set of cable cutters--DO NOT USE THEM TO CUT ANYTHING ELSE! Save them for bike cables only, so keep them functioning properly.

Last edited by smd4; 05-05-22 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-05-22, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
You need cutters made especially for cutting bike cables, which will not fray the cables. Regular diagonal cutters won't cut it (so to speak).

My old standby's are a pair of old Shimano cable cutters from the 1980s. The new Shimano cutters look similar. I also have the Park cutters, which I haven't used. They certainly look like they can do the job (maybe I'll test them on some scrap cables and get back to you). There are also other makes.

If you do get a nice set of cable cutters--DO NOT USE THEM TO CUT ANYTHING ELSE! Save them for bike cables only, so keep them functioning properly.
Yes! I have good ones too, but even then ends fray. Look closely at factory cut cables, they appear to be electro-cut. You can see the darkening
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Old 05-05-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
Yes! I have good ones too, but even then ends fray. Look closely at factory cut cables, they appear to be electro-cut. You can see the darkening
If your cables are fraying using good, shop-quality cable cutters, then something is wrong--perhaps they are too dull.

They should not fray whatsoever.

Like I said, I've been using a 40-year-old shop-quality cable cutter, and it will still cut cables as clean as any electro-cutter.

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Old 05-05-22, 02:31 PM
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I converted all bikes to segmented housing, out of inexpensive TRLREQ beads combined with Jagwire liner. Cable operation is far superior, the cables are lighter, sharp angles are easy, the housing is reusable and can be color coded. There is no looking back for me.



Folder with complicated cable routing just got its first cable converted to segmented housing.

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Old 05-05-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
If your cables are fraying using good, shop-quality cable cutters, then something is wrong--perhaps they are too dull.

They should not fray whatsoever.

Like I said, I've been using a 40-year-old shop-quality cable cutter, and it will still cut cables as clean as any electro-cutter.
I have Park Tool cutters. Even so itís dicey.
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Old 05-05-22, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
I have Park Tool cutters. Even so it’s dicey.
Ok, just tried out my never-before-used Park CN-10. Beautiful cuts on cable, spiral brake housing and SIS derailleur housing. No fraying of the cable at all.

I still prefer my Shimano TL-CT10, just because it’s not as heavy or unwieldy as the Park. I’ve used the Shimano for decades, first during daily rigorous shop use, and in more recent years in the home shop.

At this point, I have no idea why you guys are having problems.

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Old 05-07-22, 09:12 AM
  #18  
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Porkchop never worked out for me, I gave up on them. I buy elsewhere
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Old 05-07-22, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
Just a note on kits that have double ended wires. You cut off the end not needed. Even with good cutters you end up with a less than ideal cable end to feed through the housing. I had to go really old school and solder the end to prevent fraying.
Are you opening the housing ends after cutting the housing to length? I use 14g/2.0mm spokes that I have cut to a convenient ~6" and sharpened one end. Poke this into the housing after cutting and filing the end square. (Here in Portland, they are called "pokey tools" and every mechanic has one. Some of us staple short lengths of housing to our tool boards to hold them.
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Old 05-07-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
You need cutters made especially for cutting bike cables, which will not fray the cables. Regular diagonal cutters won't cut it (so to speak).

My old standby's are a pair of old Shimano cable cutters from the 1980s. The new Shimano cutters look similar. I also have the Park cutters, which I haven't used. They certainly look like they can do the job (maybe I'll test them on some scrap cables and get back to you). There are also other makes.

If you do get a nice set of cable cutters--DO NOT USE THEM TO CUT ANYTHING ELSE! Save them for bike cables only, so keep them functioning properly.
I have the Shimano cutters and have been cutting the housings also with them. Apparently I've broken some law and they now are trash but I haven't noticed and plan to continue this practice for the next decade. (The cut cable ends are still very clean.)
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Old 05-07-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I have the Shimano cutters and have been cutting the housings also with them. Apparently I've broken some law and they now are trash but I haven't noticed and plan to continue this practice for the next decade. (The cut cable ends are still very clean.)
I meant donít use them as you would other cutters. Donít use them to cut spokes, nails, etc. Housing is fine. But I think you knew that.
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Old 05-07-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I meant donít use them as you would other cutters. Donít use them to cut spokes, nails, etc. Housing is fine. But I think you knew that.
If it's not bike cables and housing, I grab my straight edged cutter pliers. Too big or tough for those? The bolt cutters. (Used to race sailboats. I cut 1/8" SS wire, both 1X19 and the flexy stuff. Setting up a new rig - a lot. One of my favorite tools. a linesman's Nicropress swaging tool. Works like new and I've had it 50 years. It's joined more than one derailleur cable! Bike shops aren't always open when Ben's Bikes is operating.)

Thanks for your response. I am not sure I've ever heard whether others consider cutting housing OK with the Shimano/Park and likewise cable cutters. I just know it seems to be.
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Old 05-07-22, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
If it's not bike cables and housing, I grab my straight edged cutter pliers. Too big or tough for those? The bolt cutters. (Used to race sailboats. I cut 1/8" SS wire, both 1X19 and the flexy stuff. Setting up a new rig - a lot. One of my favorite tools. a linesman's Nicropress swaging tool. Works like new and I've had it 50 years. It's joined more than one derailleur cable! Bike shops aren't always open when Ben's Bikes is operating.)

Thanks for your response. I am not sure I've ever heard whether others consider cutting housing OK with the Shimano/Park and likewise cable cutters. I just know it seems to be.
Yeah, we used the Shimanos routinely with housing as well as cable. Never any issues. Iím guessing the Parks are fine for that too. Never heard of the Nicropress tool. Have to check it out.
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Old 05-07-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Are you opening the housing ends after cutting the housing to length? I use 14g/2.0mm spokes that I have cut to a convenient ~6" and sharpened one end. Poke this into the housing after cutting and filing the end square. (Here in Portland, they are called "pokey tools" and every mechanic has one. Some of us staple short lengths of housing to our tool boards to hold them.
Ah yes, made one of those

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp spoke
Someday son, this awl will be yours

I even make sure to do a good sharp snap on the nippers to make sure I didn't mash the ends. The Jagwire coated wire was the worst for end fraying. So I dunno, may be just me. Not a big deal, just now prefer to buy them pre cut
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Old 05-07-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
If it's not bike cables and housing, I grab my straight edged cutter pliers. Too big or tough for those? The bolt cutters. (Used to race sailboats. I cut 1/8" SS wire, both 1X19 and the flexy stuff. Setting up a new rig - a lot. One of my favorite tools. a linesman's Nicropress swaging tool. Works like new and I've had it 50 years. It's joined more than one derailleur cable! Bike shops aren't always open when Ben's Bikes is operating.)

Thanks for your response. I am not sure I've ever heard whether others consider cutting housing OK with the Shimano/Park and likewise cable cutters. I just know it seems to be.
Oooooh a swaging tool! Gads, I can think of so many times I could have used a swaging tool around here. Just never got around to it. My wife has hanging baskets, been meaning to change string hangers to stainless wire, with swaging to hold them together.
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