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Splice cables?

Old 09-20-23, 08:41 AM
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Splice cables?

Anyone here ever use any kind of electrical wire connectors to join pieces of brake and shifter cables?
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Old 09-20-23, 08:55 AM
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For artistic things that don't require the tension a brake lever might put on them? Yes. For things that my life might depend on when I squeeze the brake lever to avoid that Mac Truck at a intersection? No!
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Old 09-20-23, 09:07 AM
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If you're planning to use them for their intended purpose, forget soldering and go straight to welding.

But really, these things are not expensive. Get some tandem length shifter cables if that's what you're dealing with. Or get some cable couplers, like the DaVinci or Jtek to lengthen them even further.

S&S: DaVinci Cable Splitters — TI CYCLES FABRICATION
Shift and Brake Cable Splitters - Co-Motion Cycles
Jtek Cable Splitter (jtekengineering.com)
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Old 09-20-23, 11:10 AM
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Cable splitters work well if set up properly, but are much more expensive than long cables.

Crimp connectors might work for shift cables, but as noted above may not be sufficiently fail-safe for brake cables. In either case, I'd replace the cable instead, even if it's an oddball cable such as for old Huret or Suntour X-Press.
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Old 09-20-23, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
Cable splitters work well if set up properly, but are much more expensive than long cables.

Crimp connectors might work for shift cables, but as noted above may not be sufficiently fail-safe for brake cables. In either case, I'd replace the cable instead, even if it's an oddball cable such as for old Huret or Suntour X-Press.
I was about to push Submit with a blanket "replace the cable" recommendation, then the thought of something like a tall bike popped into my head. If one tandem length cable won't do it, string two or three of them together!
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Old 09-20-23, 12:33 PM
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not a good idea, false economy
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Old 09-20-23, 12:35 PM
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Common electrical cables/wires that you find crimp connectors for aren't meant to have tension loads on them. And they only get crimped in one place. So that is something to consider too for how long you think it'd last with repeated tugging and pulling.
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Old 09-20-23, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by juntjoo
Anyone here ever use any kind of electrical wire connectors to join pieces of brake and shifter cables?
No, because it’s a bad idea. Electrical wires are designed to carry current, not transfer pulling force. Likewise, with connectors.
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Old 09-20-23, 01:46 PM
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98% of the sailboats out there have masts held up with steel cables and cable ends that are in effect half of a splice. My two small sailboats used cables with a breaking strength of 2000 lbs. Ends were made with standard telephone linesman nicro presses. Done right, there is absolutely no reason spices cannot be done on brake cables. But - that done right bit is important, even life-saving critical. Before I spliced a brake cable I would learn the breaking strength of a new cable and look up the strength of the slicing method. I would take real pains to do that splice right. And no, I have no idea what couplers are available for brake cable diameter cable. If it is 1/16" I believe there is a common nicropress sleeve and I think my press tool can do it. But I am guessing the brake cable is smaller and I wouldn't use an oversize sleeve! (Haven't thought about rigging a sailboat in many years. That phase of my life is done.)
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Old 09-20-23, 02:15 PM
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Are you saying a electrical butt splice is good enough to hold the rigging on your sailboat? I don't think they crimped those splices or ends on your standing rigging with just a simple pair of pliers and the pressure you can develop with one hand squeeze. And for certain they were not electrical connectors.

The OP's question was specifically about electrical connectors as the splice connector. If you are recommending the stuff used for boat rigging then maybe it's not apparent in your post. And I don't know of any sail boat rigging that is as small a diameter as shift or brake cable.

I don't think any of us doubt that you can't splice them successfully with splices or connectors made for the purpose. But again, that's not what the OP ask.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-20-23 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:17 PM
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the reason we never hear of spliced brake cables is because THE SPLICER DIED while counting on his cable splice to hold.

Get a new, longer cable and live, ok?
See: "Tandem bike brake cable"
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Old 09-20-23, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by juntjoo
Anyone here ever use any kind of electrical wire connectors to join pieces of brake and shifter cables?
Why would you want to?
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Old 09-20-23, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
If you're planning to use them for their intended purpose, forget soldering and go straight to welding.
I TIG weld my cable ends to keep them from fraying. However, I wouldn't do that for a splice. Too much chance for problems with the weld or heat affected zone. Consider that a cable is dozens or hundreds of really thin wires that need to stay intact.

Keep in mind that modern brake cables are typically larger in diameter than shift cables.
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Old 09-20-23, 10:07 PM
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Sheldon Brown (or John Allen) says splicing a cable is easy and does not require any extra hardware:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/heroic-repairs.html

scroll down to the "splicing cables" section
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Old 09-21-23, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kommisar
Sheldon Brown (or John Allen) says splicing a cable is easy and does not require any extra hardware:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/heroic-repairs.html

scroll down to the "splicing cables" section
Definitely Shade Tree Mechanic kind of thing. But you know, that's the kind of entertaining/outrageous/MacGyver thing Sheldon did every so often!
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Old 09-21-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
Why would you want to?
Perhaps the second best reply yet. We don't know why the OP is considering this.

One issue with a splice is that it will likely have to be done in situ. Once the cable is joined to another the joint's diameter will likely be greater than that of the base cables and thus not be able to run in housing or through cable stops and adjusters. This is another reason to consider proper cable splitters. Andy
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Old 09-21-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
98% of the sailboats out there have masts held up with steel cables and cable ends that are in effect half of a splice.
True, and there are many more out there doing just fine thanks with wire rope splices that are just the two ends being woven together to effect a proper and strong join.

It's a skill, one that takes some practice as well as knowledge about how to accomplish the join in a reliable manner.

Done all the time with traditional (3-strand) and braded rope too, rather than metal strands.

Doing a splice on bicycle brake cable? Why? The stuff's cheap enough, given the risks of splice failure.

I had a small sailboat fifty years ago too. The mast stays were 7x19 SS wire, I had SS turnbuckles on the bottom ends with swaged connections at their upper ends. Those stays were 1/8" dia. wire rope and the swaged connections were about 1-1/2" long.

Elsewhere I had NICOpress connectors where I'd fashioned eyes for connecting wire rope to various hardware too. I did those at home with a visegrip & a couple of nails, never had one fail.

I look upon splicing brake or shifter cable as a fool's gambit, little else.

EDIT - Posted that before reading later comments about Sheldon's emergency repair, the venerable square knot to reconnect two parted cable's ends. That'd work too, an effective means for temporary fix but not something I'd trust for permanence.

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Old 09-21-23, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I TIG weld my cable ends to keep them from fraying.
Nice skill.

I used to solder mine back 60 years ago, long before I ever knew there were things like (electrical) crimp-connectors or bicycle cable caps. Soldering the cable into a solid made cutting them vastly easier with what I had at hand back then.
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Old 09-21-23, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by juntjoo
Anyone here ever use any kind of electrical wire connectors to join pieces of brake and shifter cables?

I wish the OP would respond to let us know why/how they intend to use this spliced cable. For the life of me I can’t imagine (safely) actually using it on bike with the stress put on it from shifting/braking.

Dan
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Old 09-21-23, 08:25 AM
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I say, Go For It ! ! And let us know how it works if you're able.
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Old 09-21-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kommisar
Sheldon Brown (or John Allen) says splicing a cable is easy and does not require any extra hardware:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/heroic-repairs.html

scroll down to the "splicing cables" section

Thanks!
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Old 09-21-23, 09:18 AM
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https://a.co/d/dB1GXQ0

These are more what I had in mind.
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Old 09-21-23, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
I wish the OP would respond to let us know why/how they intend to use this spliced cable. For the life of me I can’t imagine (safely) actually using it on bike with the stress put on it from shifting/braking.

Dan
Save money. I was hoping there might be a secure method of doing so more so than standard butt connectors or that someone would have a creative idea
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Old 09-21-23, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by juntjoo
https://a.co/d/dB1GXQ0

These are more what I had in mind.
Be a might capacious for bike cables methinks.

Brakes're what, 0.062" dia.? #10 AWG's 0.102" where 14's closer @ 0.0641 but even that leaves you a couple thou short of snugged set-screws. Shift cables need not apply.

Try one of these instead maybe!
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Old 09-21-23, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by juntjoo
https://a.co/d/dB1GXQ0

These are more what I had in mind.
No. Stop. This is a bad idea. These are designed for making a connection between wires for carrying electrical current, NOT for making a secure connection that will withstand repeated pulling forces, including ones that might be necessary to keep you alive.

Also, you're not saving money. Those connectors are more expensive than new cables... https://a.co/d/3rjbYwF

Use the right parts. Your life is worth it.
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