Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Need suggestions cutting brake housings

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Need suggestions cutting brake housings

Old 02-18-24, 08:47 PM
  #26  
Lucille
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 133 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 35 Posts
Scott, I am working with those type cables right now also and am following the thread with interest.
Lucillle is offline  
Likes For Lucillle:
Old 02-18-24, 09:05 PM
  #27  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,760
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1109 Post(s)
Liked 1,200 Times in 760 Posts
I've used a dremel to cut and now have a Pedro's cutter. Ususally it's OK with just reaming out the center with an awl, but sometimes I give it a little touch on the bench grinder, then the awl.

But there's a lot of helpful hints on youtube;
Camilo is offline  
Old 02-18-24, 09:34 PM
  #28  
Senior Member
 
oldbobcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 4,390

Bikes: '80 Masi Gran Criterium, '12 Trek Madone, early '60s Frejus track

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 513 Post(s)
Liked 445 Times in 335 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Interesting you say that. The cables I installed that got me started on this thread were that exact style where step one is to cut off the style of end you don't want. Seemed like a genius idea to me.
They were probably made long before anyone thought of threading a cable through dual control levers, frame tubes, handlebars and stems, and steerers. Or maybe they weren't. Or, actually, if you cut them close enough to the end you're going to toss, there might be enough solder between the strands to keep the end from fraying as you try to push it through a little hole.
oldbobcat is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 01:24 AM
  #29  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,549
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 694 Post(s)
Liked 389 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by oldbobcat
They were probably made long before anyone thought of threading a cable through dual control levers, frame tubes, handlebars and stems, and steerers. Or maybe they weren't. Or, actually, if you cut them close enough to the end you're going to toss, there might be enough solder between the strands to keep the end from fraying as you try to push it through a little hole.
All I know is, trying to thread a cut cable (with Park cutters) through a gripshift with a sharp turn in a plastic tube, after the wrap around the barrel, was a MFer. Having that solder-ball-end, makes all the difference.
Duragrouch is offline  
Likes For Duragrouch:
Old 02-19-24, 08:58 AM
  #30  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 547
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Liked 258 Times in 166 Posts
Logically, the major concern is getting a quick and easy cut that the cable moves freely through. The little end caps almost certainly exist to compensate for a certain level of unevenness.
ScottCommutes is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 09:59 AM
  #31  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 978
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 504 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 637 Times in 355 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4
That definitely isn’t necessary. The housing shouldn’t crush with quality cutters, which should mostly slide between the coils of the housing before slicing through.
While maybe it "shouldn't be necessary" to cut the housing with a piece of scrap cable inside, it really does make for a cleaner cut and less work to dress the end of the casing once the cut has been made. I've been doing it this way for decades.
KerryIrons is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 10:10 AM
  #32  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,754

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3490 Post(s)
Liked 2,910 Times in 1,766 Posts
Originally Posted by KerryIrons
While maybe it "shouldn't be necessary" to cut the housing with a piece of scrap cable inside, it really does make for a cleaner cut and less work to dress the end of the casing once the cut has been made. I've been doing it this way for decades.
Cool. I've never done it for decades with no problems whatsoever.
smd4 is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 10:36 AM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,891

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 129 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4790 Post(s)
Liked 3,918 Times in 2,548 Posts
Originally Posted by choddo
I just reshape the hole with an awl afterwards. It usually needs just a little help (I have Park Tool cutters too)
+1 The trick universal in the Portland cycling world is to make "pokey tools", sharpened spokes. They work perfectly. You can staple housing to your tool wall or whatever and just slip your pokey tool in it for easy access.

That this hasn't been mentioned once in this thread blows me away. With the tool, you only need to grind to a nice square end to fit the stop. No additional grinding to get to a good clean hole.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 10:48 AM
  #34  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,754

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3490 Post(s)
Liked 2,910 Times in 1,766 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney
That this hasn't been mentioned once in this thread blows me away.
Don't be. You missed post 12:

If the internal liner is getting crushed closed, some people use an old spoke sharpened to a point to open up the liner.
smd4 is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 11:45 AM
  #35  
Wheelman
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Putney, London UK
Posts: 837

Bikes: 1982 Holdsworth Avanti (531), 1961 Holdsworth Cyclone

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 294 Post(s)
Liked 666 Times in 336 Posts
+1 for using a Dremmel and a cutting wheel, I've tried cable cutters but they always squish it a bit and leave jaggies.

I don't use that modern shift cable outer (pre 84 bikes) so I like my Bowden outers cut nicely.
Aardwolf is offline  
Likes For Aardwolf:
Old 02-19-24, 03:39 PM
  #36  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Suggestions, please. Noobie question.

Last night, I changed out the cables and housings on my 8-year-old daughter's bike, mostly to make them pink, but there were some issues as well.

I'd successfully changed, if I recall correctly, 5 other bike cables in the past year. I use a new Park cable cutter, so I don't figure that is my problem.

Anyhow, the shift cables cut just fine, but I had problems not crushing the thicker short sections of brake housing. I ended up throwing one fresh-cut section away because it had crappy cuts on both ends. I've learned that a bad cut can cause a lot of drag on the cable.

Putting a section of cable into the housing before cutting the housing and cutting both helps substantially. Is that the best practice? How do you make the short sections of housing and then extract the bit of cable left inside if you go that route?
I used to cut housing with a pair of Park cutters, then file the end flat and use an awl or suitably sized nail to ensure a clear opening. Nowadays I simply use a cut-off wheel on a Dremel, which pretty much does it all in one go.
13ollocks is offline  
Likes For 13ollocks:
Old 02-19-24, 05:07 PM
  #37  
Senior Member
 
grumpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,177
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 476 Post(s)
Liked 425 Times in 325 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Anyhow, the shift cables cut just fine, but I had problems not crushing the thicker short sections of brake housing. I ended up throwing one fresh-cut section away because it had crappy cuts on both ends. I've learned that a bad cut can cause a lot of drag on the cable.
I just snip off the jaggy bit, attacking from the end rather than the side. You can grind the end flat, a belt sander works well, if you want to do a really good job.
grumpus is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 05:54 PM
  #38  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 395

Bikes: Trek FX 7.3, Specialized Roubaix, Scott CR1 SL, Huffy RedRock (first bike), Aostimotor S17 ebike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 127 Posts
Quality electrical combination pliers cut housing like butter, leaving straight cut.
XxHaimBondxX is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 06:09 PM
  #39  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,201 Times in 2,357 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Suggestions, please. Noobie question.

Last night, I changed out the cables and housings on my 8-year-old daughter's bike, mostly to make them pink, but there were some issues as well.

I'd successfully changed, if I recall correctly, 5 other bike cables in the past year. I use a new Park cable cutter, so I don't figure that is my problem.

Anyhow, the shift cables cut just fine, but I had problems not crushing the thicker short sections of brake housing. I ended up throwing one fresh-cut section away because it had crappy cuts on both ends. I've learned that a bad cut can cause a lot of drag on the cable.

Putting a section of cable into the housing before cutting the housing and cutting both helps substantially. Is that the best practice? How do you make the short sections of housing and then extract the bit of cable left inside if you go that route?
The problem with inserting cabling during the cut is getting the cabling out afterwards. You could end up with stray strands in the housing that can cause problems or you could crush the cut end of the cable in the housing.

It’s best to tilt cutters to line up with the spirals of the brake housing so that you split one of the spirals and only have to cut through a small amount of the steel part. You can practice this method by stripping a bit of plastic away from the metal to learn how to split that spiral.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 06:19 PM
  #40  
Senior Member
 
oldbobcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 4,390

Bikes: '80 Masi Gran Criterium, '12 Trek Madone, early '60s Frejus track

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 513 Post(s)
Liked 445 Times in 335 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney
+1 The trick universal in the Portland cycling world is to make "pokey tools", sharpened spokes. They work perfectly. You can staple housing to your tool wall or whatever and just slip your pokey tool in it for easy access.
Sharpen the threaded end and use the J end for fishing cable ends out of frame tubes. It's perfect for that.
oldbobcat is offline  
Likes For oldbobcat:
Old 02-19-24, 07:17 PM
  #41  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 547
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Liked 258 Times in 166 Posts
I'm impressed. So many different approaches to a job that I originally thought was as simple as a skillful "snip".
ScottCommutes is offline  
Old 02-19-24, 07:48 PM
  #42  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 5,754

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Supercorsa

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3490 Post(s)
Liked 2,910 Times in 1,766 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
So many different approaches to a job that I originally thought was as simple as a skillful "snip".
Really that’s all you need.
smd4 is offline  
Old 02-21-24, 05:47 AM
  #43  
Lucille
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 133 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I'm impressed. So many different approaches to a job that I originally thought was as simple as a skillful "snip".
I finally finished putting the hand brake on my cruiser. Cutting the brake housing did turn out to be a simple snip. I used the tine of a fork as a pokey. This is a great thread to learn from.
Lucillle is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.