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SIS indexed shift housing - How essential is it really?

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SIS indexed shift housing - How essential is it really?

Old 06-18-10, 01:28 PM
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auchencrow
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SIS indexed shift housing - How essential is it really?

I picked up an ‘83 Trek 600 road bike the other day, and the a PO had “upgraded” it from friction to SIS shifting. (All of the other concomitant modifications were made at that time.)

It works pretty much as you would expect, but I am now replacing all the rusty cables with some slick stainless items, and since the brake housings will be yellow, I wanted to know if I can replace the ~8” length of grey Shimano rear derailleur housing with an equal length of lined yellow brake housing, without messing up the indexing.

I realize the brake housing, while more robust, compresses a little more – but would such a short length make any discernible difference in shifting? (The rest of the shift cable is exposed, without any housing.)
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Old 06-18-10, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
would such a short length make any discernible difference in shifting?
Yes. Big difference.
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Old 06-18-10, 02:05 PM
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You can make it work, but the indexing will not be nearly as crisp or consistent as it would be with the proper housing.

In fact, when Shimano and others were first developing indexed shifting, the use ofdedicated index shifting housing was one of the reasons Shimano worked better than the others.

You can find yellow SIS housing if you look. If you have to order it, you can make due with the brake housing while you wait for it. If you have shifters with a friction mode (downtube or bar-end) then you can use the friction mode when the indexing is not working.
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Old 06-18-10, 02:35 PM
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Ditto on Lardasse's comments. But try it since you have nothing to lose. If it shifts crisp n' clean then great. If it SEEMS funky if you have a scrap of black SIS housing try it. If it helps out then seek out the yellow SIS housing to complement the bike. If it doesn't make any difference then stick with the brake housing and you've lost nothing and gained satisfaction that it's as good as it'll be.
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Old 06-18-10, 03:40 PM
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My general philosophy is: if I already own parts - in this case cable housing - I'll mix and match almost anything just to see how it works for myself. If you can't make it work to your satisfaction all you've lost is 9" of brake cable housing and you've learned something through the process.

If I'm buying parts I'll always hold out for something that I know is going to work.
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Old 06-18-10, 04:02 PM
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Thank you guys- That is certainly sound advice - if the shifting isn't any worse with the yellow brake housing I'll stay with it - otherwise I do have the length of gray Shimano SIS housing that I can put back on it. ... I doubt though, that I would invest in a roll of the stuff just to get the short piece of DR housing, and I know my local bike stores do not keep anything around but black.
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Old 06-18-10, 06:26 PM
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I have often wondered this same thing. I use mostly friction shifting and internal hubs, so using SIS housing is not necessary for me....I just use the good quality brake housing.

I really hate SIS housing because it requires specialized cable cutters mostly....I like using my side cutters and a sharpened spoke .
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Old 06-18-10, 06:39 PM
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what lever components are these? basic Shimano SIS or Light action? 6 spd? for a basic RD like that you might get away with the brake housing if it is the "flat wound" shimano SLR type. with DT shifting and the lowerend components I don't think the little bit of compression will matter.
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Old 06-18-10, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TurbineBlade View Post
I have often wondered this same thing. I use mostly friction shifting and internal hubs, so using SIS housing is not necessary for me....I just use the good quality brake housing.

I really hate SIS housing because it requires specialized cable cutters mostly....I like using my side cutters and a sharpened spoke .

Hi TurbineBlade -
I'm not especially fond of SIS in general - but I would expect the SIS housing would succumb to my side grinder without issue, just like standard housing.

Also - I made a little holding fixture as well for about a dollar, from some small Stanley L-brackets and a scrap 2x4: It holds the housing really well (so I don't have to) and I just chop it with the carbide cut-off wheel on the grinder for a clean cut.

- If you are going to use a grinder or a Dremel, I think the fixture is a lot safer than holding the cable in your hand.



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Old 06-18-10, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
what lever components are these? basic Shimano SIS or Light action? 6 spd? for a basic RD like that you might get away with the brake housing if it is the "flat wound" Shimano SLR type. with DT shifting and the lowerend components I don't think the little bit of compression will matter.
Hi Bianchigirl !

- Are we both AWOL from C&V?
( I come here whenever the question outstrips my limited technical ability. There are a lot of high-powered bike mechanics here. )

Anyway, the Shifters are Light Action, with a friction mode, but since I plan to sell the bike, I actually have to make sure the SIS works.
It has a 7 speed CASSETTE on a Shimano 105 Velocity wheel, and a Shimano "600" SIS rear DR.

IMHO, this is a bizarre set-up for an '83 Trek 660, but I'm sure someone will go nuts over it. (It is a really nice bike ).

- The yellow brake housing I ordered for it from Niagara is just the Sunlite lined brake cable housing. I have no idea if it is flat wound or not. I'll have a lifetime supply of it though -( 50' for $10.99 is not bad though. )
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Old 06-19-10, 07:06 AM
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What size is the frame?
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Old 06-19-10, 08:46 AM
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i have some yellow shift housing. pm me your address and i'll send you enough
for your RD loop.
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Old 06-19-10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
What size is the frame?
Small (22")
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