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Mafac Brake Straddle Cable

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Mafac Brake Straddle Cable

Old 10-24-13, 06:32 PM
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michaelscycles
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Mafac Brake Straddle Cable

Working on a vintage American Arrow Apache. It has some unique components that I have no experience with. One that I am not sure about is with the brake straddle cable. It has a little piece that kind of looks like a spool that the cable goes through. The cable itself has a smaller end kind of like a shift cable. I could use a regular brake cable and leave out the spool, but I am trying to keep it as original as I can. I could use a shifter cable, but would that be strong enough? It fits well and seems to be about as thick as the original. What would you do?

Mafac Racer center pull

Last edited by michaelscycles; 10-24-13 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 10-24-13, 08:41 PM
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Hurry before they go out of business. Their contribution to the sport will be sorely missed.

https://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=549555120066

They've got a couple of sizes, so measure what you got.
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Old 10-25-13, 05:28 AM
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Yes, you can make straddle cables for MAFAC Racers from shifter cables.
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Old 10-25-13, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Yes, you can make straddle cables for MAFAC Racers from shifter cables.
Thanks, got it together today. Only thing left to do is wrap the bars.
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Old 10-25-13, 04:00 PM
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Looks pretty good. A few suggestions:
1. Rotate seat clamp 180 degrees so that bolt is in back of seat post
2. Chain looks a bit short, considering it does not seem to be on the large-large combo.
3. Rear brake cable/housing usually runs behind the handlebar - looks better that way.
4. Front derailleur may be mounted a bit high (yes, could have been that way originally)
5. Lose the suicide levers, then substitute shorter lever pivots or cut off the existing ones.
6. Brake levers are in good position on the bars, but I would rotate the bars up slightly more.
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Old 10-25-13, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Looks pretty good. A few suggestions:
1. Rotate seat clamp 180 degrees so that bolt is in back of seat post
2. Chain looks a bit short, considering it does not seem to be on the large-large combo.
3. Rear brake cable/housing usually runs behind the handlebar - looks better that way.
4. Front derailleur may be mounted a bit high (yes, could have been that way originally)
5. Lose the suicide levers, then substitute shorter lever pivots or cut off the existing ones.
6. Brake levers are in good position on the bars, but I would rotate the bars up slightly more.
I thought the seat was wrong, came that way so I left it. I will switch it to see if it will work.

Chain is on the big ring and 2nd in back. Works through all the gears just fine.

Wasn't sure about the brake housing. I had a kid working in the shop replacing the cables. He cut them all off and threw them away. Made it harder to figure out the correct routing. After it was this way, found some pictures with it the correct way. will fix that too.

Front derailleur is set correctly.

Worked hard to keep everything original on this bike. That is why I was leaving the levers the way the are. I will have to decide on this one.

Totally agree that now that it is out of the stand that the bars could be turned up a little. All of those positions are how we found the bike.

Thanks for the advice. Hopefully we can find a home for this one.
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Old 10-28-13, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Yes, you can make straddle cables for MAFAC Racers from shifter cables.
GB; Apologies in advance, but have to post that this is not a good answer. If one needs to make a new Canti straddle cable, should use a brake cable as the source material. A shift cable is not close to being heavy/strong enough to do the job safely.

OP; Hope that helps.

/K
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Old 10-29-13, 05:44 AM
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Take a good look at a MAFAC Racer and you'll see that you are wrong. The original starddles are thinner than brake cables and a tiny lead end is required, not the large end that resembles the end on a mountain brake cable. I've been making replacements for Racer straddles from shifter cables for 40 years and I haven't had a single failure.
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Old 10-29-13, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Take a good look at a MAFAC Racer and you'll see that you are wrong. The original starddles are thinner than brake cables and a tiny lead end is required, not the large end that resembles the end on a mountain brake cable. I've been making replacements for Racer straddles from shifter cables for 40 years and I haven't had a single failure.
I do the same thing-- I file the lead ends to fit the MAFAC bobbins. Works great, and costs less than "true" straddle cables.
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Old 10-29-13, 07:10 AM
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I have an old Delta belt/disc sander that's great for tasks like that.

I've made straddle cables for early Competitions by soldering short pieces of brass tubing to shifter cable, but only for my own bikes.
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