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Polishing Nuovo Record Brake Cables?

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Polishing Nuovo Record Brake Cables?

Old 06-25-18, 03:30 PM
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avhed
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Polishing Nuovo Record Brake Cables?



I would like to lower the friction on these. What could I use to smooth these out? I want to keep them in service because of the low stretchability of this 1.8mm cable.

Last edited by avhed; 06-26-18 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 06-25-18, 03:39 PM
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Are those brake cables? I thought everyone used pear shaped cable ends.

You can grease up the cables before putting them into the cable housing.

However, I'm a big fan of the new stainless cables.
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Old 06-25-18, 04:13 PM
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Use some 300-600 grit sandpaper then pull them over a block of paraffin to lube them
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Old 06-25-18, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Are those brake cables? I thought everyone used pear shaped cable ends.

You can grease up the cables before putting them into the cable housing.

However, I'm a big fan of the new stainless cables.
Yes 1.8mm is lot thicker than shifter cables.
Greasing/oiling is not as good.
You cannot get 1.8mm stainless for a road bike.
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Old 06-25-18, 05:04 PM
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I guess you could rub them a bit with some 0000 steel wool or scotchbrite, lightly. You don't want to remove the plating. I don't think it's necessary and I wouldn't myself.

If you are using them with vintage unlined housing, they should be quite heavily greased.

Not a great idea to use with modern lined housing. Modern cables are thinner and I think they'd bind. Anyone know if campy ever make lined housing for 1.8 cables?

PS I agree the ends look like derailleur cables.
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Old 06-26-18, 03:58 AM
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Start by rubbing them with crumpled up aluminum foil. You will be amazed at how well this works. Not only does it smooth the cable, but it also brightens it up also...
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Old 06-26-18, 06:34 AM
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Would these work? It looks like they might.... And for $1.95 plus $1.95 shipping, it might be worth trying. You may have to file the barrel a bit -which I think is easier than trying to polish a whole cable!

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Old 06-26-18, 10:29 AM
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I'm guessing that it takes more force than it is possible to apply with a brake lever to stretch even standard brake cables.
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Old 06-26-18, 10:30 AM
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I thought I'm the only one crazy enough to do this. It rarely pays off.
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Old 06-26-18, 10:53 AM
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Personally, I would not polish the cable. If you have a cable friction problem, either something is wrong or you should lube the cable.

1. Get some motorcycle chain lube spray.
2. Remove the cable from the housing.
3. Remove housing from frame (or protect frame and brakes from excess lube, to come).
4. Using the extension tube attached to the spray nozzle, fill the housing with chain lube. Keep going until it drips out the far end.
5. Let the housing dry (a solvent needs to evaporate).
6. Reinstall the housing and cable.

The cable should move effortlessly through the housing after installation (check by pulling/pushing on cable by hand before installing in lever). If not, something is worng with the housing installation.

Very often there is a kink or poor routing or wrong housing length that causes flex when braking. This can be mistaken as cable flex. Sometimes, you can see the problem. If you apply the brake and the housing moves, something is wrong with the housing not the cable.

Be sure the ends of the housing are smooth and don't bind on the cable. After cutting to length, file them or grind them to be both smooth and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis.
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Old 06-26-18, 12:18 PM
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I never lube lined housings, but I use only stainless cables.
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Old 06-26-18, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I never lube lined housings, but I use only stainless cables.
When teflon lined housing first came out, most of the tech sheets said lubing was no longer necessary or advisable, IIRC. IME different shops each had their own preference for grease or no grease, as a hired mechanic BITD I had to do it the house way. Many, actually most, continued to grease. My own preference is for light grease.

AFA vintage cables w/ unlined housings, they absolutely must be greased. It's possible the OP did not know this, as these days many people don't use any lube on cables, and that's where the issue arose.
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Old 06-26-18, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by avhed View Post

I would like to lower the friction on these. What could I use to smooth these out? I want to keep them in service because of the low stretchability of this 1.8mm cable.
Those are shift cables. They are plated steel, so I would not do any polishing. Way too easy to cut through the plating.
To smooth cables the tried an true method is die forming. Some new cables are even described as such and stainless to boot.
Campagnolo cables were always thicker than the other brands way back for both shift and brake.
If you want shiny, sell those off, folk pay handsomely for the C in a diamond stamped cables.

I have rounded the heads of modern cables to be more Campagnolo looking, paint the ends to be bike shop rat coolio.
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Old 06-26-18, 04:39 PM
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Does anybody besides me think it's humorous that we're calmly discussing the pros and cons of polishing brake cables of all things. If my wife found that I was out in the garage polishing my brake cables she'd have me committed.
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Old 06-26-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Rocket-Sauce View Post
Would these work? It looks like they might.... And for $1.95 plus $1.95 shipping, it might be worth trying. You may have to file the barrel a bit -which I think is easier than trying to polish a whole cable!

Thanks, never seen these. They are available on ebay. Any where else?
Sorry I put up the wrong pic on the OP. Now corrected.

Last edited by avhed; 06-26-18 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 06-26-18, 07:12 PM
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Too lube those cables, use Phil's and some triflo "smushed" around on your finger tips and rub it in to the cable. I think the will shine up just fine by riding in traffic
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Old 06-26-18, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Those are shift cables.
This should be emphasized. Wrong cables.
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Old 06-27-18, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Does anybody besides me think it's humorous that we're calmly discussing the pros and cons of polishing brake cables of all things. If my wife found that I was out in the garage polishing my brake cables she'd have me committed.
I believe this is why my wife never comes into the garage when I’m tinkering - it would confirm her suspicions.
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Old 06-27-18, 09:14 PM
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Instead of hunting for the least stretchable brake cables or polishing what turn out to be shift cables, simply true the rims and adjust the brakes so the pads are very close to the rim. This will give that super firm feeling when you apply the brakes. I try to have the pads start applying braking at 1/4" of movement at the lever tip.

I used to drip oil into cable housings then grease the ends, on the theory that this stopped water from getting into the housing. Cables used to actually rust, back in the day. Don't think I've done that for a couple decades.
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Old 06-27-18, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I'm guessing that it takes more force than it is possible to apply with a brake lever to stretch even standard brake cables.
The very thot x'd my mind as well. Sides of the rims must be about worn thru! Lemme see now - maybe four feet of housing and a couple new cables we're prolly looking at maybe $20. Go crazy with DA and it'll be more. The cables on the Caylor are DA7400 and pushing 35years old now. I don't recall ever having had to adjust them for stretch. But I set the brakes pretty loose and prolly wouldn't know if they'd stretched or not. Sometimes being an insensitive clot really has some up-sides, eh?

Last edited by SteelCharlie; 06-27-18 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 06-28-18, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by avhed View Post
Yes 1.8mm is lot thicker than shifter cables.
Greasing/oiling is not as good.
There's your problem. Grease is as good. Oiling not as good. No lube is ridiculous. Use grease on the brake cables. Absolutely no one BITD would have used no grease on cables.

If you are trying to use them with modern lined housing intended for 1.6 cables, that's a problem too. Vintage unlined housing is really your only option that I'm aware of for original 1.8 cables.

I see you changed the pic to show brake cables. Good.

FWIW I also prefer the old 1.8 mm campy cables. It's part of the feel of the old brakes, and it does make a difference.
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Old 06-28-18, 08:38 AM
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Cables don't stretch, but housings do compress. That gives the illusion of stretching, especially when new.
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Old 10-09-18, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Cables don't stretch, but housings do compress. That gives the illusion of stretching, especially when new.
In 1981, I replaced the stock Suntour Superbe cables (same housing) with the Nuovo Record. I cannot conclude cables do not stretch with that before and after.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Start by rubbing them with crumpled up aluminum foil. You will be amazed at how well this works. Not only does it smooth the cable, but it also brightens it up also...
It also makes them fireproof too!
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Old 10-10-18, 02:00 AM
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I’ve been known to polish the cables with Mothers brand metal polish, then use silver anti-seize. Works quite well on old cables. Much easier to just buy the newer stainless ones.
Tim
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