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Cheap cables failed

Old 01-20-20, 05:43 PM
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Cheap cables failed



*Edit*
I think I did this with poor cable routing, I'm going to try with slacker cable bends.


I installed this cheapo brake cable and the housing split before I used it.

I have more housing from the kit, and I could redo it, but I have safety concerns.

Should I just get a jagwire kit, or give this one more shot?

And anyone ever see this kind of failure before?

Last edited by Chr0m0ly; 01-20-20 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 01-20-20, 05:51 PM
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I have used inexpensive housing without an issue for years and thousands of rough miles. I have also used quality housing on non-commuter builds. Honestly I never had an issue with either one. Perhaps there was just a defect in that particular spot?
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Old 01-20-20, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I installed this cheapo brake cable and the housing split before I used it.

I have more housing from the kit, and I could redo it, but I have safety concerns.

Should I just get a jagwire kit, or give this one more shot?

And anyone ever see this kind of failure before?
Is it the Schwinn or Bell brand stuff, or even cheapo-er? Just curious, because I have used the Schwinn set on a couple of bikes with no issues. I recently bought a Jagwire kit for $17 shipped on eBay, including cables, housing, and ferrules for shifters and brakes. (Shifter cables are stainless, but brake cables galvanized.)
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Old 01-20-20, 06:09 PM
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Is the OP saying that the metal coils of the housing collapsed?
Or, was the covering pushed back at the ferrule, then buckled and split?

I've bought cheap housing (generic off ebay) where the vinyl covering was prone to splitting, but in my life I can't recall ever seeing a coiled cable housing collapse on it's own where it wasn't severly stressed off of it's lengthwise axis.

Do we get to see what's under the split vinyl covering?
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Old 01-20-20, 06:14 PM
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4 piece Shimano brake cable kit -- $8.47
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Old 01-20-20, 06:15 PM
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The bend to the stop is rather abrupt. Just say'n....

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Old 01-20-20, 06:29 PM
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It's the vinal, not the coil.

The split is at the bend, I think my top tube wrap has pushed it into the edge of the seat lug.

Sounds like a redo, with a gentler bend, and not wrapping the cable past the braze on might do it.

This is the kit,
https://www.amazon.com/Yakamoz-Unive.../dp/B07GCK7BG1

I've used the Schwinn kit before, but this seemed like it might be better. 🤷‍♂️

Last edited by Chr0m0ly; 01-20-20 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 01-20-20, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
The bend to the stop is rather abrupt. Just say'n....
+1, came here to say the same only to scroll down and see Top beat me to it. That does seem awful abrupt. I normally try to run about an inch more slack in mine to arch about a half an inch above the binder, if not a little more. Tubes prefer gentle arches over taught runs.

@SurferRosa thanks for the link. I needed something like that for my personal bikes. I buy this for all my lower-mid quality flips, it handles all shifting and brakes and actually works with the tighter-tolerance cable-end Simplex shift levers. Under $10 to cable an entire bike and never seen failure like OP is posting. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L8NDVD6/
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Old 01-20-20, 07:03 PM
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Chr0m0ly I have a big box of silver Shimano brake cable housing. I'd be happy to ship you a bike's worth for postage.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:41 PM
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Toptube wrap? That's going to complicate cable servicing, like having housings hidden along the bar.

But, for a bike that appears to go around in public wrapped with tape, is the split in the vinyl covering even an issue, cosmetic or otherwise(?).
Perhaps more tape is the answer(?).

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Having said that, I haven't lived in NY in a loooong time.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
+1, came here to say the same only to scroll down and see Top beat me to it. That does seem awful abrupt. I normally try to run about an inch more slack in mine to arch about a half an inch above the binder, if not a little more. Tubes prefer gentle arches over taught runs.

@SurferRosa thanks for the link. I needed something like that for my personal bikes. I buy this for all my lower-mid quality flips, it handles all shifting and brakes and actually works with the tighter-tolerance cable-end Simplex shift levers. Under $10 to cable an entire bike and never seen failure like OP is posting. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L8NDVD6/
I bet when I was applying the brake to check tension it pushed into the edge of the lug.

I'm going to redo it, when I get the cable off, I'll post a snap of the inside, but it's just coiled steel, nothing to amazing.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:47 PM
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I've used heat shrink tubing to cover up a split in the vinyl here and there. Stays put and keeps the elements off.
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Old 01-20-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Toptube wrap? That's going to complicate cable servicing, like having housings hidden along the bar.

But, for a bike that appears to go around in public wrapped with tape, is the split in the vinyl covering even an issue, cosmetic or otherwise(?).
Perhaps more tape is the answer(?).

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Having said that, I haven't lived in NY in a loooong time.
The bare steel would rub the paint, and I believe it's contributing the spongy rear brake feel. The tape is to camouflage it in the city. It's an '84 Trek 520, and I want to keep it. The tape also cushions it when I have to lock it outside.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
The bare steel would rub the paint, and I believe it's contributing the spongy rear brake feel. The tape is to camouflage it in the city. It's an '84 Trek 520, and I want to keep it. The tape also cushions it when I have to lock it outside.
Noticed this when I was in the city late last year. Meant to ask @greg3rd48 about that (or maybe I did and forgot) about that whole situation. I noticed a lot of the bikes, high- and low-end were wrapped across all the tubes. I couldn't figure out if it was for rack protection, weather protection, theft protection, or all the above. Not sure if he has to deal with all that jazz in BX, but I saw it all over BK and lower Manhattan, especially the latter.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:23 PM
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Looks like it WAS the ferrule after all, it did push up the housing. That plus the sharp bend did the trick.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:33 PM
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That should do it
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Old 01-20-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post


*Edit*
I think I did this with poor cable routing, I'm going to try with slacker cable bends.


I installed this cheapo brake cable and the housing split before I used it.

I have more housing from the kit, and I could redo it, but I have safety concerns.

Should I just get a jagwire kit, or give this one more shot?

And anyone ever see this kind of failure before?
The cable is on the wrong side of the post and way too short. It should be on the other side with a bit of loop around..
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Old 01-20-20, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
The cable is on the wrong side of the post and way too short. It should be on the other side with a bit of loop around..
I'm with you on the loop around, but the hanger is centrally located, why should the cable be on the left side?

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Old 01-20-20, 09:09 PM
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What direction do the wires in the cable housing go?

"Shift" housing has longitudinal wires.
"Brake" housing has coiled wires.

You are not supposed to use the shift housing for brakes as one has too much force on them.
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Old 01-20-20, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
I'm with you on the loop around, but the hanger is centrally located, why should the cable be on the left side?

Tradition.

chant it like they did in Fiddler on the Roof.
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Old 01-20-20, 09:39 PM
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Ive had Issues wih those cheap plastic cable end Ferrules a few times , Even the new "metal" Ferrules will will buckle and pinch/ruin the end of the cable. They are making them so thin that they crush themselves when you apply the brakes.
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Old 01-20-20, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
... should the cable be on the left side?
Yes, if it's on the left side of the stem/head tube.
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Old 01-20-20, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Yes, if it's on the left side of the stem/head tube.
I had an '84 Trek 520 I used as a commuter for several years, I believe the front brake cable went to the left and the rear brake cable went to the right of the stem because of the cable hanger, and I can't recall how the cable went past the seatpost.

I'm trying to figure out what the thieves think of the black tape wrap-ups, I'm sure that they know it's the better bikes that get wrapped.
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Old 01-21-20, 02:36 AM
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If I cannot find good NOS for my C&V bikes, My go-to cable and housing is the ones from "Porkchop BMX", sold at eBay for very reasonable prices (Around 14 bucks/set, IIRC). I like the Porkchop cable sets as they have it in clear casing where you can see the spring. It looks exactly like what many bike makers used back in the 80's. I never had any problems with them splitting like that, so far.
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Old 01-21-20, 07:01 AM
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+1 on the Porkchop BMX housing. Great color selection, lined, not expensive, has held up nicely for me.
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