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Cable Guides

Old 10-27-21, 10:37 AM
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Velo Mule
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Cable Guides

I am looking to add cable guides to an existing vintage frame. I have done this in the past with brass tubing, however, brass tubing that is sold in hobby stores is thin walled, so I want something more substantial. I was thinking of steel brake line tubing, at least for the derailleur cable. Has anyone tried using some sort of locally bought tubing? If so, what did you use? I would also think that it does not actually need a tube. A piece of sheet metal can be bent into a "U" shape to act as cable guide or a piece of wire could be wound as a cable guide as well.

Or should I just spend $4 on parts and $8 on shipping and get something that I don't have to cut and shape?
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Old 10-27-21, 11:02 AM
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guy153
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Car brake pipes should work pretty well. They are the right size. I nearly used some but my local garage only has copper ones so I just got some premade guides from Ceeway with my next order.
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Old 10-27-21, 02:08 PM
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K&S also offers stainless steel tubes that are far stronger then the brass is. Whatever you do use leave some windage between the cable/casing and the braze on"s ID. Andy
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Old 10-27-21, 04:27 PM
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Thanks guy153 and Andrew R Stewart . Good point about leaving some room on the inside diameter of the guide. That is one of my concerns with brake line (pipe) . The 3/16" brake line is .188" inside diameter and the derailleur cable housing is .167" . That might not leave enough room for paint and wiggle room installing the cable housing. And if I change the cable housing in the future, it may be a little or a lot bigger.

I make this sample guide from solid copper wire and while it might work, It looks like it would be more difficult than a tube to silver solder on. And I don't really like the look that much.


I might try an art and hobby store and see if they have stainless steel tube. That seems like it would be prefect if they have it. I have mostly seen brass, but perhaps I wasn't looking for stainless in the past so I didn't see it.
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Old 10-27-21, 05:28 PM
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I got thinwall stainless from McMaster. Their shipping has doubled since then though, the brake line might be a better idea
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Old 10-28-21, 09:41 AM
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I have 2 sections of 1/4 x .020 stainless tubes for sale. They are vastly superior to brass tubes used for this application. They are 5.1 mm i.d.
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Old 10-29-21, 07:13 AM
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PM sent to pwyg . I am also looking at McMaster since the company that I work for buys from them regularly, perhaps I can piggy back onto an order.
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Old 11-10-21, 08:41 AM
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I received the stainless tube from McMaster Carr. It is 1/4" outside diameter, with a .028" wall thickness for a 4.9mm inside diameter. Part number: 89495K775. I plan on cutting the pieces 10mm long.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 11-10-21 at 05:18 PM. Reason: My picture seemed to go away
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