I've cut my first cable housing using this ParkTool page as a guide. The thing is, I think it's a bit too long. Can I safely shorten it or the length is good as it is now?

cut 1

Update: 7.5cm less, is it better now?

cut 2

  • 1
    no, I'd definitely shorten that. Easy enough to do, just make sure you use cutters designed for gear cable (as opposed to brake cable)
    – PeteH
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 11:17
  • There's no great harm from having it too long -- better that than too short. The biggest hazard it that it will get hung up in racks, etc. That said, I'd advise shortening it by 3-4 inches. Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 12:28
  • Yeah, that can be shortened by a lot.
    – Batman
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 13:55
  • 2
    "cutters designed for gear cable as opposed to brake cable?" ??? Both shimano and park only sell a single cutter for cable AND housing, e.g., parktool.com/product/… Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 16:45
  • This one's definitely too long. It makes the shifting less precise. Put the chain on the smallest cog and shorten the housing so that your hand fits easily between cogs and housing. You'll need three hands for that! ;)
    – Carel
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


It's too long, and it may get into the spokes.Roughly, you can cut the 1/3 of the current cable housing.


It's too long, and you should cut it again to get it closer to the right length. As a guideline, you could look at pictures of similar bikes online and cut you own cable housing so that the curve ends up about the same.

  • If it's too short, the curve is too tight, and that adds friction.
  • If it's too long, it adds a bit of friction, and you can get things caught in it when you ride.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.