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I have a vintage road bike with Sun Tour Cyclone single-pivot calipers, with Cyclone levers. I recently had the front brake cable housing "detach" from the brake lever. It appears to have a large 'ferrule'-type piece on the end of the housing. (what's the name of this part?)

The right lever appears to have the housing head straight into the lever, and appears crimped in. It's not visible in the photo either way but I don't believe there is a similar cable housing ferrule.

What is the correct method for me to get the rear-brake cable housing back into the brake lever, and secure it in place?

Right lever

Left lever

  • That 'ferrule'-type piece on the end of the housing is surprise called a cable ferrule. – paparazzo Mar 17 '15 at 17:25
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Generally, if you were to roll the shroud back, remove the cable, squeeze the lever all the way, and then look, you would see that, with the lever squeezed, there is a sort of hole in the lever arm exposed where the barrel-shaped cable end fits. You need several inches of slack in the cable to get it into/out of that hole.

On re-reading the question: It sounds as if your complaint may be that the ferrule on the end of the cable housing has slipped out of the hole on the end of the brake lever assembly (vs the cable inside coming loose from the moving lever). If this is the case, that housing is held in place by "habit" -- there's no crimp or anything that holds it there, except that tension from the brake cable keeps it in place. If the tension is gone, either because the cable has been loosened at the other end, or because the cable has developed too much friction inside, then the housing end will be pushed from its resting point as you operate the lever.

  • @Mσᶎ - Thanks! When you do stuff at 4 in the morning you tend to make a few mistakes. (#&%@ bum shoulder won't let me sleep through the night.) – Daniel R Hicks Nov 13 '15 at 13:48
  • I wondered, there was this burst of activity from you at an odd hour. Hope the shoulder gets better. – Móż Nov 13 '15 at 20:45
  • @Mσᶎ - Yeah, surgery in 10 days, then about two months in a straight jacket. It'll be fun. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 13 '15 at 21:12
  • of the bike, by the sound of it :( Good luck – Móż Nov 13 '15 at 21:31
  • @Mσᶎ - Well, this isn't exactly biking season in Minnesota anyway. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 13 '15 at 21:33
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I am assuming that the cable has come out of the fixed non moving part of the brake lever but is still attached to the actual moving part of the lever. You can try to remove the wheel and close the brake caliper by hand. This may require a third hand or a wire tie to hold it closed. This will generate enough slack in the cable to reinstall it in the lever. Many vintage levers use a small ferrule on the cable end (possibly factory crimped) and a second larger ferrule to retain the cable end in the fixed part of the brake lever.

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I guess the ferrule popped out on its own, under braking? Sounds like either the ferrule has deformed to fit through the gap in the brake lever, or the brake lever has deformed to allow the ferrule through.

In the interests of stopping when you want to, I'd fit brand new brake cables. If they're tired, consider all-new housings too.

Fit the ferrule into the lever first, then thread the wire through to the brake, fasten and adjust tension. Re-tension a couple times in the next week for cable stretch.

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