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I am going to build my own bike. I purchased the 105 5800 groupset the other day and was examining the different components.

The shifters came with some cables and cable housing. I have attached a pic of the cables and housing. As a newbie I can't tell what the cables and housing are for, ie are they both sufficient for the gears and brakes or do I need to purchase some extra? Can someone clarify for me please.

Much appreciated!

thin cables with bits and pieces

cable housing

housing with cables

thin cables in bag

housing with thin holes

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  • Gear and brake cables are different sorry - your 105 groupset would have cables for the bits you bought. If you didn't buy brake calipers then there won't be any brake cables.
    – Criggie
    Feb 9 '16 at 23:38
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I beg to differ! I spy more cables hiding in the carpet

If you have two pairs of cables, the thicker ones are for the brakes (thicker=stronger in this case)

So there will be some lengths of housing to match each pair, in two sizes to suit the cables.

The lengths of brake housing will be one short (front brake) and one long (rear brake). You can run the whole length to the rear or trim it as needed by your particular frame. Post more close up photos of the frame if you need help.

Then there are three lengths of gear cable outer on the left. Two to run from the shifters to the frame, then one short piece to run to the rear derailleur.

You'll need good cable cutters to trim anything. Trivial with good quality cutters- invest!

All of the other little pieces are important too, there should usually be a plastic or metal 'ferrule' at each end of any outer cable for protection. They come in different sizes of course for the two cable types.

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  • I see them too, but they all have gear cable endcaps on them as far as I can tell. Since the OP accepted your answer, better hope that some of them are in fact brake cables.
    – Nuі
    Feb 14 '16 at 4:49
  • The one in the carpet looks like a pear ended (road brake) cable which is subtly different to a gear cable end. Also I described brake cables as thicker so if OP is accepting answer then I assume that's the situation. If not then get in touch OP! Feb 14 '16 at 8:38
  • Yup @BentSpokeCycleRepair you are correct. The longer pieces of cable housing have thicker cables in them and the two cables in the plastic bag are significantly thinner. I will update my question with better pics. Your answer was very useful, much appreciated.
    – Mr B
    Feb 16 '16 at 20:15
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Those are just gear cables, you will need to buy brake cables and outers.

Good on you for building it yourself, it's definitely do-able with a modicum of skill and even with limited experience. But... there's quite a few things you can do slightly wrong that will make the bike unsafe to ride. I think it would be good to have someone check over the bike before you ride it.

There are lots of online tutorials showing you how to install brake and gear cables, any search engine will find them for you (I couldn't find one using the search box on the top right of this page). Similarly for most of the other steps, and finding this site will hopefully help you with the other questions you'll inevitably come up with.

Also, it's probably worth reading some of the questions here about upgrading components and building from scratch, as it almost always works out more expensive than buying a whole bike, and can be hugely more expensive. Unless you work in a bike shop or can otherwise get new components at wholesale or better, it will be more expensive. That's especially true if you compare a second hand bike to buying new parts. Note that buying second hand parts to fit an existing bike is a fairly skilled task (you need to know how all the sizing works on the various parts as well as which parts will work with what you already have).

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  • I actually think there are two sets of cables, one pair in the plastic bag and one pair in the long, loose housings. If OP can give more detail on what is included this would help. Maybe some more photos without packaging, cable ends lined up against one another etc. Sid, If there are two sets and one set is thicker, this would be the pair of brake cables. Feb 10 '16 at 18:25

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