I was trying to solder my bike cables because those crimp on's they fall off then the cable just unwind itself. After the painfull process I managed to use the cutting end instead of the crimping end to install the crimp.

A 20 quid park tool cable cutter isn't any good if u don't use it correctly lol

So is there an optimum length you leave sticking out of the pinch bolt?

  • 1
    I've never had a problem getting a decent crimp with the crimping jaws of the Park tools. But how much you leave sticking out is up to you, and how likely you think it is that you will need to unthread the cable in the future. Each time you have to take the crimp off you tend to lose a half inch or so. Aug 26 '16 at 20:13
  • I solder the wire about 3cm from the pinch bolt once its all adjusted right. Then I cut through the solder, and bend the wire to point backwards (aero!) and less likely to stab anyone. Crimps need to deform the wire inside - are you not pressing hard enough? Or are you using pliers which squash the whole surface? Try using thinner - even side cutters will focus their force more narrowly, just don't cut through!
    – Criggie
    Aug 26 '16 at 22:14
  • @DanielRHicks Try uncrimping the cap using bullnose pliers - they normally come right off.
    – Criggie
    Aug 26 '16 at 22:15

Certainly the cable should be long enough to be under full compression by the tightening screw.

The extended length beyond that I have found is a trade-space between design and preference. Some derailleurs and brakes have nice little routing features that allow you to tuck the extra behind a controlled point preventing annoying rubbing on your legs or tires.... If there is too little extra you may not be able to utilize this feature. Some components don't have the routing feature, In that case I usually provide anywhere between 2 to 3 inches. I have found that length is best for tucking out of the way.. and if in the rare case I need to pull some slack our of the cable I have enough to get a good purchase without the use of pliers.

If adjusted correctly the first time.. it is rare that you will need to let out cabling at the point of contact with the brake or derailleur but keep in mind that rare does not mean never so if you think its too short it probably is worth getting a new cable.

  • 1
    New inner cables are cheap maintenance.
    – Criggie
    Aug 26 '16 at 22:16

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