What could I have done wrong to cause the metal strands within my shifter cable housing to protrude out the ends? Did I use the wrong ferrules (I also have black, plastic ones)? Did I get cheap cables? Did I cut the housing too short? I'd ask if I did a poor job cutting the housing, but I used the Park Tool CN-10 cable cutter which I thought did a fairly fine job of cutting these.

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    Aside - The two nearer cables are also not firmly seated in the frame-stops. This suggests a lack of tension on them (or your brakes happened to be undone in the photo)
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 11:03
  • @Criggie Those are for the rear brake/front shifter. I've since corrected the shifter, but the brake cable still has a lot of slack when not engaged. Perhaps the brake cable should be fairly taut even when not engaged? Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:16
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    @oscillatingcretin The brake cables should be tight enough (at the start/lever full open) that the ferrule sits fully engaged in the frame's stop. In fact, when everything is together and set-up correctly, you shouldn't be able to even pull a ferruled end out of it's stop--if pulled, it may move a few millimeters, but the inner cable's tight enough that the housing/ferrule won't clear the stop's opening to free it.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


It looks like you have 4mm housing put into ferrules designed for 5mm housing. The black plastic ones should be the right ones.

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    Rather use metal ferrules as they are submitted to a rather high pressure from the housing.
    – Carel
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 6:47
  • @Carel: Shimano ships their cable+housing sets with plastic ferrules and I’ve never had any issues with them.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 6:59
  • I think the ends of the Shimano plastic ferrules have some metal within them. I, too, have never had a problem with these and that they don't need crimping is a plus.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 12:30
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    I can confirm. I once tried to use brake ferrules on shift housings and what is shown in the picture was exactly what happened.
    – Jahaziel
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 2:23
  • I'd say you are correct. I cut new housing lengths where needed and replaced all the metal ferrules with the narrower plastic ones. They fit very nice and snug. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 15:59

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