I'm replacing my rear brake housing on a Giant Defy (2010) but finding that the new end cap/ferrule does not fit. The old end cap was fused to the frame so while I still have it, it's not in great condition to be reused.

If I look for replacements they all seem to be 5mm, and if I compare the new and old end cap they look almost the same size, with the old end cap maybe just slightly smaller. Is it possible Giant used a non-standard part?

New Shimano cable top, old cable bottom

Old end cap which does fit

Edit: after looking into this a bit further it seems the replacement cable housing is using the Shimano M-System, which uses 6mm ferrules. So the existing housing probably uses the standard 5mm.

  • Have you used a crimp tool on the new ferrule? Can see a mark, but not as much as if I'd used my cheap crimp tool.
    – Criggie
    Feb 8, 2021 at 21:42
  • 1
    Disclaimer: I know nothing about Giant Defy. These are brake housing cables or shifting housing cables? It looks like the frame would be happy to accept a 4mm end cap ... which is a shifter end cap.
    – EarlGrey
    Feb 8, 2021 at 22:36
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    I wonder if the braze-on is sized for a gear cable originally, so is subtly smaller, or if the braze-on has been mashed at some point ?
    – Criggie
    Feb 8, 2021 at 22:57
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    @Criggie The missing paint and the "dinged" look of the bottom surface of the braze-on are, IMO, evidence of some prior mashing event. Feb 8, 2021 at 23:02
  • 3
    Could there be crud inside the braze-on interfering with the ferrule? I would go with the stepped ferrule if not; it's more likely to fit.
    – MaplePanda
    Feb 9, 2021 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


It appears that is some kind of fancy CNC'd aluminum ferrule. If so it might be a little chunkier than a regular one and randomly be able to encounter fit issues. If that is the case, assuming you're using normal spiral housing, all you have to do is get a normal plated brake ferrule like the one you had and you should be fine. If you're using compressionless aka braided brake housing, choose from the other options suitable for compressionless, like the Jagwire nosed ones.

If every ferrule you put in there is going in tight, you'll need to figure out why. Usually it's because of excess paint, or the two sides of the stop got squished together, or the stop got smashed shut at the opening a little. On an aluminum frame one must proceed with caution to find the best way of repairing it. I have very gently used a screwdriver to widen back out smooshed housing stops on aluminum frames, but there is some risk of it breaking completely. I've also used a small file to take away the dented-in part of the opening, which is typically a better way as long as the end result is workable because you really don't want to be bending anything non-replaceable around on aluminum frames.

4mm, 4.5mm, and 5mm refer to the outside diameter of the housing that goes into the ferrule. In contemporary times, all brake housing is 5mm, and shift is usually 4mm. 4.5mm is seen in a few fancy kit type systems, but is pretty uncommon.

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