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81 votes

What is the difference between brake cables and derailleur cables?

Cables: The main difference that I am aware of is the diameter of the cable. Most brake cables are 1.5 or 1.6mm in diameter. Most shift cables are 1.1 or 1.2mm, galvanized shifter cables are 1.3mm. I'...
Nate W's user avatar
  • 9,272
24 votes
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Bike mechanic told me: Gear cable too "springy"

Bike cable housing come in two varieties, one of them is used for brakes and has an internal wound metal structure, usually, with an inner liner to reduce friction. If you'd strip the housing from its ...
Jahaziel's user avatar
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21 votes
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What is this rubber on gear cables

Such rubber rings are supposed to keep gear and brake cables from rubbing against frame tubes. That is, when the cables are mounted openly outside the frame.
gschenk's user avatar
  • 9,778
21 votes

What are strong methods of linking two shifter cables together?

Some travel bikes were designed with frame couplings. This was in the era where airlines were stricter with luggage size requirements, and a coupled frame could fit in a box that wouldn’t incur ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
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21 votes
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Disk brake cables wear out too often - can I do something?

I think this is a design failure for this particular brake model. Many of the mechanical brakes I've used have a sort of rounded "landing" surface for the cable, and the cable is rolled into ...
Jahaziel's user avatar
  • 12.5k
20 votes

What's the strongest way to bond a cable stop to an steel frame?

Don't use cable stops. The biggest load those stops will ever see is when you grab your brakes hard for an emergency stop. So you're likely to find out that whatever you did to bond the stops to the ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
  • 10.7k
16 votes

What's the strongest way to bond a cable stop to an steel frame?

Beside a professionally done welding, clamp-on cable stops should be a reasonably reliable solution.
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
14 votes

Brake Line no Longer Connected to Brake Lever

Your brake inner cable has been torn from the head, and the head is either stuck in the lever or has fallen out on the road. You need to buy and fit a replacement inner cable. I'd suggest replacing ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 126k
13 votes
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Pros and cons of mixed hydraulic/mechanical brakes vs pure hydraulics

Background For most of cycling history, we've actuated derailleurs and brakes by pulling cables. One of the possible disadvantages of cables in general is that as the cable housing exerts a bit of ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 32.7k
13 votes
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What features to look for in a replacement gear cabling?

For better or for worse, Shimano has been pushing coated cables as the default option for their road groups for a while now. There are two 10-speed Tiagras; 4600 came with normal uncoated stainless ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
13 votes
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Shifter cable types for Gripshift

This is a slightly fringe topic that will draw some blank stares at many cable-selling establishments. Common shift cables come in 1.2mm and 1.1mm thicknesses for the cable part. SRAM (and I believe ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
13 votes
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Why do I constantly have to re-index gears?

The most likely causes are cable friction and derailleur hanger misalignment. Indexing adjustment has gotten more sensitive to both as the speed count has increased. Derailleur hanger misalignment ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
13 votes
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Cable end crimps?

They have a couple different names: cable tips and endcaps are common. They come in two major sizes, one for 1.1 and 1.2mm shift cables and one for 1.6mm brake cable. In practice either of those two ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
13 votes

What are strong methods of linking two shifter cables together?

Don't Personally I'd shop around and find a source of longer cables. Tandem brake/gear cables are exactly the same just longer, and shouldn't be 15x the price. I got some from Wiggle years ago and ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 126k
12 votes

What is this rubber on gear cables

There are three rubber rings, also known as "cable donuts" in your picture. With a little effort you can separate them and space them out along the cable. As gschenk says, they are supposed to prevent ...
David D's user avatar
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12 votes
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Shifter cable ruptured near the inner end in ST-R7020 - usual defect?

The cable turns a double right angle in quite a small space. It's a very common failure on all the 11speed shifters from 9000/6800 onwards. The "solution" is to change the right hand cable ...
Noise's user avatar
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11 votes
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Best drivechain for beach, seaside, coastal, winter, generally salty environment?

As someone who lives on a peninsular and services bikes, I'll throw in my oar, though there's probably overlap with other answers. My own bike has a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub, gates belt drive and ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 14.3k
11 votes
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What are strong methods of linking two shifter cables together?

Using ferrules and a swaging tool you can do a side by side connection or you can make loops in the ends of each cable. There are lifting and non-lifting ferrules. Be sure to get the lifting ferrules. ...
David D's user avatar
  • 21.8k
10 votes

Disc Brakes *Completely* Ineffective

I've had my fair share of hydraulic brake woes this year so I'll list the things I'd check - I am aware that you've done some already. Firstly some questions though: Are these brakes using mineral ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 809
10 votes

Why does my brake cable keep on coming out of my brake handle?

The brake outer cable and ferrule most probably popped out of the barrel adjuster on the brake lever. This can happen when you panic brake if your brakes were a little out of adjustment -- basically ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 29.2k
10 votes
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What tools do I absolutely need to replace brake cables?

Fourth hand cable stretcher - I think this is one tool I'll need to get, or something similar. I see Pedro's makes a version of it, I'm not sure if it's made as solidly or not. What should I look for ...
Rider_X's user avatar
  • 30.7k
10 votes
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What is MTB/roadbike specific in brake cables?

The difference is the lump on the end that engages with the brake lever. (right) A flat bar lever generally looks like a small cylinder or barrel, with the wire coming out the side. (left) A drop bar ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 126k
10 votes
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Shifter cable broke in the shifter and now the end is stuck in the shifter

Take off the little plastic cover on the bottom of your 5800 shifter. The line of its edge is visible in your second photo (1 or 2 screws). You will then have good access to remove the head. You can ...
Noise's user avatar
  • 14.3k
9 votes

What tools do I absolutely need to replace brake cables?

There is nothing special about Park Tool's side cutter pliers. I would guess that they re-brand reasonable quality generic ones rather than make their own. Any decent quality, sufficiently heavy duty ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
9 votes

Front brakes need to be further apart to fit the front wheel through

Here's an annotated rotated version of your photo: To get the wheel in: Pull the RUBBER BOOT to the right, slide it along the INNER CABLE toward the PINCH BOLT Squeeze the BRAKE ARMS together at the ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 126k
9 votes

Why does the rear brake bowden have no housing below the frame of the bike?

You do not really need the housing functionally, the bowden runs straight between two fixed points. There is nothing that could compress or deform. It just works well as is. You only could add it as a ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
9 votes

Why does the rear brake bowden have no housing below the frame of the bike?

Racier bikes do it above all because it's weight that can be taken away. That may sound trifling, but you get to a light bike by marginal gains in lots of little places. On other bikes it's about the ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
9 votes

Why do I constantly have to re-index gears?

Your shift cables need to be replaced, like NOW. This is a very possible symptom of deteriorating cables (as in, starting to fray and eventually snap), which makes sense considering 10 and 11s ...
MaplePanda's user avatar
  • 15.7k
9 votes

Cable end crimps?

The ends are called crimps or ends. They are available in small handfuls for almost nothing to free at a LBS, or a virtual lifetime supply in a bottle for about $10. If you can't find them online, ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 12.1k
9 votes

What are strong methods of linking two shifter cables together?

For joining steel cables in general you can get a variety of screw clamps (as well as crimps, but I wouldn't recommend those for safety-critical use without the expensive proper tool and testing). ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 59.9k

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