Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Commuter Project Bike: Day 21

Almost Done

Put on the pedals and started on the brake cables. I had a lot of trouble cutting the cable housings with a pair of regular cable dikes.  The special and shiny Jagwire cable housings that I got are composed of a plastic sheath, then a layer of nylon strings, then a layer of super strong cable strands, then another plastic sheath inside of that. When I finally did get through it with my dikes the cut was so ugly and the inner cables so mangled that I couldn’t get the cable housing caps on.  So I started playing cat-and-mouse with trimming the plastic sheath, then trimming the inner cables, then trimming the sheath again, then trimming the inner cables again.. Finally I had a cleaner end to work with and crammed the cable housing cap on, then put the actual brake cable in and trimmed it to length. When I finally got done it did end up looking pretty good, but took me almost an hour for just the front cable. At that point it was getting late and I didn’t have the energy to go on.

Also, in looking at the rear brake cable setup, I came across a question, and thought that I would table it here.  The cable stops on my top tube look like they have actual stops on them to halt the housing and only allow the cable to keep going. There is two separate places were it looks like the housing is stopped and started. The cable housing goes from the brake handle to a spot on the top tube near the front. Then it goes into a cable stop and only the cable can run along the top tube. Then there is another cable stop, which opens up to allow the cable housing to run again until after the seat post but then there is another cable stop that halts the housing again about 3 inches short of where it needs to go from the brakes.  I have included some pics below of what I am talking about.
So, if I followed the cable stops and housings, then I would have to run a bare cable (or at least put a cut in the cable housing) along my top tube, as well as for about 3 inches above my rear brake. My question for you is, is that right? Is there a reason that you would want to run a bare cable along the top tube, or cut the cable housing like that? Are most mountain bikes like that? I was thinking I could just drill out the side of the cable stops that don’t allow the whole cable housing to go through so that I could run the whole cable housing through the stops, effectively turning them into runners or guides for the cable housing. This would allow the housing to go all the way down the bike, which would be way easier and I think would look nicer. 
What do you guys think about that?

Let me know. Im hoping to finish it tonight, so I need to figure this out by the end of the day. 

Top of the cable stop. 

Other side of the cable stop. You can see here where it blocks the cable housing.

Bike so far, with the rear brake cable housing dangling. Needs that finished, and then tubes and tires and its DONE! 


  1. ben,
    The stop you are talking about is for cantilever tension adjuster since you are running v-brakes you will most likely have to use creative zip ties to put the cable somewhere.

  2. Rafal's right about the rearmost stop above the brakes. That one is for cantilevers as the cable will come straight down in a center line over the straddle cable. In this case, since you're using a v-brake, the housing will arc over the non-drive side and go straight into the brake arm.

    As far as the top tube stops go, you could run continuous housing to keep the cable sealed, which in theory will keep it cleaner and make it last longer. But in all practicality, you don't see a lot of road grime build up on the top tube like you would if you were running exposed shifter cables along the down tube.

    I say trim the housing and run the exposed cable. The clean lines along the top tube look good, and you won't have to worry about cable corrosion as much, as it's not going to be directly exposed to any spray from the road.