Soldering the end of brake/gear cables

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Soldering the end of brake/gear cables

Postby simonn » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:10 pm

Hi All,

Other than the wheels, it look like I have managed too fix my bike myself after the crash a month ago. Sounds better than it actually is as only the RH STI and cables needed replacing, but as a mechanically retarded ctrl+z reliant IT guy I am quite impressed with myself.

Anyway...

I did not get any end caps with the cables, but have read about using solder to keep the cable ends intact instead. However, I clearly have the wrong type of solder as it is not holding to the stainless, so does anyone know where to get solder that works with stainless steel?
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by BNA » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:16 pm

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Postby sogood » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:16 pm

You need to flux SS and even then it can be difficult. But caps are far easier, why not just get one or two from your LBS. They can't possibly charge more than 20c each.
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Postby Lark2004 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:17 pm

Bakers Soldering Fluid, in the plumbing section of Bunnings. That will make it possible for you to tin the stainless. As for solder, I just use normal flux cored solder.... nothing special.

or as sogood said get some feruls for the cables......my LBS gave me a handfull for free when I needed some for the Apollo.
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Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:31 am

I just get "Heat Shrink Tube" from Dicksmiths that works a real treat plus it never comes off and is dirt cheap.
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Postby HappyHumber » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:40 am

+1 to the notion - though I've managed, albeit roughly, without the flux to date. Must give it a go though - per Lark's suggestion... though I do have some heatshrink around somewhere which I now should also try. :shock:

What I dislike about the caps is you have to keep snipping the wire shorter if you crimp them on - if you've just threaded things up temporarily or you're disassembling your bike for travel etc etc.
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Postby familyguy » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:47 am

OK, here's how I do it...

Step 1: Build rapport with LBS owner and mechanics
Step 2: Drop by shop asking for a few cable ends
Step 3: Wait while said owner or mechanic drops 10 in a bag
Step 4: Smile when they dont charge you and keep coming back

Dont crimp the ends on like you're Arnie and you can generally twist them off if you need to rethread. They only need a firm fit to stay on, at least on a road bike anyway. Maybe on a mountain bike they'd vibrate off or get knocked off so a tighter crimp is required.

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Postby lemmiwinks » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:55 am

I've managed to solder stainless cables before, but it was a PITA compared to el cheapo Kmart cables. I've never tried heatshrink (though I might now!) and when I crimp on an end I can usually remove and reuse it by carefully squeezing it with pliers.
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Postby kukamunga » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:55 am

HappyHumber wrote:What I dislike about the caps is you have to keep snipping the wire shorter if you crimp them on - if you've just threaded things up temporarily or you're disassembling your bike for travel etc etc.

If you haven't crimped the cr#p out of them, they should pull off easy enough. You can sometimes even 'un-crimp' them and reuse them.

Your LBS should be happy enough to give you a few for free. Why not buy a whole jar - you can get them in different anodised colors - like a jar of 100's & 1,000's ! :mrgreen:
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Postby sogood » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:07 am

HappyHumber wrote:What I dislike about the caps is you have to keep snipping the wire shorter if you crimp them on.

Not true. Not sure what material they are made from but are very malleable. If you just use the crimp tool at 90 degrees from the previous crimp, it'll easily release the enclosed cable. And it's easy to re-crimp it. I have a few caps that have gone through many many cycles of this without failure but for the dogged appearance. Otherwise I bought a small bag of them 2 years ago from PBK for a buck or two. It'll be a lifetime supply of caps for me. :D

BTW, why would you want to release the brake cable at that point for travel packing? Once on, it hardly ever needs to be released except for major brake adjustments.
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Postby simonn » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:25 am

familyguy wrote:Step 1: Build rapport with LBS owner and mechanics
Step 2: Drop by shop asking for a few cable ends
Step 3: Wait while said owner or mechanic drops 10 in a bag
Step 4: Smile when they dont charge you and keep coming back


<rant>

I would, but... for instance...

1) I was looking for one RH 9-speed shimano STI. Could I get one from a LBS? No. "They only sell them in sets" ~$400+ for Tiagras - which is about what bike cost and hello, welcome to C21 and the internet! LBS and Shimano Oz, we can see what they sell O/S! Hi ho, hi ho, off to ebay I go... $145 for a set (S/H though and I think I paid a little over the odds, but they are 105s and I wanted to fix my bike). $255 is a whole load of end caps. Your local bike shop... spend a pound to save a penny.

2) When not recovering from a crash, I commute ~250km a week. After that I am too much of a wuse to consider group rides/bicycle socializing at the weekend to build rapport.

3) Avoiding LBSs is actually forcing me to learn how to fix my own bike.

</rant>

I read about the heat shrink thing also. I might give that a go. IMHO/SLE (/ = and Somewhat Limited Experience :)), crimping the end caps seems to aid cable fray. Unfortunately, I did not have any at home yesterday.
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Postby sogood » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:33 am

simonn wrote:IMHO/SLE (/ = and Somewhat Limited Experience :)), crimping the end caps seems to aid cable fray.

Only when incorrectly done. Or more commonly, when its not cut by a proper tool. When it's cut by a Drumel or a cable cutter, it should stay together and not fray.
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Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:46 am

I forgot to say when I use heat shrink tube before that I place a small tear drop of super glue on the last 10mm of the cable. Holding the cable up so the super clue runs down to the end then wipe of with a chucks cloth by which time the cable is now dry and the strands of cable bonded. Slap on the heat shrink for final protection and should you need to take the cable out just pull the heat shrink off it really is easy and very cost effective plus it works so well.

Don't go using supermarket super clue it's crap go to your local model/hobby shop and get the real deal and better of getting the thin glue not medium or thick thin works a treat.
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Postby familyguy » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:39 am

simonn wrote:<rant>

I would, but... for instance...

1) I was looking for one RH 9-speed shimano STI. Could I get one from a LBS? No. "They only sell them in sets" ~$400+ for Tiagras - which is about what bike cost and hello, welcome to C21 and the internet! LBS and Shimano Oz, we can see what they sell O/S! Hi ho, hi ho, off to ebay I go... $145 for a set (S/H though and I think I paid a little over the odds, but they are 105s and I wanted to fix my bike). $255 is a whole load of end caps. Your local bike shop... spend a pound to save a penny.


So you were after the shifters? I'm not surprised they only sell those in pairs, after all, thats kinda normal. Some shops dont carry spares or one-off parts. You can still get end caps...or wouldnt they sell you caps without buying shifters?

simonn wrote:2) When not recovering from a crash, I commute ~250km a week. After that I am too much of a wuse to consider group rides/bicycle socializing at the weekend to build rapport.


Fair enough, but you dont have to ride with them to build rapport (sure, it helps). Conversations in store, asking questions, showing your face in the shop...they can have benefits as people here will attest. Even if you commute and dont do the weekend warrior thing with them you cant avoid the place, really.

simonn wrote:3) Avoiding LBSs is actually forcing me to learn how to fix my own bike.

</rant>


Dont avoid them. That when they cease to exist. I still fix and tune my own gear, naturally paying a visit to the LBS for cables, bar tape, end caps, the odd seat and tubes. Big ticket items like crank and BB swaps they do, cause I'm not paying for heaps of one-use tools. :)

Long story short, I've never soldered them, always used caps, and make sure I have them in abundance at home for those required occasions.

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Postby twizzle » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:44 am

familyguy wrote:So you were after the shifters? I'm not surprised they only sell those in pairs, after all, thats kinda normal.


I believe you can buy just the 'blade assembly' from Shimano - they used to be almost the same cost as a complete brifter, but I read somewhere recently that they have changed the price model. But at least you would be able to buy just one side...
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Postby familyguy » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:15 pm

Well, I learn something every day...

Still, doesnt help if you trash the body or mechanism.

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Postby twizzle » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:00 pm

familyguy wrote:Well, I learn something every day...

Still, doesnt help if you trash the body or mechanism.

Jim


'Blade assembly' is everything but the housing that attaches to the bar.... Shimano lists it as "main lever assembly". No - haven't checked to see if you really can buy them in Aus.

But : check this out.
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Postby bmxbandito » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:08 pm

Can get blade assemblies by themselves had to replace a Durace one the other day.Couldnt buy a complete lever from Shimano Aus was nearly the same price as alever though.
Probably should start looking for a new career sounds like bike shops wont be around much longer.At least I will be able to get my stuff cheaper on the internet than trade price at work :lol:
Spose I might miss some of the customers but.Can just do a bunch ride with www.wedontdoabunchridewereawebsiteonly.com & hope somebody gets a flat so I can change it with a friendly smile & no charge at all :D
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Postby twizzle » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:45 pm

bmxbandito wrote:Can get blade assemblies by themselves had to replace a Durace one the other day.Couldnt buy a complete lever from Shimano Aus was nearly the same price as alever though.
Probably should start looking for a new career sounds like bike shops wont be around much longer.At least I will be able to get my stuff cheaper on the internet than trade price at work :lol:
Spose I might miss some of the customers but.Can just do a bunch ride with www.wedontdoabunchridewereawebsiteonly.com & hope somebody gets a flat so I can change it with a friendly smile & no charge at all :D
ontheothersideofthecounter Jeff


The only real difference between a legitimate internet shop and an actual physical shop should be the import duties paid by legitimate retailers in Aus. I don't mind paying some additional cost if I pick it up at a bike shop, but some of the price markups are ridiculous. And I'm comparing with PhantomCycles prices here, not UK based sites.

If the retail price for an item in America is $24, why is it $90+ in an LBS in Australia? And if there is a reasonable excuse for the LBS such as the sole importer having a huge markup.... why hasn't the retail industry pointed out to the importers that they driving the customers to the internet shops?

And this dealership crap upsets me as well.... why should I have to find a bloody Avanti dealer to pick up some Specialized Armadillo tyres :evil:
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