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  1. #1
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    Is the shifter cable/housing the same as my brake cable/housing

    My hardtail has been sitting for some time now, but I am trying to resurrect it. It shifts hard on both the front and rear, and in the rear it has trouble finding the middle gears on the cassette. Basically, I want to put on new cables and housing on all the way around to help with the tough shifting. I used to get cable and housing for the disk brakes (avid mechanical disk brakes). Is the shifter cable and housing the same material for brakes and shifters? In other words if I need 8 foot of brake cable housing and 8 foot of shifter cable housing can I just ask for 16 foot at the LBS? Same question for the cables.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Shifter housing is generally different. Jagwire does make a type of housing that can be used for both, but in the main the two types of housing are not the same. It is a safety issue if you use shifter housing for brakes. And going the other way won't really do your shifting any good.

    Just a thought on your middle-gears problem: get your derailleur hanger alignment checked. I'm not saying for sure that's the problem, but I would double-check it since you are replacing cables and readjusting everything anyway.

  3. #3
    One Gear
    Reputation: .40AET's Avatar
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    Brake cables are 1.6mm and shifter cables are 1.2mm. The housing is sized to fit the cables. You should not try to use them for the wrong application.

  4. #4
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    Brake housing is coil wound and shifter housing is made up of longitudinal strands. The compression of the brake housing will make for poor shifting. The lack of sidewall strength of shifter housing can cause catastrophic brake failure - the inner cable can pop out through
    the housing. Plus they are different diameters.

    You should measure more carefully, no way you need 8 feet of each. Shifter housing is expensive, brake housing is not too bad.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Brake housing is coil wound and shifter housing is made up of longitudinal strands. The compression of the brake housing will make for poor shifting. The lack of sidewall strength of shifter housing can cause catastrophic brake failure - the inner cable can pop out through
    the housing. Plus they are different diameters.

    You should measure more carefully, no way you need 8 feet of each. Shifter housing is expensive, brake housing is not too bad.
    Everyones info is good to know, thanks.

    I just said 8 foot randomly, I actually have not measured yet. Can I use the same end caps or should I get new ones?

  6. #6
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
    Reputation: thomllama's Avatar
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    just get a kit, will have housings, cables and ends all appropriate to the application, will end up cheaper and better than buying cheaper parts separately
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstorjoh View Post
    Can I use the same end caps or should I get new ones?
    You can use the old end caps if they are removeable and in good shape. Sometimes they are crimped on. They are different diameters.
    When you cut the new housing, you will need to use a Dremel tool or grinder to make the ends of the housing square. Makes a big difference in the feel.

  8. #8
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    Jagwire kits that are brake and shifter specific are great! I can feel the difference in what used to be cable drag on my old cables.

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