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  1. #1
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    Cable tip protection: what do you use?

    I used to solder the tips of my cables, but lately I've just been too lazy to do that and I don't know how well it would work (if at all) on my teflon coated cables. So I'm just using standard crimp-on alloy tips (ano'd though ). Hate how they can fray the cable tip after removed, but they work, and usually the only time I have them off is to replace a cable anyway. I've also heard of people super gluing their cable tips, which interests me because it's easier than soldering and will work on teflon coated cables.

    What do you guys do to keep your cables from fraying?

  2. #2
    El Gato Malo
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    I've used old spoke nipples, the alloy ones are exceptionally easy to crimp.

  3. #3
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    I use heat shrink tubing and you can slide it on and off if needed.

  4. #4
    the catalan connection
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    I use the standard alloy tips that come with the cable sets or that I get at the LBS. I just don´t crimp them too hard so the cable doesn´t get frayed. If that happens anyway, I always leave enough cable so I can re-cut for fresh ends if needed.
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  5. #5
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlennard View Post
    I use heat shrink tubing and you can slide it on and off if needed.
    +1

    I use a hair dryer to shrink the tubing since I don't have a proper heat gun... works fine, just takes longer.

  6. #6
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    I have used epoxy.

  7. #7
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    At my own shop we used to cut them with a Oxi-torch, they got cut and also "cauterize" at the same time with out the need for cable ends.

  8. #8
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    super glue and cable end

  9. #9
    Dave's not here.
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    Duct tape, paper clip, chewing tobacco, Iguana spit and a skewered snail. Works like a charm.

    I have used solder, shrink tube and the crimps and they all work.
    Craig

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlennard View Post
    I use heat shrink tubing and you can slide it on and off if needed.
    I've done that too. The only problem I had is that it came off while riding pretty easily. Maybe I needed smaller heat shrink?

  11. #11
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    Normally just use standard cable ends but have also used super glue on a few bikes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    +1

    I use a hair dryer to shrink the tubing since I don't have a proper heat gun... works fine, just takes longer.
    you can also use a lighter.

  13. #13
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    super glue is all I use these days.. if it's good and thin (not the gel type) it'll wick right in the end. I actually just had a trail snake twist the crap out of my derailleur and wasted the cable.. went into my box of scraps and pulled out an old cable and a small piece of housing.. it was nice to have the cable not un twist when threading thru the housings... no cutting, crimping or other issues.

    I actually find the area the clamp hits now and throw some on there,.. helps keep it from squishing out.. kinda drip it on then take a rag and rub it up and down a few inches above and below the clamp area.. works like a charm!
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Plays with tools
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    I use the alloy end crimps and smash them flat with my Knipex adjustable pliers. They tend to stay put as long as the cable lasts. Maybe it's just me but If I'm taking them off their next stop is the stainless scrap bin.

  15. #15
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    I use the alloy end crimps and smash them flat with my Knipex adjustable pliers. They tend to stay put as long as the cable lasts. Maybe it's just me but If I'm taking them off their next stop is the stainless scrap bin.
    guessing you don't have trail snakes taking out derailleur hangers where you are LOL

    I don't carry cable cutters on the trail.. so when this happens it's nice to be able to just undo the clamp and pull everything off.

    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    guessing you don't have trail snakes taking out derailleur hangers where you are LOL

    I don't carry cable cutters on the trail.. so when this happens it's nice to be able to just undo the clamp and pull everything off.
    The end crimps aren't on so tight that you couldn't get them off trailside if you pulled on the derailleur/brake hard enough. One sharp tug will pop them loose.

  17. #17
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    The end crimps aren't on so tight that you couldn't get them off trailside if you pulled on the derailleur/brake hard enough. One sharp tug will pop them loose.
    ya, but they screw up the end, flatten, unravel, just plan distort it.. Slap a new hanger in and off I go (of coarse that time I din't have my seat bag on which is where I keep the hanger.. or used to) with a tip on you're pulling it off, and you need to carry some pliers or risk more damage to cable routing trying to yack it off jammed agains the stop. then if the housings kinked or something and you need to straighten it all out you can't get the cable back in because it's distorted.. bla bla bla.. crazy glue is just simply easier and better..

    seriously try it.. once you see how well it works you wont bother with the end crimps
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Plays with tools
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    ya, but they screw up the end, flatten, unravel, just plan distort it.. Slap a new hanger in and off I go (of coarse that time I din't have my seat bag on which is where I keep the hanger.. or used to) with a tip on you're pulling it off, and you need to carry some pliers or risk more damage to cable routing trying to yack it off jammed agains the stop. then if the housings kinked or something and you need to straighten it all out you can't get the cable back in because it's distorted.. bla bla bla.. crazy glue is just simply easier and better..

    seriously try it.. once you see how well it works you wont bother with the end crimps
    Cable crimps are more of a convenience than a hassle, you can keep huffing glue though. I'm pretty content with them. I also don't own a bike with a replaceable hanger.

  19. #19
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Cable crimps are more of a convenience than a hassle, you can keep huffing glue though. I'm pretty content with them. I also don't own a bike with a replaceable hanger.
    ummm holding the thing.. crimping it.. dealing with it... if that's a convenience for ya.. well all the more power to ya.

    Just so ya know.. it happens to steel frames too.. matter of fact.. today ...

    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    ummm holding the thing.. crimping it.. dealing with it... if that's a convenience for ya.. well all the more power to ya.

    Just so ya know.. it happens to steel frames too.. matter of fact.. today ...
    You sure are hung up on ripping derailleurs off. In the rare chance that happens it's time for damage control. Get the damaged parts off and turn it into a single speed and get back home. The risk of damaging the cable (which won't happen if you pull on it in a straight line) which is a consumable is of little concern. And if crimping a cable tip on is a PITA I can't imagine what you think of doing anything of real mechanical nature is.

    I tried the super glue on a cable this afternoon just to see what your on about, I don't see why you're so hung up on it.

  21. #21
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    You sure are hung up on ripping derailleurs off. In the rare chance that happens it's time for damage control. Get the damaged parts off and turn it into a single speed and get back home. The risk of damaging the cable (which won't happen if you pull on it in a straight line) which is a consumable is of little concern. And if crimping a cable tip on is a PITA I can't imagine what you think of doing anything of real mechanical nature is.

    I tried the super glue on a cable this afternoon just to see what your on about, I don't see why you're so hung up on it.
    it's not damaging the cable.. it's getting the derailleur off to make it a SS.. why be yanking and tugging when you don't need to?

    the glue makes running new cables much easier as it wont unwind if you happen to not get a end perfect the first run and it jams.. still jams but you pull it back, clean the housing and go again.. not deal with a bend/unwound wire...

    I also regularly pull the cables and clean/inspect them.. again no fiddling with cable ends... just unclamp,.. clean off exposed area and pull it back and thru, and after it slides right back in.. now unwinding, no kinks.. just easier and makes better sense.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Plays with tools
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    it's not damaging the cable.. it's getting the derailleur off to make it a SS.. why be yanking and tugging when you don't need to?

    the glue makes running new cables much easier as it wont unwind if you happen to not get a end perfect the first run and it jams.. still jams but you pull it back, clean the housing and go again.. not deal with a bend/unwound wire...

    I also regularly pull the cables and clean/inspect them.. again no fiddling with cable ends... just unclamp,.. clean off exposed area and pull it back and thru, and after it slides right back in.. now unwinding, no kinks.. just easier and makes better sense.
    Is one swift tug in a rare situation that big of a deal?

    I gather that you replace your cables and re-use your housing? Horrible horrible waste of time. You think that the stainless steel cable is going to wear out before the PTFE liner in the housing, no way, ever. Furthermore the need to inspect cables is unjustified. If they don't shift well they need to be replaced (cables and housing). Cleaning them out with compressed air or a river of lube might buy you some time but it's a stop gap. I'm starting to gather that your less than optimal maintenance practices are the reason you love the super glue.

    As always my mechanical advice is geared towards chasing the last 5% of mechanical perfection. What's good for me is overkill for many. On the flip side what might work for many of you is just flat out unacceptable for me.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Let's take a step back and get on track again. This thread's purpose is to find out what mtbr users are doing and why it works for them. A lot of stuff doesn't ever seem to live up to your extremely high standards, customfab, but that doesn't make it right to insult somebody over how they keep their cable tips from fraying. If it works, it works and if somebody gains something from this thread I'll be happy.

    Anybody else have another method to protect their cables?

  24. #24
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    If one crimps the aluminum end cap from one side with flat nosed pliers just in from the shoulder, if it has one, the cable stays perfectly round. Just don't crimp the whole thing like a wire terminal.
    lean forward

  25. #25
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    I usually do 3 light crimps with a pair of dykes. Every now and then you get a cable that has a couple strands unravel a couple turns when you take the crimp off. From working in a shop, I've seen some pretty nasty cable ends!

  26. #26
    conjoinicorned
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    Heat shrink tubing

    I've tried every conceivable method, including crimping weird things on in a pinch. They all seem to have the exact same results (I.e. they work), glue, solder, crimps, shrink tube, tape...so I use shrink tube cause I happen to have 10' of tube in every color available which is a lifetime of cables.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  27. #27
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    How about crimping from the side and dripping in some non-gel super glue. Make the cable short enough so those with short finger nails can simply loosen the pinch bolt and squeeze the lever or shift to pop the cap off. It might be a good idea now thinking about cable stuff to glue the end before threading the inner through. I have caught a strand or two many times while threading giving me a headache. Maybe the glue might help there?

    I use heat shrink but I use a piece long enough to go under the pinch bolt also. It has never slipped off on me and stays put until the clamp is loosened.
    lean forward

  28. #28
    Give it a crank
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    The best thing I've found was from a similar thread here on mtbr. Hot glue works like a charm and is easly removable with a pair of pliers.

    When trimming the length of new cables, you can apply hot glue first, then cut the cable right through the middle of the glob. You get a clean cut with no unraveling of the strands.

    Here's a shot showing the tip of an old & dirty FD cable.

    <img src="http://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/11010503.jpg">

  29. #29
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Is one swift tug in a rare situation that big of a deal?

    .
    realyy not a rare situation round here.. reason many people use SS or go 1x? with a short cage to lessen the chances

    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Is one swift tug in a rare situation that big of a deal?

    I gather that you replace your cables and re-use your housing? Horrible horrible waste of time. You think that the stainless steel cable is going to wear out before the PTFE liner in the housing, no way, ever.
    no.. but often times when the derailleur hanger gets wiped out the last run of housing and the cable are toast. I often just replace the last piece of housing and throw a new cable in.

    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Furthermore the need to inspect cables is unjustified. If they don't shift well they need to be replaced (cables and housing). Cleaning them out with compressed air or a river of lube might buy you some time but it's a stop gap. I'm starting to gather that your less than optimal maintenance practices are the reason you love the super glue.
    No actually its my OCD for maintenance that makes me like it... I don't use lube or anything on cables but I do pull them and wipe with a clean rag and at the same time check for wear, kinks and broken wires.. avoids the finding a cable is bad during the ride...


    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    As always my mechanical advice is geared towards chasing the last 5% of mechanical perfection. What's good for me is overkill for many. On the flip side what might work for many of you is just flat out unacceptable for me.
    trails here are rather "rough" not just in terrain but in condition.. LOTS of twigs and dead fall all the time as the storms and winds are pretty constant and they bounce up and hit cables and other things not just the derailleur.. NOT cleaning and inspecting everything at least once every few months would be the lack of maintenance

    Really not "fighting" with ya just don't get why someone with such obvious attention to detail like you wouldn't see the many advantages of the glue over end crimps but what ever.. as long as you do something to keep the ends from unraveling it's all good.

    Like Sasquatch said... back to the point.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  30. #30
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    I am using the non crimp ends from jagwire.They have a little rubber boot and work well for me.They pull straight off and you put them on with a twisting motion

    Jagwire Cable End Non-Crimp Tips - Black
    Last edited by MitchD; 04-17-2013 at 07:11 PM. Reason: link to pictures

  31. #31
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    I use "Gorilla Glue"and an al end. It leaves a nice marshmallow top.
    Last edited by Chopshopchopper; 04-17-2013 at 08:09 AM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    Really not "fighting" with ya just don't get why someone with such obvious attention to detail like you wouldn't see the many advantages of the glue over end crimps but what ever.. as long as you do something to keep the ends from unraveling it's all good.

    Like Sasquatch said... back to the point.
    I dont see what advantages you're talking about. I dont have any superglue at home so I use crimp ends. Just changed my cables last week, took 3 seconds to pull the ends off. When I had glue and no crimps, I used glue. No advantage that time either.

    Crimps are faster and less hassle overall. Neither work any better, but Im done with the job by the time I could pull off a superglue bottle top. Not that either take much time, and the whole thing is pretty splitting hairs.

    Ive also done nothing and just left crazy frayed ends. That really worked fine as well. When it was time to replace them, it all got replaced anyway. Even frayed cables pull out easy.

  33. #33
    The Wiking
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I dont see what advantages you're talking about. I dont have any superglue at home so I use crimp ends. Just changed my cables last week, took 3 seconds to pull the ends off. When I had glue and no crimps, I used glue. No advantage that time either.

    Crimps are faster and less hassle overall. Neither work any better, but Im done with the job by the time I could pull off a superglue bottle top. Not that either take much time, and the whole thing is pretty splitting hairs.

    Ive also done nothing and just left crazy frayed ends. That really worked fine as well. When it was time to replace them, it all got replaced anyway. Even frayed cables pull out easy.
    Precisely!
    If I have to saw the flat end of a pop-rivet to make a crimp, superglue is faster, If the crimps are lying around, they are fairly easy and really quick to apply....

    That said i often use glue and heatshrink (with a lighter), cause thats what I have closest whereever i'm mending bikes...


    -----

    Is there any idea in leaving a rather long piece of heatshrink on the end... Long enough to clamp on? or does the cable fray equally the same shrink or not?
    with speed, shall technique be conquered

    The streets are the sketchiest of trails.

  34. #34
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    I started using the superglue on thom's advice. It's realy simple, i just have one tube of the stuff, unscrew the cap, dip the cable right in the tube and screw the cap back on. couldn't get any easier.

    The only disadvantage i found was when doing the QR on my front wheel, the cable on the front V-brake would stab me in the arm. went to discs and that issue went away.

  35. #35
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    Any new ideas out there? I figure there's got to be a few more, none that I can think of, though

  36. #36
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    I take and put soldier in my cable crimps then heat the soldier back up and slip the cable into the cap (soldier holds the cable crimp on with out messing up the cable and it wont slid off unless u heat it back up again)U need acid flux the cable for this to work right tho.

  37. #37
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    I use #14-16 wire straight connectors from Home Depot. They are insulated so I slice the outer plastic jacket and remove the inner connector. You can cut one connector in half to make two end crimps. A package is $2, about 10 cents per end. Beats buying a 50 pack when you don't need it. You can clean up the ends with a file to make it look cleaner. Obviously not the solution if you do lots of cable work, but fine for small quantities.

  38. #38
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    I usually do 3 light crimps with a pair of dykes. Every now and then you get a cable that has a couple strands unravel a couple turns when you take the crimp off. From working in a shop, I've seen some pretty nasty cable ends!
    +1.

    Just 2-3 light crimps with diagonal cutters.

    If you use needle-nose pliers and squeeze each crimped spot at 90° just a bit, the cap comes right off and can even be reused in a pinch. Cable remains perfectly round.

    FWIW, I've tried soldering, superglue, and heat shrink tubing as well, but I'll stick with the aluminum caps.

    I bought a bag of about 250 cable ends about 10 years ago... still working my way through it.

    JMJ

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Radon View Post
    what I have closest whereever i'm mending bikes...
    Yup

  40. #40
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    Cable tip protection: what do you use?

    I solder mine but am going to try Superglue. I need to be able to push the cable through the housing. Crimp on cable ends mess up the cable end for that and a bare cable end is harder to push through too without the cable becoming splayed out.

    Update: tried Superglue. End became frayed. Didn't work. Solder or crimp on cable ends for me.
    Last edited by MikeDee; 05-31-2015 at 05:55 PM. Reason: edit

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