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  1. #1
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    New question here. Cables have me frayed!

    Gaaahhhhh!
    How do you guys do it?

    How do you keep your frigging cable ends from fraying?
    I'd really like to just solider the ends but for some reason even with SS cables I can't get the soldier to stick. Once upon a time I could but now no luck. I've tried using a soldiering iron and even the stove with no luck.

    My frustration is that every time I put a new cable on, If for some reason I have to take it out past one of the housings it will start snag an unwind going back in. Worse still I put a crimp on cable end and half the time the trail trolls steal it mid ride. Yesterday I had a brand new cable and cable end on and by the end of the ride the end was gone and the cable was completely frayed all the way up to the der.

    I'm getting tired of chucking cables long before they're worn or even streched!

    Tips? Techniques? JB-Weld?
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  2. #2
    Roy
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    Solder won't stick to a non-ferrous metal. You have 2 good options, imo:

    - a tiny blob of JB weld, or any other epoxy
    - a tiny slice of heat shrink on the ends

    I use the former; the artist formerly known as Naestep has excellent pics of the latter.

  3. #3
    Just another FOC'er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    JB-Weld?
    Yeah, that's what I use. No crimp on ends, just JB-weld. I find I can even squeeze the stuff later with a pliers and crack it off allowing me to pull the cable out without cutting it to do something stupid like change a piece of housing, but use the old cable.

  4. #4
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Did you use copper pipe flux paste and solder with a propane torch? That electrical rosin core stuff just beads and runs off. I think there was a drivetrain thread on this recently.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    When you actually have the right cables, solder usually won't stick because the cable never got hot enough. Most soldering irons are pathetic, and they won't heat a bicycle cable up enough to actually allow the solder to bond.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
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    Tnx Ts I'll look for the thread....soldiering is what I really want, so I don't have to cut or refinish the ends.

    Roy, IIRC SS is a ferrous metal. Some versions quite responsive to magnets.
    I'm curious how some shrink tube will hold better than a crimp on.
    "Naestep" Wow, there's a handle I haven't seen in a long time...what's he go by now?
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  7. #7
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Speedub Nate or something like that.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla

    Roy, IIRC SS is a ferrous metal.
    They do make zinc and coated zinc cables though. Sounds like you have SS cables, but sometimes people can't get it to work because they got zinc, and of course who knows exactly what it is unless you bought it in seperate packaging (not the bulk stuff that the shop uses).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    I assume, since you do your own maintenance, and from everything I've read in the past are a capable mechanic, that you have good cable cutters and aren't using dykes, or leatherman or something silly?

    Shimano's cable cutter works very well for me. Also, I've had fraying issues in the past because I tightened the clamp bolt too tightly, causing a kink that was too close to the end of the cable.

    I haven't soldered my cables for a few years - since reducing the torque on the clamp bolts - so I'm no help there. as for the caps, 3 crimps with the handle part of the cutters works for me. They don't fall off, ever.

    Good luck, and sorry for suggesting the obvious.

  10. #10
    ... I guess you won't be
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    I use crazy glue.....it dries really fast and holds the end of the cable together......when I'm actually planning ahead, I'll crazy glue the area of the cable I'm about to cut, so it doesn't flay out when snipped, then I crazy glue it again to finish it off......cheap & easy!

  11. #11
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Roy, IIRC SS is a ferrous metal. Some versions quite responsive to magnets.
    May depend on what type of coating it has for friction reduction, or something else completely - I need to look it up but it was explained to me once why you can't solder bike cables.

  12. #12
    MK_
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    Also, the best way to cut cables is with the dremel. Same goes for the housing.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  13. #13
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    micro torch

    The last shop I worked at had a butane fueled micro torch that was perfect for soldering the ends. Many times now I just cut the excess off at the pinch bolt, saves weight and once everything is adjusted and bolted down the tag end is never used again, ever.

    DT

  14. #14
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    Shrink Wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Gaaahhhhh!
    How do you guys do it?

    How do you keep your frigging cable ends from fraying?
    ...
    I'm getting tired of chucking cables long before they're worn or even streched!

    Tips? Techniques? JB-Weld?
    I second the heat shrink tubing recommendation. It works very well, it sticks so tight that you can't pull it off, yet it's easy to cut off if you need to remove the cables for cleaning/lubing etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Backmarker; 09-18-2006 at 05:28 PM.

  15. #15
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    I cut withh the Park cable/housing cutter tool, seems efficient and neat enough.
    I've used Crazy glue in the past many of my cables frayed anyway.
    I still don't see how shrink wrap will stay on the cable when I've had crimp-ons get magically striped on the trail. Backmark...that's one helluva crisp photo.

    DT, you guys are as excellent wrenches. I seem to go through cables every time I adjust something mostly because it frays.

    I'm going to try the mini butaine torch and the plumbers copper flux...any particular kind of Soldier? Plumbers? Electrical? Acid or Resin core? (I'll do the search a in a bit)
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  16. #16
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    I use a liquid rubber which is usually used as a tool dip. A small dap is all that's needed. When I have to remove the cable the rubber coating is easily removed with a finger nail.

  17. #17
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    I'm going to try the mini butaine torch and the plumbers copper flux...any particular kind of Soldier? Plumbers? Electrical? Acid or Resin core? (I'll do the search a in a bit)
    Why don't you give the JB Weld a shot before going thru all of the above trouble? I'm sure you have JB handy and I know it has never resulted in a frayed cable for myself and many others.

  18. #18
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    This thread is a great example of bike junkies (myself included) with too much time on their hands...no disrespect Zilla, but there is an easier solution, just use cable end crimps. I use them, and have never had any problems with fraying ends. Just cut the excess cable reasonably short, and crimp it. Or is it a "Homer thing" to come up with alternative ways to take care of loose ends? If so, disregard my post and please continue...

    Just a thought, If crimps did not exsist, and everyone was using JB weld or heat shrink, imagine the introduction of the crimp - Wow, problem solved

  19. #19
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Some types of super glue are water soluble. I think the original brand of Krazy Glue is the stuff you would want.

    JB sounds great, but it would drive me nuts to have to mix up a new batch every time I dealt with cable ends. If you do a neat solder, you could still pass the cable end through the housing afterwards. May take some practice. The little alloy thimble ends are the easiest.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  20. #20
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    Mike... BZ started this thread with the following:

    "Worse still I put a crimp on cable end and half the time the trail trolls steal it mid ride. Yesterday I had a brand new cable and cable end on and by the end of the ride the end was gone and the cable was completely frayed all the way up to the der."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike67
    ... just use cable end crimps. I use them, and have never had any problems with fraying ends. Just cut the excess cable reasonably short, and crimp it. Or is it a "Homer thing" to come up with alternative ways to take care of loose ends?...
    It's not that. Heat shrink tubing works better than crimp-ons. It's easier and faster to put on. It shrinks down and forms right into the cable and sticks so tight that you can't pull it off (you have to cut it off with a knife, but that's easy to do). I've lost lots of crimped-on ends, but I've never lost a shrink wrap end. Plus, heat shrink tubing doesn't kink the end of the cable like crimp-ons do, so you can easily remove and re-install the cable if necessary. I don't remove my cables that often, but I do once in a while and I'm always glad I have the heat shrink tubing on there when I do.
    Last edited by Backmarker; 09-18-2006 at 05:30 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    Mike... BZ started this thread with the following:

    "Worse still I put a crimp on cable end and half the time the trail trolls steal it mid ride. Yesterday I had a brand new cable and cable end on and by the end of the ride the end was gone and the cable was completely frayed all the way up to the der."
    Yeah, I think I understood his post? That's why I recommend cutting the cables shorter. He is probably losing the rear der. crimp from not cutting the cable short enough, and having it snag on bushs ect. I have found that the heal of my shoe will catch on the cable crimp if it is left too long.
    If he's having a problem feeding new cable through the housing pieces, because the cable comes unwound - road bike cables are a good solution, they come brazed at the end so they wont come apart. DT's method sounds about right too - nothing left to fray.

  23. #23
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    Heat shrink tubing. Done in about 2 minutes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy
    Solder won't stick to a non-ferrous metal.
    Huh? That's a new one on me!

    People torch-solder (braze) non-ferrous metals and alloys all the time.

    I think what you might mean is that without the proper pre-treatment (degrease/cleaning, proper flux), the solder won't adhere. Or maybe that the solder used was not the proper solder for the metal to which it's supposed to adhere. Different metals require different solders/alloys.

    I know folks who solder their cable ends to keep them from fraying. Someone better tell them that their soldering isn't actually working!

  25. #25
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    I had the same thing happen to me and it was frustruating the hell out of me until I finally went to SRAM after years on Shimano with Nokon cables to seal and protect the cables. So far everything is working like a charm.

  26. #26
    shut up and pedal
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    Never had a problem with crimps, they seem to hold just fine using a vise-grip to really give it the squeeze.....
    The crimp is all that survived this past weekend.
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