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Changing brake cables
Hi guys,

I'm a novice when it comes to this typa thing, hence need your help.
I got a decent specialized road bike and recently changed brake calipers to shimano 105. During changing of the brakes, i cut the outer cable too short, hence now, it feels unsafe when braking as the inner cable is rubbing against the frame.
I'm looking around for inner and outer cables, but got really confused by it.
I'm wondering if there's any different in quality between a non branded inner & outer cables compared to like a shimano ones?
I live in UK, just wondering if anyone can please recommend me of one?
And also, is it worth buying a set ones? or just they're just gimmicks?

Also what type of ferrules should I get? metal or plastic/rubber?

To be honest there isn't much of a difference, though the Shimano outers don't allow as much cable "stretch" (it's not stretch, it's the inner cable bedding into the outer. This is when you have new cables and you have to adjust the tension frequently for a while), hence they're easier to use.

I'm from the UK as well, all my bikes have the metal ferrules and they work pretty well. I use shimano inners and outers as well. They work really well, as my Downhill bike often gets covered in mud to the stage where there's more mud than bike. The shifting still works perfectly, despite the cheap mech and shifter. I run one continuous length of outer where possible as it keeps the gunk out for longer.
thanks JonB,

just wondering if there's any different between road and MTB inner and outer cables?
about the ferrules? should road bikes use metal as well or rubber?
Road and mtn brake inner cables have different ends and cannot be interchanged. Some mtn brake cables are also slightly thicker and require larger housing (outer). But except in that case, there's no difference between road and mtn housing. Note that gear housing is different and should never be used for brakes.

I would disagree a little that there's no difference between cheap and decent cables/housing. Cheap housing compresses a lot under pressure and will give your brakes a mushier feel. Really cheap housing sometimes won't have a inner liner and the cable is rubbing on metal. Probably not worth paying top dollar for the really high end stuff. But I recommend spending a couple extra bucks for mid-range cables and housing. I think you'll notice the difference.

Plastic ferrules sometimes crack over time, but they do the job as well as metal until then. I think the main thing is getting ferrules that fit the housing snuggly so they do their job properly. Material probably isn't so important.

Put a good coat of grease on the cable where it runs inside the housing when you reassemble. It will prevent rust and give you much smoother feel.
thanks Dave,

Any suggestion for inner and outer cables?
any brand in the particular that's not too expensive.
as I mentioned I've got the shimano 105 calipers, and I noticed that there's a cable brake kit for 105...is that worth getting or just a gimmick?

There is a HUGE difference between cheapies and good brake cables. I've been experimenting on my bikes, and sometimes switching out my brother's cables without his knowledge to see if he notices a difference, and he always does.

Cheap cables usually are galvanized instead of stainless steel, the outer housing doesn't have any lining, or a cheap plastic one if they do, and they are prone to compression, increasing friction, and reducing performance.

Good cables have the exact opposite of all these problems. They are primarily stainless steel, they have a teflon coating (or something similar), the outer housing will have a super slick lining, and are compressionless.

Some high end cable systems (Nokon, Gore Ride On, Jagwire ripcords, etc.) are full length housing, meaning there is no break in the outer housing (but with these, you have to drill out the cable stops to allow the housing to pass through, or get another cable system), or a liner that surrounds the cable when there is a break in the outer housing.

You definitely pay more for the high end systems, but the second you ride with them, you notice a HUGE difference. I always recommend these cable systems, since they last SO much longer than normal cables.

I run full length housing on ALL my bikes. (Even though the roadies tell me I'm adding whole GRAMS to my bike!Big Grin)

As for the 105 kit, I've never seen a 105 specific cable kit. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I've just never seen one.

Get these if you're on a budget, and it'll take care of all four cables: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CA409C10-Jagwire+Road+Cable++Housing+Sets.aspx

Although you're in the UK I just realized, so find them from a UK dealer.

Here, this seems right: http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=A0294
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
hey jr14.

thanks for recommendation mate!
I had a quick look at the product and they look quite MEAN!!! Big Grin
question though, if the outer cable is covering the inner cable pretty much all the way, will it be a problem for a road bike (in my case)?

If you see the picture I've attached (it's not my bike, I wish it was), I've marked the section with red arrow, will this be an issue with this jagwire cable?
Or can the outwire be shorten as well? Excuse me for a very very novice question here.. cheers
In sealed systems, the outer housing can be cut. A liner covers the cable, even when there is a break in the outer housing.

But I don't believe the system I pointed out to you is a completely sealed system. It just has a really slick liner that is meant for road bikes. You should be fine.

Check out this pdf from Jagwire. Instructions.

Dedicated scholar of bicycles
Hey Jr14, thanks again. yes I found that pdf as well when I was looking around on their website.

and it looks like the complete cable set comes with both brake and derailleur cables yeah?
or is it one but can be used for either...

(01-28-2010, 02:10 PM)jdawg Wrote:  Hey Jr14, thanks again. yes I found that pdf as well when I was looking around on their website.

and it looks like the complete cable set comes with both brake and derailleur cables yeah?
or is it one but can be used for either...


Brake and derailleur cables are different, so you have to use them specifically for what they were meant for. The derailleur cable is a small fraction of an inch smaller in diameter than the brake cable. Then you have different ends for each. Then the outer housing is different for the two. Brake housing has a metal wire wrapped up into a cylinder, while the derailleur housing is done in strips.

Hope that helps.
Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
Brake and derailleur cables are different, but they're labeled out of the package. And there are different ends, so make sure they are compatible with the sifting system you have. SRAM and Shimano use the same ends, but Campagnolo (sp) are different. Just order them according to your derailleur manufacturer.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
I think change a bike cable if it is frayed or it is getting stiff. When either of these two indicators are present, there may be damage on the inner wire, or often on the outer wire. Any friction in the cable will stop your brakes from returning properly. Check for damage to the outer casing, the cranks, and for any bends in the wires. You'll need to replace both the cable and its outer casing if it is damaged.

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