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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to lay in a small supply of brake & derailler cable and housing (and ferrules and such). I'm confused on a few points though, and I'd like some help.

1) Jagwire makes derailler cable in three sizes: 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm. Is there a standard size that I should use for mountain-bikes?

2) I can buy galvanized cable, stainless steel cable, teflon-coated cable. Is there an advantage as I move up that scale? Stainless seems a no-brainer to me. But Teflon cables are $13 each. Is the difference noticeable? I'm thinking to go with stainless.

3) Jagwire has more types of housing than I can shake a stick at. Is Ripcord a reasonable choice? Or should I just stick with the bottom-of-the-line, basic housing?

#1 above is the big question-mark in my mind.
 

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I reccomend shimano XTR housing and cables, you can get the kit or someplaces sell the housing by the foot.shimano brake housing=5mm, derailleur housing 4mm, some other brands may have odd sizes, you want easy? go to CBO bike online and but the xtr kit and enjoy a good product that last about 2 years for me with reg maintainence.you have a good housing/cable cutter? go to park tool for clear concise info, jagwire is not for me, it sucks.I think teflon is a waste all the ones I have tried the crap rubs off, xtr is stainless.alot of LBS mechs say the bottom line stuff is good enough, you maintain it and replace it..end of story however I really like the feel and looks of XTR.A trick I use to cut housing without collapsing the end to be cut is to run a old piece of cable past where you are going to cut with your very nice park cable/housing cutting tool...make sure the cut is flush or the housing will not seat properly in the ferrule, buy a hand full of cable end crimps..there are distinct sizes for brake and shift cable and get them on ASAP or you have a frayed piece of junk, they stay on much better if right size.....good luck friend.
 

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Big Boned
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Hard to beat this deal:

http://probikekit.com/display.php?code=A0059

And they have free shipping to the USA.

Definitely get yourself a good cable/housing cutter. Also handy to have a fine-tooth file to debur the housing ends after cutting. Another handy trick is to get an old spoke, cut off the elbow and sharpen the end. Use that to open up the inner sleeve on the housing if you crush it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. I actually do have a Park cable cutter. I just used it to successfully recable my son's bike from scratch, using cable and housing and ferrules that the bike shop sold me.

Does the size of the end-crimp really matter? When I recabled my son's bike, the shop just gave me a handful of crimps that were all the same size. In fact, the ferrules (or end caps) that they gave me were also all the same size. (Hence my confusion over housing size).

Using a file to clean up the ends of the housing after cutting is a really good idea. Wish I'd thought to do that the other day. Oh well. I'll file that idea away for next time.
 

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Old man on a bike
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I have quite a few bikes and do all my own work as well as on friends' bikes on occasion so I just buy housing in bulk reels, use regular QBP stuff, 4mm derailleur, 5mm brake and use appropriate ferrules. Rather than buy cable in bulk, I usually buy stainless steel dura ace derailleur cables in small lots, looking for it on sale and stocking up, or teflon coated stuff if the price is good (and find little performance difference). A 5mm ferrule doesn't work too well with 4mm housing and vice versa...I prefer metal ferrules but plastic works.
 

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I just got 2 sets of mechanical disc brake hosing & cables fron nashbar.com for $6.99 each on sale.(normally $7.99).It is sold as Nashbar cables but the housing has Jagwire printed on it so it is Jagwire.I don't have anything to compare it to, but it seems to be of good quality.I also heard about Alligator 25 foot rolls of housing (one is $10, the other $20) fron pricepoint.com. Might be worth a look.(they don't have ferrules though, as far as I know)
 

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end crimp size matters? never had a derailleur crimp fall off cannot say the same about a bigger brake cable crimp on a shift cable, I may be really in love with my bikes though! I like buying bulk cables and if I make a mistake it is easy to remedy....the kits do not leave much room for error, I think being able to do this job is worth not going to the LBS a mil times to have cable work done.used to use a dremel but fingd my trick with the old cable piece prevents crushing the housing, I am very careful to get an even cut, metal ferrules are better I think. XTR housing is good stuff, not to stiff, not too bulky and very smooth, shimano does so much R&D on their components, really admire their work ethic.
 

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I use the standard 4mm or 5mm Jagwire cable housing, with generic or Jagwire ferrules. I change cables 2X per year, and housing 1X per year. I like the 4mm because it requires less finishing/filing than the 5mm. 5mm cables can easily be finished with a Park cutter and an old spoke if you learn the technique. Do a couple hundred of them and you will. :)

IMHO, the more expensive stuff is not worth the money. Former shop rat, if you care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oldsalty said:
I may be really in love with my bikes though! I like buying bulk cables and if I make a mistake it is easy to remedy.
Buying bulk is exactly what I want to do. I can't afford the $100+ boxes, but Jagwire (and Shimano too, I think) has 25 foot roles of housing, and I'll just have to buy a bunch of single cables for stock.

My goal is to be able to fix any random cabling problem that comes up without having to take a half-day off from work make the expensive drive to the dealer only to have to leave the bikes and do the drive all over again a few days later. And I kind of like working on the bikes. It's theraputic, and gives me something to do when I'm on call and can't go anywhere -- like this morning.
 

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cannot remember where I was able to get the smaller bulk rolls of xtr housing..gotta dig through my receipts, you know where? I really like to work on my bikes too and do most everything except when the tools are too expensive like marzocchi bushing presses....$200.00...no way.
 

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Derailleurless
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JonathanGennick said:
Buying bulk is exactly what I want to do. I can't afford the $100+ boxes, but Jagwire (and Shimano too, I think) has 25 foot roles of housing, and I'll just have to buy a bunch of single cables for stock.

My goal is to be able to fix any random cabling problem that comes up without having to take a half-day off from work make the expensive drive to the dealer only to have to leave the bikes and do the drive all over again a few days later. And I kind of like working on the bikes. It's theraputic, and gives me something to do when I'm on call and can't go anywhere -- like this morning.
When you consider that a 160' (50m) roll of Jagwire bulk housing costs the same as a 25' roll of Ripcord, the choice (for me) is an easy one. It all depends on your needs. The economy is certainly there, and I'm supporting enough bikes to justify the quantity. In fact, I even invested in bulk cable, which set me back a pretty penny, but it should last me for life. Check eBikeStop -- cheapest housing prices I found recently.

I've used the Ripcord (just picked up a 25' roll recently), and I can't say the difference is remarkable enough to justify its expense versus the cheap stuff. Specifically, I was expecting to feel a difference on the long run to the rear mechanical disc on our tandem, but I couldn't tell one from the other -- they're both solid.

The cheap housing is that much easier to throw away when the time comes. I don't ever feel like I'm dealing with a precious commodity if I have to scrap some.

As for cable, I prefer stainless. The teflon coated stuff just seems to flake.

BTW, I fully second Natedogz' suggesion for a Dremel. Especially on sprial housing. No cutter can beat the Dremel's clean finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Nate. I ended up getting a couple of 25-foot roles of Jagwire's basic housing -- one role for brake and the other derailler. I went with stainless cables as well, but no teflon. I figured I'd keep things fairly simple to begin with, and I didn't want to lay out a lot of cash this time around. If I'm happy with what I bought, I'll replace in larger quantities as I use things up.

(Like you, I have numerous bikes to "support". It's also incredibly convenient to whatever work needs to be done here at home).

For now, no Dremel, but I'll keep one in mind. I'll add it to my "nice to buy someday" list.

Oh, as for size, I went with 5mm for the derailler housing. That way, I need only one size ferrule.
 

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Its got what plants crave
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Good call on the cheap housing. I think the expensive stuff is sort of a scam. I'd rather buy cheap and replace more frequently than pay twice as much for marginal performance gains.
 
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