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Measuring STI cable housings?(7 posts)

Measuring STI cable housings?crestlinefarm
Jul 15, 2003 5:48 PM
I'm switching my old Shimano downtube shifters for STI's. The shifter cables (the ones marked SIS) that were included with the levers are super duper long and when I casually hold them up between the lever and the downtube bosses, it seems like they're way too long. I read that the housings need to be trimmed with a special cutter which my LBS has, but I would like to take just the housings in.
What's the rule of thumb for measuring these things? I only want to cut these once....
re: Measuring STI cable housings?Akirasho
Jul 15, 2003 6:21 PM
... I try to size my housings as short as possible... meaning that, they should be just long enough to allow for a reasonable range of steering motion (some folks will allow for full range of motion... but that's overkill save for storing the bike (you'd "almost" never actually find yourself steering a bike at speed at the two extremes).

While not impossible, it would be dicey sizing away from the bike... once cut, if too short... they can't be regrow'd... so it's safer to reference a couple times off the frame before cutting. Still, you could do a reasonable job of estimating (having an assistant would help)... marking with a permanent marker... and cutting remotely. Just put the cable in place (one end firmly seated) and move your handlbars through a range that's comfy... and mark (careful not to slip).

As far as cutters are concerned... you're looking for something that'll shear the casing as opposed to crushing... even with good housing cutters... it doesn't hurt to have a bit of scrap cable inside the cut zone to support the housing. Also note, many folks (me included) now use a cutoff wheel mounted in a Moto tool for this kind of job... clean and quick cut.
Do you have cable inside when cutting with wheel? (nm)TFerguson
Jul 16, 2003 8:26 AM
Love this idea!pitt83
Jul 16, 2003 9:40 AM
I have been de-bugging my hardtail (I know, other board) which I built up this winter. Cables have been sluggish. I'll be that if I had cut the housing with a cable inside, they'd stay round and not snag.

Excellent tip!
Love this idea!russw19
Jul 16, 2003 4:37 PM
I have a 5 inch long spoke sharpened to a point at one end. After you cut the housing, just insert the sharp end of the spoke into the housing and swish it around. It will make that hole round again. It will also allow you to poke the guy next to you really hard when he does something dumb to your bike... like touch it with greasy hands!

Do you have cable inside when cutting with wheel? (nm)Akirasho
Jul 16, 2003 5:15 PM
... yup...

Be the bike.
Shimano cable cutters.Spoke Wrench
Jul 16, 2003 9:02 AM
If in doubt, I cut 'em a teence long then dress up the cut end on my bench grinder. It's lots faster than using a Dremel and leaves just as clean an end.