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emergency repair on the road: cutting a cable. anyone?(16 posts)

emergency repair on the road: cutting a cable. anyone?Haiku d'état
Jun 29, 2001 1:07 PM
in an earlier post i mentioned helping a guy out last weekend when his rear derailleur hanger snapped off and left his derailleur dangling by the cable. using the topeak alien, i converted him to a SS for the short ride back to his car. luckily, and i'm not sure how, he spun the crank and the cable got caught in there someplace and severed. otherwise, he would have had to run the r.der. to a bottle cage and tie it off, since i had no means of cutting the cable.

does anyone carry the equivalent of a cable cutter on rides? or have another solution? i realize the rear derailleur hanger failure is not that common, but i carry the alien, a pair of cables, a spare cleat, and other strange stuff on longer rides with me just in case...

thanks!
Leatherman, perhaps?Cima Coppi
Jun 29, 2001 1:12 PM
I have never had the need to cut or change a cable on the road either, but you bring up a good point about options to have if you do need to perform this service.

I might recommend the standard Leatherman for the job. It folds up to be pretty compact, and the wire cutting blades are sharp. I have not used mine to cut a bike cable, but I don't think it should have any problems.
Leatherman, perhaps?LC
Jun 29, 2001 2:22 PM
You can get a cheap little mini (leatherman copycat) of pliers/cutters and has a little knife blade too. It has come in handy more than once for me.
The tiny Leathermen are pretty uselessJim A
Jun 29, 2001 2:59 PM
Warning: Those tiny leathermen are not very robust when it comes to actually using them. Mine is actually another maker (I forget which) and has, among other tiny tools, tiny pliers and cutters. I tried to use the pliers to break off the guide thing on a 9sp chain replacement pin, and failed. It's just not beefy enough a tool and you can't get a good grip on it. I suspect the little cutter would fail to cut a cable too. I now carry a standard size leatherman in case I need to break off the pin thing, and I would guess the standard leatherman could cut a cable too (or at least mangle it apart). The standard leatherman is not light, and I wish I didn't have to carry it, but it is a robust tool that actually works. I now take my tiny leatherman to the office for cleaning fingernails and cutting open boxes full of mail order bike stuff. By the way - does any one else worry about reconnecting Shimano 9sp chain links using the replacement pins? I used to just re-use the original pins by not pushing them all the way through the link, and pushing them back in. Pliers are not needed for that. Then Grz Mnky said in response to my post on the subject that he would only use the Shimano replacement pins, and not re-use pins. (It wasn't exactly a hot topic - I got ONE response) Well, I respect Grz Mnky's opinion so now I carry pliers in my kit in case I need to break the chain and use the replacement pins. Sorry if I digressed from the cable cutting subject, but the I think pin problem is a lot more likely to happen than needing to cut a cable.
Another vote for LeathermanMiklos
Jun 29, 2001 2:39 PM
The standard leatherman is fairly light. I always carry one on long rides and when commuting (50 miles in itself). They can be handy in many more ways then you can imagine.

I have almost all of the various models since my wifes step-father is the main tool and die maker for Leatherman. Looking forward to the next new model for Christmas.

Miklos
Sure, just whip out your Smith torch, propane, and oxygen ...Humma Hah
Jun 29, 2001 5:10 PM
... Honestly, cables give me trouble. The housings are no problem (I use a moto-tool and abrasive cut-off wheel), but even at home in the garage the cables give me fits. This morning I cut a fresh brake cable for my wife's bike. The only thing I had that would do a clean job was a pair of linesman's pliers, and then only if I gave them a sharp whack with a hammer, against my bench vise. Tough stuff.

Once I had the cable routed, I needed to do the final trim and fuse the ends so it wouldn't fray. I did the final cut with a small propane/oxygen torch. Even old Humma Hah doesn't cart that rig around in the pack.

I do routinely carry a small pair of channel-lock pliers, and a Swiss Army Knife. Either tool gives you a way to hold onto the wire, so you can repeatedly bend it sharply. Bend it back and forth over an edge a few times and the strands should begin to break. In a pinch, you might stick the cable under something like the rear axel skewer, pinning it down so you can bend it. The resulting break is not pretty, but it will let you take off the roached part.
Re: Why don't you.....Rusty Coggs
Jun 29, 2001 7:15 PM
....use the moto tool and cutoff wheel to cut the cable. Works for me,every time.
Doesn't do much to sieze the ends ...Humma Hah
Jun 29, 2001 10:06 PM
... so they don't unravel. And besides, I haven't unpacked it from the trip from CA yet.

The last cable set I bought came with some little crimp-on ends, and others I've been able to solder the ends. For some reason, this cable did not come with crimps, and it refused to take solder.
re: What am I missing here....?Rusty Coggs
Jun 29, 2001 7:21 PM
Doesn't your alien have a 5mm hex key to just remove the cable from the derailer? Put derailer in pocket and tie off cable so it's out of the way.
you still have the cable end-cap to deal with. NMHaiku d'état
Jul 2, 2001 7:04 AM
plasma cutter tucked in the ol' kit works wonders...nmblue bayou
Jun 29, 2001 10:19 PM
Tool ChestStickers
Jun 30, 2001 8:24 AM
As I have aged,and as arthritis moves into my life, the need for specific tools for a task has increased. Over the last 5 years I have been purchasing very small specific tools for the bike. My cable cutter is a Master Mechanic 41-5C. Is a dream if you need it while on a trip. Another little gem is my 4" Vise-Grips. My "needs" do add weight, but I am the "Tool Lady". Ya can't drag me out of a good hardware store. Ride Happy.
re: emergency repair on the road: cutting a cable. anyone?LEATHERMAN work
Jul 1, 2001 10:42 AM
I was in the middle of a 50 mile MTBike ride and a similar cable situation happened. I was about to turn a friends bike to a single speed, when another rider came along that had a pair of LEATHERMEN I was able to cut the cable and fixed the derailleur.The LEATHERMAN we used were the full size version.
re: emergency repair on the road: cutting a cable. anyone?LEATHERMAN work
Jul 1, 2001 10:45 AM
thanks, all! good stuff...combine and i'll come up w/a fit! NMHaiku d'état
Jul 2, 2001 7:08 AM
don't cut itDog
Jul 2, 2001 8:09 AM
just loop it around in small circles several times, twisting as you go so it won't unwind; no need to cut.

Doug