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Brakes, Shifters, Cables, Gears - Help!(4 posts)

Brakes, Shifters, Cables, Gears - Help!Saddle_Sore
Dec 23, 2003 6:59 AM
I am still managing to build up my "classic" Reynolds 531c frame. I have installed the bottom bracket, rear derailleur, front derailleur, crank set, stem, handlebars, brakes, but now I find myself facing up to putting on the Shimano 600 brakes/shifters - and I am a bit overwhelmed by all of the cable routing that is going to have to go on.

Does anyone have any tips as to how this might be made to go more smoothly?

I've never attempted anything like this before, so if you are using jargon, please provide a Plain English translation.
Just look how it's done on other bikes.Cory
Dec 23, 2003 8:35 AM
There's not much need for innovation in routing on a non-suspension frame--if you take a look at almost any bike in a shop or a rack, you'll see how it goes. Traditionally the right brake lever and shifter control the rear brake and derailleur, but there's no reason it has to be that way. A local cyclist around here had a bad hand injury several years ago, and he reversed the controls so he could use his good hand for the rear, where you shift more.
One thing to watch out for is getting the cable housing too short. People always seem to worry about excess friction and weight from leaving it too long, but that's really minimal--better a couple of inches long than a couple of inches short. If you cut your own housing (a Dremel tool works well if you don't have cutters), be sure to grind the burrs off the ends so it sits flat. A good repair/maintenance book, like Zinn's, will tell you all you need to know about the details.
Break it down into systems...Fredrico
Dec 23, 2003 8:44 AM
and it doesn't become overwhelming. You've really got it made, with the bottom bracket and headset already done. So just put on the wheels, mount the brakes, run the cables from the levers back to the working parts at the other end, and adjust. Take frequent breaks, contemplate your work with a good cappucino, and congratulate yourself knowing that you will have much greater confidence when you ride this bike than if someone else did the work.
Depends on the frame.Spoke Wrench
Dec 23, 2003 10:25 AM
On an older bike, the cable routing often isn't intuitive because common cable routing has subtly changed through the years.

If your bike has two cable stops brazed onto the top tube, run the rear brake cable through two shorter sections of cable housing with the middle portion of the brake wire exposed. At some point frame builders started using three braze on loops on the top tube. If your frame is like that, just use one long piece of cable housing.

What kind of shifters are you using? Lots of older frames didn't have any down tube shifter braze ons. If yours is like that, you may have to find a set of clamp on shifters. Older bikes also tended to use a cable guide that clamped onto the down tube above the bottom bracket for the shift cables. You probably will have better luck locating a replacement nylon one that bolts to the bottom of the bottom bracket shell.

Good luck.