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Notes When Cutting the Brake Cables

Update:06-11-2017
Summary:

Although the brakes and the gear internal cables are no […]

Although the brakes and the gear internal cables are nominally similar, the housings are different - the brake cables use a conventional "spiral" housing consisting of a tightly wound wire helix lined internally and externally with a plastic coating. Gear cable housings use different "uncompressed" housings because they do not change their effective length when bent, making them more suitable for indexing gear systems that require precise cable tension.

Brake cable assemblies generally consist of two 1.5 mm or 1.6 mm internal wires, a single cable external length, and then cut to the required size and all associated end caps and ferrules

When cutting the cable, please note the followings:

Cut off the correct length of the cable housing - too long will lead to unnecessary friction, too short means that the brake can not start.

Clean the casing - Use high-quality scissors or cables for a clean cut and avoid crushing the ends of the casing, which can affect cable performance.

If in doubt, match the length of the external cable to the length of the old cable or refer to the online resources or tutorial for how to replace the brake cable. As a rule of thumb, the dimensions of the enclosure are as short as possible, but still enter the cable stop in a relatively straight line. Once the brakes are properly adjusted, the internal cables can be cut with wire cutters and the end cap pressed against the end cap to prevent wear.

Basic brake cables are inexpensive, but economical cables and housings add features such as improved corrosion resistance and anti-friction coatings on the internal wires and housings. They can be a relatively cheap performance upgrade to improve the braking ability of your bike.