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How do I shorten my derailleur cables?

 

   


Ironman7

Jun 15, 10 11:48

Post #1 of 11 (2375 views)
How do I shorten my derailleur cables? Quote | Reply

I have a Felt B2R and it's basically fresh from the factory. The front and rear derailleur cables are bunched up in my face while in the aero position. Where to I shorten them from and how? At the bar end shifter or where they come out at the bottom? Also any ideas on how to cut excess aero extension off while still looking professional. Thanks

I can post a pic of the way it is now if that helps anyone.

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Mike Prevost

Jun 15, 10 11:58

Post #2 of 11 (2360 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

There are two parts to deal with, cables and cable housing. You are going to have to detach the cable from the derailer and pull it out of the cable housing. Then you just pull out the cable housing and cut it to the length you want, push the cable back through, reattach everything and fine tune the derailer. Really, you need to spend a little time on the Park Tools web site. No reason to take this to the shop. You can figure it out yourseld. And there is NO reason to ride around with a unsightly cable routing job!



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dforbes

Jun 15, 10 11:58

Post #3 of 11 (2360 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I would cut the cables down by the derailleurs because they have a bulb at the top that hooks into your bar end shifters or flight deck so you can't shorten it there, you'll probably have to shorten your cable housing too. Get a heavy duty cable cutter from home depot and snip them, get some covers from your LBS to cover the cable after the cut so they don't fray. I've never cut aero extensions, but I would assume if you pad a vice and put it in there, use a hack saw and cut away. Remember what Manny says "Measure twice, cut once." Good luck.



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BK

Jun 15, 10 12:16

Post #4 of 11 (2333 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The other guys covered the cables but for cutting your extentions: if they are carbon, use a very fine hacksaw blade. Use masking tape alongside your cut line to help prevent splintering and don't breathe the dust. If they are aluminum/alloy, you can likley cut them with a pipe cutter (the kind you clamp down and spin around the pipe).


jyeager

Jun 15, 10 12:40

Post #5 of 11 (2307 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Well, here's the deal...you are dealing with internally routed cables and I assume you do not have housing running the full length from shifters to derailleurs.
So it starts with the process of working backwards from the derailleur and sliding spare cable housing over the cable and through the frame to facilitate putting the cable back through the frame. There may be 2 sections to deal with for the rear der. cable.

Then, when that's done the cable gets pulled out from the shifter. You cut that first section of cable housing to length and re-insert the cable through the first housing, then through the housing(s) you put in the frame, and back to the derailleur.

The only potential problem here is that whenever I cut a cable and clamp it in the derailleur it's messed up enough that it will often not go back through the housing or will begin to unravel in the process.
So I always do these adjustments while swapping in a new cable.


Record10Carbon

Jun 15, 10 12:56

Post #6 of 11 (2286 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [jyeager] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

With his situation...if you "have" to ask....it probably is not a job for him - I also then presume he does not have the proper tools.

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lobopac

Jun 15, 10 15:10

Post #7 of 11 (2234 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [jyeager] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Well, here's the deal...you are dealing with internally routed cables and I assume you do not have housing running the full length from shifters to derailleurs.
So it starts with the process of working backwards from the derailleur and sliding spare cable housing over the cable and through the frame to facilitate putting the cable back through the frame. There may be 2 sections to deal with for the rear der. cable.

Then, when that's done the cable gets pulled out from the shifter. You cut that first section of cable housing to length and re-insert the cable through the first housing, then through the housing(s) you put in the frame, and back to the derailleur.

The only potential problem here is that whenever I cut a cable and clamp it in the derailleur it's messed up enough that it will often not go back through the housing or will begin to unravel in the process.
So I always do these adjustments while swapping in a new cable.


If it's anything like my B16, there is housing running down the full length of the downtube to where it exits by the chain stay. I just re-ran my first set of cables when switching out my cockpit, so I understand the reservation, but this isn't a difficult job. As mentioned, Park Tools has a good set of resources as does http://bicycletutor.com.

The way to do it would be to loosen the cable at the derailleur, pull the housing out through the frame to the desired length up top by the cockpit. Then pull the cable backwards out of the loop of housing by the rear derailleur well into the downtube. Then pull the housing through from the back to the desired length and cut. I left the loop by the rear derailleur the same length. I did have trouble with the cutter pinching the housing to where it was difficult to push the cable back in. Had to push a piece of wire through to open it up a bit. Maybe there's a solution for that?

For the front, it's a bit more difficult as the exit point for the housing is under the front derailleur and there's a little plastic tube that's fed around a metal bracket. Don't loose that tube.....otherwise your cable runs around a loop and is rubbing metal. Only a matter of time before it frays and fails. Same thing though...pull the housing out to desired length, then pull the cable well back into the housing in the downtube, cut, push cable back through, reattach to derailleur or brake, trim cable to desired length then and place the crip cap on to prevent fraying.

Lastly, front and rear brakes is the same. I cut several times as I was scared to cut the housing too short. I made sure there was enough room to steer the bike right and left without impinging on the stem cap with a fairly tight turn.

Someone correct me if I steered him in the wrong direction, but that's how I did it with my Felt.

**Just re-read your post and if you're going to shorten your extensions, you'll have to pull the entire housing and cable out, cut the extensions then recable the bike. Will take a bit of time, but still doable. The cool thing about the B16, and I'm assuming it's the same for the B2R, the holes at top tube where the FD, RD and rear brake enter in has a gude all the way down. You can just shove the housing all the way down the right hole and it will come out in the right spot down below. Makes it very easy to run the housing, cut to the correct length and then re-run your cables. You might have issues with the cable fraying when trying to put it back in, but since you're cutting length, you can cut the cable to give a fresh end before pushing back through. I read about putting a small drop of super glue to prevent fraying. Not sure if you can do this prior to pushing through the housing or not. Maybe someone has some insight.


(This post was edited by lobopac on Jun 15, 10 15:23)


hammond

Jun 15, 10 15:34

Post #8 of 11 (2217 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Where did you buy it? Take it back and ask them to adjust it.

If you insist on doing it yourself, check online for tutorials on cutting cables and housing. Park Tool has some good stuff.


Mike Prevost

Jun 15, 10 15:35

Post #9 of 11 (2216 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [R10C] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
With his situation...if you "have" to ask....it probably is not a job for him - I also then presume he does not have the proper tools.


Good point. No better way to learn than by doing though. OP should buy a housing cutter and cable cutter and spend a little time on the Park Tools website. This stuff is real easy and it is a shame to pay a shop to do it. Especially if you are real picky about your cables.


Murphy'sLaw

Jun 15, 10 17:10

Post #10 of 11 (2171 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [Ironman7] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Put them in the dryer, set it to high, and in a few minutes, you'll be all set.


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Hamner

Jun 16, 10 7:47

Post #11 of 11 (2111 views)
Re: How do I shorten my derailleur cables? [R10C] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Most of the time I read posts like this and giggle. A Lot. Everybody has to learn somehow though.

But when I take my car to the shop I'm pretty much at the mercy of whatever they tell me, so I guess it all balances out.

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