cable thickness

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Eric, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Eric

    Eric Guest

    i just visited my two favorite local bike shops today looking for new brake and derailleur cables
    for my 1983 bianchi road bike. at the moment, i have some thick 1.8 cables, probably campagnolo. the
    only thing these two shops had to offer me were shimano cables which appear to be very thin and some
    off brand options, also thin. these ran from $1.99-$2.99 each.

    what gives? i always thought thicker cables were best, especially for brakes (i have modolo
    speedys). anybody care to chime in on their thoughts regarding cable thickness? one guy at one shop
    said "cables are all the same..." and this is from one of the two pro shops in town...

    thanks for any insight anyone can offer.

    eric zamora fresno, ca.
     
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  2. Actually, the best cables for high tension applications are braided (which you thicker cables
    probably were).

    Ask for braided brake cables, if your shop has them, if not, see if they can get them or look
    elsewhere.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  3. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:BAD0D922.6D24%[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > i just visited my two favorite local bike shops today looking for new
    brake
    > and derailleur cables for my 1983 bianchi road bike. at the moment, i
    have
    > some thick 1.8 cables, probably campagnolo. the only thing these two
    shops
    > had to offer me were shimano cables which appear to be very thin and some off brand options, also
    > thin. these ran from $1.99-$2.99 each.
    >
    > what gives? i always thought thicker cables were best, especially for brakes (i have modolo
    > speedys). anybody care to chime in on their
    thoughts
    > regarding cable thickness? one guy at one shop said "cables are all the same..." and this is from
    > one of the two pro shops in town...

    We still stock a stainless heavy-gauge "braided" brake cable with either black or classic grey
    teflon-lined casing for people who prefer that style. I don't think there is a preformance
    difference but if it make sspmeone happy I'm all for it.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  4. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Eric Zamora writes:

    > I just visited my two favorite local bike shops today looking for new brake and derailleur cables
    > for my 1983 bianchi road bike. At the moment, I have some thick 1.8 cables, probably campagnolo.
    > The only thing these two shops had to offer me were shimano cables which appear to be very thin
    > and some off brand options, also thin. These ran from $1.99-$2.99 each.

    > What gives? I always thought thicker cables were best, especially for brakes (I have modolo
    > speedys). Anybody care to chime in on their thoughts regarding cable thickness? one guy at one
    > shop said "cables are all the same..." and this is from one of the two pro shops in town.

    the reply that:

    # Actually, the best cables for high tension applications are braided (which you thicker cables
    # probably were).

    Is bad advice. Cables with braided strands were developed for shift cables for bar-end shifters or
    STI, both of which change radii from steering while riding. STI shift housing is probably stiff
    enough to make braided or unbraided unimportant, the braided strands being more flexible. The
    reason this is bad advice is that the finer the individual cable strand the faster the cable will
    fail from wear.

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.2.html

    Cables strands are wound helically so that bending the cable will not change its length. That is,
    all strands pass through the inside and outside of each bend. This means that strand wear on the
    inside of cable bends, as the cable slides around the bend under load, is the same for all strands.
    Therefore, when one strand wears about half way through, the whole cable fails since that is when
    strands crack and fail. This rule holds true for braided single stands as well, only that the tiny
    strands wear through about 8 times sooner having about
    1/8 the major strand diameter.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Eric Zamora writes:
    >
    >> I just visited my two favorite local bike shops today looking for new brake and derailleur cables
    >> for my 1983 bianchi road bike. At the moment, I have some thick 1.8 cables, probably campagnolo.
    >> The only thing these two shops had to offer me were shimano cables which appear to be very thin
    >> and some off brand options, also thin. These ran from $1.99-$2.99 each.
    >
    >> What gives? I always thought thicker cables were best, especially for brakes (I have modolo
    >> speedys). Anybody care to chime in on their thoughts regarding cable thickness? one guy at one
    >> shop said "cables are all the same..." and this is from one of the two pro shops in town.
    >
    >the reply that:
    >
    ># Actually, the best cables for high tension applications are braided (which you thicker cables
    ># probably were).
    >
    >Is bad advice. Cables with braided strands were developed for shift cables for bar-end shifters or
    >STI, both of which change radii from steering while riding. STI shift housing is probably stiff
    >enough to make braided or unbraided unimportant, the braided strands being more flexible. The
    >reason this is bad advice is that the finer the individual cable strand the faster the cable will
    >fail from wear.

    They were also standard equipment on cantilever brakes in the Deore XT mountain bike component set
    back in the 1980s. Strand breakage was not a problem in my experience, having seen these cables used
    on many mountain bikes with plenty of hard mileage. I am happy we don't use them anymore since they
    aren't as smooth, are hard cut with dikes, and sometimes very hard to solder even with flux. Also a
    pain to find housing large enough to accommodate the MTB versions.

    Good riddance!
     
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