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Full cable outers necessary/ possible?

crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
edited March 2011 in Commuting general
I have a Ridgeback Genesis frame that I am building up for my daily commuter. In the mean time i've been using my mtb to travel on, and have noticed just how quick the cables get clogged up with censored (salt mainly I assume). Shifting has become so censored over the space of a week or two, and it shifted so nice before.

Does anyone run full outer cables, or is it neccessary, or even possible? I have those mounts on my frame which the thicker outer runs into with only a small hole on the other side for the inner cable for long straight runs. Like down the downtube for example.

Just thought i'd try get a few opinions as to options as I hate knowing that the salt is just eating my cables so fast.
Out with the old, in with the new here.

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Mine runs minimal outers with the rear gear cable running exposed from top of downtube through the BB cable guide to 3/4 of the way along the chain stay, yes the exposed bit of cable gets cruddy, but its only the bits that go into the outer at each end as the cable moves you have to worry about and I have no issues (using jagwire cable ends with the small polymer seal now, but ran normal ends for 2 years!).

    Besides outer cables are heavy so it saves weight, I want to run exposed rear brake cable (no stops on the frame only guides, so need to make some up).

    Simon
  • crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
    Thanks for the reply!! I have had my mtb for a while now, but have only been commuting 6 months (had a crappy roadbike before with non-index'ed gears so was not really a problem) and find that maintenance for commuting is a whole lot different.

    When i go out on the mtb is always gets a good thorough clean afterwards, but the commuter sits all week, if not two before I get to cleaning it, hence why there are problems no doubt. I want to set it up for minimal maintenance as i don't have time to clean it every day. I understand it needs some attention don't get me wrong.

    What do you use to lube the cables for inside the outer bits? I may look into the jagwire ends. I think I also need some proper wire cutters before i get all the inner and outer cables cut as I know dodgy cuts can lead to extra friction.

    Again, thanks for the reply. Always good to hear others experience. :D
    Out with the old, in with the new here.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Yeah I had problems with the cheaper of my 2 commuter bikes when it snowed, the cables either froze up or got clogged with salt and grit and I no longer had brakes! My Ribble had no problems, someone told me that more expensive groupsets have better seals in the cabling to prevent muck getting in....
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
    Yeah, the brakes are what worry me. Although my brake will be full outer cable anyway, so should be fine so hopefully i'll always have a brake at least. Gears not working is a pain, but not quite so dangerous. I have had to kick my derailleur across a few times now over the last few days as it refused to drop down from the largest chainring.

    I don't think i'll bother with full outers, just make sure they're well lubed and well maintained, and hopefully sealed :)

    It's going to be shimano tiagra groupset, so not the best, but not the worst.
    Out with the old, in with the new here.
  • crazy88 wrote:
    Does anyone run full outer cables, or is it neccessary, or even possible? I have those mounts on my frame which the thicker outer runs into with only a small hole on the other side for the inner cable for long straight runs. Like down the downtube for example..

    Not so long ago all cable runs were covered with outer cable. There weren't such things as cable stops. First there were cable clips, and then frame builders started to braze on (outer) cable guides.

    I guess your average cable stop could be carefully drilled sio as to act as an outer cable guide. But you just wouldn't do it. The more inner cable covered by outer cable = the more friction.
  • crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
    Yeah, i did a bit of googling and found that a lot of people said the benefits from a protected cable are outweighed by the extra friction caused. And drilling the cable stops seems like a huge no no.

    So, what do people use to lube their cables then? I've heard too much or the wrong lube can cause clogging too, which would be just as bad almost as the dirty cable.
    Out with the old, in with the new here.
  • Sounds more like cable stretch than dirt ingress...

    Run a full outer with zip ties otherwise
  • crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
    Yeah, I do need to check for stretch too, didn't have chance last night, but will get chance over the weekend.

    i'm 50/50 about full outers, think i'm gonna try regular outers first, but well lubed, and really keep an eye on tension etc. If i keep getting problems i will consider full outers.
    Out with the old, in with the new here.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    For cable lube I use nothing and never have, wipe anything off with a little WD40 on a cloth and leave it dry, oiled cables will attract and hold more muck than dry ones - which bits of a car engine get covered in dirt, the dry bits or were you have an oil leak - were the oil leak is.

    Simon
  • crazy88crazy88 Posts: 560
    Ah nice. I'll give them a clean and try them again. Fair point about the dirty bits being attracted to grease. Thats why I didn't want to use too much grease as I didn't want to be a dirt magnet.

    Thanks
    Out with the old, in with the new here.
  • try gore ride on cables.
    if you do a google, you'll find exactly what you need :)
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Fully sheathed brake cables are less efficient mechanically but lower maintenance. I use them on my commuter and touring bike.
    Derailleur gear cables need too much precision to use fully sheathed. My hub-gear cables are fully sheathed.
    I smear some grease on the new cable inner and that's all they need till they break a few years later.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    might have to go this route with the rear brake, as the braze ons do not really lend themselves to the Vs that I have in mind to add to overcome the defective LH shifter unit.
  • crazy88 wrote:
    Does anyone run full outer cables, or is it neccessary, or even possible? I have those mounts on my frame which the thicker outer runs into with only a small hole on the other side for the inner cable for long straight runs. Like down the downtube for example.

    My commuter is an early 90's MTB which has been generally Frankensteined over the years. I switched from cantis to V-brakes on the back despite not having the relevant cable stop at the back of the top tube. To make these work I ran cable outer for the entire cable length from the brake lever to the V-brakes, zip-tied to the top tube. This seemed to work ok although they occassionally got stiff. But when we had the cold snap before christmas when my back brake seized overnight and was really stiff in the morning.

    It turned out that water that had got into the outer was sitting in a low point in the middle of the cable run and had got a bit rusty. When it got really cold this water then froze and rendered the brake completely useless. I've not bought a clamp-on cable stop and refitted the cable with 2 short pieces of outer and it all works beautifully. The back brake is a bit squishy and progressive because the steel seat stays are quite flexible, but there's plenty of power there (to the point that I occassionally lock up my back wheel unintentionally).

    So, in short, running full-length cable outers is not without its own maintenance problems. I'd go for as little outer as possible and give your cables the occassional wipe down with a very light oil to keep things hunky-dory.
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    MichaelW wrote:
    Fully sheathed brake cables are less efficient mechanically but lower maintenance. I use them on my commuter and touring bike.
    Derailleur gear cables need too much precision to use fully sheathed. My hub-gear cables are fully sheathed.
    I smear some grease on the new cable inner and that's all they need till they break a few years later.
    I agree with your brake cable summary.

    However, part-sheathed gear cables can be less precise if the frame is bendy (or rider is v.heavy): relative movement of the cable stops results in cable fidget and imprecise indexing.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    My commuter is an early 90's MTB which has been generally Frankensteined over the years. I switched from cantis to V-brakes on the back despite not having the relevant cable stop at the back of the top tube. To make these work I ran cable outer for the entire cable length from the brake lever to the V-brakes, zip-tied to the top tube. This seemed to work ok although they occassionally got stiff. But when we had the cold snap before christmas when my back brake seized overnight and was really stiff in the morning.

    It turned out that water that had got into the outer was sitting in a low point in the middle of the cable run and had got a bit rusty. When it got really cold this water then froze and rendered the brake completely useless. I've not bought a clamp-on cable stop and refitted the cable with 2 short pieces of outer and it all works beautifully. The back brake is a bit squishy and progressive because the steel seat stays are quite flexible, but there's plenty of power there (to the point that I occassionally lock up my back wheel unintentionally)..

    Thanks for the tip, Looking to do the same thing with my mid 90s commuter and didn't even know that a bolt on cable stop existed.
  • gbsahne wrote:
    It turned out that water that had got into the outer was sitting in a low point in the middle of the cable run and had got a bit rusty. When it got really cold this water then froze and rendered the brake completely useless. I've now bought a clamp-on cable stop and refitted the cable with 2 short pieces of outer and it all works beautifully. The back brake is a bit squishy and progressive because the steel seat stays are quite flexible, but there's plenty of power there (to the point that I occassionally lock up my back wheel unintentionally)..

    Thanks for the tip, Looking to do the same thing with my mid 90s commuter and didn't even know that a bolt on cable stop existed.

    Yup, here you go:

    http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/produ ... Stop_Clamp

    Seems to be a decent bit of kit. Went on easily and I've had no problems with it in the 2 months that it's been in use.

    You obviously spotted that I meant to say "I've now bought a clamp-on cable stop". Curse these boxing gloves![/url]
  • daveyroidsdaveyroids Posts: 223
    I run full outers on my single speed. I now use bmx linear cables and disc brake hose guides to keep the cable neat and tidy. I also run my rear gears this way on my mountain bike and have done for years. I usually purchase the required length of outer cable from my LBS and zip tie plus use hose giues.

    I use slightly more cable than is needed so when i service the bike if i find that the tips of the outer are damaged i just trim them off. I can't remember the last time i had a gearing/braking problem due to censored build up in the cables. I tend to service cables every 6 months so not excessive.
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