4mm gear cable housing.

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by compo, 5 Aug 2014.

  1. compo

    compo Veteran

    I have recently built up Bitsa, my MTB, so called because it is built up from bitsa this and bitsa that. I used Jagwire gear cable housing for the final loop to the rear mech, but having a few feet left over I also used it at the handlebar end, on both shifters. It all works perfectly except that the steering feels a little like when the headset bearings are too tight, which they definitely aren't. I am wondering if the cabling, which feels very rigid compared to normal 5 mm spirally wound, is having this effect. The cable routing round the headset isn't tight and the curves are quite gentle.

    Last edited: 5 Aug 2014
  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Nah Its knackered bearings/races, bet they feel a bit threppeny bit ish (notorious on Raleigh headsets, I think they use cheese)
  3. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    Are the lengths slightly short? The rule of thumb is to have enough cable length to allow a full turn of the handlebars so that they touch the top tube (45 degrees). I cut my cables shorter than that, maybe by half as I have never and will never need to turn my bars 45 degrees, but it makes it feel like the headset bearings are tight/worn if I do turn the bars any more than a certain amount.
  4. OP

    compo Veteran

    Thanks to @raleighnut and @migrantwing, and I will take on board what you both say. The headset was second hand out of my spares box, but there was not a mark on the bearing tracks so I assumed it OK. Just to be 100% sure I have ordered a new headset. Should that not sort it I will re-cable things. The bike has cost me next to nothing so far so I don't begrudge a few quid on it!
    migrantwing and raleighnut like this.
  5. migrantwing

    migrantwing Über Member

    On a second look, it seems that the cable lengths are long enough (as you've mentioned) so as @raleighnut says, it may be the headset bearings, but if you've bought a replacement all should be good. Best o' luck and let us know :smile:
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2014
  6. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    Only cable I've found that causes problems with steering resistance is goodridge braided cable. It's seriously stiff stuff. You can actually form it to shape in free air & it'll stay like that for weeks!
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