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Brake cable housing, Univega w/ cantilever brakes

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Brake cable housing, Univega w/ cantilever brakes

Old 09-25-16, 02:34 AM
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Brake cable housing, Univega w/ cantilever brakes

I'll need to replace the brake cable housing on a Univega Via Carisma (1992 or '93) soon -- just the short segment along the top of the frame near the seat post junction. What's on there now appears to be cracked and non-standard, or maybe just the remnants of another type of cable housign. I'm guessing it should be a conventional cable housing like the rest of the bike? Want to be sure I get it right the first time, since adjusting canti brakes is a PITA.

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Old 09-25-16, 07:36 AM
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I don't see any mechanical reason for that piece of housing. I'd guess that it just there to protect your leg. Someone has just put a piece of tubing over it - likely the inner from some housing. You could do the same or just put a piece of standard brake housing there. You will have to see if the ends fit caps or not - I'd expect not. Jagwire sells a plastic liner and it comes in some of their kits - your LBS probably has some laying around.
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Old 09-25-16, 07:50 AM
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Easy enough to go into a bike shop and have cable housing cut to length - bring your old ones.

Aside from that, brake and shifter cables are one of the better deals at RBW Brake Incidentals Kits - 15131
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Old 09-25-16, 09:41 AM
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I think that frame is set up to run Cantis OR Vees. I'm also guessing for Canti operation you're supposed to bypass the cable stop on the top tube and use a slightly shorter length of liner tube inside that S-shaped noodle on the seattube.

Then if you switch to V-brakes you use the cable stop on the top tube and bypass the seattube noodle.

If the cable doesn't seem to be sawing into the top tube cable stop too much then it might not hurt to run it through there. You could try bypassing it and see if it looks like it'll work like that. Seattube noodles like that often have some liner like that installed for smoother cable operation.
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Old 09-25-16, 12:27 PM
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cable housing liner is all you need and be found at any LBS .
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Old 09-25-16, 07:16 PM
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Thanks, all.

I wondered whether it was just a liner to minimize abrasion against those steel lugs. The lugs appear large enough to accommodate a full diameter cable housing. I may already have some spare cable housing around, although I don't know if it's flexible enough to handle that S-curved noodle guide doodad on the seat tube.

The old plastic tube is cracking and it appears I can replace it just by detaching the cable from the rear brake. It looks like the link wire type, though -- I'm not sure it's possible to detach the cable to rethread it through a liner.

I wondered whether this frame was set up to handle cantis or V-brakes. Wasn't sure how to tell the difference. If it's compatible I may eventually replace the cantis. Even adjusted as well as I can get 'em with Kool Stop salmon pads the stopping power is only a suggestion compared with V-brakes. And it's a 3 fingers on the levers deal compared with my 1-finger V-brakes.
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Old 09-25-16, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I wondered whether this frame was set up to handle cantis or V-brakes. Wasn't sure how to tell the difference. If it's compatible I may eventually replace the cantis. Even adjusted as well as I can get 'em with Kool Stop salmon pads the stopping power is only a suggestion compared with V-brakes. And it's a 3 fingers on the levers deal compared with my 1-finger V-brakes.
That bike dates from the years where cable housing was being minimized on cantilevers... but it's odd that it has top tube cable stop. I remember seeing the cable going straight through the pipe on the seat cluster without using cable housing at all.

How many cable stops are at the front end of the top tube?
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Old 09-25-16, 11:28 PM
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One cable stop for the rear brake at the front of the top tube, about 2.5" behind the head tube.

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Old 09-26-16, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
One cable stop for the rear brake at the front of the top tube, about 2.5" behind the head tube.
I'm having reasonable success posting with Flickr. It's convoluted but it works. (See thread in C&V.)

On the pipe that wraps around the seat clustier- does a regular piece of cable housing fit if you just shove it through, or will only the liner piece fit? I wonder if the housing just snakes through the pipe and hangs loose above the rear brake.
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Old 09-26-16, 06:55 PM
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Not sure yet. The noodle doodad on the seat tube appears large enough on the inside diameter for a standard cable housing, but I won't know for certain until I pull the cable. I'm hesitating to do that until the existing liner doodad completely breaks because I just got the new brake pads adjusted properly and it was a huge PITA.

The Araya rims have concave sidewalls, which may have struck some designer or engineer as a very clever thing, but it made it difficult to align the Kool Stop Eagle Claw 2 pads perfectly.

Also, I don't know whether the existing link wire yoke doodad can be reused or if I'd need to snip the cable to thread it through a replacement cable housing.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Not sure yet. The noodle doodad on the seat tube appears large enough on the inside diameter for a standard cable housing, but I won't know for certain until I pull the cable. I'm hesitating to do that until the existing liner doodad completely breaks because I just got the new brake pads adjusted properly and it was a huge PITA.

The Araya rims have concave sidewalls, which may have struck some designer or engineer as a very clever thing, but it made it difficult to align the Kool Stop Eagle Claw 2 pads perfectly.

Also, I don't know whether the existing link wire yoke doodad can be reused or if I'd need to snip the cable to thread it through a replacement cable housing.
You're over-thinking it a bit much. If you are unthreading the cable, you aren't going to be touching the brake pads; using a link wire, even, you are only making one adjustment with the cable: the tension. As long as the clamping area isn't too mangled, you can absolutely back the cable out of the link wire and re-use it. I do this occasionally to replace old/incorrect link wires with few issues.
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Old 09-26-16, 09:24 PM
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Yea Looks like they intended a piece of Housing , I used the tubing that is used for Auto Hydraulic lines
it's quite maleable you could fill the gap with that.
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Old 09-27-16, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Not sure yet. The noodle doodad on the seat tube appears large enough on the inside diameter for a standard cable housing, but I won't know for certain until I pull the cable. I'm hesitating to do that until the existing liner doodad completely breaks because I just got the new brake pads adjusted properly and it was a huge PITA.

The Araya rims have concave sidewalls, which may have struck some designer or engineer as a very clever thing, but it made it difficult to align the Kool Stop Eagle Claw 2 pads perfectly.

Also, I don't know whether the existing link wire yoke doodad can be reused or if I'd need to snip the cable to thread it through a replacement cable housing.

If the rims' sidewalls are concave, they're probably well worn. I would not be surprised if they crack or break where they've worn most.

You should be able to reuse the link wire after removing the cable. Read about adjusting cantilevers with link wires here: Adjusting Traditional Center Pull Cantilever Bicycle Brakes
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Old 09-28-16, 12:04 AM
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Yeah, that was my first thought, but the wear didn't make sense. The rest of the bike showed few signs of wear, including the apparently original Shimano brake pads (which by now are hard as blocks of wood). I dug around the Araya website and, sure 'nuff, the PX-45 rims were made with concave sidewalls, as were several others in the early 1990s catalog.

Maybe some kind of trend back then, I dunno. One of the catalog pages seems to indicate they intended the concave sidewalls to work better with cantilever brakes for better performance with the increasingly popular cyclocross bikes.

They're fiddly to adjust, although this is my first bike with cantilever brakes and I suppose it takes some practice. A fourth hand tool would help but I'll get by without one for now. And I made it more difficult by trying to set toe-in using a zip tie as a shim, before realizing Kool Stop intended the Eagle 2 pads to be set without toe-in because the plow tip already does that for us. I think I finally got it right on the third or sixth try during a long ride last week while carrying tools.

The brakes do have decent stopping power, but with less mechanical advantage than linear pull V-brakes. I just have to squeeze the levers harder. I'd gotten spoiled by the one-finger squeeze on the other bike's V-brakes after installing good quality pads.

On the plus side, I'm less likely to endo in a panic stop with the cantilevers. First time I practiced panic stops with the V-brakes last year I vaulted over the handlebar and landed on my feet -- then flopped in the grass out of sheer surprise that I hadn't crashed. Fortunately I was practicing on soft grass.
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Old 09-28-16, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

On the plus side, I'm less likely to endo in a panic stop with the cantilevers. First time I practiced panic stops with the V-brakes last year I vaulted over the handlebar and landed on my feet -- then flopped in the grass out of sheer surprise that I hadn't crashed. Fortunately I was practicing on soft grass.
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Old 09-29-16, 06:13 AM
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BTW, I Googled some older photos of Univegas, including the Via Carisma, that all had canti brakes. In the photos, including the Univega catalog, it appears that 6" or so bit of cable was originally housed in standard brake cable housing. Hard to be sure without a closeup photo, but it looked like black cable housing of the usual diameter.
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