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5 Cable End Cap Alternatives

by Levi Bloom on November 10, 2008

What happens if you have to adjust your cables and you don't have any of those neat cable end caps? Or what if you just hate having to cut the end caps off when working with brakes and derailleurs?

Then it's time to switch to one of these fine cable end cap alternatives!

1. Solder

If done correctly, soldering the cable end will give it a very clean finish with no chance for the cable to unravel. It will also allow the cable to be removed and reinstalled as desired, with no need to cut off the end.

Unfortunately, soldering a stainless steel and/or teflon coated bicycle cable is a very difficult soldering job. It also requires a soldering iron, flux, and solder; not everyone has those tools lying around.

2. Super Glue

Super glue works surprisingly well to hold a cable end together. You just apply a few drops to the end of the cable and let it dry. I usually put two coats on.

I also like to let some glue pool up at the end of the cable for safety purposes. Uncapped cables are quite sharp and can easily puncture skin, but with a little ball of dried super glue at the end, the cable is fairly safe.

3. Nail Polish

Much like super glue, you can apply nail polish to the end of the cable. It is applied in the same fashion and yields similar results.

And while you can use clear nail polish for a clean look, you could also use a color that accents the rest of your bike!

4. Heat Shrink Tubing

Grab some heat shrink tubing at the hardware store to make your own temporary cable end caps. To use it, just cut a small length of tubing, slide it onto the end of the cable, and then heat it till it shrinks against the cable. It will last as long as the cable, and if you ever need to remove it, just slide it off!

This is cheap, easy to do, and safe. And it still gives you the multi-color option. Just make sure you buy some very small diameter tubing!

5. Electrical Tape

Coming in dead last is electrical tape. If you need a temporary cable end cap and have no other options, grab whatever tape you have around the house and wrap it around the cable end.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stick very well, leaves residue, and doesn't give you a classy, clean look.


My choice? Get some cool heat shrink tubing if you can find it. Otherwise, just grab some clear nail polish or super glue (whatever is closer.)

 

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