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Thread: A couple "bike" questions

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Canyon, TX.

    A couple "bike" questions

    I enjoy leisure bicycle riding-not fast, not far- just around town and a little out in the country. Some of the roads I ride are gravel so I ride a mountain bike -one I picked up at a garage sale. Recently I was given a Mongoose bike. Aluminum frame , full suspension, front disc brake, low mileage. The bad-it had been sitting outside a couple years. I got all the bearings cleaned up and greased and the chain loosened up. The cables were history so I went to WallyWorld and bought a replacement set for less than 10 bucks. My question. Why are the cable housings going to back not in one piece. The cable outer housings go to the frame behind the head bearings into a lug on the frame. For about 6 to 8 inches then there is only the inside cable, then the outer housing begins again and goes to the device it operates. This just looks like more places for dirt and moisture to get in. My replacement cables are long enough to make one housing and that is what I plan on doing. My second question-- am I the only one who switches around the brake controls so that the right side controls the front brake like a motorcycle? I am hoping that my "new" bike has a better engine. My old one tends to overheat and lose power rather quickly!

    Yamaha XJ550 Seca
    Yamaha XT500

  2. #2
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Antioch, CA
    For your first question, many bikes just use cable housings on certain areas and leave long lengths of them open across the frame. Full length housings are available and most bikes can be modified to use them. In most cases, having the cable in the open is not a big deal especially considering how cheap they are to replace. I have some expensive bicycles and I've only bothered converting one to have full length cable housings.

    I've heard of dirt biker's switching the brake levers on their mountain bikes before. I started riding motorcycles long after I had been riding bikes, so it is pretty easy for me to switch back and forth. Nothing wrong with it though

    It's amazing how much your "engine" will improve if you can get out for a decent ride once or twice a week.
    Current rides:
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - 85k miles
    2012 R1200GS Rallye - "Carl" - 2500 miles
    Previous BMWs: 2011 R1200RT-P, 2007 R1200S, 2006 R1200RT

  3. #3
    Cables - ditto. I thought that the mfg's went to that to cut weight (amazing what they'll do for grams), styling (ooo, rad, dude), cut costs.

    Switch levers - that's something I've thought of also, but decided to leave as is. Just develop skill and be aware of the device I'm on.

    Which can get interesting as I move from motorcycle, to bicycle, to ATV. Different brake controls for one to another (mc & bike), and different ways to steer - although the mc and atv both have handlebars. I caught myself 'pulling' on the mc handlebar in turns recently - pulling the outside bar - not good. I blame that on the ATV as you tend to use both arms more to steer. To resolve - just be aware of the issue and do more push-ups to increase arm strength.

  4. #4
    neanderssance man sedanman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Pawling NY
    With minimum cable housing there is minimum friction. The brakes and shifters work more smoothly with less effort.
    Stop wrestling with your motorcycle, dance with it.
    2011 R1200RT Traded
    2014 R1200RT fully optioned

  5. #5
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Portland Oregon
    That is correct that less housing results in less friction, but gaps in cable run allow moisture into housing which can result in moisture/sludge build up that will result in balky shifting and gummy brake action. Cables are a maintenance item. keep them clean and replace as when symptoms occur.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Lake Chelan, WA
    The main reason for using as little cable housing as possible is that it is highly compressible a and will give brakes a mushy feel. Less housing gives more firm lever feel and better modulation.

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