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How to Crimp Bike Cable Ends

How to Crimp Bike Cable Ends

How to Crimp Cable End Caps

Mountain bikes typically contain two types of cables in their construction, namely the shifter cables and brake cables.

Purpose of Bike Cable Ends

There are two parts of bike cables:
1. The internal wire made of braided steel wire.
2. The outer housing also made of flexible steel, generally wound in a coil.

The internal cable passes through the center of the housing. Both parts are equally significant: neither can work without the other.

One of Newton’s laws of motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In the case of bike cables, this means that an internal cable cannot be pulled without an equivalent force exerted in the housing.

This is how the cable can apply force to one arm of a side brake and the housing to the other arm. When you look at the brake, you will see that the cable pulls and that the housing pushes, and vice versa.

Cables on a bike usually end with a small excess portion that is left hanging. To prevent fraying of cables, most mountain bike manufacturers include a cable end cap to seal off the loose end of cables. However, these cable end caps may come off due to wear and tear or accidents and force.

Bicycle Cable End Cap Crimpers

Two regular tools used for crimping the ends of cables are:
Cable crimpers • Good quality wire strippers

Quaxar cable crimper

It is undoubtedly one of the biker’s favorites and the most used tool. This cable crimper has a 4-point mechanical system in the center which will provide a perfect crimp at any time.

This crimping tool is an advantage to all bikes; you may not realize it at first, but when you do, it makes a big difference. It is suitable when producing double ended cables.

How to Crimp Bike Cable Ends

Alternatives to Cable End Caps

1. Heat shrink tubes

To use it, cut a small piece of tube, slide it over the end of the cable and heat it until it shrinks. It will last as long as the cable and if you have to remove it, slide it off.

It also offers the possibility of different colors. It’s easy to do, safe and cheap. Make sure you buy a tiny tube; otherwise, a lot of it will go to waste.

2. Nail polish

It works more like super glue; you can apply it to the end of the wire. It does the same thing and produces similar results.

Clear nail polish will give you a clean look. Another option we like is to use a nail polish that is in the same color as the rest of the bike!

3. Solder

If done properly, soldering the end of the cable will provide an immaculate finish without the possibility of the cable loosening. It will also enable you to remove and reinstall the cable as desired, without cutting the end.

Unfortunately, welding a bicycle cable covered with stainless steel or Teflon is a tough welding job. It also requires flux, solder and soldering iron; not everyone has these tools out there.

4. Electric tape

If you need a temporary cable cover and have no other options, get any tape you can find around the house and wrap it around the end of the cable.

Unfortunately, they do not stick very well, leave residue and do not give an elegant and clean appearance.

5. Super Glue

Super glue works amazingly well for joining cable ends. Just apply a few drops on the end of the cable and let it dry.


The video below demonstrates how to crimp bike cable ends. After that, you may use any of the tools/ methods above to install at the cable end (credits to “yojimblab”):

Recommendations for Bike Cables

Not all cables are created equally. A good quality cable can improve the feel and action of the brake.

Most bikes purchased from a bike store are made with a 4mm gearbox that uses plastic caps. We recommend that you only use a 5mm case with metal covers. Not only is the case more durable, but the metal covers also resist bending at an acute angle, creating avoidable slog on the cable system.