The Little Pleasures

Jagwire End Caps

I’ve been hoarding, scraping, and begging for cable end caps for 35 years, so you wouldn’t believe the joy I experienced today when a bottle of 500 arrived from Harris Cyclery. I was so excited I shook the bottle like a maraca and did a dance around the bike room. Don’t ask me why I waited so long to order up a bunch. Now I’m set for life — what a relief.

My family thinks I’m nuts, but sometimes it’s the “little” things that make us happy… ;-)

23 Responses to “The Little Pleasures”

  • Marc T. says:

    I dont know what your family is thinking… that looks like a magical little bottle to me… i will learn from you and not wait so long to experience endless cable end caps. Im going to go find my own bottle.

  • pete riehl says:

    I never use the cable end caps. I solder the end of every cable I install. It looks good, it makes removal easy because you don’t have to remove the cap and it makes for a much cleaner look. I stared doing this over 45 years ago. Give it a try I’ll bet you will like it.

  • doug in seattle. says:

    I’ve been thinking about going in on some bulk brake and shifter cables with a few buddies. Probably could save a lot of money and time that way.

  • David says:

    Of all people i thought you would solder your cable ends! Simple, traditional, looks stella and you can always take the cable out to switch components, tinker etc.
    I have just started doing so on my surly and love it!

  • Ahmad says:

    I have the same tedious and ongoing relationship with cable ends (ferrules) – I too will now be moved to buy my own bottle.

    FYI – For cable crimps, I’ve found old spoke nipples to be an excellent substitute.

  • Marc T. says:

    Soldering the cable…that is brilliant… now i cant decide wether to buy a better soldering iron or a bottle of end caps… life is so hard… ill try both.

  • eddie f says:

    now i know you have a screw loose. i got excited the other day whan i received some gorgeous VO brand longer reach brakes in the mail. but a bottle of mouse prophylactics…not so much.

    by the way, i don’t solder, i use super glue.

  • Pete says:

    For the solderers – do you find the fit is loose in brazed on cable stops? For me, the cable ends are as much about a snug fit as about a clean look or unravelling protection.
    I have found that having these on hand is not about money, as I can usually get few for free here and there, but more about “cable end anxiety”- not knowing if I have enough to do some spontaneous project that I think up on random Saturdays. The bulk buy takes care of that!

  • Bill says:

    +1 on the super glue. I apply it before cutting the cable, let it cure, then cut through the glued area. You want the thin stuff that will wick into the cable, not the gel.

  • Lovely Bicycle! says:

    I enjoy finding the cable end caps in colours that match or complement the colour of the bike frame… Yes, I think I need a new hobby : )

  • Caspar says:

    I worked in a bikeshop while studying. I ‘obtained’ a bag of assorted endcaps and ferrules from Shimano once. About 4 ounces of metal and plastic dohickies. Now 12 years later I need to ‘obtain’ a new bag.
    One can’t live life without ferrules and endcaps! (that should be on a T-shirt!)

  • Caspar says:

    I also sometimes solder the end of the cable and also the location of the clamp with some tin. And than sand it down to the original diameter. The very thin walled aluminum sleeves can then be used under the cable clamp so you don’t deform the cable to much.
    This way I can use the same cable a few times and I don’t need an endcap. A lot of work but worth it in the end

  • Pete says:

    Oh. I’m an idiot. I thought you were taking about cable housing ferrules, not end caps! Couldn’t quite figure out how you solder the end of housing.
    Crawling back under my rock now.

  • eddie f says:

    thin walled aluminum sleeves?????? are you saying you slide something onto the cable at the clamping location and then tighten down the fixing bolt? if yes, what do you use as the crimp sleeve?

  • Archergal says:

    I’ve used heat-shrink tubing on cable ends. Works fine, one sleeve of tubing lasts a long time. And you can remove it easily at need.

  • Maurice says:

    I use fabric paint. One drop on the cable end makes a “poke” protector I don’t get from solder, it prevents fray and comes off without losing length for removal/reinstall through housing.

    Craft stores have it in wide color selection and the bottle has a nice pointy tip for artsy projects. Also it makes a vibration resistant glue for broken taillights.

  • Pamela says:

    Wow! I can’t believe the number of responses this topic has prompted. Serious bike geeks here — I love my daily EcoVelo “fix”!

  • Alan says:

    I appreciate all the “tips” on tips (yuk, yuk), but now that I have my jar, I’ve gotta’ use ‘em. Assuming 2 bikes a year, it’ll only be 62.5 years before I need a refill… :-)

  • kfg says:

    One more old timer who hates these CPSC required end caps as much as he hates their pie plates. Actually, maybe even more.

    God invented solder for a reason.

    If you learn to use it it might be 62.5 years before you have to replace a cable.

  • doug in seattle. says:

    My mind is blown by all these little tricks. I had no idea.

  • Mitch says:

    I too had no idea of all these tricks. My supply (a small box each of Shimano brake & derailleur end caps) has been going strong for 10 years. Still many left.

    Alan, I gotta ask: did you also get a bottle of derailleur cable end caps?

  • karl says:

    To the solderers… do you use an electric soldering iron or a propane torch?

  • kfg says:

    I use a Weller gun I originally bought for stained glass work, but I know some people use mini torches. Use heat sinks as well (a vise grip, for instance) to keep the heat where you want it.

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