Cables are most mopeds primary non-electrical means of allowing controls on the handlebars to adjust the operation of various parts of the bike. Cables commonly connect parts such as brake levers, starting clutch levers, throttle controls, and decompression levers to their associated components elsewhere on the bike.
Some mopeds now offer a hydraulic disc brake system which does not make use of cables (though this usually only applies to the front brake).
Tips in general for cable installation:
- Avoid having the cable make sharp turns or kinking the cable.
- Route cables through the moped such that they will avoid moving or hot parts. Make sure cables will not be crushed by movement of the forks or suspension.
- Excess cable should be cut carefully to avoid fraying the ends, which makes re-installation difficult, and may reduce the overall strength of the cable.
- When installing brake cables, a fourth-hand tool can be helpful. This tool helps hold the cable, allowing more easy adjustment of parts which will keep the cable permanently in place.
- You can trim cables with aviation tin snips, these work perfect for trimming cables.
- Trim the cable at a small angle, so you won't have a problem threading the cable through anything.
- after trimming a cable you may need a cable knarp.
Making Cable Ends
Cable-end making is a lost art. It’s a shame really because it’s so easy.
1) Get yourself a piece of aluminum rod the diameter that is appropriate, and some solder....not electrical solder. (easy hardware store find)
2) Drill a hole the size of the cable through the bit of rod.
3) Cut a slot lengthwise down the rod half way through the diameter.
4) Trim the cable to the approximate length needed.
5) Apply soldering flux to the end of the cable and the slot in the rod.
6) Tin the end of cable with a bit of solder.
7) Slip the cable through the bit of rod and fold it over into the slot.
8) Add a bit more flux.
9) Fill the slot and hole in the rod with solder, trapping the cable.
10) Trim and file the new cable end to fit the catch intended.
Now you have your own, perfect, custom made cable.
Knarpless cable ends made cheap and easy
This is a step-by-step demonstration for making high quality cable ends. This method is fast, uses common parts, and requires only simple tools. The result is a custom fitted cable with a properly sized and permanent end.
The key piece in this method of cable end construction is automotive replacement steel brake line tubing. This tubing may be found at any auto part store and is very inexpensive. The tubing is available in diameters including: 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. I have found that 3/16 diameter tube is suitable for throttle ends and 5/16 diameter tube is suitable for brake ends.
Step A: This picture shows 3/16 and 5/16 brake tubing, a mini tubing cutter, and a universal bicycle replacement brake wire. The 5/16 tubing will be used for the brake cable made in this demonstration.
Step B: The silver dot on the tubing is where I marked the required width. A hole slightly larger than the cable wire is drilled in the center of the required width. It is much easier to drill this hole in the tube before it is cut to length.
Step C: Cut the tube to length with a mini tubing cutter.
Step D: Insert the wire through the cable housing and adjusters. Mount the unended cable on the bike. Determine the required finished length of the cable and mark the wire. Remember, the length that you are marking is the point where the wire will enter the cable end.
Thread the wire through the hole in the tube and out the side. The cable length mark should be beyond the tube end as shown in the picture.
Step E: With pliers, form a sharp, 90 degree kink in the wire where it is marked for length.
Step F: Pull the wire back through the hole until it is stopped by the kink.
Step G: Tape off the other end of the tube and stand it upright.
Step H: Fill the tube with epoxy and let it cure. While this photo shows 5 minute epoxy, I would strongly recommend using JB Weld instead. JB Weld is much stronger and flows better.
Trim off the excess wire and file or grind as needed to adjust the final width of the end.
As you should do with any modified part, check your cable ends for proper function and for signs of deterioration before riding.