I got up at 6am this morning, and had an hour before I needed to start getting ready for work. I decided to work on my wife’s bike. I got the front brakes working smoothly and evenly. But the back brakes weren’t releasing smoothly. The one side barely moved when the the brake lever was released. I had replaced the brake cable, and most of the brake cable housing. There was once small piece back by the brake itself that hadn’t been replaced. I decided to replace that. I had bought some cable housing for both brakes, and shifters. I grabbed the cable housings and tried to figure out which was which. The brake cable seems to be larger diameter than the shifter cable, so I tried poking the cable into the housing, and it went easily into the one. So I used that. I had pulled off the short section of brake cable housing that I was going to replace. I held it against the new stuff, and then tried to cut the new stuff to that length. I was using my wire cutters, but they just wouldn’t go through the cable housing! I rotated the housing 90 degrees, and tried cutting again. I couldn’t get through it! It is normally not easy, but it is not usually this hard. This cable housing had stranded wire instead of the spiral metal interior that I am used to. I tried different cutters. No luck. And I think I trashed the cutters on my wire strippers. I even tried bolt cutters, but they just squished the cable housing. Using the big wire cutters I got through, but the end was a mess. I cleaned it up on my grinder. I went to shove the cable through, but it wouldn’t go through. Apparently using the grinder melted the plastic lining of the cable housing! LOL! By trying to push the cable through, is start pushing the lining out of the housing.
With effort I cut another piece of housing. The was munched, but I cleaned it up with the wire cutters. I installed it on the bike. The brakes seem to work a little better.
But now reading, I found that the stranded wire in the housing means the housing is designed for shifters, not brakes! I need to pull that part off the bike, and start over. I am going to try to hit Harbor Freight and pick up some actual cable cutters after work.