How to String Brake Cables


Stringing brake cables is pretty straightforward.

You’ll need:

  1. Allen wrench
  2. Cable cutters
  3. Brake housing
  4. Brake cable
  5. Ferrule
  6. Cable grease

Measure off your housing. Make sure there is enough slack to allow for cable and brake movement. Start the insertion of the cable from the levers and work your way back. Make sure you’ve got the correct end fitting for your type of brakes. If the cables are universal, you’ll have both fittings, one on either end. Once you’ve figured out which you need, clip off the one you don’t need.

Brake Cable

You can use a little cable grease so that the cable threads easier. Apply the correct length of housing as you go, putting on your ferrules. Don’t forget to leave a bit of give in the sections where there is a bit of a bend, to allow for movement of the handlebars or the calipers.

Once you get to the back of the bike, thread the cable through the caliper and tighten by hand, making sure you tighten at how tight you would like your brakes to grip. Tighten the bolt with your allen wrench. Adjust the calipers accordingly.

If you’re going to be putting in brake cables for the first time on your bike, take into consideration which side you want for which brake. In the US as well as in other countries that drive on the right hand side of the road, the rear brake is normally on the right so that you can signal with your left. If you’re in the UK, Japan and the like, you’ll be on the left side of the road so having the brake on the left would be prudent.