Tech Tuesday - Replace Plastic Zip-Ties With Safety Wire

Oct 29, 2012 at 2:08
by Richard Cunningham  

While I was assembling a Santa Cruz Tallboy test bike recently, I questioned why we still use plastic zip ties to hold the cables and housing in place on bikes? Not that Zip-ties are bad, but I am tired of seeing them sprouting from every corner of the bike. The idea came to me that I could replace the plastic ties on my bike with aircraft safety wire. Having worked on airplanes for a few decades, I had the tools and the talent, so that's what I did. The result was a bit retro, but it looked pretty sharp, so I continued on and also safety wired my Pivot 5.75. The advantages of safety wire are that one size fits all and that It comes in 25-foot rolls or one-pound cans, so you'll never run out of the stuff. Of course, there is always the factor of NOT owning a ubiquitous-looking bike - which counts for something.

What it looks like. Note that the ends of the pigtail loops are flush.

Safety wire replaced plastic tie-wraps on Pinkbike's iCD test bike. The short loops are used to conceal the sharp ends of the wire. It is worth noting that the cut-ends of plastic Zip-ties can also be dangerously sharp.



Safety wire is normally used to keep bolts and parts from falling off of important things like aircraft engines or racing car suspensions, and it is a required application in many forms of motor competition. The wire is very pliable, which makes it easy to use and also helps it to resist fatigue failure. The special pliers that are used to twist and manipulate the wire are not necessary, but are extremely helpful. A professional safety wire tool costs nearly $100 USD, but cheap Chinese safety wire pliers that retail for 12 to 28 dollars at tool outlets and online motorcycle stores will do fine for cycling applications. A small roll of wire runs about $1.25, with a one-pound roll costing around 25 bucks, so this Tech Tuesday is quite affordable.

.041 stainless steel wire Safety Glasses Safety Wire Pliers Needle Nose pliers.
What you'll need:
• .032 or .041-inch stainless-steel safety wire
• Safety-wire pliers
• Small needle-nose pliers
• Safety glasses

Words of caution
Cut wire can be sharp, so anytime you are working with it, you should treat the cut ends as if they were needles or knives. Clipping short strands of steel wire can send bits flying into your eyes or to unknown places where only your mom's new vacuum cleaner or your girlfriend's tender feet will find them. Work where you can easily find and dispose of the cast-off wires and bits, and use safety glasses at all times.



How To Safety Wire Cable Guides


Two fingers point at the sliding latch mech the piers are latched on the wire The twisting mech extended.

Step One: How safety wire pliers operate. A sliding latch (left) along the center of the pliers engages the handle to lock the jaws. Squeezing the handles together while sliding the latch towards the rear of the pliers latches them, (middle) and squeezing the handles again releases the spring-loaded mech. Pull the knob at the end of the tool and a twisted rod spins the pliers to wind up the wire.



Cut at least eight inches of wire to work with. Double loop the guide. Snug with two pliers.

Step Two: Cut about eight inches of wire to make looping it through the guide easier. Feed two loops of wire through the guide and around the housing. Use two pliers and work the loops so they are snug against the housing and tightly spaced. Avoid crossing the wires - it looks better that way.



Twisting the wire

Step Three: Pull the wires together and swing them towards the inside of the bike. Latch the jaws of the tool over both wires about 3/4 inch (20mm) away from the guide. Release the tool while pulling the shuttle knob to twist the wire (right). Repeat until the wires are snugly wrapped around the housing. Don't overdo it though, about ten twists per inch seems right.



Cutting making and straightening the pigtail

Step Four: Cut the twisted wire 3/4 to 5/8 inches (20 to 16mm) from the guide and, using the small needle-nose pliers, roll the twisted end into a nice looking 'pigtail' loop. Finally, ensure that the pigtail is lined up straight and that the sharp, cut-end of the loop is set flush against the wrapped wires.




Alternative Suggestions

Many frames have sets of two or three guides running parallel to each other, so you may want to group them together in one continuous length for a different effect. You can also use this technique to join hoses or housings at specific distances apart to route them cleanly in front of the handlebar, or where they pass to the rear suspension.

Double looping the guides

Double wrap the guide farthest from you and be sure to begin with enough wire. Next, pull the two wires tightly across to the next guide. Grasp the wires with the tool slightly farther away from the inside edge of the next guide to allow for twisting. Twist the wires until the first guide is snug and then double-wrap the second. Use pliers to snug up the loops towards the inside of the frame and then twist the second guide tight.



Finishe double wrap

Clip the wires and then finish the job with a well-tucked pigtail.



Other Safety Wire applications

Safety wire used to tuck the cable in place on an XTR rear derailleur, and to locate Fox's iCD mode indicator on the shift-cable housing.



Watch a how to use safety wire pliers video. (Ghetto alert!)



Tech Tuesday's safety wire suggestions were....



Must Read This Week









287 Comments

  • + 311
 You're kidding me, right? Zip ties take 5 seconds to install, and the ends are only sharp if you cut them incorrectly. And safety wire doesn't come in pretty colours!
  • + 180
 Zip ties are basically the 2nd duck tape... No reason to replace them.
  • - 54
 I do agree with you, but i must say this have a much better finish than with the ordenary zips
  • + 39
 How about when you need to replace the lines? Or it starts to rust... lol
  • + 16
 It's stainless steal, it shouldn't rust... But I think the zip ties look just fine. If you cut the access off and turn the knob to the inside further from site it's barely noticeable. Not knocking the idea though as I have never seen it and it is quite unique. Just seems impractical.
  • + 44
 Black zips look cleaner & better than this crap. I don't need any goofy tools or a mountain of time to put them on either.
  • + 16
 Safety wire is for wiring bolt heads together... so that they don't vibrate loose. Not for holding trivial things on like brake lines to a cable guide. I'd hate to be the person to have to remove that crap.
  • + 14
 Zip ties are so much easier to put on, remove, and they look better. Anyway, we're all so used to using them that most people don't even notice they're there.

A bike without zip ties is an incomplete bike Razz
  • + 42
 Umm, I couldn't understand the point of this article. I seem to have to learn English harder.
  • + 7
 zip ties look fine, i don't know what this article is about. plus they are my best friend out on the trail. i've bodged together my derailleur and my chain on the trail, made it home after a 30km ride. i never ride without them now.
  • + 6
 Me neither. I always carry at least 20 zip ties in my backpack.
  • + 4
 Nowadays many bike companies make those handy little clips that holds your cables in place. Have em on 2 of my bikes and they work just fine, and look better than zip ties or uh, wire. I see the point of the article but i dont find any use for it...
  • + 11
 Their was a time when wire was useful for mtb's; before lock-on grips. But even then I remember some guys experimented with zip-tying their grips on because the wire was a pain in the ass.

Wire is heavier, scratches paint, cuts hands, and makes you look like a nut with too much time on your hands.
  • + 4
 I have actually done this in the past because I didn't have a small enough zip tie and it actually ended up working better than a zip tie because it didn't wear through and break over time. I don't think it is a solution for all but I think in places where your zip ties constantly break it is a great solution.
  • + 5
 try and carry that wire fixem package in yer backpack for a quick trail fix.............................................................not
  • + 15
 i'm just thinking how much riding i could get in if i don't do this
  • + 3
 why would you replace zipp ties? simple and efficient. why make more work?
  • + 3
 And the zip ties are lighter Smile lol
  • + 1
 It's like the most stupid idea ever , hard steel against soft alu , and of course the weight issue , annnd the penetrating issue.
  • + 3
 RC...............................don't be drinkin the cool aid. Not Jah approved
  • + 5
 Does the wire come in colours? If so it would add a cool accent to a colour themed project. Don't sweat the negativity RC. I appreciate your innovative posts.
  • + 1
 its not even april fools today!! I couldn't be bothered doing this even if i was at work with all my tools on hand. zip ties rock!!
  • + 4
 Holy shat! Pinkbike ran out of tech for Tech Tuesdays.
  • + 1
 The whole point of Tech tuesdays is Many ways to Possibly improve youre bike, or give people more idea's I like this idea, but I will most likely not use it. I myself like to invent, create something that would make a bike better, but half of my idea's get lost...... well most of them, But sometimes a zip tie is great if you lose your bolt that holds your derailleur, (ignore the spelling) but with a wire, it would hold up longer. I have used a zip tie to do that before, works allright, but eventually fails.
  • + 2
 Zip Ties FTW!!!!
  • + 0
 Most comments about zip ties ever!!!
  • + 1
 somebody tell me this is a joke
  • + 2
 Only bad thing about zip-ties is that they are not recyclable; nylon.
  • + 1
 ^they are reusable though. depending on where you have used them.
  • + 2
 really pinkbike.. really ?? Confused
  • + 0
 I just use duck tape - for everything ;-)
  • + 2
 I see I'm late to the party and after reading this I kinda wish I never saw it. I echo the "really", using safety wire instead of zip-ties? Umm I'm sorry.....but no.
  • + 1
 your never too late for this party.. and then again.. your like a wizzard,, you are never late nor early,.. your there when you need to be there,.
i find this a nice practical example of "devolution"... its everywhere,.. Blank Stare
  • + 1
 Hahaa, cool man. Yeah, this article.....was a serious WTF.
[Reply]
  • + 137
 the answer to the question nobody asked
  • + 4
 best comment on this thread!
  • + 5
 rando factoid: The same safety wire technique is how they made those "Koosh balls", the toys with all the rubber strands that seemingly had no center... the wire would squeeze so tightly that the rubber would fold over onto itself, so you could not find the middle..

Perhaps that's still a better use for the wire, than to replace zip ties on bikes.. i'm okay with the zip ties, actually.. always good to toss around new ideas. Not all ideas are good ones, but it's important not to be too critical of them, that just puts a damper the development process.. another thing I learned in product development...

( I like your creative thinking and problem solving, Richard. Your idea for seating tubeless tires using another tire as the 'tank' was a pretty creative and workable inexpensive solution for those that don't have a compressor.)
  • - 2
 DEAR PINK BIKE:

DONT FIX IT IF ITS NOT BROKE.
[Reply]
  • + 100
 I think this article is fantastic, whilst I was replacing all the zipties with bits of wire I also took the time to reinstall some tapered cranks, swapped out the coil in my forks for an elastomer and installed some cantilever brakes instead of those troublesome hydraulic discs. Now if I can can just figure out how to convert carbon fiber into chromoly this thing will be fully pimped and trail ready....
  • + 3
 this comment. ftw.
  • + 1
 do you mind putting some pics of your work up Brugles? please?
  • + 1
 Bahahahahaha!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 62
 Zip ties = MTB'ers Best Friend
  • + 10
 I zip tied a seat on once, and it worked just fine Wink
  • + 5
 ^Trials riders zip tie them right to the frame!
[Reply]
  • + 47
 Zip ties are no less aesthetically pleasing than safety wire... This article is pointless.
  • + 6
 jake. you speak the truth.
  • - 14
 not exactly pointless, since I have the pliers from my motorcycle road racing days and still have about 3/4 of that 1lb can left and I frequently run out of zip ties when I could be using safety wire...
  • + 6
 Actually zips look better, they're easier & SS is better used for making sinks & faucets.
  • + 1
 @rlucky. maybe you should buy zipties in a bigger pack. never have that problem. and oh the puuurrrttttyyyyy colors.
  • + 1
 plus - zip ties dont need no fancy pliers..
  • + 1
 and you can get cooler colors with zip ties
[Reply]
  • + 35
 what's happening to tech tuesdays? lamest tech tuesday ever.
  • + 6
 Nevertheless, I was very excited to see that Tech Tuesday is back...RC, thanks for taking the time to show us something new.
  • - 3
 This is the classic instance of a bike geek over-thinking something for the sake of being creative, when all that is accomplished is turning something simple into a pain in the ass. I don't even think it looks that clean, it draws attention to the cable guides.

I have experimented with epoxying or Gorilla gluing cables to frames, and it does look extremely clean. Just clean away a small area of paint from the frame and put a small small dot of glue on it, zip-tie it, then take off the zip-tie when it's dry. I liked that it was clean looking and a little more aero(good for time trial bikes). I didn't like people asking me about it all the time -"What's holding your cables on Protour?"

Probably wouldn't recommend the Protour Technique for carbon frames, and it could even void your warranty, but it does at least look cleaner than zip-ties or RC's wired-up contraptions. I never had one come off, but they could, especially in a crash. If it does, just zip-tie it with one of the 20 zip-ties you carry while riding, then glue it back later.
  • + 20
 HAHA! I knew I'd have to suffer some hate for even suggesting safety wire instead of Zip Ties, but I didn't think it would be raining nails on PB - again! RC
  • - 2
 RC- I think its a good idea. Not saying I will use it, but I like the idea. Too bad everyone on here has to be so negative about it.
  • + 1
 For what it's worth: I dig it. It's different. Bikes are too much the same, and I'm not a fan of plastic in general. also, you could take a small brush (like nail polish) and add some paint to it, which i think would look pretty awesome, whether you color matched it or contrasted it.
  • + 2
 Not a good idea, sorry RC. You might as well have suggested using spaghetti to tie your cables with for all the flack your getting. You could have included instructions for boiling the spaghetti for three minutes less for al dente to stretch the article out.
  • + 3
 Can't win em all RC. At least you're a good sport about it. "Raining nails"...haha, think I might use that one from time to time. Looking forward to next Tuesday. Cheers.
[Reply]
  • + 18
 This has made me realise that one of the best, simplest and cheapest ways to secure cables and lines on my bike, is..........Zip Ties.

Installation steps:
Buy Zip Ties. (~£1.50 for 100 approx. Pretty much any colour you like, dozens of sizes to suit task.)
Wrap one around the cable and through the cable guide making sure the tail faces in towards the frame.
Trim neatly with basic pliers or a scalpel.


Now, did that need an alternative, much less one that needs a specialist tool?

No.
  • + 1
 Installing a ziptie is probably faster than you typing the instructions! Smile

the 3 vote options above are pretty much "NO" hahaha
[Reply]
  • + 17
 After reading the 4 steps to install safety wire and a page long article with photographs, you convinced me, zip ties are a major inconvenience to my riding.
[Reply]
  • + 18
 So its arts and crafts Tuesdays now?
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Seriously? A multiple page article on how to twist wire instead of using zip-ties?
[Reply]
  • + 15
 Oh Jesus...this is a joke right? Please tell me that this is a pisstake...
[Reply]
  • + 13
 worst tech tuesday ever!...whoever greenlighted this idea should have their johnson doubled over, zip tied, then forced to watch porn!
  • - 1
 damn man laughed really hard at that
  • + 11
 no, they should have their johnson doubled over and then safety wired, it looks a lot cleaner than zip ties.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!! a zip tie needs just 3.4 sec to be installed, while safety wire almost 5.33 min, so let's everybody waste some time!!! a zip tie needs just 1.6 sec to be uninstalled, while safety wire almost 4.43 min and you will probably scratch your frame, so let's everybody waste some more time and make some more marks on our bikes!!!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Zip ties are just fine in my opinion, just cut them flush and turn them so they are not protruding in a direction that is going to scrape your skin. Personally find this safety wiring twisting quite unnecessary.
  • + 1
 I use a cutter or any sharp blade to make them as flush as possible and double loop them so I don't have to use thick zips. Use only small, thin ones. They do the job just great.
  • + 3
 Just put the zip ties on so that the cut off side is facing down on the inside of the frame (like a number 6, if you are looking at the bike from the back), and turn them so that the cut off part is hidden behind the cable. Easier to do, looks cleaner than this wire thing, and you can get ties in any color you want.
  • + 0
 When you cut the ziptie, cut a little bit of the square end in the same bite. Makes it sit perfectly flush and neat.
  • + 11
 just cut the damn zip-ties with a nail clipper, it cuts them kinda curved so they won't have sharp edges
  • + 1
 Ditto on the nail clippers, nail clippers give a rounded edge. If you really want to use baling wire, you can twist long lengths using a power drill.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Rather than zip ties or idiotic wire, soemone should invent a little plastic C clip that fits into the cable guide. If it could fit both hoses and cables, that'd be even better. I reckon local bike shops everywhere could sell them for pennies/give them out if you need them.

Oh, wait a minute...
  • + 3
 I've never had luck keeping those on my bike... I really like the ones that survive though!
  • + 1
 McMaster Carr has tons of custom fasteners.
You can get low profile cable ties for your frame, fastener mount ties for screwing a cable tie to a frame,
Open up the 'additional ties' menu on this page. www.mcmaster.com#cable-ties/=jyfepr

link to stainless steel, nylon coated ties
www.mcmaster.com#stainless-steel-ties/=jyfgec
[Reply]
  • + 11
 "Mike, why don't you put together a Tech Tuesday"
"Nah, ran out of ideas"
"How about you Richard? Must be something you can find in those old MBA articles"
  • + 3
 from something like 1964
[Reply]
  • + 11
 C'mon, are you running out of ideas for tech tuesday? Wire over paint? Jesus!!
[Reply]
  • + 12
 Zip ties + nail clippers = perfectly finished job in 6 seconds ...
[Reply]
  • + 8
 lock wire is for engines and racing cars, zip ties are not sharp at all if you cut them properly, wont scratch anything and dont need pliers to fit em on the trail, my 2 cents
  • + 12
 In fact, in racecars, all wiring (which can be considered very similar to a bike's brake lines and cables) is routed by zip ties also, even in F1. haha
  • + 0
 RaceCARS no, but in order to bring a motorsmycle to a track, all fasteners must be safetied.
  • + 0
 I didn't say wires, bolts are held with safety wire
[Reply]
  • + 10
 If you look from the bright side, still better than "how to replace a tube". But still Pinkbike, srsly?
[Reply]
  • + 10
 What a crock of shit
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Thomas and betts makes a sweet zip tie gun that tightens and cut them to length (without sharp edges) I make airplanes and my Landrover has safety wire all over it, I just couldnt be bothered on my bikes, since zipties have worked so well for years.
  • + 7
 Yeah, It's cool tool to use, with a torque setting for different strength ties - and the automatic cutter makes a perfectly rounded edge. A bit pricey though. Getitng slammed on this one, eh?
RC
  • + 7
 Yep slammed on this one, you could always do a follow up article how to replace safety wire with a zip tie Smile
  • + 4
 ^ i think someone wrote one already - back in like '83
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Working on helicopters, I would never use safety wire on anything where chafing would happen. Safety wire is used to lock bolt heads in place and keep fasteners from backing off. If I ever saw safety wire used like this on one of my aircraft I would flip shit. Same goes for my bike. The really high quality T&B tie-wraps I use still manage to wear through shift housing eventually. Why would you use something thats sharper that even improperly cut tie wraps and has the potential to cut right through brake lines. For shame Pinkbike, for shame.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 If you want to scratch your bikes frame and spent some extra time compare to zip ties, then go ahead.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 What a total waste of time - and I mean both the author for replacing his zip ties with wire, and me for reading this article.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 It look's like they have run out of ideas for tech Tuesday lol
[Reply]
  • + 6
 This poll should have one more oprion: "I Love Zip Ties and would never replace them!"
[Reply]
  • + 3
 RC, this reminds me of your days of writing useless articles for Mountain Bike Fiction. Awful stuff even if it was April 1st! I know you're eccentric and this is the type of stuff that you like but an editor should have stopped this article from hitting the website.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 What a turd of an idea,looks worse takes longer and was obviously thought up by a guy with way to much time on his hands. Terrible.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 And as for those answering 'interesting but not for me' are you f'in kidding?! Sort it out pink bike tech Tuesday used to be a highlight,what a crock.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 "How to complicate something ridiculously simple."
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Aint nobody got time for safety wire.. leave that to the moto guys that spend more time fixing their bikes than riding..
[Reply]
  • + 3
 When twisting the wire snug, it is pretty easy is it to gouge/indent/divot a plastic covered cable. A couple of the images above look like the wire has damaged the outer casing, and the inner support wires are showing (these tend to rust). It is very hard to over tighten small sized zip ties on the other hand, because the tie will snap if you pull too tight.

Snipping a metal wire for removal creates a sharp end. Pulling out the wire can be a bit tricky with it being curved. Very easy to drag the sharp end over a painted surface or slice into a cable/hose.

As has been mentioned above a zip tie can break away if you catch your cable/hose on a branch, reducing the chance of destroying that cable/hose.

And speaking as a guy that is borderline obsessive about the aesthetics of my bikes, a simple black zip tie is much less of an eye sore then a twisted cable (even if that cable twisting is done fancy).
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Waste of time, why we looking on this sh...t on pinkbike.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Right, short of this being very boring I feel that wire would have a greater breaking resistance than a zip tie which is a bad bad thing. If one of my cables was to snag on something, I would prefer the zip tie to fail and allow slack into the system allowing a more of a chance for the cable to work free. If it is tied down with a wire tie with a far higher breaking strength, this, I feel could result in damage to the rider, frame and cable. This was a total waste of time.... Almost as much of a waste in writing this.....
  • + 1
 Exactly. If you crash and the cables wrap around the headtube, it's better if a zip tie snaps instead of a cable.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I knew when pinkbike hired RC that we would get some excellent articles for trail bike riders, some great mechanical stuff and the odd really strange quick fix article that is almost completely useless.
  • + 7
 He does come up with some decent ideas at times, but this is notoriously awful. Wish they would have posted a picture of him with his safety glasses on installing the wires.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 looks good RC however, i would be more inclined to replace a couple of zip ties after a shuttle weekend, rather than replacing housing and brake line due to the wire cutting through. i was always under the impression that zip ties were used, due to their weak nature.. that way the tie breaks from the frame preventing the cable from tearing in a less than desirable situation. Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Lets buy kilometers of .032 or .041-inch stainless-steel safety wire , sell it & become rich !!!!
Come on PinkBike, what is next : Toilet paper melted with plastic to be used as Mudguards ????
[Reply]
  • + 3
 If this was April Fools day, I would think this is awesome... But it's not, so it's super lame. Who doesn't love zip ties? I zip tied a deraileur back together on a whistler trip and still achieved 4 shiftable gears.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I am sorry Richard...But that is not a good idea for a bike...Besides the fact that the wire twister that you displayed is about $50.00 I would have to say that the lockwire will eat paint and any other soft materials...I used to work on airplanes and yes that was a great application of the wire for safety purposes..But what a pain it was when it came to removing or scraping your hands on the cut ends.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 And I just saw one of the last pictures of him wiring the long bit of cable on the rear derailure... if the excess cable was cut to a proper length he wouldn't need to tie it up
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Laughable....It's gotta be a piss take ! ...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Sorry you wasted your time Richard....but really, not very useful stuff. Should have used zip ties and then gone riding instead....
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Why not give some suggestions? Obviously R.C. needs some suggestions.
I would love to see the hydroforming process, welding, and just more of the industrial side of the process. I love to see how things are made. Potential future materials? Carbon zipties? Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This literally is the worst idea I've heard with bike mechanics recently. What a pain in the ass that actually looks awful. We did get a good laugh here in the shop though, so thank you!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Safety wire works damn well for freeing up a stuck master link on your chain as well... As you tighten the 'twist', it pulls the links together and opens the master link with no trouble.
  • + 1
 Or just buy the park pliers...
  • + 1
 You get me deal... I buy!
  • + 1
 There like ten bucks. I send.
  • + 1
 No shit? I always assumed they were stupid expensive like the Hozan cutters.
  • + 1
 Technically $14.40 retail. I no mess with needle nose again!
  • + 1
 Literally the only redeeming feature to this article. Thanks Leroy. I hate fussing with master links.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i quote " Having worked on airplanes for a few decades, I had the tools and the talent, so that's what I did."

Zip ties require no skills almost everyone knows what one is and how to use them and you only need pliers which almost everyone has.

and i dont want my bike getting scratched due to the wire rubbing.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 What a waste of a tech Tuesday....... I guess they are running out of topics?
[Reply]
  • + 6
 If you have that much time on your hands, go fix a trail instead.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In Romania we use normal wire and wire bale decades. You have not invented anything new. We now begin to modernize and use plastic zip-ties, but also wire them what`s good
www.douamaini.ro/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/maner-legat-cu-sarma-4.jpg
[Reply]
  • + 1
 As an alternative yes I get the idea but when bike manufacturers use zip ties and they're so simple to get hold of and use this isn't really a tech tuesday at all. People want to know how to work on their bikes not put them together differently to everyone elses. Zip ties can also be carried on the trail very easily. You're having a laugh if i'm to carry wire, pliers and cutters!!!!! Its certainly a good article but can see why people saying its an idea that no one needs to know or dont agree with it as a tech tuesday
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i only use safety wire on my moto grips. zip ties are the way to go when it comes to running cables. cables need some slop to move around especially when it come to fs frames & they provide a lubricious surface to do so. you run risk of slicing through hydraulic lines if you don't know how to use the pliers. it's not for this bike builder.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 can't tell people anything, they'll put you on a cross with a spear in your ass and spit at you while you're bleeding. Shit its just different, sure is hipstery and Shimano Brakes like stuff. Raining nails is good way to put it, because they are crucifying R.C. for his difference in approach.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 having worked in the aircraft industry for a number of years this yet again highlights one of my pet hates when people are showing how to wire lock parts, in that people always miss the first step, which is to pre-stretch the wire!

Hold one end of the wire in a vice and pull the other end with pliers, (you would be surprised how much the wire stretches) than continue as shown above.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 think of the extra weight from all that stainless steel!! I have used wire on my bike and its a pain to fit and I always caught my leg on it, also a pain to remove it as it takes more effort than a zip tie. Gone back to zie ties for good now and they come in nice colours!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hey R.C. I seem to be the only one who found this to be an interesting idea and a creative alternative. As a pilot I love the aviation aspect of it. I'm also a stickler for detail and I thought the safety wire is a nice touch that shows someone cares about every aspect of the build. I would be interested to know the difference in weight of the wire vs. the plastic, because I'm sure its tiny. Anyway I liked your article, and I'm sure there will be a shitstorm headed my way from some ass-brained chucklef*cks for saying so. Who knew zip ties could cause more vitriol than politics?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is actually a really cool idea! I own all the tools required to do it, might as well go crazy and wire lock everything! Haha. If bolts werent sunked into the components as much it would be very useful, though difficult to work on down the trail!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Waste. Of. Time. Looks really weird, adds to the weight, difficult to clean, difficult to remove (especially out on the trail) likely to scratch your frame, probably end up damaged and sharp after a crash.... crazy! Give me a good old zip tie that takes like 4 seconds to fit and 1 second to remove with cutters...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Oh boy, after reading the comments I don't think anyone's going to dig next weeks tech tuesday, "Plasma arc weld your grips on"
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I think it must be a joke, because you couldn't be serious with that idea. Seriously. Worst idea ever.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Safety wire is fine if you wire nuts, bolts. Everything with close to equal hardness. Aluminum, Carbon/Epoxi, Plastictubing and cheap Zamaccast (like your rear derailleur) will chaff and wear. Not a good idea.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Using safety wire is actually really good for certain sections on bikes. I use it on my dh bike and trail bike for cables around the bottom bracket and suspension links because I have had a lot of zip ties break and cause rubbing on the wheel or chainring. Also I use it on my dirt jumper for my brake cable. The zip ties break often during crashes. This is not a bad idea, but I would not replace all zip ties, just a few in key areas that break often.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I think RC has too much time on his hands.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I noticed these on my bottlerocket that I bought recently:

www.transitionbikes.com/Store_Detail.cfm?Token={ts_2012-10-30_14:00:23}-50f7c383f1a988d4-FA7208E6-B0C2-955A-326FF0DE36B9E449&P=2222&o=7

reusable (environment friendly) and does the job.
  • + 1
 they look great but they don't last. had to replace most of them with zip ties
  • + 1
 and expensive compared to zip ties.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Man, I know it has been mentioned before, but I will leave the safety wire for my truck and heavy machinery I work on. I would rather a brake hose get snagged with branch or what-ever, and have the zip tie (which I have nicked with side snips) break, than kink or tear my hose right off with some wire. Heck I have used electrical tape to hold cables and hoses on before as well.

Safety wire on my Bike - No Thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hmm, ride around with Sharp heavy metal that requires tools and comes with a significant weight difference, or carry a few extra small, soft, lightweight, color matching plastic zip tie. Hmmm clear decision. Also, zip ties tear and rip off when a Sharp tug or pull happens. Steel won't be so forgiving. So instead of a loose cable after a crash.....you might have your lines cut. And now your situation just became worse. Good idea, poor application.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Words of caution
Cut wire can be sharp, so anytime you are working with it, you should treat the cut ends as if they were needles or knives. Clipping short strands of steel wire can send bits flying into your eyes" BRILLIANT IDEA. :-O
[Reply]
  • + 1
 We have used this method for mx bikes for over 8 years, originally used for fastening the grips tight to the bars, wouldnt use them on a frame though due to it easily scratching the frame, can be very sharp and if your cable gets caught the wire wont rip like a cable tie so more chance of splitting hydraulic hoses.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The worst Tech Tuesday every, you guys are taking the piss right, zip tie's all they way, 5 sec job and looks much better. Pink bike seems like you running out of tech idea's, how about a "how to silent your bike like the pro's do"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 not a chance this is any sort of step forward! And you mention bout zip ties being sharp if not cut correctly, Well ive never ripped the skin from my fingers / arms etc quite as much as someone elses shi!!y pig tails or loose ends of locking wire - its quite frankly dangerous. I agree it looks good, but at a cost not worth taking! Keep it holding our crappy air fleet together!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This is for Halloween ain't it? If you dress up like a monster to go out trick-or-treat on your bike you replace the zip ties by wires.
  • + 3
 PS: bring back Mike
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Lock wires can and should also be used on disc brake mounting bolts to prevent the bolts from coming loose over time.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Why don't you just try and re-invent the wheel at the same time......I'll stick to zip ties!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Espera ai, a cena de desenrascar tudo com um arame é nossa!! Que merda é esta destes gajos?!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Looks like an emergency paper clip job. Use the clips that are designed for the job. Why?
[Reply]
  • + 5
 that is an utter waste of time maybe peddle that shit to the fixie boys
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's a great tool, great technique, only question is why? Zip ties features tool free installation, they are lighter, they are easy to remove and they are better looking.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 You can't cut them off with a penknife. Would be a pain if you needed to remove them on the trail
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Appreciate your efforts writing and documenting this article but "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Zippy's... for the win.

-CF-
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Every rider needs to replace a Zip on a ride at some point and you can keep them in your pocket!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 zip ties can cut through skin quite nicely when sliding over them at speed, not sure if the wire would fair much better. A mechanic friend uses string, much more skin friendly
[Reply]
  • + 0
 " i questioned why we still use plastic zip ties" BECAUSE THEY ARE BETTER!!!
Mind you i did find the statement "I had the tools and talent" very, very funny.
Please; it's just a bike, not a F16. Get a Job that takes up more of your time.
Do you think this guy has a lot of friends????
[Reply]
  • + 1
 noooo why would you want to do that? IMHO i think a black small zip tie looks better...On the right bike this could be cool but i dont see the point really..it doesnt look that clean..maby its just me...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Imagine if this was the normal thing to do, and someone came along and said - why not just use zip ties? They're easier and take half the time. That's how retarded an idea this is.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 GAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY You do realize your gunna have to change those like all the time for when u do housing swaps
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Or...you can go waaay hippie and tie your crap down with hemp string...and put a nice pretty bow on each...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 So many idiots in here, i used to have zipties break all the time, this is exactly the kind of thing i was looking for.

Instead i used wire twist ties from the grocery store.

As for the people saying it wont break if you catch a cable on something,m: if you hang up a cable enough to break a ziptie then you've most likely hung it up enough that you're gonna have issues regardless of if the fastener snaps or not.

And to everyone saying it will cut your housings, it's fairly simple, dont do it that tight....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wire can be used if you run out of zip-ties. Properly cut zip-tie look better and are easier, faster fit. Wire may look in place only on really retro bike. Why this is in (ghetto) Tech Tuesday?
  • + 2
 so can string and sellotape,and they would be quicker.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Only $75 for the wire twister pliers. Everyone on the hill and trail will have a pair on hand. This solves a problem that doesn't exist.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 too much wire trouble, zip ties forever.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 This is pretty popular in the motocross world and works great. Ever notice the grooves in a lot of flanged grips? They are for safety wire and nothing holds grips tighter. I've never seen a problem with rust or sharp ends. RIchard, you did a beautiful job, it looks like art!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Seems like the hardness of the wire is going to damage my hoses after a while from rubbing. Also dissimilar metals together without grease or locktite is usually a bad idea. It looks nice, but doesn't seem practical.
  • + 2
 yeah and what happens if your cable gets caught on something? zip ties snap i cant see that wire even bending
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Have to say Looks neat but zip ties looks neat also and would be done in half the time.. Can't beat zip ties!!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Where are my safety glasses?! I can't secure my cables without them. Pffft.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Safety Wire is common practice in some industries. I used the stuff in the airplane/automotive mechanic work and it works great. I have used it on bikes in a pinch when those black clips fall off (easily do).
[Reply]
  • + 3
 worst pB article from a while.... so stupid... why not use a duck tape all arund the tubes ..... hhahahah
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thread through hole and pull. so easy. wrap around parts use plier tool thing and then have to curl the ends to stop you stabbing yourself. Just looks annoying to use though. they look tidy though
[Reply]
  • + 3
 this post should have been called: how to turn something simple into something complicated?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Some thing different to talk about (I get it) but 4 inch Panduit zip ties and True flush cut electronic wire snips works. Small light weight and no sharp points.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 RC your just old and nostalgic. Demmo,s have this plastic spacer cable holder that is a piece of crap. You show a good alternative....Rainin Nails hahahahahah I love it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like it, I'll use it. I have access to the required materials for free. And a lot of free time, so it's not a big deal to me.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Works great for holding my moto grips on. A little overkill for mountain bike cables
[Reply]
  • + 3
 this looks way uglier than zip ties !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Squeeze your minds designing an affordable and reliable dropper post!!!!! Safety wire......ya,mannnn
[Reply]
  • + 2
 You have far to much time on your hands friend! I'd rather spend the time riding my bike...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Zip ties have larger surface area and hence do not damage your housing and brake line in a crash.
This would F*ck shit up in a crash.
Horrible idea!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I feel dumber for reading this article. PS this is the same guy that thinks 17psi in your mtb tires is ok too. I've said it before and will say it again, RETIRE RC while you still have your dignity
  • + 4
 damn. im at 19lbs. think i should lower it to 15lbs?

lol
  • + 2
 Too late for the dignity thing. The guy's been a total joke for years. Anyone remember an MBA article attempting to change 'freeriding' to 'black diamond riding', for example? The arrogance and stupidity of his articles in MBA was always astounding, and I feel that PB has definitely lost cred by bringing this fossil on board.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 why in hell you need goggles for that?? Use goggles when you chop onions, if ya don't want to cry like a little girl
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Strange, if wire works so well I wonder why all the cable stays have slots perfect for zip ties and not just a hole for some wire??!??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i was waiting so long for a tech tuesday and now this...i guess theirs so much you can do with a bike with all these new technologies? guess i'am being a little stubborn
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can't see any reason to find a replacement for the zip tie--inexpensive, easy to use, does the job flawlessly, light, and you can get them in different colors Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This is a solution looking for a problem.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Although I'll stick with zip ties it's always good to see other alternatives.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 April Fools!

:/
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All the best things are held together with cable ties, and i dont even cut them, its quicker than trying to find pliers and you can reuse them Wink
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i wish i invented the zip-ties... and own the patented design. i would be very very rich right now
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I wouldn't do this on my bike but +1 for creativity .

We need more people that try to change the "statu quo" for the better. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 You have got to be kidding me! Zip ties are cleaner & easier to set up.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 RC has gone senile
  • + 1
 It's a nice change from his articles about why flat pedals suck.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 ".. but it looked pretty sharp " Exactly my point why I use Zip ties Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Zip ties are lighter, and don't look like you just re used the wire from a wine bottle cork. Zip tie 1 - 0 safety wire
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I suggest playing with your other tool, rather then buying a new specific tool when you run out of things to write about.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 pointless, looks even worse then a tidy little zip tie and takes much longer to install
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sweet effort and article .... now lets go for Pro riders interview .... yeahh!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'd be worried about the wire wearing on the frame, and lines!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm sticking with zip ties.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Zip Ties hold the world together but this looks like it does the same job, just fancier.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Could this be the end of zip-ties at World Cup Downhills? What does Aaron Gwin use to fix his cables to his frame? :p
[Reply]
  • + 3
 seems pretty pointless
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That is some very high quality work! Thank Jebus GE allow us to use Safe-T-Wire now ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i love zip ties. they are the fastest and most easy way to route cables. i love them almost as much as duct tape.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I really don't think I could be arsed doing all that and probely stabbing my self in the process, cable ties work well
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think that's not a bad idea), but still there are tips that people need that are just starting to ride a bike)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pretty cool. I agree with you that zip ties are pretty shoddy looking. Will try it out
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How about you spend less time twisting little wires and more time riding your bike?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 heat ends of your zip ties with a lighter, no more sharp
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How many of you got your leg stuck in front rectangle in the moment of a crush !?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 does this guy get paid to do this waste of time stuff? zip ties are perfect for the job they do on bicycles.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Cut your zip ties with an exacto knife and they'll never be sharp Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 fair play mate, that's the most amount of comments ive seen on any post! any publicity is publicity!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 y not use a red ribbon and make a bouquet at the end????
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Or how about floss? It'll make your bike "Minty"!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 OMG... I don't believe what I'm reading ! You're kidding me right ?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That's only good for keeping mx grips on you dirt bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ...and the wire will eat away at the housing/hose much faster than a zip tie. Terrible idea Pinkbike.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wack! Complete waste of time. 4 real. Lame.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I safety wire enough parts on airplanes I don't want to do it on my bike also.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 the ends of the wire are sharp also
[Reply]
  • + 1
 We use safety wire in motox as a necessity it's completely OTT and ugly as sin for mountain bikes
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This safety wire method makes as much sense as paid toilers.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Or there's the Mowa cable guides?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Arame, que merda de idéia é essa... do tempo em que se usava fita isolante como protetor de câmara.
  • + 1
 Thats what I thought
[Reply]
  • + 2
 ugly as smelly shit , get a zip ties or get a 8" velcro ties
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "the factor of NOT owning a ubiquitous-looking bike" - this one yes, but no use beyond.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i would use lock wire for my caliper bolts, or other parts you dont want to shake loose but not to tie up cables.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 over thinking everything, zip ties already look good
[Reply]
  • + 1
 almost useless article, zip : simple, strong, light, diff colors,
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If its going to save me some weight, I'm all over it :p lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Zip ties weigh less. Enough reason for me to stick with them.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wanna make your bike heavier? Here's how to...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The ultimate steampunk accessorie !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That looks crap what a waste of time, useless idea!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would be such a hassle to take off
[Reply]
  • + 1
 zipties look unfinished but this doesn't??
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Load of shite
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what about glue? then you wouldn't even see anything.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i'll stick with the zip-ties.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ummm, yeah, no thanks. Looks pretty cheesy.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Zip ties are lighter. Win.
  • + 1
 And look better
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what a stupid article by pb.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Is it April 1st? RC has COMPLETELY lost his mind... wtf are you thinking bro?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 next tech tuesday: lacing a wheel with saftey wire!
  • + 0
 And how to use bubble gum to fix a blown seal in a fork! Lol.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Really? Bailing wire? Are you guys running out of tech stuff to write up?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 is it april 1st already ?!! ..
[Reply]
  • + 2
 what a dumb idea.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 RC's chips have been proverbially pissed on.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 I lost alot of respect for PB when they hire RC after all his mountain bike fiction crap. The guy has no credibility and is a joke.
  • + 4
 That's a bit harsh. RC has produced some great articles although this is clearly not one of them. Why so much hostility?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cracking idea!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 26 thousand reads. Oh yeah! Thanks for putting my story on the PB leader board. Gotta love haters.
  • + 5
 I'd assess the quality of you're writing not by the number of reads but by the general concensus of the comments
  • + 1
 Haha this is terrible, haters, haters everywhere
  • + 1
 Wow lots of haters! You must be good. I didn't read all the comments so it may of been suggested already; after I cut my zip ties, I use finger nail trimmers to finish trim them off leaving a nice, rounded finish that won't threaten to sever an artery.
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv16 0.082730
Mobile Version of Website