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DIY: Colored Cable Outers

Mar 25, 2008 at 14:54
by Janne Aspinen  
Proper bike setup has color coordinated components. It's kinda hard
to find nice colored cable outers and if you can find some, they
cost you arm and leg. Don't show me sad face my friend; there is
DIY-style to fix this problem easily.

This article shows you a way to convert cable outers from unoriginal
black to nicer colors.

I got the idea to do this from Justin Wasilenko's article at All props to him.

Heat Shrink Tubing

The secret for colored cable outers is heat shrink tubing. It's tubing,
which is mainly used by electrical installers to protect electric
wires and connections between them. Nice thing about heat shrink
tubing is that you can get it in many different colors and it's
quite cheap. You just need to go to your local electrical store
and check which colors are available.

Tools you need:

- Heat gun for shrinking
- Scissors or knife for cutting tubing
- If you got new uncut cable outer, you need cable cutters.




Close up


Testing tubing

Materials you need:

- Cable outer (I used 1,5m (59") of some unbranded gear cable)
- Cable outer caps for both ends (I got two black ones suited for cable)
- Heat shrink tubing (I got two pieces of white 1,30m (51")long and
5mm (.196") diameter tubing with 2:1 shrinking ratio (shrinks to 2,5mm (.098")))

Installing tubing:

Step one:

Insert cable outer cap to the first end of the cable outer. Measure it
with your shifter, for the clearance it needs (my X.9 trigger needed
something like 5mm (.196")). If you have one piece of tubing long enough
to cover the outer in one piece, insert other cable outer cap and measure
the other end with you derailleur and cut tubing to right lenght (my X.9
derailleur needed about 8mm (.315")).


Ready to be measured


Right on target

Step two: Shrinking the tubing.

Make sure tubing is and stays on the right place, use heat gun to shrink
tubing. Be carefull not to overheat the tubing, it can burn. Try not to
twist and mess with the tubing while heating for the best finish.


Done halfway thru

I didn't had a change to get one long piece of heat shrink tubing, so I
had to use two pieces. I just measured second piece of tubing with cable
outer caps installed and left little bit extra lenght for overlap with
first piece of tubing.


Second piece measured

Here are some pictures from finished cables:


Ready cable outer


Close up

Cable outer turned out to be quite nice. It won't stay white for long in dirt, but
it stands out pretty well from black cable outers. I have white Goodridges ordered
and waiting to be installed on my Juicy's. I think they will match perfectly with my
new Gear cable outer. Wink

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments and show your mods.

Direct link for this article:

P.S. You might be interested in my other DIY articles. Check 'em out.

Author Info:
air2k avatar

Member since Jul 9, 2006
6 articles

  • 0 0
 Tosi siisti idea ja näyttää toimivan hyvin, mut mistas pain jyvaskylaa noita saa?
Kiitos paljon ajatuksesta, pittaa itekki rueta tuunaamaan pyoraa Big Grin
  • 0 0
 Sahkoliikkeista noita saa. Ite pistin kaverin hakeen K-S Elektroniikasta tuubit. Google kertoneen, missa sijaitsee.
  • 0 0
 juu, kiitos!
  • 0 0
 awesome idea. im gonna try it for sure on my brake cable. just got to hope they have the cable housing in the DIY stores around here
  • 0 0
 nice... but my rides black, so no issues there lol. White might look nice though.
  • 1 0
 sweet, someone did one on the forums to
  • 1 0
 id love to do my hydros but that a bit more work than mechanical Razz

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