How to install an end cap on a bike brake cable

Updated November 21, 2016

Most bicycles employ two brakes, one for each wheel. Each brake relies on a cable in order to work. The cable connects the brake to a brake lever on the handlebar. When the brake lever is squeezed, the sudden cable tension causes the pivoting brake arms to move in towards the sides of the wheel. Each cable requires an end cap to prevent the end of the cable from fraying.

Check that the end of the cable extends no more than 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) beyond the anchor bolt. The anchor bolt "anchors" the cable to the brake.

Use sharp cable cutters to cut the end of the cable 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) beyond the anchor bolt if the cable is too long. Cut swiftly to reduce the potential for fraying.

Slip the end cap onto the tip of the cable. Check that all strands from the cable are contained within the protective cap. If the cable has frayed slightly from cutting simply twist the frayed strands around the cable before covering the end with the cap.

Mash the cap onto the brake cable using needle nose pliers. Gently tug at the cap to ensure that it is secure, and mash again if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable cutters (as needed)
  • Cable end cap
  • Needle nose pliers
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