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11665RE: [rootsradicals] Shift cable length

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  • Tone
    May 5, 2010
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      Bob,
      I believe you do need to have tandem-length rear shifter and brake cables
      on a long-tail bike. I am not sure if recumbent bikes have longer cables,
      which could also be used, but maybe they simply use the same
      tandem-length cables. Someone in the RootsRadical list with recumbent
      experience can clarify that for you. Either way, longer cables are
      necessary as far as I know.
      Not all bike shops will keep tandem cables in stock though. That is why I
      generally order tandem-length cables from on-line dealers when they are
      having sales. Obviously, no one should be wearing out such cables that
      quickly, so I just make sure to almost always have one extra
      tandem-length cable in my own stock of extra bike gear/parts. That way
      if/when I do go into my local bike shop they should have everything they
      need to do the repair/maintenance without having to wait on any special
      orders from QBP or whatever supplier they use.
      Another trick I use to reduce the issue of longer cables is I ride a
      single-speed on my rear wheel. I still have multiple chain-rings up-front
      with standard-bike-length shifter/cables to allow some gearing range. To
      keep chain tension though I have a bare-bones rear derailleur, but I do
      not need the cabling and related mechanisms. Other than reducing my need
      for tandem-length cables to just rear-brakes, it also keeps maintenance
      issues down a bit more. A lot less seems to go wrong with forward
      shifting because of the size-jumps and spacing compared to several
      smaller gears on a rear hub.
      Clearly, a wider gearing range on a cargo bike is more ideal for most
      people. In fact I sometimes debate whether I should go back, especially
      as I get older. However, I personally prefer a low maintenance bike, so I
      will keep riding with a single-speed the rear for a while longer. Perhaps
      instead of just two chain-rings upfront I will add a third for more
      range. :)

      Ride safe,
      _TONE_
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