Pliers, Cable & Housing Tools

PAGE 1 of 2


When you first look at a bike, you might notice a lot of cables bunched up by the handlebars. These cables are connected to the brakes, the gears, and occasionally a dropper seat post or lock-out remote. Cables allow you to have control over all these aspects of the bike right under your fingertips. It’s safe to say that cables and housing are extremely important to the functionality of any bicycle. To work on cables and housing you need specific pliers, cable and housing tools. These are tools that you will find at every professional mechanic’s work station.

When creating a new line of cable and housing you need tools to cut both the housing and the cable. Standard cables and housing can be cut with a traditional cable cutting tool. These tools look like pliers but have curved snips on the end instead. Using cable cutters to cut housing usually pinches the housing a little since it is hollow. After the cut is finished, you usually need to use regular pliers to squeeze it back into shape. This doesn’t damage the housing since a ferrule covers the end of the housing anyway. If the cable can still slide freely within the housing you are good to go.

Hydraulic housing requires a slightly different process. A specific hydraulic cable cutting device must be used. It is highly discouraged to used standard cable cutters when cutting hydraulic line. This is because you want a perfectly straight cut with hydraulic line and pinching hydraulic line can damage it. A Hydraulic hose cutting tool looks like a miniature guillotine. It slices a straight cut through the hose when you actuate it. Unlike standard cable and housing, hydraulic cables use a barb and olive at the end to create a hydraulic coupling with either a brake lever or brake caliber. Rock Shox’s Reverb hydraulic dropper seat post works in a similar way.

If you have any questions about pliers, cable and housing tools, hop on a call or a chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors today at 951-234-7554. They are always happy to help you with any questions you may have.