Rusty Noodles? Shrink that problem!

90sCro-MoFan

Dirt Disciple
You must have noticed that noodles have an annoying habit of going rusty.....well they do if you ride in all weathers anyway. The ferrule that the cable housing fits into and the part at the other end that slots into the hanger on the V-Brake arm are made from aluminium and are not affected by this problem, but the tube section is made from steel. Probably because steel is stronger and can be more easily made into smaller, thinner-walled tubes. Anyway, at about £3 a pop, I can't justify buying new noodles every few months, just to keep my bike looking decent. So here's an idea.........get yourself some 5mm heat-shrink tubing (used to insulate electric cables). It's pretty cheap. Remove the noodle and (carefully) take it apart by pulling on the aluminium ferrule at the top end. It should pull the nylon lining out with it. Cut a length of heat-shrink, about 4mm shorter than the tube part of the noodle and slip it on (I'd clean off as much of the rust as you can first, just to keep it at bay a bit). Make sure you push the heat-shrink all the way down until it butts up against the aluminium part at the other end. Then ask the missus (or not ;) ) for a lend of her hair dryer, whack the temperature control to max and heat the tubing until it shrinks down tightly around the noodle.....Oh yeah, hold the noodle with a pair of pliers, as it will get too hot to hold with your fingers! Bob's yer avuncular!
 

xerxes

Old School Grand Master
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Re:

I'd be worried that although the heat shrink may look smarter, the corrosion will continue, unseen, beneath it and at some point the noodle may fail and you'd lose braking.

Also, I have found that not all noodles are created equal. The original Shimano noodles seem to last much better than some of the cheap unbranded ones you can get on Ebay.
 

90sCro-MoFan

Dirt Disciple
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Good point! Perhaps I should have specified that it's only recommended as a temporary, cosmetic fix. I've covered a couple of new sets that way too, I can't see that it's very easy for water to find its way down the inside of the noodle, so it'll be interesting to see how effective it is at keeping them rust-free. I tend to replace housings, noodles, the whole shebang about every three years anyway, cables more often if need be. Replacement Shimano Noodles are not easy to find it seems.
 

Pipmeister

Senior Retro Guru
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90sCro-MoFan":1xpg3rg9 said:
You must have noticed that noodles have an annoying habit of going rusty.....well they do if you ride in all weathers anyway.
Just buy Noodles that are made from Stainless Steel that don't rust.

I use Avid, which available in 90, 110 and 135 degree bends. They cost £3.99, and continue to work trouble free for ages:

. by Philip Mock, on Flickr

King Kauna SandB BR970R by Philip Mock, on Flickr

. by Philip Mock, on Flickr

Pip.
 

90sCro-MoFan

Dirt Disciple
Thanks Pipmeister, nice! I never knew stainless ones were available. Only been signed-up a day and learned something new already!
 

sam_white

Retro Guru
Shimano ones tend to be stainless, at least the one's I've had with M600 and M739 XT V Brakes were. They still suffer from the inner teflon(?) sleeve eventually degrading.
 

TheAntsPants

Devout Dirtbag
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I use heat shrink on noodles and outer caps, just a few cm where the outer meets the noodle. Not to stop rust, but to stop water etc seeping in to outers and gunging up shifting and braking. Anything to extend life and reduce maintenance.
 
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