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Bicycle Cable Housing Fastener

3D model description

This is a reusable fastener that I designed in Sketchup that secures a bicycle’s brake and shift cables to the frame’s cable housing fittings.

Most of the time when people secure their bicycle’s brake and shift cables to the frame they use a small zip-tie. One day while talking to my bicycle mechanic friend he mentioned that Shimano makes some specific cable housing clips that you can use instead of using a zip tie. He showed me one and I asked if I could have it. He scoffed and quickly took it back from me. As he described it supposedly these clips are hard to come by and more expensive than they need to be for what they are, a small piece of plastic. A perfect task for a 3D printer! What was my response? “Fine, I’ll print my own.”

I do not know how universal cable housings are on bikes. I think they might be pretty uniform because the brake and shift cables are a standardized diameter.
For specifics this fits the four cable housings on my 2010 Cannondale rz One Twenty mountain bike. This bike is awesome by the way.

For this fastener I needed the tolerances to be extremely close so that the cable cannot vibrate between the housing and the fastener. This could cause chafing of the cable and in general it is annoying to hear cables slapping around on your bicycle.

Due to the small tolerances required it took me many prints and revisions to achieve the final design that I am happy and proud of. Normally when making a small part from scratch it takes me about 7 – 10 prints before I’m satisfied, this project took me 38 attempts. It took so many prints because of the importance that the fastener snap very rigidly and securely into place and that there be no gap between the cable and fastener.

Additionally, I like these last five things about the fastener:
1) It is reusable, whereas the zip-tie approach is not because you have to cut it off.

2) The fastener also snaps onto the cable so that when you are working on your bike you can detach the cable from the housing, but the clip is still attached to the cable. This means you won’t lose the clip.
3) More polished and professional looking than a zip-tie. Zip-ties are in the same family as bungee cords, extremely functional but not super attractive.

4) Functional bragging rights around the guys on the trail 
5) It complements the engineering of my bike. Seriously, my bike is an engineering marvel, what better way to accompany its engineering successes?

3D printing settings

Note: Expect it to take a fair amount of force to get the fastener to snap into place. To be very secure and not fall off, ever, means it can be a struggle to get it into position.

First print the fastener then align the cable into the housing channel and then slide fastener over the top of the cable until legs snap into place on the underside of the housing. It is very important that the cable is lying in the groove of the housing before you try to get the fastener in place. The cable acts as a spreader and opens the legs of the clip just enough so that the legs get around the housing.

You may need to scale up or down the model depending on your 3D printer.

  • 3D model format: STL

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CC BY


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