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Raise your hand if you’ve ever just grabbed a cable with a pliers and twisted them to tighten or stretch a cable.  It may get the job done, but you probably kinked the hell out of the end of the cable.  This cable stretcher by Park Tools is designed to properly stretch bike cables, but it should work on other equipment with similarly sized control cables.

Park Tool makes their cable stretcher from heat-treated steel, chrome-plates it, and adds cushion grips so it won’t chew up your hand.

You can operate the cable stretcher one-handed.  You slip the cable into the jaws, put the moving arm of the jaw against a fixed object, and squeeze the handles to pull the cable tight.  Park thoughtfully included a thumb lock to hold the cable stretched while you tighten the cable holder.

You can pick up a cable stretcher for $35 to $40.

Cable Stretcher [Park Tool]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


8 Responses to Stretch Cables The Right Way

  1. Jim K. says:

    You mean they make a tool for this job? Who’d a thunk it?

  2. Eric says:


  3. Pete D. says:

    If it would help work on a bicycle. Park Tool probably makes one!

  4. gillsans says:

    Several other companies make similar products for a lot less money than Park. Pedro’s is highly regarded and a lot cheaper.

  5. Slow Joe Crow says:

    The “fourth hand” tool, saves a lot of headaches when adjusting cables. I have the Pedro’s tool, since the price was right and the shop had them in stock. Pedro’s makes several clever tools including the cog wrench, which is a neat alternative to chain whips for removing rear cassettes.

  6. MDE says:

    Works great for tightening zip ties / cable ties, too.

    The Park Tool 3rd Hand (BT-5, apparently no longer on their site) is another handy one for brake adjustments.

  7. T says:

    Huh. I guess my method of parallel jaw pliers and pulling is declasse?

  8. David says:

    They’re only ever really useful for cantilever and center pull brakes newer designs don’t require them. And never use them with a derailleur, you’re going to end up with you cables way too tight.
    For derailieurs, Just use your hands. Tighten the cable, hold the derailleur in place, shift to stretch (give it your all). Take up the slack, adjust.

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