32. How to Securely Fasten Zip Ties

Learn how to use a 4th hand cable puller tool to securely fasten a zip tie.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Securely Fasten Zip Ties
DVD Vol. 2 DVD Volume 2
This video is available on DVD


  • 00:42 - A set of 'flush cutters' will get the cut nice and clean.

Today we'll learn how to tighten zip-ties using a 4th hand cable puller tool. The 4th hand was designed to pull the cable tight when you adjust the cable tension on your brakes and derailleurs. It functions by gripping the cable, and then pulling it. While it works great for that job, did you know that you can also use it to securely fasten zip-ties?

I'll demonstrate here by attaching a piece of cable housing to the frame. Wrap the zip-tie around the frame and cable and snug it up like you normally would. Then use the 4th hand tool to cinch it up a few more clicks. Be careful not to pull it too tight or the zip-tie will snap.

This gets it nice and tight and it looks a lot cleaner than other methods like electrical tape. Once you’re happy with it, snip the remaining section off.

You can get zip-ties in a variety of colors if you want to match your bike or get creative, and you can use different sizes for other jobs like attaching cycle computers, fender stays and so many other do-it-yourself projects! The 4th hand is hands-down one of my favorite tools. I highly recommend getting one for your own home repair kit!


Discuss this topic in the Cable Forums

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I think I've found the source of the problem in the shift mechanism:


In the photo, you can see the dérailleur cable enter a white plastic part (just below the "2"). You can also see some big metal wires emerging from the housing and meeting this white plastic part (just below the "1").

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The first pic below shows the large fraction of cable as I was able to retrieve. The second one zooms into the broken end.


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