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Greasing DR & brake cables

Old 06-27-22, 09:21 AM
  #1  
yannisg
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Greasing DR & brake cables

I've been greasing DR and brake cables with Shimano cable grease (white low visc grease) whether they are SS or polymer coated housing with good results.
However, Shimano mentions that polymer coated housing should not be greased, some other info states that cables should not be lubed or greased because it attracts dirt.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
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Old 06-27-22, 11:32 AM
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I do not grease of do anything to stainless steel die-drawn cables with shimano or jagwire housing. No need it only serves to gum things up in most cases down the road.
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Old 06-27-22, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by yannisg View Post
I've been greasing DR and brake cables with Shimano cable grease (white low visc grease) whether they are SS or polymer coated housing with good results.
However, Shimano mentions that polymer coated housing should not be greased, some other info states that cables should not be lubed or greased because it attracts dirt.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
I would suspect that Shimano knows best, but if your results have been positive, I wouldn't worry much about it. I use a thin oil like Tri-Flow or Buzzy's Honey Slick on my SS cables.
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Old 06-27-22, 12:00 PM
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I found that with the old housings with the wire coil exposed that a little oil, or special grease in this case, does in fact work very slick. Mostly this was on motorcycles because bicycles have used lined housings pretty well universally now for quite a few years.

What I found on setups with lined housings is that dry is best because any liquid in there at all causes a viscous drag due to the greater surface area of the cable laying against the smooth plastic liner. This makes the feel of the brakes less immediate to my fingers so I don't like it. And if you like snappy shifts the viscous drag it can cause slows down the shifts that occur when the cable is release to permit the shift. Not a lot in a nice case, but enough that you'll notice the difference between dry and lubed unless very little is used.

At most I'd say a dry teflon lube if you find things are getting a little bound. And usually when you notice any slight drag that appears over a long time it is the cable wearing a groove in the liner plastic. A shot of dry teflon lube can save you in the short term from installing new housings right away. But it is only a temporary fix and the issue will get worse in time.
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Old 06-27-22, 11:19 PM
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If you search this has been hashed out many many times on this and other forums, grease and oils attract dirt and dust. Why would a major corporation like Shimano recommend anything for their products that is detrimental to the value the public would get in their product, Engineering, Marketing, Senior Management, screw up? When good quality die drawn cables and quality housing need a lube to function as designed they need to be replaced.
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Old 06-27-22, 11:40 PM
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Regarding shift housing, I buy Shimano SP41 by the roll, and it's lined and is prelubed with grease. If I feel the cable is not travelling smooth or makes a chirping sound when shifting (this happened about a month ago), I'll relax the cables, remove the housing from their guides, and dribble a few drops of Boeshield T9, Prolink, or Triflow into the housing.
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Old 06-28-22, 04:07 AM
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yannisg
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
If you search this has been hashed out many many times on this and other forums, grease and oils attract dirt and dust. Why would a major corporation like Shimano recommend anything for their products that is detrimental to the value the public would get in their product, Engineering, Marketing, Senior Management, screw up? When good quality die drawn cables and quality housing need a lube to function as designed they need to be replaced.
Shimano does make a special grease for cables which, as mentioned previously, I have been using with no issues. Maybe, under very dusty conditions this might be a problem.
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Old 06-28-22, 05:32 AM
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Doesn't help in freezing temperatures.
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Old 06-28-22, 07:10 AM
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I use Rock N Roll Cablemagic Oil. I can't imagine enough dust getting into my cables to gum up anything.
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Old 06-28-22, 07:15 AM
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Back in the old days I would grease my cables if they got balky and they'd work again, but back in the old days brakes weren't nearly as smooth and derailleurs had down tube shifters. On a modern road bike with brifters a matched cable and housing from whichever manufacturer will last a long time with smooth shifting and braking without grease. On MTB and other off road bikes you have all that dirt so I don't know.
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Old 06-28-22, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by yannisg View Post
I've been greasing DR and brake cables with Shimano cable grease (white low visc grease) whether they are SS or polymer coated housing with good results.
However, Shimano mentions that polymer coated housing should not be greased, some other info states that cables should not be lubed or greased because it attracts dirt.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
I don't use any grease or oil on my cables. Instead, I spray the cable and the inside of the cable housing with silicone. The silicone doesn't attract dirt and the cables flow ever so smoothly.
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