Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Preemptively replace brake/shifters cables?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Preemptively replace brake/shifters cables?

Old 06-27-21, 12:19 AM
  #26  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,047

Bikes: Bianchi Lupo (touring) Bianchi Volpe (commuter), Miyata On Off Road Runner

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Oh, well.... Fresh cables make me feel good
Weíre a simple bunch, arenít we. 😊

I avoid the universal brake cables, as cutting off an end-piece might leave you with a frayed end that is harder to route through housing - especially if you donít carry quality wire cutters on the road.
imi is offline  
Old 06-27-21, 05:27 AM
  #27  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,492

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2354 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 596 Times in 491 Posts
Originally Posted by imi View Post
...
I avoid the universal brake cables, as cutting off an end-piece might leave you with a frayed end that is harder to route through housing - especially if you donít carry quality wire cutters on the road.
I learned a trick on another forum, dip your cut cable end into Superglue and let it harden. The cut end is not as durable as the cables that have a welded end, but it does a pretty good job of preventing fraying while handling the cable before you can crimp an end piece on it.

I do not know how long you have to wait for the Superglue to harden and not get stuck to something else, I gave it 15 min which was more than adequate.

I bought several tiny single use tubes of Superglue that were quite inexpensive for that purpose.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 06-27-21, 08:56 AM
  #28  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,198

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
Liked 226 Times in 166 Posts
Just last week I had a cable fray inside my shifter. I noticed it shifting poorly on a short ride and checked it when I got home, so I caught it before it broke off in the shifter. It was down to four or five good strands. It's been most of a year since I looked at it, and it's been a busy year of cycling, lots of mountains and lots of shifting. I would have caught it earlier if I had checked it in the last month or two.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 06-27-21, 10:35 AM
  #29  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,492

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2354 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 596 Times in 491 Posts
Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Just last week I had a cable fray inside my shifter. I noticed it shifting poorly on a short ride and checked it when I got home, so I caught it before it broke off in the shifter. It was down to four or five good strands. It's been most of a year since I looked at it, and it's been a busy year of cycling, lots of mountains and lots of shifting. I would have caught it earlier if I had checked it in the last month or two.
I had to adjust my rear derailleur a couple times on that ride, thus it was time to figure out what was wrong. I had three strands left when I replaced this one, date on the photo is nine years ago.



And that one was the one that convinced me to only buy stainless cables in the future. I did not like the looks of the corrosion on it.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 07-04-21, 10:25 PM
  #30  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,141
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1031 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 258 Posts
I don't use the crimp on caps when finishing brake a derailleur cables. I use a small piece of 3/32" shrink-on electrical insulation. I us a lighter to shrink the cable. This gives me some chance to re use the cable, in case I have to slide it out of the cable housing for some reason. I also like the way it works; it keeps the cable ends in good shape I carry a couple of 2" pieces in my touring tool kit.

This is on on the end of the brake cable where it attaches to my straddle cable, but it also works on derailleur cables.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-04-21 at 10:38 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Likes For Doug64:
Old 07-05-21, 04:35 AM
  #31  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,222
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 597 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 155 Posts
I wouldn't replace cables unless there were broken strands or other signs of wear or poor shifting that I suspected were cable related. I always replace them at first broken strand spotted though. On some brifters it can be hard to see the broken strands at the shifter end so check carefully.

In general I do not assume brand new parts are more reliable than old ones. In many cases there is an initial period where brand new stuff is more likely to fail. I trust parts that have some miles on them but aren't worn out, so I'd rather not be replacing stuff immediately before leaving on a trip. I have found that to be more true with motor vehicle parts than bicycle parts, but still think it can be a factor. I found it especially true with ignition parts back in the day with motor vehicles that had points and condenser. They always recommended new parts frequently (with each tune up), but there was a higher early mortality rate with the new parts.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-05-21, 07:16 AM
  #32  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 534 Post(s)
Liked 406 Times in 251 Posts
Electrical and electronic parts have a relatively high infant mortality (see Bathtub curve) but this does not apply to quality bicycle cables.

For a big tour or something like that, I would do preventative maintenance 2-4 weeks in advance to make sure I did not introduce a problem. I use eTap nowadays, so, no worries about cables although I never once had a cable break on a ride in my whole life. I replace them and only use high quality ones. Most of the pictures here show junk cables. The last thing I want to be doing is removing a broken cable from a brifter and putting a new one into it in the middle of a rainstorm. Shimano brifters are notorious for breaking cables.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 07-05-21, 10:11 AM
  #33  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,492

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2354 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 596 Times in 491 Posts
I never have a problem with the crimp on cable ends, I crimp them with a long nose pliers up near the opening, usually I can use a similar plier from a different angle on it to open up the crimp, allowing it to slide off. I do not robustly crimp them to be more than forever crimped. As I noted above in post 27, I glued the end strands together with Superglue on some of my cables.

After reading the comments here about Shimano brifters and cables, I am suddenly quite pleased that my only brifters are Campy. Most of my bikes use bar end shifters, but I have two bikes with Campy brifter for the rear, one front Campy brifter.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 07-05-21, 10:46 AM
  #34  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,222
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 597 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Electrical and electronic parts have a relatively high infant mortality (see Bathtub curve) but this does not apply to quality bicycle cables.
Yeah, probably true, but there are still the "cable stretch" issues and any issue that might be introduced by the installation.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-05-21, 06:28 PM
  #35  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 534 Post(s)
Liked 406 Times in 251 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yeah, probably true, but there are still the "cable stretch" issues and any issue that might be introduced by the installation.
Didn't I say that and cover that in my post? .............Change them 2-4 weeks in advance.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 07-06-21, 01:14 PM
  #36  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,141
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1031 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 258 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Didn't I say that and cover that in my post? .............Change them 2-4 weeks in advance.
Cable stretch is not a show stopping event. We know cables will stretch, so be aware of any changes in shifting or "chain rattle" and adjust the cable tension.

Where did you get your information about Shimano brifters being "notorious" for breaking cables? I've also had to adjust cable tension months after puting new cables on bikes, even on bikes that have been ridden a lot. On a short tour this summer my daughter's RD cable needed a small tweak. I know it has well over 2000 miles on it since I changed her cables. I check shifting every time a bike is on the work stand, and adjust if needed, which is before every tour. Before a tour I'll adjust brakes and shifting, check cables and brake pads, replace tires, replace bar tape if needed, check all bolts, lube anything that takes oil or grease and wash and wax the bikes.

Last edited by Doug64; 07-06-21 at 02:05 PM.
Doug64 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.