Forum home Road cycling forum Workshop

Lifetime of cables?

rdtrdt Posts: 869
edited June 2010 in Workshop
I've a bike which has done about 4000 miles on the current set of cables, but spread over 4 1/2 years, as it was laid up for some time.

Do cables have a lifetime after which I'd be wise to change them as a precautionary measure?

They generally look OK, but the rear brake cable creaks a bit when squeezing the levers.


  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Why not strip out the inner cables, if not frayed or rusty then re-grease and re-install them.
    Then you know they are OK :D
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Just replaced the rear brake cable on my Dawes for the first time. Bought it in 1989! Still got the original front on. The only reason I replaced the rear at all was that the outer was a bit knackered and causing friction. The cable itself looks fine. Mileage not vast though (less than 2000 I'd say).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • The cables on my 1987 Raleigh Kelloggs Pro Tour are original and still going strong :)
  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    Steel cables themselves don't have a definite lifespan, no.

    They are usually replaced because of oxidation (either rust, or they get gunked up with lubricant muck), or they get frayed.

    *If you want to ensure that your cables last*, be sure to use cable end crimps, because the cables WILL fray. There's also less chance of poking your finger with one of the errant strands of metal wire. image009.gif

    Also be sure to periodically check your ferrules and housing, as they can eventually become worn out (gear housing generally splits well before spiral-wound brake housing goes).

    I think the main reason people change their housing is that the cable friction becomes to great, hindering precise gear shifts. This is especially true for 10+ speed bikes.
Sign In or Register to comment.