Cables: When to replace

nunowoolmez Posts: 865
edited November 2011 in Workshop
Hi all

just wondering when it's best to replace brake & gear cables. Thinking a certain number of miles should be reached before doing this?

Any advive or suggestions greatly appreciated.




  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    I just replace mine when there is visible deterioration such as more than a little rust on cables or housing, breaks or kinks in housing, cables fraying (obviously), cables get too gummed up to move freely and is not improved by cleaning cables and housing, etc., etc. Mileage isn't always a good measure as the weather/road conditions and how often you shift and brake can make a big difference. I'm very anal about keeping my bike working perfectly but I also don't believe in trashing perfectly good parts unnecessarily.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    + 1 to wot he said.

    I keep them adequately lubed, but I don't fix them unless broken. But once a cable starts to deteriorate in appearance or performance, the whole thing, inner and outer is replaced. IME, shifting / braking problems are more often due to deterioration of the outers.
  • cheers for the pointers guys, thats a big help (and saving most likely)
  • I replace the cables annually (Feb-Mar when the weather improves) since it costs less than £10 tends to improve shifting (I've had a cable break on me, it was a pain).

    Outers less regularly, around every other time I replace my bar tape (every 2-3 years, that Fizik stuff lasts and lasts).
  • bobgfish
    bobgfish Posts: 545
    I would have said only if there was a problem. Such as poor shifting or poor braking. Only other reason is a new frame!!! Unusual I would have said to break a cable these days but guess that can happen.