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Mnnnnnffff....broken cable/shifter issue

mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
edited April 2012 in The workshop
On the way into work this morning and the rear mech cable broke with the break being right inside the shifter (Shimano 105).

Bought a new cable at lunchtime with a view to replacing it but in my efforts to remove the broken part of the cable including the ferrule I have got it trapped inside the shifting mechanism.

i.e. when i started i could see the top of the frayed cable but as i tried to remove it (no pliers as at work) the shifter shifted and pulled the cable around and inside the meachanism so that i can no longer see it to pull out.

If I shift up i.e. push the smaller paddle to slacken the cable the shifting mechanism doesn't release any more as the frayed cable seems to be blocking it.

I am a competent mechanic but in my haste to change this at lunchtime with a lack of approriate tools i appear to have screwed this up.

I have removed the top shiny plastic cover, the one with shimano 105 printed on it and the larger plain plastic cover underneath (both held in with small x-head screws) in an effort to expose more of the shifting mechanism but i still can't access the frayed cable.

It's clearly not gonna get sorted now until i get home with my proper toolset but even then I am struggling to know what to do. Any ideas/suggestions?
FCN = 4


  • davisdavis Posts: 2,506
    I had exactly this once. I managed to sort it by adopting a Zen-like patience, cable-tying the brake hood open a bit, and using some dental picks (quite handy for this sort of fiddly job; got them cheap off eBay) and needle-nose pliers, and drinking copious quantities of tea.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    cheers, will give it a go. I am a patient sort but need to undertake this at home rather than being in my suit in the work car-park and with nothing more than a multi-tool...
    FCN = 4
  • PO PaulPO Paul Posts: 114
    I've had this aswell (twice)!
    It may help to slacken off the rear brake cable so that you can squeeze the brake lever right up to the handlebars. Then move the lever inwards towards the stem. This should open up the mechanism even more, giving you more of a chance to remove the offending bit of frayed cable. Also, try holding the bike upside down with the levers as previously described and give it a good shake, seriously. It worked for me.
    Good luck
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    have left it for the moment but will look at it on Good Friday but thanks for the tips
    FCN = 4
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    Righto, finally got around to looking at this on the Saturday afternoon. I sat down in my back garden in the sun with a cup of fruit tea (I gave up caffeine in 2008), a selection of tools and plenty of time on my hands to try and tease the offending article out. Trying to grab hold of the frayed ends with some long nose pliers whilst pulling the brake lever to expose the mechanism (yes, I know I should have tied it back) wasn’t working so I started to remove the lever hoods and plastic covers to expose the inner mechanism.

    I was about to remove the nut at the front and was just trying to understand how if I did remove it I would re-tension the coil when it came time to re-assemble it all when I spotted a frayed cable end hove into view. Out came the pliers again and having ensured a firm grip I gently teased it out making sure I didn’t click the shift lever which would pull it out of my grasp again and suddenly the frayed cable and ferrule was free. I reassembled the covers, fitted a new cable and hey preesto, bike back in action.

    Thanks for your tips.
    FCN = 4
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