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Is it worth replacing ALL my gear cables?

tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
edited November 2018 in Workshop
Hi All,

My trusty Boardman Team Carbon which is 2 years old and 4000 miles plus , currently on the turbo, has snapped the derailleur inner cable right at the hood area, probably at the end.

Questions to you guys as Ive never done this before.

1, Should I replace both the gear cables assuming the front derailleur may be on its way out also?
2, Just the replace the rear?
3, Is it best to buy inners and outers and replace both? ( cables are on the outside of the frame )
4, What make etc should I buy that is good quality but not over priced?

I've checked out a youtube video and it looks an easy job and I enjoy tinkering with things and knowing how they work anyway. :D

Regards.

Tony.

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I always do inners and outers at the same time.

    Might as well do both, can't do any harm and cheap enough.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • It's a major faff so I've you've not done it before go in with LOTS of time and patience.

    You'll need to get it into the bottom gear which means pushing the ratchet round with a very small screwdriver.

    You'll also need a very strong yet narrow pair of tweezers to fiddle with the broken bit of cable.

    I just use £1 steel inners which are great. Just cover it with a thin layer of grease before you thread it through.

    If you have used the Shimano coated cables before then I would use your new cable to make sure you poke it through the old outers the wrong way as the coating gets clogged up.

    No need at all to replace other cables or outers if you can get the new inner to run smoothly through the old outer.

    Good luck. I can't reiterate how much of a faff it is. Have a very well lit area!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I can't recall ever replacing cables unless I was moving kit from one bike to the next. Never snapped a cable either.

    I think yours might be down to the shifter design.
  • Shimano 105 and Dura Ace 11sp do have issues with cables breaking in the shifter.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I'd avoid ordinary steel cables and get stainless.
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  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    cooldad wrote:
    I'd avoid ordinary steel cables and get stainless.

    Thinking of getting this as its local and cheap enough.

    https://www.jejamescycles.com/jagwire-g ... f3261.html

    Will get one tomorrow and fit it. Lets hope its straight forward.

    Thanks All. :D

    Tony.
  • It's probably not going to be straightforward to get the little nugget out the shifter.

    Rest should be easy enough.

    Good shout on stainless.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    It's worth changing the short section of outer cable at the rear mech but I generally wouldn't replace the section at the bars/shifter. Just make sure you get all the fragments of the old cable out from inside the shifter mechanism.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • Bumo_bBumo_b Posts: 211
    I tend to replace everything in one go, using it as an opportunity to grease the inners with white grease as well once a season. Overkill yes, but smooth as silk changing from January to January never missing a beat! I always use a Jagwire full road kit and set aside two hours, including thorough cleaning of mechs (instead of the normal clean) etc
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,139
    Shimano 105 and Dura Ace 11sp do have issues with cables breaking in the shifter.
    Every cable I've broken had failed at the shifter, MTB or road bike. The 105 hydro disc levers seem particularly bad.

    +1 for the comments about getting the old bit of cable out. It can be a right faff.
    If you're lucky though, you might be able to leave the outers insitu on the bike and just post the wire through each bit of outer from the lever.

    You don't shift as often on the front mech, so the cable should be in better condition. Would be worth peeling back the hood though just to have a look and check there are no snapped strands which would suggest it needs replacing soon.

    As well as the gear wire I'd suggest you invest in a set of cable cutters, they're only about £10.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    Bumo_b wrote:
    I tend to replace everything in one go, using it as an opportunity to grease the inners with white grease as well once a season. Overkill yes, but smooth as silk changing from January to January never missing a beat! I always use a Jagwire full road kit and set aside two hours, including thorough cleaning of mechs (instead of the normal clean) etc

    Good advice thanks :D
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    Shimano 105 and Dura Ace 11sp do have issues with cables breaking in the shifter.
    Every cable I've broken had failed at the shifter, MTB or road bike. The 105 hydro disc levers seem particularly bad.

    +1 for the comments about getting the old bit of cable out. It can be a right faff.
    If you're lucky though, you might be able to leave the outers insitu on the bike and just post the wire through each bit of outer from the lever.

    You don't shift as often on the front mech, so the cable should be in better condition. Would be worth peeling back the hood though just to have a look and check there are no snapped strands which would suggest it needs replacing soon.

    As well as the gear wire I'd suggest you invest in a set of cable cutters, they're only about £10.

    Thanks for this, I think I've not helped things by changing gear on the turbo as the wheels aren't turning with any speed like they do on the road so they tend to get forced more up the gears if you know what I mean!.
    Thanks.
    Tony.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    i replace inners and outers once a year with Shimano cables and outers from the big box in the shop - about £12 all in and 30 mins work.

    For the SRAM stuff use SRAM cables as they are 1.1mm as opposed to 1.2mm and cost exactly the same from Ribble or Tredz.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    I've completely replaced inner and outer cables on my Campag-equipped tourer just once since 2003. If an inner cable snaps or frays, I simply replace the inner.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,213
    Shimano 105 and Dura Ace 11sp do have issues with cables breaking in the shifter.
    Every cable I've broken had failed at the shifter, MTB or road bike. The 105 hydro disc levers seem particularly bad.

    +1 for the comments about getting the old bit of cable out. It can be a right faff.
    If you're lucky though, you might be able to leave the outers insitu on the bike and just post the wire through each bit of outer from the lever.

    You don't shift as often on the front mech, so the cable should be in better condition. Would be worth peeling back the hood though just to have a look and check there are no snapped strands which would suggest it needs replacing soon.

    As well as the gear wire I'd suggest you invest in a set of cable cutters, they're only about £10.
    Top tip if you do replace the outers and they are not cut to length.
    Use the old cable in the new outers when cutting to prevent crushing . It gives a better cut too.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,794
    I tend to replace inners and outers every couple of years along with bar tape - depends on the bike how much use it gets and how much I care about it running perfectly.

    Second the tips above. You'll need decent cable cutters and a file to smooth the ends of the outers is worth having - you are trying to get a clean cut open end to the outer to prevent friction.

    May as well take the mechs off (although if you are happy with the front shifting as is that one could stay as repositioning it can mess that up) when you do that and give them a proper clean - maybe take the jockey wheels out etc - none of it is a difficult job and it's nice to have everything running as sweet as it can.
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  • You’ll probably need to get the little end of the cable that’s been chewed off inside the brifter out. From experience I can vouch for this being a massive ball ache, but if you look under the rubber hood, you’ll see what look like little vents in the plastic cover. With a pair of needle nosed pliers, and a lot of swearing,you can position the sheared off cable end, so that you can extract it, without having to dismantle the brifter. When it comes to the new cable, I’ve previously used PTFE coated cables from good old Decathlon

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/anti-fricti ... 51524.html

    I don’t use the Boardman much anymore, but these cables have proven to last a lot longer than the old stainless steel ones.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    Guys,
    Managed to get the end piece out of the shifter after a few F**Ks and Bo**ocks, found I couldn't get the end piece into position and eventually managed to get the shifter to go down the internal gear futher to see the access point. That was the hardest bit as I had to do it with both hands as there was no tension on the shifter/cable etc.
    Decided to give the rear derailleur a good strip and clean and its back on just ran out of light to thread the inner all the way to the derailleur but shes nearly there.
    Had to buy a Shimano inner as they didnt have any Jagwire ones in the shop!!....

    Will get it back up and running and have a session on the turbo tomorrow now its fixed.
    Thanks again folks
    Regards.
    Tony.
  • Told ya! You use a screwdriver in the outside of the shifter to push the ratchet around with each click of the shifter.
  • -Dash-Dash Posts: 179
    I've had the snap in shifter about 4 times now and caught it mid fraying 2 times. Generally get about 3000 miles to a cable. Ultegra 6800. It's ridiculous really.

    You can remove the plastic cover at the base of the shifter (one small screw then two pieces come off the shifter) to help remove the broken cable end.
  • Mercia Man wrote:
    I've completely replaced inner and outer cables on my Campag-equipped tourer just once since 2003. If an inner cable snaps or frays, I simply replace the inner.
    Likewise - I ran a set of Gore Ride-On cables on my Chorus 10 setup for ~13 years without issue, and only changed them because I was giving the bike a complete overhaul, and thought that I might as well do it while I was in there. It seems the Campag Ergos route the shifter cables in a more benign manner than STIs do - certainly don't hear about the same level of cable failure
  • TonySJ wrote:
    Guys,
    Managed to get the end piece out of the shifter after a few F**Ks and Bo**ocks, found I couldn't get the end piece into position and eventually managed to get the shifter to go down the internal gear futher to see the access point. That was the hardest bit as I had to do it with both hands as there was no tension on the shifter/cable etc.
    Decided to give the rear derailleur a good strip and clean and its back on just ran out of light to thread the inner all the way to the derailleur but shes nearly there.
    Had to buy a Shimano inner as they didnt have any Jagwire ones in the shop!!....

    Will get it back up and running and have a session on the turbo tomorrow now its fixed.
    Thanks again folks
    Regards.
    Tony.

    :lol:

    You’ve passed the ‘trial by Shimano Brifter’
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Litespud wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    I've completely replaced inner and outer cables on my Campag-equipped tourer just once since 2003. If an inner cable snaps or frays, I simply replace the inner.
    Likewise - I ran a set of Gore Ride-On cables on my Chorus 10 setup for ~13 years without issue, and only changed them because I was giving the bike a complete overhaul, and thought that I might as well do it while I was in there. It seems the Campag Ergos route the shifter cables in a more benign manner than STIs do - certainly don't hear about the same level of cable failure

    never had any problems with Red or Rival either.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    -Dash wrote:
    You can remove the plastic cover at the base of the shifter (one small screw then two pieces come off the shifter) to help remove the broken cable end.

    Is this the case with ALL shimano shifters as mine are Tiagra ones? Good shout in any case :D
    Shifters work a treat so nice easy job to DIY.

    Tony.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Given that Shimano have by far the largest market share it would be surprising if the other manufacturers did have as many stories of cable failure. That being said, Shimano designs do have a cable bend which makes them prone to this.....
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • -Dash-Dash Posts: 179
    TonySJ wrote:
    -Dash wrote:
    You can remove the plastic cover at the base of the shifter (one small screw then two pieces come off the shifter) to help remove the broken cable end.

    Is this the case with ALL shimano shifters as mine are Tiagra ones? Good shout in any case :D
    Shifters work a treat so nice easy job to DIY.

    Tony.

    I couldn't comment I'm afraid as I've only really seen the 6800 shifters up close but pull back the hood and check underneath. There's a small phillips screw (potentially JIS but phillips screwdriver will work..) holding it in place.
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