Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO, USA
Bikes: Road, MTB, Cruiser, Chopper, BMX
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Simple: Poor function. Cables are always pulled in one direction by hand pressure, and by spring pressure for the return. If they don't return easily, try the following:
For derailleur cables, shift to your largest cog or chainwheel, and without turning the cranks, shift all the way back again. This should give you enough slack to release the cable housings from slotted braze-on stops. Now slide the freed housing back and forth and check for any snagging. Inspect the inner cable for rust, fraying or kinks. You may want to replace it if you find any. For brake cables, just release the brake at the wheel and use the same procedure.
For housing, replace if it is cracked, kinked or broken. Also pull the ferrules and inspect the ends of the housings. Shimano SIS cables are a bundle of longitudinal wire strands. If these are not flush with the end, they can intrude into the inner wire hole in frame bosses and cause binding. Brake housings cut at an angle will kink and bind the inner wire when the brake lever is pulled, even if ferrules are used. For the cleanest cut possible with any cable housing, use a Dremel cutoff wheel, or file them down after cutting with a cable cutter, and reshape the inner lining with a small awl before replacing ferrules.
I like to use Moly Disulfide lubes for cables, but use your favorite "dry" lube before placing all the ferrules back into the bosses.