I recently completed Cycle North Carolina. The last 3 days / 225 miles were in pouring rain (T.S. Tammy) and my bike had to sit outside, uncovered on the first rainy night. When we got home and dry, I noticed really stiff shifting. I started with simple stuff and worked my way up. After my efforts resulted in only marginal improvement, I finally replaced the shift housing. That did the trick.
The housing was really stiff and rusty on the ends. I usually don't start a ride if I think I'm going to get soaked, but I've been caught out on occasion. I also occasionally wash my bike, but have never had any housing-related shifting problems like this before. I've been replacing my housing every other year as a preventive measure, and these were only 9 months old.
Since I don't ride in the rain much, I was wondering just how much exposure it takes to have a problem.
It seems as if occasional wet riding is normally not a problem (as long as you can dry out afterwards) and the 1 1/2 uninterrupted days of exposure to riding and sitting in the rain (followed by 2 more days of solid rain) that got me. Comments?
How do you lube the cables & housing? For fairweather bikes, I generally squirt triflow into the housing. For all-weather bikes, I rub the cable down with the goopiest grease I can find--usually trailer bearing grease--before putting it in the housing. Good for keeping water out.
But then again, I usually work on old friction shifting bikes, and I don't know much about/hate indexing. I could be missing something.