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  1. #1
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    Care of Jagwire shift cable housing?

    I've done a google search of bikeforums on this topic but can't find the specific answer to my question so here goes.

    I just got a used 2001 Giant TCR2 that came with Jagwire shift cable housing and a 9-speed 105 group. It looks like the bike hasn't seen a drop of lube since it was purchased. When I turn the handlebars or wiggle the cable housing near where it exists the STI levers there's a nice crunchy sound coming from it. Shifting works OK, but if I adjust the rear derailleur for crisp downshifts (to larger cogs), the upshifts (to larger cogs) become sluggish. This looks like a classic case of gunk in the shift cables and clearly the cables need to be cleaned or replaced. However, I don't know if this Jagwire cable should be treated the same as Shimano SIS cable or if it needs special treatment.

    My first thought was to get the gunk out with WD-40 or a citrus degreaser solution, but what do I do after that? I've read that greasing shift cable housing is bad because they are "self-lubricating" and the viscosity of the grease just makes shifting more sluggish (especially later if dirt gets inside). Some people suggest a light lube, but not oil. Would a dry lube with Teflon work OK?
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    racer x flies across cobblestones with a grimace of determination, three feet of seatpost, bars level with ankles, carbon fiber frame with Kryptonite lugs and a millimeter clearance between the fork and the 700x21c tires. This gives everyone a *****

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I don't use any lube with lined cable housing. It seems to do more harm than good. I'd just replace the housing and cables. I use Jagwire housing and stainless cables.

  3. #3
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    Thanks, that's what I suspected. I got the gunk out with WD-40, blew it out with compressed air and dried it. No lube. Works pretty well, a little more crisp upshifts than before.

    I thought Jagwire was an aftermarket cable that was better than the standard Shimano SIS, but after visiting the Jagwire page it seems they have OEM cables as well, so this is probably what came with the bike originally. I have the "LEX™ (original: SP)" standard derailleur housing, which looks the same as Shimano's SIS cables.
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    racer x flies across cobblestones with a grimace of determination, three feet of seatpost, bars level with ankles, carbon fiber frame with Kryptonite lugs and a millimeter clearance between the fork and the 700x21c tires. This gives everyone a *****

  4. #4
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    I would think a dry Teflon lube would not hurt, but I'll recommend what we found to be the best cable lube on Harleys, Dri-Slide. It is a graphite-moly lube that goes on wet and dries, leaving the powdered lubricant. Nothing there to attract dust or dirt! Worked wonders on sticky, recalcitrant Harley clutch and throttle cables, and they get a lot more action than our derailleur cables. This stuff can be found at most H-D dealerships under the name of Bike-Aid. Oh, Harley cables are lined, but that doesn't stop them from getting "sticky" every now and then.

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