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  1. #1
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Chorus Shifter Gear Cable Frayed

    My gear cable on my right hand 2006 Chorus is frayed about 1/2 inch from the head. I don't see anything obvious causing it. Is it a known issue of some kind ?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  2. #2
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    I also had 2006 Chorus brifters and the cables never gave me any problems over 25,000+ miles, so it doesn't seem to be a systematic problem. You did use a true "Campy size" (not Shimano) cable end fitting I hope.

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    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Yes, correct cable. It was several years old, so due for a change I guess, but surprised to see it breaking in the lever.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    My gear cable on my right hand 2006 Chorus is frayed about 1/2 inch from the head. I don't see anything obvious causing it. Is it a known issue of some kind ?
    They do that from flexing going around the bend into the cable housing (my first Ultrashift failure) and wrapping around the drum (all my pointy-hood cables died in that section).

    I shift like I have ADHD, have frayed genuine Campagnolo cables in under 4000 miles (the first one with my 2010 Centaur Ultrashift levers was proabably less than 3000 miles - my Garmin quit recording when it got full), and do not expect a full year out of right shift cables (left shift and brake cables are fine and housing replacements are also rare). With 1996 levers sometimes one strand would spear my thumb and draw blood.

    I'm tempted to try Powercordz (polymer) or KCNC titanium for superior fatigue resistance. Anyone have experience successfully attaching a Powercordz "cable" to a carbon knuckle mid 2000s Campagnolo rear derailleur or know if the KCNC shift cable end is Campagnolo sized?
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 04-04-14 at 11:17 AM.

  5. #5
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    WE have a customer who can fray and break a shift cable (Shimano STI exposed gear housing versions) within 6 months. After his second cable head stuck in the lever (the first was able to be removed, the second required a replacement pod/blade unit) he now has us replace the cables every time he brings the bike in for service (about every 3 months). He rides over 10,000 miles a year and is hard on his bikes.

    I've had only one Campy Ergo cable starting to fray (it was a first gen. Gore Ride On) after a handful of years. I got complacent in my preventative maintainance... Andy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    WE have a customer who can fray and break a shift cable (Shimano STI exposed gear housing versions) within 6 months. After his second cable head stuck in the lever (the first was able to be removed, the second required a replacement pod/blade unit) he now has us replace the cables every time he brings the bike in for service (about every 3 months). He rides over 10,000 miles a year and is hard on his bikes.

    I've had only one Campy Ergo cable starting to fray (it was a first gen. Gore Ride On) after a handful of years. I got complacent in my preventative maintainance... Andy.
    we have a similar customer. he comes in every 1-2 months and does a cable change. shifters are 7800 dura ace. i think he shifts like a banshee

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    My gear cable on my right hand 2006 Chorus is frayed about 1/2 inch from the head. I don't see anything obvious causing it. Is it a known issue of some kind ?
    Yes, two words. Metal fatigue.

    Cables running on pulleys or wound and unwound from curved levers fatigue and fray from the repeated flexing. This is a well researched process and applies to all cables that wind on drums or pulleys. It's why things like elevator cables are replaced on a schedule.

    Modern die-drawn gear wires are particularly prone to fatigue because they're less supple, which is a price you pay for the smoother surface.

    BTW- if you look at brake levers, you'll see that they're always attached to a swivel so the cable doesn't have to bend as the lever moves.
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    I've had my cables in my Chorus setup for almost 10 years now. I see no reason to replace them. Anybody that is changing cables that often is wasting their money.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    I've had my cables in my Chorus setup for almost 10 years now. I see no reason to replace them. Anybody that is changing cables that often is wasting their money.
    As Drew E. touched on, it has nothing to do with how old they are or how far you've ridden. It's strictly a function of how often you shift. It's the winding on and off the lever cam that causes the fatigue.

    I would expect that folks in CT need to replace them far more often than folks in Kansas.

    BTW- if you're attuned to your bike, cables usually give you generous warning that the fraying process is under way. The force needed to shift may be higher, or the trim may start changing. So if you notice any changes in shift action on an older bike check the cables.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  10. #10
    Let your bike be the tool cranky old road's Avatar
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    My 2006 Record shifter cable frayed and broke prematurely (in my opinion). When I replaced it I realized it had been assembled without a casing-end ferrule going into the shifter although the documentation for that model called for one. The problem has not recurred since I installed the new cabling with the ferrule. I replace the cabling when my handlebar tape wears out.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing...

  11. #11
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    Housing checked out ok?

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I would expect that folks in CT need to replace them far more often than folks in Kansas.
    Yes, the salty breezes off the Sea are phenomenally low in Kansas ..

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