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Old 08-21-09, 07:12 PM   #1
jonwvara 
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Reusing brake and shifter cables?

I'm cheap, so whenever I remove a set of cables in replacing brake levers or shifters, I save the one I removed from the rear and later reuse it on the front. That's two cables for the price of one--such a deal. Does everyone else do that, too? It occurs to me that it means I'm probably bending my brake cables at a slightly different angle or something and maybe theoretically increasing the risk of breakage.
On the other hand, I haven't broken one yet, and the risk seems very low to me. (Come to think of it, I've never heard of anyone breaking a brake cable, ever, anywhere.) Not a safety concern with derailleur cables, unless there's something I'm not thinking of just now.
I should add that I end up messing with my bikes so much that the cables are seldom more than a couple of years old before they get shuffled around--I toss any frayed or rusty cables on bikes that I acquire. And I only do it on my own bikes.
Am I going to hell?
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Old 08-21-09, 07:15 PM   #2
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I don't see the harm, in that. If they are in good shape why not... At least they were bought in the last few years right?
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Old 08-21-09, 07:29 PM   #3
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I get steel cables for 71 cents each and stainless cables for $1.67. I see no reason to reuse cables if they are rusty or worn.

Note, in my case, the cables I am replacing are usually 20 to 30 years old. I rarely work on anything newer than the late 1980s. My last several projects were vintage 1984, 1985, 1975, 1974, 1971, 1981, and 1985. I doubt any of the cables on these bikes had ever been replaced! So they were pretty nasty.

I would not necessarily replace a two or three year old cable.

Last edited by wrk101; 08-21-09 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:32 PM   #4
John E
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Reusing shift cables is fine, but I draw the line at the mission critical front brake.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:44 PM   #5
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I've done it. But they're not particularly easy to find when I need them. So I've slacked off.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:51 PM   #6
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jonwvara, you may well be going to Hell, but probably not for reusing cables!! If they are not frayed or rusty, you're probably ok.
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Old 08-21-09, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
Reusing shift cables is fine, but I draw the line at the mission critical front brake.
If the strands are intact, and the brakes grab as much as you need them to, then I see no safety issue whatsoever in doing this.

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Old 08-21-09, 09:07 PM   #8
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Only if I'm moving cables prematurely because I'm changing parts and such. Picking the bits of a broken cable out of a brifter (yeah, not specific to this forum) is not worth saving money on cables.

They've got to be perfect and low mileage for me to bother.
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