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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-11-07, 10:21 PM   #1
kmac27
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who lubes up their wires?

Does anyone really lube up shifters and break cables or do you just wait till you need new ones to replace them?
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Old 12-11-07, 10:33 PM   #2
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Yes.

There's basically nothing else you can do with an STI lever, for example.

Maintenance of cables is something I've learned from hanging around cyclocrossers. Even if you have campy record it wil shift like junk if the cables are really dirty. Besides just using lube, it also helps to slide the housing over and regrease under where it usualy sits.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:22 PM   #3
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I've done it and had it help, at least for a while. Do try to run the lube up into the housing as far as you can. However, in my experience, this has only extended the life of the cable by a couple of months. Then again, I'm a daily 28 mile rider who leaves the bike outside overnight, so I'm not exactly easy on the components.

Learn how to maintain your bike and DO IT at least once a week. You'll make you and your bike happy.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:27 PM   #4
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I prefer to break as few cables as I can, but yes, I lube the cables and housings. Boeshield T9 works quite nicely.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:13 AM   #5
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Yes - if you haven't got full length cable housing then there's no excuse not to - easy enough to do without removing/unscrewing anything.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:23 AM   #6
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How often? Once a week?
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Old 12-12-07, 07:25 AM   #7
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No - I have Hydro brakes and "dry" cables, with Teflon liners. a bit pricey to set up initially, but zero maintenance & last forever.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:35 AM   #8
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I change bar configurations about 2x a year...... so I have never found it necessary.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:51 AM   #9
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What is the correct method of doing this?

Do you take apart all cables and housing and do it off the bike?
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Old 12-12-07, 07:59 AM   #10
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I wouldn't want to break my cables, but I also don't lube my brake (or shifter) cables. From what I've heard, lubing cables just makes them attract dirt and be prone to freeze-up. I still have all the original cables on my hybrid, 12000 miles, 3 years, all weather and salty spray in the winter, no maintenance on the cheap cables it came with. They still seem totally fine.

The rear brake is a little sluggish, but it's always been like that. It's mainly because the brakes themselves are continually coated with crud, even if I just cleaned them yesterday. I have a pretty dirty route that I ride.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:11 AM   #11
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I lube brake cables at least once a year when I change cable housings as part of my annual tune up (I'll do it some time in Jan/Feb). As for my shift cables, I've got downtube shifters (currently) and as such no housing, I have yet to lube them, ride the bike daily in all conditions (rain, snow, dirt, on/off road,etc), and only infrequently clean them, they work great--no shifting problems. I may have seen mechanics pull the housings down to lube the cable underneath and think its a great idea for cover cables, but exposed cables would probably just accumulate junk.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:44 AM   #12
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This is probably not "the" way to do it but... I use a drip bottle of Tri-Flow at entry and exit points from housing, w/ the cables at extreme positions (e.g. brakes fully applied) to get as much housed cable exposed as possible. I don't do it with any specific periodicity.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:44 AM   #13
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About every other month I give my whole bike a good once over that includes T9 on the cables, shifter, and break levers and pivots.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:43 AM   #14
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I do. I use white grease in a spray can available in the automotive supply section of any X-mart or auto parts store.
First thing to do is remove the cable from the casing.
Wash the casing with WD-40, use a compressor air nozzle to blow out the WD-40 and crud that has collected in the casing.
Insert the straw in the grease can nozzle and stick the other end of the straw about a 1/4 inch into the casing.
Spray grease into the casing and insert the cable into the casing immediately before the grease has time to congeal. This allows the steel cable to absorb some of the grease as well.
reinstall the cables.
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Old 12-12-07, 10:57 AM   #15
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At the shop I work at we dribble teflon lube (ie stuff from Finishline) into the housing on every bike we work on. Good stuff, it dries to a fine powder that doesn't get gunked up like the older carbon grease that used to be used and if your cables get wet it washes out and is easy to replace.
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Old 12-12-07, 11:16 AM   #16
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I also have downtube shifters with no housing. The cables are 16 years old.

I like Gore RideON cables if you can get 'em.

Before I had 'em I lubed my housed cables...couldn't tell you if it helped or not.
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Old 12-12-07, 02:46 PM   #17
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Teflon cables and they run dry. The exception is on bikes that see winter slop: I lube the exposed end points so they don't freeze in place.
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Old 12-12-07, 03:33 PM   #18
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All my cables came pre-lubed so I haven't done anything to them since I built up my bikes a couple and a few thousand miles years ago.
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