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Thread: rusty cables

  1. #1
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    rusty cables

    my shifting cables are a bit rusted/corroded along the top tube. is this potentially dangerous? should i be able to keep them over the winter?

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    im no expert but id replace them. ive been cut buy them cables before and id be afraid if they was rusted

  3. #3
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMassAm View Post
    my shifting cables are a bit rusted/corroded along the top tube. is this potentially dangerous? should i be able to keep them over the winter?
    There is cable cover material available in bulk that one can cut to length. It's made of Teflon and isn't the standard type one finds from the frame to the rear derailleur for example. It's designed to cover exposed portions of brake and shifting cables exactly like you're posting about.

    Get new cables if you're really concerned or take some 4-600 grit sandpaper to the old ones while disconnected to get the rust off. Then whether you decide to get new cables or not get some marine grade grease and coat the cables before you insert them into the teflon coating.

    My main commuter is a CX bike and has 3 exposed cables across the tope tube like a mountain bike. I added teflon cable covering and the marine grease like suggested above. It's part of my maintenence routine to re-coat them once in a while.

    Even w/all that I have broken 2 rear der cables as water will seep in at the shifter and rust the cable right at the point where the ball connects to the cable. Best to change them all out once per year.

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    Senior Member devianb's Avatar
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    Last winter my rear brake cable was rusty. It made the brake lever stick every time you grabbed it. You will most likely be fine, but it would be better just to replace the cable.

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    Not dangerous for shifter cables, but dangerous if they were brake cables. In any case, eventually the rusty strands will break and potentially snag in the cable housing, making cable movement difficult or impossible. Cables are cheap. Replace them with stainless and you won't have to worry about it for years.

  6. #6
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Depend on what you mean by rusty. Put a dab of tri-flow or motor oil on some steel wool and gently run over the cable. Still rusty? Replace them.

    Actually, you can buy 4 cables for about the same price as a crappy restaurant meal... maybe you should just replace them.

  7. #7
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    replace - a set of cables is less than $5- at Wal-mart, get a tube of marine grease (boat trailer wheel bearing grease) while you are at; and you will still have enough for a McD's burger left over from your $10- bill.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

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    i would replace them, however do not grease them up as suggested, it only attracts dirt and debris.

  9. #9
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippinsweet View Post
    i would replace them, however do not grease them up as suggested, it only attracts dirt and debris.
    That's what I thought!
    Originally Posted by Leebo

    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!

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