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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 07-05-12, 10:50 AM   #1
UMassAm
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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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Old 07-05-12, 11:02 AM   #2
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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
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Old 07-05-12, 11:42 AM   #3
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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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Old 07-05-12, 11:46 AM   #4
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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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Old 07-05-12, 11:48 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:41 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-05-12, 09:21 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 07-07-12, 10:47 PM   #8
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i would replace them, however do not grease them up as suggested, it only attracts dirt and debris.
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Old 07-09-12, 11:51 AM   #9
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i would replace them, however do not grease them up as suggested, it only attracts dirt and debris.
That's what I thought!
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