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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 08-06-09, 05:15 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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50+'rs - Checked your brake cables lately??

50+'rs - Checked your brake cables lately??



Perhaps more often then every 10-12 years?

Do you check yours regularly?
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Old 08-06-09, 05:27 PM   #2
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Every few months I hang my bike up by one wheel and spray penetrating oil down the cable housings, wait a little bit, hang it by the other wheel and spray lube down the housings from the other end. I don't really inspect the cables but I guess I would notice if one was starting to fray.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:11 PM   #3
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Some of you report that you don't like to bomb down hills at speed. I replace my cables every year.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:19 PM   #4
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May I be excused for a trip to the garage?
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Old 08-07-09, 05:37 AM   #5
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May I be excused for a trip to the garage?
1+

All is well, thank you!
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Old 08-07-09, 05:52 AM   #6
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Being addicted to modifying bikes as I am, my cables don't get a chance to wear out before I replace them to fit a new handlebar arrangement or a cosmetic overhaul.
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Old 08-07-09, 05:54 AM   #7
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I don't check regularly. Have notices some oxidation on the exposed parts of the cables on one bike. Use some penetrating lubrication from time to time. Haven't had one snap or break yet, now it probably will.
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Old 08-07-09, 07:53 AM   #8
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Brakes are for sissies! How you supposed to get your heartrate up for that aerobic workout? (LOL)

Of course, there's always the Flintstone breaks!!!
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Old 08-07-09, 08:48 AM   #9
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Brakes are for sissies! How you supposed to get your heartrate up for that aerobic workout? (LOL)

Of course, there's always the Flintstone breaks!!!
Yup. Brakes are over rated. All they do is slow you down.

Uh - I have to ask. Was that last sentence pun intended?
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Old 08-07-09, 11:37 AM   #10
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Brake cables are in good shape, for now. I check them every few weeks.

Hmm... It's been a few weeks...

*runs to check cables*
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Old 08-07-09, 02:35 PM   #11
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Just replaced all brake and shift cables on my mtb a couple months ago. I should be good for a while.
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Old 08-07-09, 03:09 PM   #12
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Just replaced all brake and shift cables on my mtb a couple months ago. I should be good for a while.
Quick check over the whole bike after each ride and a service about every 4 to 500 miles. I use stainless steel cables and don't have a corrosion problem and I have yet to find a frayed cable on the road bike. MTB's though and frequently had snagged cables.

But you have bought me to reality Dnvr. Must have been 6 months ago that I changed the compact to a triple on the TCR. I had to fit a new cable to the front derailler and did not have a cable end to the new cable I fitted. I reused the OLD one and it dropped off on the next ride. I now have a frayed cable but it is past the locking screw and should be replaced. But it has been like that for 6 months now and not caused a problem. Time to get the spares box out and replace the thing before I start getting scratches and blood on the calf.
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Old 08-07-09, 07:30 PM   #13
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I have snapped a brake cable only once, when I was a starving student at UCLA. No major harm done, but a great lesson! I am currently rebuilding a mountain bike for son #2, and I quickly discovered that the straddle cable of the under-the-chainstays rear brake was fraying.

I do inspect my brake cables every few months, and I probably end up replacing them every few years.

I remember the bad old days when we always carried a spare brake cable and a spare shift cable, not to mention a couple of spare spokes. I was interested to see the two spare spoke braze-ons on my friend's new Long Haul Trucker -- brought back lots of memories of spokes rubberbanded to my Silca frame pump.
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Old 08-07-09, 09:10 PM   #14
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Here's something to think about: It takes about 150 meters and 10 or 15 seconds to get from zero to 40 kmh. It takes less than 50 meters and maybe two or three seconds to get from 40 kmh to a complete stop. This means that your brakes are more powerful than your legs! So if you want to time trial over a "technical" course, having good brakes will have a greater impact than being fit!

I used to get fraying brake cables with some of the older Campag brake levers, the ones made in the 80's and 90's just before they came out with Ergopower. Since using Ergo levers, I haven't had any cable problems. I just replaced the cables on my fixed-gear commuter bike after three years, and I put more than 12,000 km per year on it. (I was using the Tektro levers that look like the Campag Ergo levers, I just switched to real Ergo levers with the innards removed).

The tandem gets about 3,000 km/year, and I haven't touched the cables in the past four years. Everything looks OK, but it might be a good idea to upgrade the cables, since it's not just my safety that's at stake...

L.
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