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  1. #1
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    replacing shifter cable

    i recently purchased a used giant rincon and need to replace the rear shifter cable and am not sure how to go about doing so. are they model specific or is it generic cable? im an auto tech by trade so i should be able to replace it but just not sure what to buy. also wondering if there were any brand suggestions. i only do light riding so it doesnt have to be extreme. thanks, joe

  2. #2
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    im not sure but i've replaced cables a few times i just went to a sporting goods store and got a little package that said "shifter cable" for $6 in the bike section and it worked. you probably have to cut it to the right length, for that you should have some serious cutters, bike cable cutters are the best, i ruined some good wire cutters and tin snips thinking those would work, i got the job done but the tools were toast, shell out for the actual bike cable cutters. i am going to immediately if another cable job pops up. once it's cleanly cut the rest is easy.

    here's the tool
    http://www.parktool.com/products/det...=14&item=CN-10

    here's a how to on cutting the cable
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=77

    here's a cable replacement how to
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/cablenew.htm

  3. #3
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    go to your LBS and ask for shifting cable. my lbs charges like 7bucks for XTR. dont mistake shifting cable with braking cable because one is thinner and one is thicker.

  4. #4
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiiiim
    go to your LBS and ask for shifting cable. my lbs charges like 7bucks for XTR. dont mistake shifting cable with braking cable because one is thinner and one is thicker.
    More important than that is the ends are different.

    Just a little side note, for the housing I always use brake housing. It is a little bigger inside and lets the cable move with less resistance. I use brake housing on all of my bikes for the shifters.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    get a GOOD set of cable cutters. put a smidge of lube in the housing, after removing the old cable, to help the new cable slide easier. after tightening up the cable on the cable nut at the end pull straight up on the cable somewhere where you can get a good pull( at least an inch up) , then go back and retighten the cable at the nut. this will eliminate any cable stretch down the road. its called prestretch and saves any need to adjust barrel adjusters and such
    for the creation was subjected to futility,not willingly , but because of Him who subjected it in hope...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20-29
    the truth may not always be popular but its always true
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  6. #6
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    You really stretch it to a degree that you need not adjust the barrels later?

  7. #7
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    cool thanks guys, after reading some of the post and links its actually the housing that is a problem. up near the handle bars just before the endcap at the front of the top tube the housing is rotted out and all the wires are sticking out. it appears as though the cable is intact (not frayed) and moving but maybe with out the housing theres nothing to pull against. or i could just be ********. anyways should i redo the whole thing anyway? does any of this make sense? thanks for your patience.

  8. #8
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    You are going to have to pull it apart anyway so I'd just replace both the cable and housing at the same time. The parts are very inexpensive and you don't want to have to redo it again later.

  9. #9
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Check out www.parktool.com/repair/ and find their repair manual. Very informative and clear on exactly what to do.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  10. #10
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flak
    You really stretch it to a degree that you need not adjust the barrels later?
    yup, if you do the pre stretch, forget about adjusting it later. its also easier,IMO, to get the thing set right, especially SRAM. Shimano isnt that hard to get adjusted right because of the 2:1 ratio but SRAM 1:1 is a lot harder for me to get exactly right.
    Ive done it on several bikes for me and friends in the last couple years and have had 0 need to adjust
    for the creation was subjected to futility,not willingly , but because of Him who subjected it in hope...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20-29
    the truth may not always be popular but its always true
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzer3fnu/p...pcomingevents/

  11. #11
    Senior Member Curtis_Elwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamthetas
    yup, if you do the pre stretch, forget about adjusting it later. its also easier,IMO, to get the thing set right, especially SRAM. Shimano isnt that hard to get adjusted right because of the 2:1 ratio but SRAM 1:1 is a lot harder for me to get exactly right.
    Ive done it on several bikes for me and friends in the last couple years and have had 0 need to adjust
    My LBS mechanic prestretched my shift cables a few months ago when he set up my bike. I was surprised to see him doing this, but it really did work. Haven't had to touch the barrels.
    2006 Marin Pine Mountain FX

  12. #12
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    thanks for getting my back on this one Curtis Elwood. it really works but folks think Im full of bull for suggesting it.
    for the creation was subjected to futility,not willingly , but because of Him who subjected it in hope...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20-29
    the truth may not always be popular but its always true
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzer3fnu/p...pcomingevents/

  13. #13
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    Pre-stretch.

    Good to know, ta

  14. #14
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    Re: pre-stretching

    As a guitarist, it is always advised to pre-stretch newly installed strings. Otherwise, you'll spend 20 min. a night tuning/retuning for the first week or so. On a related vein, when I'm not playing an instrument for a spell, I loosen the tension a couple of turns--when I pick it up again I'll tighten it till its in tune. I would think releasing the quick release on bike's brake levers would also enhance cable life. (Gotta remember to check it before heading out for a ride though.)
    At least w/guitar strings, you can feel them stretch--they get tighter and tighter as you keep having to tighten them to keep them in tune...Then one day, you're doing a step and a half bend, and snap!. (Funny thing, my old Shimano 600's stop me pretty well even if I've forgotten to tighten the quick release.)

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