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Old 01-16-12, 01:38 PM   #1
Papa Wheelie
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Water in gear cable housing?

I have been riding my SingleSpeed almost exclusively for the past 6 weeks.

Two Sunday's ago, several of us got together for a bigger ride, so I pulled out my geared bike to ride.

About 1/3 of the way through, I could not drop down to my granny gear up front, and I paid a price for it. Was DEMOLISHED by the time the climbing was done.

I knew we were going for another big ride yesterday, so on Saturday I pulled out the geared bike again, for a "shake down" ride. It was about 38 degrees out, sunny skies, and the bike performed FLAWLESSLY.

So I ride to the meeting point yesterday, it was about 30 degrees out, and I am noticing some poor shifting again. Both the front and rear derailleur are not going anywhere. No up. Not down. I am ready to bag it, but somebody has some lube, so we pull the cables out of their hangers, goop up the cables, slide the housing back and forth, put the cables bank in their hangers, and shifting is OK, so I go with the group.

It was maybe still right around freezing when we started climbing, and went from about 2,600 asl to about 5,900 asl. The higher we climbed, the worse my shifting got, to the point that I was again stuck in one gear.

As we descended back down, the temps rose dramatically, and the shifting came back.

Do I have a wad of water in my cable housings? If not that, what else could it be?

When I got home last night, I again pulled my cables out of their hangers, hit the cables with some WD, then slathered grease over them, slide the housings back and forth, remounted them, and cleaned up.

Rode it around in my yard, seemed smooth, but I want to avoid this issue the next time I go ride it.

thanks!
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Old 01-16-12, 02:07 PM   #2
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Wow. Don't know what else to try with the cables/housings, though my preferred lube is Triflow for this.

So, next- How are your shifter pods/mechanisms? H2O in those?
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Old 01-16-12, 02:12 PM   #3
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Wow. Don't know what else to try with the cables/housings, though my preferred lube is Triflow for this.

So, next- How are your shifter pods/mechanisms? H2O in those?
Hey Ken,
I'll be honest with you, this whole "problem" caught me by surprise. Like I said, I have not been riding my geared bike much lately, but when I was, I noticed that shifting my bike was NO WHERE NEAR as easy as my buddies bike was shifting. So I pulled out the TriFlow, and went thought this exercise sometime in the fall. Everything was BUTTER-SMOOTH, and I was REALLY HAPPY with how it was shifting.

Stuck it up in the rafters for a couple of weeks, pull it out for a big ol' ride, and this is how it is treating me?

Do bikes have feelings? Feelings that can get hurt?

I am with you on the TriFlow though. And I HAD used that not more than about a month or two before I let it start collecting dust.

I also was wondering about the shifters.
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Old 01-16-12, 02:16 PM   #4
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Oh, and maybe look close at the housing ends and ferrules.

If it persisted or I just wanted to be pr-emptive right now, I would change out the housings/ferrules at the very least and maybe the cables, too.
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Old 01-16-12, 06:38 PM   #5
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Try bringing the cables/housings inside for a week or so to let them dry out completely. Pull the cables out of the housings while they're inside drying. Then grease them and put them back on. I've had that happen a couple times last winter with my winter commuter and bringing them in to completely dry seemed to solve the problem until I road in slush and got them full of water again.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:35 AM   #6
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Try bringing the cables/housings inside for a week or so to let them dry out completely. Pull the cables out of the housings while they're inside drying. Then grease them and put them back on. I've had that happen a couple times last winter with my winter commuter and bringing them in to completely dry seemed to solve the problem until I road in slush and got them full of water again.
Thanks 3Speed. I was also thinking along those lines, so I have the bike sitting in my green house. It gets up into the 50's, if not higher, most every day, so I am hoping that is drying things out a bit.

Cheers!
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Old 01-17-12, 09:44 AM   #7
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It happens a lot. If the shed gets to below freezing and then up to 50F, there can be condensation (water) on everything.
In the case of the cables the water can get in there and not evaporate. If you bring the bike in the house from a freezing temp, one can sometimes see the water dripping off things. If you bring it in the house you need to dry it out before going back into freezing. Clean the cables or at least take them apart so they can dry. It may keep happening if there are big temperature swings in the shed.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:11 AM   #8
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I think what happened is that the ride two Sunday's ago was over frozen trails on the way up, but a little thawed and muddy on the way down.

SOMEBODY got a little over-zealous with the cleaning, and got TOO MUCH water where he should not have.

The cable themselves do not seem to be frayed, or in bad shape. I do want to take my shifters apart, to see if there are also puddles in there, but I do believe that a comprehensive thaw-out process is going to reap some benefits.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:31 AM   #9
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I think what happened is that the ride two Sunday's ago was over frozen trails on the way up, but a little thawed and muddy on the way down.

SOMEBODY got a little over-zealous with the cleaning, and got TOO MUCH water where he should not have.

The cable themselves do not seem to be frayed, or in bad shape. I do want to take my shifters apart, to see if there are also puddles in there, but I do believe that a comprehensive thaw-out process is going to reap some benefits.
Don't take them too much apart. Sproinggggg! Haha!

Maybe flush 'em with Water Displacer-40, let 'dry', then Triflow.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Papa Wheelie View Post
I think what happened is that the ride two Sunday's ago was over frozen trails on the way up, but a little thawed and muddy on the way down.

SOMEBODY got a little over-zealous with the cleaning, and got TOO MUCH water where he should not have.

The cable themselves do not seem to be frayed, or in bad shape. I do want to take my shifters apart, to see if there are also puddles in there, but I do believe that a comprehensive thaw-out process is going to reap some benefits.
Do not, do not take the shifters apart. Just expose the cables and leave them in the house for a day if possible. The most likely problem is the cables, the shifters drain out water pretty good.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Wheelie View Post
I think what happened is that the ride two Sunday's ago was over frozen trails on the way up, but a little thawed and muddy on the way down.

SOMEBODY got a little over-zealous with the cleaning, and got TOO MUCH water where he should not have.

The cable themselves do not seem to be frayed, or in bad shape. I do want to take my shifters apart, to see if there are also puddles in there, but I do believe that a comprehensive thaw-out process is going to reap some benefits.
Do not, do not take the shifters apart. Just expose the cables and leave them in the house for a day if possible. The most likely problem is the cables, the shifters drain out water pretty good.
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