Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Tips for shifter cable installation/extraction?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Tips for shifter cable installation/extraction?

Old 07-14-15, 11:27 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tips for shifter cable installation/extraction?

I run Dura Ace 9000 and recently had my rear shifter cable snap inside the shifter. I was able to extract it after some disassembly and insert a new shifter cable, but I am unable to shift using the new cable. I can move the paddle shifter (as if shifting into harder gears), but the feel is soft and there is no "click" feeling. I am unable to move the lever as if shifting into easier gears. This applies whether I connect or disconnect the cable from the rear derailleur.

After re-reading the shimano instructions, I realize that I likely had the shifter all the way in the easiest gear when I installed the cable instead of in the hardest gear (smallest cog). This would explain why I am unable to shift toward easier gears. I attempted to push the cable back out in order to reset it and shift into the appropriate gear (smallest cog) before setting the head/end of the cable in the shifter, but it does not appear to want to come out easily. I'm worried it could be jammed in there from my shift attempts.

Before I tear apart the shifter or take it to a shop I thought I'd see if anyone has any advice on how to proceed.

Rockenreno is offline  
Old 07-14-15, 12:45 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4368 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 40 Times in 35 Posts
I'm not sure of the specific remedy for your current fix, except for some judicious massaging of the wire to try to work it out again. Make sure the cam is rotated to a position where there's clearance for the head to come out.

For the future, dip cable heads in grease before inserting so they're fully coated and not likely to get stuck because of corrosion.

Also, cables typically fray and break slowly in the area that winds on and off the lever drum. This is an unavoidable metal fatigue process, but you get some warning because the wire will work harden (stiffen) as it fatigues (bend a paper clip back and forth to experience this) and result is stiffer, harder shifting over the last days and weeks before breaking. WARNING - it's a slow process and easy to miss until near the end, so the moment shifting gets worse, check for fraying and try to replace before it breaks.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 07-14-15, 08:21 PM
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 15,169

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3011 Post(s)
Liked 1,335 Times in 934 Posts
+1. I'll add that the shifter's cable spool is plastic and can get indented a small bit by the cable end if the end isn't in it's seat but instead is riding on the outer surface of the spool. So manipulation of both the spool's rotational state as well as the cable being "pushed" into the shifter might be needed to free up the cable. Once free don't be surprised if the cable ends up needing replacement as it can kink from this miss positioning. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Bicycle Mechanics
11-20-16 07:38 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
03-18-15 04:27 AM
Bicycle Mechanics
06-01-14 03:48 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
08-04-12 10:38 AM
Bicycle Mechanics
07-07-12 05:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.