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

Sticky Cables: best housing & lube?

Notices
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.

Sticky Cables: best housing & lube?

Old 02-13-20, 04:41 PM
  #1  
northcave
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Sticky Cables: best housing & lube?

I have an Airnimal folding bike. Since the bike folds the casing is in one section all the way from the drops bars to the brakes and gears. I've found that after a while the cable gets sticky in the housing and makes the brakes take 2-3 seconds to relax back to their original position. Also it makes shifting gears sometimes delayed.


Is there a casing / housing which is particularly good and what sort of lube should I use to prevent it from eventually getting sticky?
northcave is offline  
Old 02-13-20, 05:35 PM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 13,616

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: 2439 Post(s)
Liked 500 Times in 388 Posts
Cleanliness and maintenance are greater factors then brand of cable. As long as there's a tunnel that a cable runs in there will be capillary action. Going to one of the full length sealed systems don't know who currently offer these but Gore is perhaps the most well known, can help reduce the entry points on otherwise cable runs with frame stops. I tend to use fairly basic, smooth/redrawn, SS inner cables with Shimano or Bontrager casings. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 02-13-20, 05:47 PM
  #3  
San Rensho 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,820
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 77 Posts
Replace the cable. before installing generously grease the cable, and when I say generously I mean overdo it. More is more.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline  
Old 02-14-20, 04:03 AM
  #4  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,402

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 1,163 Times in 772 Posts
If you just want to resuscitate these cables and not replace them immediately, try Boeshield T9 or Rock 'N Roll Absolute Dry. Both are mostly solvent with paraffin and/or PTFE ("Teflon"). The liquid wicks quickly through the cable, dissolves most gunk and makes them passable again for awhile. I delayed changing cruddy, oxidized cables on my errand bike for a year with that trick.
canklecat is offline  
Old 02-14-20, 10:45 AM
  #5  
northcave
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Replace the cable. before installing generously grease the cable, and when I say generously I mean overdo it. More is more.
Thanks. The thing is that I only put these cables on and new housing about 3 months ago. I put loads of lube down the housing and I wonder if it was too much.
northcave is offline  
Old 02-14-20, 03:02 PM
  #6  
San Rensho 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,820
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by northcave View Post
Thanks. The thing is that I only put these cables on and new housing about 3 months ago. I put loads of lube down the housing and I wonder if it was too much.
You can never have too much lube (thats what she said).
Sounds like there is something binding. Are there any visible kinks? Try moving the brake cable housing around as you are actuating the brake and see if in one position the brake operates correctly.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline  
Old 02-14-20, 06:21 PM
  #7  
HerrKaLeun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,733

Bikes: Giant Toughroad SLR1 and Motobecane Sturgis NX

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 136 Times in 114 Posts
Originally Posted by northcave View Post
Thanks. The thing is that I only put these cables on and new housing about 3 months ago. I put loads of lube down the housing and I wonder if it was too much.
The lube just attracts dirt and dries out and then you have gum in there, hence the added friction you experience.

Best course of action is to use good housing cable (Shimano SP41/ optislick for example) and reduce number of entry points for dirt and water. full housing cable if possible. When you get problems, you just need to replace housing and cable. Those are wear items.
HerrKaLeun is offline  
Old 02-14-20, 06:54 PM
  #8  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 11,402

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3627 Post(s)
Liked 1,163 Times in 772 Posts
Originally Posted by northcave View Post
Thanks. The thing is that I only put these cables on and new housing about 3 months ago. I put loads of lube down the housing and I wonder if it was too much.
Some chain lubes can make cables sticky. Park CL-1 will do that. It goes on fairly thin but within a day or two semi-dries leaving a tacky surface. Great for chains because it doesn't get flung off or washed off easily. Lousy for cables.

Try flushing the cables with WD-40 or the stuff I mentioned -- Boeshield T9 or Rock 'N Roll Absolute Dry. While Absolute Dry is a chain lube, it dries fairly cleanly leaving only a thin, slick film (presumably PTFE -- that's what the powder that settles out looks like). With the thin plastic straw type nozzle attachment for WD-40 or carefully dribbling the others down the cable, it'll wick through and should loosen up the cable inside the housing.

If that doesn't work, carefully pull out the cable, wipe them clean and dry with solvent, grease lightly (or use a light lube that doesn't dry tacky), and you should be able to reinsert the cables as long as the ends aren't frayed and are reasonably straight.
canklecat is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 02:47 AM
  #9  
mjac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 100 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by northcave View Post
I have an Airnimal folding bike. Since the bike folds the casing is in one section all the way from the drops bars to the brakes and gears. I've found that after a while the cable gets sticky in the housing and makes the brakes take 2-3 seconds to relax back to their original position. Also it makes shifting gears sometimes delayed.


Is there a casing / housing which is particularly good and what sort of lube should I use to prevent it from eventually getting sticky?
The cable and housing could be gummed up and you would have to pull the cable and clean the cable and housing with solvent and Relube with the proper lube as stated above. What happened to me when a Derailleur was dragging, was one single strand of the cable frayed up inside the housing and was twisted around the cable rubbing against the housing causing it to drag. Either way you would have to pull the cable out of the housing and find out what is going on. Since you will have the cable out, they are relatively cheap, change the cable with a high quality cable, thoroughly flush the housing, I like CRC Red Brake Cleaner with a straw, and Relube both with one of the products recommended above that won't gum up. When you are finished use one of those little crimp lugs on the cable end to keep it from fraying to at least keep it from sticking your fingers. Thanks,mjac.
mjac is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 03:18 AM
  #10  
Racing Dan
Senior Member
 
Racing Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,582
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 902 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 55 Posts
Imo, just get ordinary pre lubed sp41 shimano housing and either shimano stainless or optislick wires, and some sealed shimano ferrules (Y6Z298010). Possibly get a set with all the bits and bobs, its not that expensive.
Racing Dan is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 07:05 AM
  #11  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 6,635

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1246 Post(s)
Liked 653 Times in 448 Posts
The cables aren't getting kinked when the bike is folded?
dedhed is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 07:12 AM
  #12  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,185
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 672 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
The cables aren't getting kinked when the bike is folded?
Yes. Does the cable housing straighten up when the bike is unfolded? It's likely that the housing isn't good for repeated bending.

I don't see how excess lube could cause this dragging cable in 3 months.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 08:51 AM
  #13  
mjac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 100 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Imo, just get ordinary pre lubed sp41 shimano housing and either shimano stainless or optislick wires, and some sealed shimano ferrules (Y6Z298010). Possibly get a set with all the bits and bobs, its not that expensive.
I think you are right. The time and material to recondition a flawed cable and housing might not be worth it, but the new type cable housings being so stiff, how does that work with a folding bike?...Thanks,mjac
mjac is offline  
Old 02-15-20, 09:10 AM
  #14  
'02 nrs
royaloaker
 
'02 nrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: se MIch.
Posts: 209

Bikes: 1938 claud butler,1983 Basso,teledyne titan,teocali super,nrs,1993 stumpjumper fsr,Paramountain,Paramount Buell,4 banger,Zaskar LE,Colnago Master Ibex MTB,1987ish,.etc....

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 37 Posts
per Shimano regarding brake cables/

tried a quality inner brake cable? https://www.jensonusa.com/Jagwire-Pr...iABEgJg3PD_BwE "INSTALLATION Installation of the brake cable „Installation of the brake cable WARNING Do not apply grease or other lubricants to the inner cable. Be sure to wipe off with a cloth any grease that adheres to the inner cable fixing section when passing the inner cable through the outer casing. If grease adheres to the fixing section, the holding force of the brake cable will not be sufficient causing the brake cable to slacken, a loss of brake control and possibly severe injury" https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-RACBR01-02-ENG.pdf
'02 nrs is offline  
Old 02-16-20, 02:54 AM
  #15  
Racing Dan
Senior Member
 
Racing Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,582
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 902 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by mjac View Post
I think you are right. The time and material to recondition a flawed cable and housing might not be worth it, but the new type cable housings being so stiff, how does that work with a folding bike?...Thanks,mjac
Cant say for sure, but older spiral wound housing is not suitable for indexed gears.
Racing Dan is offline  
Old 02-16-20, 03:44 AM
  #16  
mjac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 480 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 100 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Cant say for sure, but older spiral wound housing is not suitable for indexed gears.
You are right,but what I am saying is that how do you prevent the newer index compatible housing from kinking on a bike that folds 180 degrees. I am having a hard time visualizing this. Do they use a special housing? I don't know...Thanks,mjac
mjac is offline  

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 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.