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Need to change shifter cable

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Need to change shifter cable

Old 11-19-07, 09:09 PM
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Need to change shifter cable

I need to change the shifter cable on my Trek 820 MTB. It is the cable that shifts the chain on the three big gears near the pedals (as you can tell, I'm not fluent in bike terms.)
So, what do I buy? Do I just get a standard cable from Nashbar or one of those places? Do I just change the steel cable and reuse the housing?
What about those rubber thingys that keep the exposed cable from rubbing on the frame? Will a new cable come with those?
Please help me, I've never done this before. I looked up cables on the Sheldon Brown site but it didn't really esplain what I need to do.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:22 PM
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All you need is a derailluer cable. These are different from a brake cable because 1. they are thinner and 2. they have different heads on the ends. Go to your LBS and ask for a derailluer cable, if your not to picky a regular cable with housing will do. If you want to go fancy there are cables with Teflon "jackets" which prolong the life of the cable. I usually recommend changing the housing especially if it has not been changed in some time. As for the rubber frame protectors (rubber thingys), no they will not be included but I can't see a shop charging you for 3. If they do just reuse the ones you already have.

Also don't forget to have all the tools and supplies you will need to change the cable; a cable cutter, allen wrenches and grease. Again everything should be available at you LBS.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:23 PM
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This will explain it better than I ever could. http://www.parktool.com/repair/byregion.asp?catid=53
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Old 11-20-07, 08:44 AM
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Yeah, don't bother paying shipping from Nashbar on such a small piece. Just go to your bike shop (assuming you have one near by). And no need to buy a cable cutter. Just bring in the old cable and housing and have the shop match up the lengths.
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Old 11-20-07, 08:49 AM
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I found to cut the outer housing without a heavy cutter, the Dremel tool with the small cutoff wheel does a great job.

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