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How do you replace grip shifter cables?

Old 06-16-14, 04:14 PM
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How do you replace grip shifter cables?

How do you replace grip shifter cables?

I was able to unscrew the grip shifter from the handlebars. Then I tried prying the grip part away from the shifting mechanism with a flathead screwdriver. This led to me breaking a plastic portion of the mechanism. I ended up buying a whole new grip shifter which has the cable pre-installed, but I would have preferred to just replace the cable. Is there a reasonable way to swap out an old cable on a grip shifter? Thanks.
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Old 06-16-14, 04:31 PM
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Did you ever look at the Park Tool site?
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Old 06-16-14, 04:32 PM
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On the common SRAM MRX shifters found on cheaper bikes you peel back the rubber covering near the shifter body to expose the groove the cable sits in and feed the cable back out. Zinn's MTB book has illustrated instructions. Some of fancier twist grip shifters have some sort of cover you remove instead.
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Old 06-16-14, 05:36 PM
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Which brand? Most likely SRAM. If so, I use 7-speed SRAM MRX shifters and 9-speed SRAM X.9 shifters. Here's what I've found:

MRX: take them apart. I CANNOT get a new cable to thread thru, even one with a soldered tip. Remove them from the bike, and pinch the 4 white plastic retainers inside the black twist-grip - once all four are displaced inward, the twist-grip will slide off over them, and the shifter can be dis-assembled. Observe closely the position of all parts and you'll be able to re-assemble after you've put in a new cable (with patience and a few curses).

X.9: If you've a new cable with a soldered tip, it can be threaded thru pretty easily, following SRAM's instructions. If not, dis-assemble much as above.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by melloveloyellow
Which brand? Most likely SRAM. If so, I use 7-speed SRAM MRX shifters and 9-speed SRAM X.9 shifters. Here's what I've found:

MRX: take them apart. I CANNOT get a new cable to thread thru, even one with a soldered tip. Remove them from the bike, and pinch the 4 white plastic retainers inside the black twist-grip - once all four are displaced inward, the twist-grip will slide off over them, and the shifter can be dis-assembled. Observe closely the position of all parts and you'll be able to re-assemble after you've put in a new cable (with patience and a few curses).

X.9: If you've a new cable with a soldered tip, it can be threaded thru pretty easily, following SRAM's instructions. If not, dis-assemble much as above.

Good luck!
Thanks. I have the 7-speed SRAM MRX shifters. I'll have to take a closer look at the shifter, but I'm not sure I follow how you take the shifter apart. Can you explain how you manage to pinch the 4 white plastic retainers inside the twist grip? Thanks very much.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:28 PM
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I found some videos on YouTube (search for "grip shift cable") that were very helpful.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:30 PM
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Which brand?
then you find the company site and see if they have a Manual ..

you peel up the grip and look ? some cheap ones we , in the shop, put something else on.
replace the grip shifter entirely.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:31 PM
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With the dirt cheap ones I don't bother. Its easier to buy a new shifter than the work involved in getting a new cable in.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:57 PM
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I have been using the cheap Grip Shift on my commuter for years, and changing the cable is a pain. Following manufacturer directions is impossible, as far as I'm concerned.

It's been a long time, but I remember basically moving the handlebar grip out a bit and pulling the rotating shift grip straight off, away from the mount. I don't think there's any way you can get the new cable to find its path without doing that. It doesn't "auto thread" whatsoever.

But...new ones are less than $20 so that isn't so bad if a person wants to go that route.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by CompleteStreets
Can you explain how you manage to pinch the 4 white plastic retainers inside the twist grip? Thanks very much.
1. the suggestion to download the SRAM instructions doesn't help. They just show how to thread a new cable thru.
2. I'll try to clarify the disassembly. Once you've removed the shifter, you'll see the white (?) plastic retainers within the twist-grip. They are flexible (somewhat). Bend one of them a bit inward w/a finger, and you'll see how the 4 hold the twist-grip in place via the lip on their outer end. If all 4 are bent at once, the twist-grip can be slid off. Find 4 objects to wedge between these and the grip simultaneously. I use 4 small allen wrenches, but 4 nails or 4 toothpicks, etc., would likely work. Don't slide the grip off carelessly! Slide it over those lip retainers just a bit (you can remove the toothpicks, etc., now), and observe the internals of the shifter, especially the metal springsteel that provides the indexing/snap of the shifter. Note the structure & arrangement of parts. Once you've opened the shifter adequately, the grey triangular cover can be gently pried off. Don't forget to replace this cover first as you reassemble.

It took me about as long to type this as it does to replace the cable. I've done it a few times now, and it does get easier. A pair of surgical needle holders or needle-nose pliers help w/the spring-steel, which will likely pop out at some point. Don't lose it! I've yet to wear out these MRX cheapies after many thousands of miles and several cables. Who says quality doesn't come cheap?!
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Old 06-18-14, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103
With the dirt cheap ones I don't bother. Its easier to buy a new shifter than the work involved in getting a new cable in.
Replacing the cable is less work and far more cost effective than ordering/purchasing (and awaiting delivery of) another SRAM GripShifter merely because it has a cable that needs replacing or requires a longer cable for use with another bike.

Over the last several months, I’ve swapped a few cables in several MRX GripShifters and though one in particular was somewhat difficult to pull apart, it was well worth doing so. There are videos on the Internet that accurately show how the cable is replaced.

Naturally, it’s anyone’s prerogative to simply purchase a new GripShifter if they prefer and any bicycle business benefits from such sales.
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Old 06-18-14, 10:32 AM
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Some at the bottom Of the OEM build range are just a stupid PIA to replace cables .. so in The shop We throw them away and put somethong else on

same Speed count , from same company .. time is Money too so wasting it Vs just putting on a new part is a calculation ..
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Old 06-18-14, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CompleteStreets
Thanks. I have the 7-speed SRAM MRX shifters. I'll have to take a closer look at the shifter, but I'm not sure I follow how you take the shifter apart. Can you explain how you manage to pinch the 4 white plastic retainers inside the twist grip? Thanks very much.

If it's a pre-2013 MRX, it's REALLY easy. I made a bad video of myself doing one a while ago.

(not shown in video is loosening cable clamp/cutting cable)
1. Make sure the right shifter is in the 7 (and the left shifter on the 1).
2. Peel up the rubber under the number.
3. push the cable a bit to free up the head, then pull cable.

Install is reverse of removal. Sometimes cable won't thread through without removing access hatch.

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Old 06-18-14, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Some at the bottom Of the OEM build range are just a stupid PIA to replace cables .. so in The shop We throw them away and put somethong else on

same Speed count , from same company .. time is Money too so wasting it Vs just putting on a new part is a calculation ..
I've been replacing them since 1997. I can even do the dreaded wrap-around ones, even bottom-of-the-barrel Falcon grip shifters in about 5-minutes per shifter. Approx 20 mins to do both shifters, including cable tension adjustment.
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Old 06-18-14, 12:15 PM
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I dont own but 1 grip shifter type, myself, & its pull-pull 2 cable And German made .
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Old 06-18-14, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by melloveloyellow
1. the suggestion to download the SRAM instructions doesn't help. They just show how to thread a new cable thru.
2. I'll try to clarify the disassembly. Once you've removed the shifter, you'll see the white (?) plastic retainers within the twist-grip. They are flexible (somewhat). Bend one of them a bit inward w/a finger, and you'll see how the 4 hold the twist-grip in place via the lip on their outer end. If all 4 are bent at once, the twist-grip can be slid off. Find 4 objects to wedge between these and the grip simultaneously. I use 4 small allen wrenches, but 4 nails or 4 toothpicks, etc., would likely work. Don't slide the grip off carelessly! Slide it over those lip retainers just a bit (you can remove the toothpicks, etc., now), and observe the internals of the shifter, especially the metal springsteel that provides the indexing/snap of the shifter. Note the structure & arrangement of parts. Once you've opened the shifter adequately, the grey triangular cover can be gently pried off. Don't forget to replace this cover first as you reassemble.

It took me about as long to type this as it does to replace the cable. I've done it a few times now, and it does get easier. A pair of surgical needle holders or needle-nose pliers help w/the spring-steel, which will likely pop out at some point. Don't lose it! I've yet to wear out these MRX cheapies after many thousands of miles and several cables. Who says quality doesn't come cheap?!
Here's a photo of the MRX shifter I have. The plastic retainers are black - my bad.

Attached Images
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MRX.jpg (45.7 KB, 58 views)
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Old 06-19-14, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by melloveloyellow
Here's a photo of the MRX shifter I have. The plastic retainers are black - my bad.

You don't need to disassemble those to change cable. Release cable from derailer then push towards shifter. The cable head will emerge from the little hole about an inch above the Gripshift "G".

Pay careful attention to how the cable comes out. It will be coming from one direction and you need to point the new cable in that direction. Sometimes it takes a few stabs

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-19-14 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 06-19-14, 08:24 AM
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I always have great luck replacing grip shift cables right up until it says, "Feed new cable through." Yeah, right.

I will usually leave the unit bolted to the bar and just yank off the twisty part. Have it in the high gear/cable all the way released. Pay attention to how the cable is run as you are pulling the twisty part off the rest of the unit. Pull the old cable out, thread the new one on like the old one was, jam it all back together while pulling the cable slightly from where it comes through the adjuster. Only thing to be careful of is the metal indexing spring--when pulling it apart, note where the spring goes so if it comes out, you know how to put it back together.
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Old 06-19-14, 07:14 PM
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SRAM instructions

https://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/da...Ins_2_03_0.pdf
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