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3-speed shifters & cables: Do you have to replace them every time?

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3-speed shifters & cables: Do you have to replace them every time?

Old 10-15-12, 12:02 PM
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Ramona_W
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3-speed shifters & cables: Do you have to replace them every time?

I'm guessing this belongs here rather than mechanics because it concerns older 3-speeds and someone will move it if I'm wrong.

I rehab donated bikes so I'm starting with as is. That often means "not maintained" including, of course, the cables. If I'm working on a 10-speed, I can clip the old cable, put in a new one and adjust as necessary. On a 3-speed though, I can't clip either end or adjust it much which sucks because it's probably over 30 years old and stretched out. (No off-color remarks, please.) Short of melting down some lead and creating an end, is there a way to fix these cables? Can I take the slack out? Is there a way to replace the cable without taking apart the shifter in order to save the ends?

Thanks.
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Old 10-15-12, 12:50 PM
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A Sturmey Archer cable is infinitely adjustable and never should be replaced unless it breaks or seizes. Which is almost literally, never.

Read lots more here...http://sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/cable.html
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Old 10-15-12, 01:30 PM
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You can now buy the little adjustable ends that go back by the hub with a pinch bolt to take a standard cable end. This will let you replace the cracked housings. If you're not married to the shifter, Sturmey now makes "classic pull" shifters that take a standard shift cable.
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Old 10-15-12, 03:32 PM
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Most 3-speed cables have a knurled end that you can adjust. If that doesn't give you enough adjustment range, you can always move the fulcrum.

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Old 10-15-12, 03:49 PM
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Ramona_W
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Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
You can now buy the little adjustable ends that go back by the hub with a pinch bolt to take a standard cable end. This will let you replace the cracked housings. If you're not married to the shifter, Sturmey now makes "classic pull" shifters that take a standard shift cable.
Where would I find either or both of these? I've got a couple of Murray Alpines in progress right now so unfortunately they came with the Shimano shifters rather than Sturmeys.
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Old 10-15-12, 05:06 PM
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I recently just bought some cable/housing for the older Shimano 3-speeds. it costs only about $3 at Niagra.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Gear-Cable-3Speed-60X65In/dp/B000AO5K5G/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&m=A2TE9IQP68MWQU&qid=1350342409&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-28

Then click on "6 new from $2.87"

Since I ordered many other items, I ordered directly from Niagra for free shipping (over $100).
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