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When to change out cables and housings?

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When to change out cables and housings?

Old 06-10-19, 05:56 PM
  #1  
spinnaker
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When to change out cables and housings?

I have always changed out cables and housings every few thousand of miles or so. It was fairly easy as all the cables were accessible. Now I have bar end shifters. A pretty good wrap on the handlebars. I am reluctant to change the cables out as I can never seem to be able to wrap the handle bars as good as the factory.

Other than the obvious, frayed or sticking cables. Is there any time one should swap out cables and housings for new ones?
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Old 06-10-19, 06:13 PM
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It really depends on your riding and storage conditions. If you only ride your bike in dry conditions and keep it stored out of crappy weather, l’ve had cables (and particularly) housings last 4 or 5 seasons.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:31 PM
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I change them when they are start affecting shifting, shifts getting slower or ghost shifting. Also when rebuilbing a vintage bike where the cables are rusted or corroded even if they are working fine.
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Old 06-11-19, 08:54 AM
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I do mine every 4 years no matter what. Just seems like good preventative maintenance and its something to do in the winter months.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:02 AM
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I never change mine till they break, then it's usually just the cable. I ran the same ones on my '64 Legnano for 40 years or so, including the kinked brake housing that got slammed in the car trunk when I was in college. When I build or refurbish a "new" bike they get new ones, but once the bike is rolling, almost never. I agree, I love my bar end shifters, but changing their cables is a pain, so I just say "No". My last build, a gold '78 Super Course, I used gold colored housings, and dont like the look. I think black or chocholate brown would be better, but I'll live with it. The bar tape is temporary, till I get the fit settled. I plan to go with Brooks leather wrap.

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Old 06-11-19, 10:27 AM
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As shifting symptoms suggest ^.

It's different for Shimano STIs, as an internal frayed cable end can lead to a jammed shifter, so you want to replace inner cables regularly (annually, I think is the general suggestion). With bar end shifters, what's the worst that can happen, sloppy shifting? Maybe a cable end that's corroded into place (which I've found on 40 year old shifters).

Consider the bar wrap. Did you do it once? Then you can do it again.
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Old 06-11-19, 10:39 AM
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Shimano's 1st Brifter, had just 1 bend, cable out the side of the lever..

in order to run both shift and brake under the tape the later types have 2 bends right inside the lever..

and those bends shorten the cable useful life..

wait till those break and repair got more complicated ..







/....

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Old 06-11-19, 10:51 AM
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Well I am headed out on tour in a few weeks. I am opting for just replacing them now. I think it is supposed to be a rainy weekend again so maybe I will do them this weekend.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:46 PM
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I've had the same shifter housings on my old Fuji since 1976! The old SunTour bare coiled stainless housing. I have, however, changed the inner cables a couple of times in 50k miles!
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Old 06-12-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
I never change mine till they break, then it's usually just the cable. I ran the same ones on my '64 Legnano for 40 years or so, including the kinked brake housing that got slammed in the car trunk when I was in college. When I build or refurbish a "new" bike they get new ones, but once the bike is rolling, almost never. I agree, I love my bar end shifters, but changing their cables is a pain, so I just say "No". My last build, a gold '78 Super Course, I used gold colored housings, and dont like the look. I think black or chocholate brown would be better, but I'll live with it. The bar tape is temporary, till I get the fit settled. I plan to go with Brooks leather wrap.
I like this bike! I also think housing like this would look great! https://velo-orange.com/collections/...ake-cable-kits

The "gold" looks a little more yellow than I would expect for gold so it doesn't blend and it doesn't contrast.
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Old 06-12-19, 06:08 PM
  #11  
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I wait until shifting gets symptomatic but mostly because I HATE wrapping bars. I’ll admit I’m probably my own worst critic, but wrapping bars has always been one of those things that other people seem to be able to do so much better than me.

I’ve gone the route of just swapping out the cables but they never seem to work as well as a cable/housing swap. It works great in the beginning but doesn’t last. Once the housing gets polluted it’s pretty much end of life.


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Old 06-12-19, 07:58 PM
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If I don't get the shifter cable changed every year or two, I get problems with moisture getting inside and freezing in the winter.
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