Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

When Do You Replace Shifter Cables?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

When Do You Replace Shifter Cables?

Old 05-15-22, 07:58 PM
  #76  
Chuck M 
Butted Hi-Tensile
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 997

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 327 Post(s)
Liked 801 Times in 411 Posts
I found the time to change my RD cable tonight. There didn't seem to be any fraying of the cable in the STI body. However I found that the plastic ferrule in the barrel adjuster was broken off. This may explain some intermittent shifting noise I've been noticing. I have not removed the FD cable yet, but I don't expect to find anything odd in there as I rarely leave the big ring on this bike. Nevertheless, I'm glad I'm getting this done as I'm riding my first century next month and this simple maintenance item won't be something I'll regret not doing.


__________________
"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels." -- Heinz StŁcke

Chuck M is offline  
Old 05-15-22, 08:22 PM
  #77  
Kai Winters
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northern NY...Brownville
Posts: 2,039

Bikes: Specialized Aethos

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 45 Posts
Where did the cable break?
In the shifter? At the "pinch bolt" where it is secured to the front derailleur?
Where it breaks may tell the tale of what may have happened.
I see some bikes that come into the shop for service that the pinch bolt was far too tight and has crushed the wires. Over time and movement...shifting and braking...the wires continue to break and the cable fail. It doesn't happen often but possibly with a harder than normal shift and fraying wires a break will occur.
I ride around 10K plus a year and was on 105 11 speed for a bit, now Ultegra R8000 and have never broken a cable.
I had my last bike, Merlin/Campy Record, for 22 years and never broke a cable.
It may be possible that you are applying more force than you think. You do state you are a relatively new rider and often newer riders make mistakes that more seasoned riders do not. Learning how to shift is often not as easy as it may appear especially shifting under load...shifting under high pressure applied while pedaling. That can cause all sorts of interesting things to happen to a bike's drive train.
Just a couple of things to think about.
I usually change my cables every couple of years during the winter months...now with Zwift there is no such thing as winter time off lol.

Regarding age and respect...I know a few elderly people that are flaming a holes and deserve no respect...age doesn't give wisdom nor requires automatic respect...it does, at least, mean you have survived...and I'm 66.
Kai Winters is offline  
Likes For Kai Winters:
Old 05-16-22, 12:56 PM
  #78  
smd4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 917

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Super Corsa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 321 Times in 227 Posts
I run Dura Ace 7700 downtube shifters. Never had a shifter or brake cable break. Glad I never went STI.
smd4 is online now  
Old 05-16-22, 04:17 PM
  #79  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 10,651

Bikes: Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5763 Post(s)
Liked 5,983 Times in 3,074 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're right - an annual $3 shifter cable, for a groupset that otherwise performs exceptionally well, is just a bridge too far. I'll start researching alternatives. Thank you for the insight and perspective.
$3? What kinda cheap-ass cables you run? Galvanized?
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is offline  
Old 05-16-22, 04:33 PM
  #80  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 38,281

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19733 Post(s)
Liked 8,239 Times in 4,147 Posts
Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
$3? What kinda cheap-ass cables you run? Galvanized?
Whatever kind the service department at my LBS pulls out of the huge bulk cable box when I ask for a shift cable.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 05-16-22, 05:19 PM
  #81  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,067

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1516 Post(s)
Liked 2,177 Times in 1,134 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I run Dura Ace 7700 downtube shifters. Never had a shifter or brake cable break. Glad I never went STI.
Really? Cuz replacing a cable every now and then is such a traumatic experience? I'm sure you've heard the term 'luddite'...
cxwrench is offline  
Old 05-16-22, 06:27 PM
  #82  
smd4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 917

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Super Corsa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 321 Times in 227 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Really? Cuz replacing a cable every now and then is such a traumatic experience? I'm sure you've heard the term 'luddite'...
I repeat: Iíve never snapped a brake or shift cable. I also ride a steel frame, use clips and straps, a quill stem, a leather saddle, tires with inner tubes and have quick release hubs. Sure, Iíve heard the term Luddite.

Iím equally sure youíve heard the term Ďa-hole...í
smd4 is online now  
Likes For smd4:
Old 05-16-22, 07:57 PM
  #83  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,067

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1516 Post(s)
Liked 2,177 Times in 1,134 Posts
Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I repeat: Iíve never snapped a brake or shift cable. I also ride a steel frame, use clips and straps, a quill stem, a leather saddle, tires with inner tubes and have quick release hubs. Sure, Iíve heard the term Luddite.

Iím equally sure youíve heard the term Ďa-hole...í
Hey bud, referring to you as a luddite is not necessarily a bad thing...calling me an a-hole? C'mon, lighten up.
cxwrench is offline  
Old 05-16-22, 07:59 PM
  #84  
smd4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 917

Bikes: 1989 Cinelli Super Corsa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked 321 Times in 227 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Hey bud, referring to you as a luddite is not necessarily a bad thing...calling me an a-hole? C'mon, lighten up.
I didnít call you anything, ďbud.Ē
smd4 is online now  
Old 05-21-22, 09:59 AM
  #85  
stewartt1982
Junior Member
 
stewartt1982's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Fussa-shi, Tokyo. Japan
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
I’ve never had a shifter cable break in hundreds of thousands of miles of riding. I’ve broken a couple derailleurs, and had brake cables pull loose, but never broken any.
I've not ridden hundreds of thousands of miles riding, but over the last 15 years of cycling I had never had a cable break ... until earlier this year when my FD cable snapped just as I was about to begin an ascent. I clean my bike religiously, inspect it before each ride, swap out consumables like cables at the first hint of a problem, and thought 'it won't happen to me' but then it did. Luckily just a short 10km to limp (well, spin) home.

It was a good opportunity to invest in fancy new cables (but not too badly priced, at least compared to the Canadian prices) that I'd likely not have bought if I were just replacing worn-out cables. With worn-out cables, I'd have just replaced them with my normal ones, but the failure made me experiment a bit and I've never braked or shifted so smoothly.

Last edited by stewartt1982; 05-21-22 at 10:07 AM.
stewartt1982 is offline  
Old 05-22-22, 02:35 AM
  #86  
sean.hwy
Senior Member
 
sean.hwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: San Jose
Posts: 664

Bikes: Giant Revolt Advance 2 / Blur / Ibis MX

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 123 Posts
3 different liv's ( gravel bikes ) around 2k cables broke ( have 3 friends that all bought the same gravel bike )
giant revolt adv 2 ( gravel bike ) around 3k cable broke
topstone alloy shimano 105 ( gravel bike ) shifter cable broke around 2k

system six road bike sold with almost 4k miles on it. still shifted like new. zero issues. road like new


Seems like my road bike could have easily gone to 10k miles with no issues. I barely had to touch it. The gravel bikes require constant tweaking. I ride them on a lot of mtb bike trails.
sean.hwy is offline  
Old 05-22-22, 10:00 PM
  #87  
Oldguyonoldbike
Senior Member
 
Oldguyonoldbike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 790

Bikes: Casati Laser, Colnago Tecnos, CiŲcc Exige, Black Mountain Cycles Road

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 128 Times in 59 Posts
I have Campagnolo shifters and cables on my four bikes. Iíve had a cable come loose (once), but have never broken a cable. I do change them, but not often ó maybe around 10,000 miles.
Oldguyonoldbike is offline  
Old 05-23-22, 05:37 AM
  #88  
PGHNeil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Pittsburgh, PA US
Posts: 158

Bikes: 2003 Trek 4900, 2019 Trek Marlin 7

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 24 Posts
I just replaced the Shimano Altus rear derailleur shifter cable on my 4 year old Trek Marlin 7 which has about 2000 miles on it and has been my all-weather, all terrain bike so things have been wearing more quickly. I noticed that the housing was fraying and showing rust at the upper insertion point in the downtube. When I pulled the cable I didn't see any fraying but decided to put in a new cable just to be safe.
PGHNeil is offline  
Old 05-23-22, 09:27 AM
  #89  
Chubby715
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 67

Bikes: Cervelo R5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 16 Posts
I'm riding DA and have to replace the RD cable around every 9 months. The cable eventually starts fraying at the shifter.
Chubby715 is offline  
Old 05-25-22, 01:50 PM
  #90  
greasemonkey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I do it once a year, usually just before winter starts and snow is everywhere :-) makes a good winter project
greasemonkey is offline  
Old 05-25-22, 02:02 PM
  #91  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 23,506

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2950 Post(s)
Liked 1,975 Times in 1,181 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Really? Cuz replacing a cable every now and then is such a traumatic experience? I'm sure you've heard the term 'luddite'...
Well, replacing cables in some brifters and twist shifters can be much more of a chore than replacing the cable on a downtube shifter.
JohnDThompson 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 © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.