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Shifter worries

Old 11-29-22, 11:43 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Nobody actually does this do they? I have an 8 year old bike and 4 year old bike and haven't touched the cables on them yet.
Lots of people do, especially if I maintain their bike(s). If you ride regularly (3-5 days a week) once a year is the longest you should go between replacing them. The main reason you replace the cables is because you're replacing the housing. That's where all of the wear that impacts shifting performance takes place. Replacing the cables alone won't get you anywhere. On a road bike this also gives you the chance to replace bar tape. That **** gets nasty and you can get some substantial corrosion on the bars/shifter clamps. I just did cables/housing/tape on a guys bike and it was disgusting. Co-workers could smell it as they walked by. No one wants to be around that much less have to touch it. Take care of your equipment. I've got a story about a guy that ended up dead because he completely ignored his commute bike and his bars broke due to corrosion.
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Old 11-29-22, 12:06 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
My bikes don`t have shifters, I ride singlespeed.

When I ride, I keep a singlespeed strapped to the back of my brifter bike just in case the gearing conks out.
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Old 11-29-22, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Thanks if you're talking about me, but it's CX, not XC. Cyclocross, not Cross Country.

All this time I just figured your name was Charles Xavier Wrench but I didn't want to doxx you.

Put me down as being in the "you're a cranky bastard, but you give good advice" camp.

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Old 11-29-22, 12:26 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Shorten the chain and wrap it around a ridable gear combo, bypassing the derailleur. The chain tension will probably be less than great, but for the rest of your life you can insufferably flex that you ride a singlespeed.
This is what I did, back in the Dark Ages before carrying a cell phone everywhere was an option. Broke the chain, rewrapped it in small ring/mid-cassette, and rode the 8+ hilly miles home. Since I started carrying a cell phone, I no longer carry a chain breaker. AND I change my cables before they need it.
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Old 11-29-22, 12:30 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Nobody actually does this do they? I have an 8 year old bike and 4 year old bike and haven't touched the cables on them yet.
Depends on how many miles you ride, as well as the conditions. I don't do it every year, but every 3-5000 miles, depending which bike - some shifters eat cables. Replace the housing every other time.
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Old 11-29-22, 12:53 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Lots of people do, especially if I maintain their bike(s). If you ride regularly (3-5 days a week) once a year is the longest you should go between replacing them. The main reason you replace the cables is because you're replacing the housing. That's where all of the wear that impacts shifting performance takes place. Replacing the cables alone won't get you anywhere. On a road bike this also gives you the chance to replace bar tape. That **** gets nasty and you can get some substantial corrosion on the bars/shifter clamps. I just did cables/housing/tape on a guys bike and it was disgusting. Co-workers could smell it as they walked by. No one wants to be around that much less have to touch it. Take care of your equipment. I've got a story about a guy that ended up dead because he completely ignored his commute bike and his bars broke due to corrosion.
It's amazing that while few people will go to the dentist right after eating a sleeve of Oreos, they expect the LBS mechanic to service their filty neglected bike.

If your housings are worn down enough to affect shifting, a cable and housing change is long overdue. In fact, it's doubtful that a cable run on STI shifters will last anywhere near that long considering STI shifters' appetite for cables.
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Old 11-29-22, 01:28 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
If your housings are worn down enough to affect shifting, a cable and housing change is long overdue.
I had a conversation with someone at the top of a hill one time that I watched climb that hill in way to hard a gear combo. The conversation wasn't so much about their climbing, but during the conversation they claimed their bike shifted perfectly. However when I ask them why they didn't shift to a lower gear when climbing they said that their bike wouldn't shift to those gears! WTF! <grin>
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Old 11-29-22, 02:53 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
If you ride regularly (3-5 days a week) once a year is the longest you should go between replacing them.
I do ride that much per week. But why should I replace them if they are working just fine? I don't know anyone that replaces their cables and housing once a year. If the cable/housing is going bad I'm thinking it would start showing itself in the form of hard shifting performance and I don't have that. I'll replace when there is evidence of wear.

Like I said...I have a bike from 2016 and 2018 and none of the shifter cables or housings have been touched and they still shift perfectly fine. Only thing replaced on them is chains, chainrings, cassettes and derailleur. My other 5 bikes are 2020 and newer and nothing has been changed on them yet.

I would think the biggest factor would be riding conditions and whether or not if it's a partially sealed or fully sealed cables. A hard and fast rule of every year seems a bit excessive.

Take care of your equipment. I've got a story about a guy that ended up dead because he completely ignored his commute bike and his bars broke due to corrosion.
My mountain and road bikes have carbon bars. No corrosion.

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Old 11-29-22, 03:16 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I do ride that much per week. But why should I replace them if they are working just fine? I don't know anyone that replaces their cables and housing once a year. If the cable/housing is going bad I'm thinking it would start showing itself in the form of hard shifting performance and I don't have that. I'll replace when there is evidence of wear.

Like I said...I have a bike from 2016 and 2018 and none of the shifter cables or housings have been touched and they still shift perfectly fine. Only thing replaced on them is chains, chainrings, cassettes and derailleur. My other 5 bikes are 2020 and newer and nothing has been changed on them yet.

I would think the biggest factor would be riding conditions and whether or not if it's a partially sealed or fully sealed cables. A hard and fast rule of every year seems a bit excessive.



My mountain and road bikes have carbon bars. No corrosion.
I promise you that your bikes don't shift as well as they did when new. Not possible. In fact if you lived here I'd pay for your new cables/housing/labor if you didn't notice a difference after having them replaced. You don't wait til the engine blows up in your before doing oil/filter changes, do you? Changing them regularly nearly eliminates them fatiguing/breaking in the shifter as well. A bike that sees 'maintenance' will always work compared to one that only gets 'repaired'. I see/hear this all the time with Mtb suspension too...'why service it, it works fine'? Obviously at the opposite end of the spectrum I worked for a pro Mtb team for a season, and did a couple of seasons working for a CX racer. New cables/housing every week/race, no fail. That's my favorite thing about electronic shifting.
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Old 11-29-22, 03:20 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
But why should I replace them if they are working just fine?
Do you take the same approach with your car's motor oil?

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I don't know anyone that replaces their cables and housing once a year. If the cable/housing is going bad I'm thinking it would start showing itself in the form of hard shifting performance and I don't have that. I'll replace when there is evidence of wear.
I don't know what you're running and how much you ride per year, but my Shimano 11sp bike chews through RD cables much more often than once a year...So I am either changing them ahead of time or after single-speeding home after a failure. And regarding your last sentence, above: when the cable fails, it fails very suddenly. No "evidence of wear" -- it just misses a few shifts and then stops working.
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Old 11-29-22, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
I promise you that your bikes don't shift as well as they did when new. Not possible..
Well if they don't...it's not even noticeable.

You don't wait til the engine blows up in your before doing oil/filter changes, do you?
Silly comparison since you are talking about something that costs thousands of dollars to repair or replace if you don't keep on on the oil changes. If I don't change the shifter cable on my bike I'm not out thousands of dollars.

Changing them regularly nearly eliminates them fatiguing/breaking in the shifter as well.
Have never had that happen.

A bike that sees 'maintenance' will always work compared to one that only gets 'repaired'. I see/hear this all the time with Mtb suspension too...'why service it, it works fine'? Obviously at the opposite end of the spectrum I worked for a pro Mtb team for a season, and did a couple of seasons working for a CX racer. New cables/housing every week/race, no fail. That's my favorite thing about electronic shifting.
I keep up on maintenance for chains, cassettes, chainrings, bearings and suspension etc. but like I said...replacing cables once a year is a little excessive. If there is something wrong with the cables they will give notice a bit before any measurable failure would occur. Besides... "Time" isn't a good way to schedule any maintenance. Some people ride 10-15 thousand miles in a year while others may do only a couple hundred. Some bikes never go off-road and some are subjected to wet and muddy conditions. Should they all replace cables at the same time?? Just like transmission fluid and gear fluid changes in a car...The owners manual will tell you to change more often if driven in severe conditions and less often if not.
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Old 11-29-22, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Do you take the same approach with your car's motor oil?
No. See my response above.

I don't know what you're running and how much you ride per year, but my Shimano 11sp bike chews through RD cables much more often than once a year...So I am either changing them ahead of time or after single-speeding home after a failure. And regarding your last sentence, above: when the cable fails, it fails very suddenly. No "evidence of wear" -- it just misses a few shifts and then stops working.


2 Fat Bikes, 2 Mountain Bikes, 2 Road Bikes and a hybrid bike. I average about 4,000 miles/per year between my two mountain bikes, fat bike and my road bike. The other fat bike, road bike and hybrid bike are the girls and she averages about 2000 miles/ year. I have yet to change any cables/housing on any of the bikes.

My 2016 hardtail has a Shimano 11 speed setup. SLX shifter and XT derailleur. Still using the same cable and housing that came on the bike in 2016. If you are chewing through RD cables more than once a year I'm thinking you don't have something set up properly. Sounds like the cable housing bends are too tight.

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Old 11-29-22, 03:57 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
My 2016 hardtail has a Shimano 11 speed setup. SLX shifter and XT derailleur. Still using the same cable and housing that came on the bike in 2016. If you are chewing through RD cables more than once a year I'm thinking you don't have something set up properly. Sounds like the cable housing bends are too tight.
SLX shifters are entirely different than road 11sp shifters, which require the cable to make a very sharp bend inside the shifter. That's what makes them splinter and then break rather suddenly and rather frequently.

I'm gonna agree with cxwrench that you would likely see an improvement in shift quality with new cables and housings. Like other things (cassettes, chains, etc), they can deteriorate so gradually that you don't notice it until it's pretty extreme.
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Old 11-29-22, 04:32 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
SLX shifters are entirely different than road 11sp shifters, which require the cable to make a very sharp bend inside the shifter. That's what makes them splinter and then break rather suddenly and rather frequently.
Hmmm...Road bikes are 2020 and 2021 Trek Domane's. No problems with them either.
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Old 11-29-22, 04:38 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Hmmm...Road bikes are 2020 and 2021 Trek Domane's. No problems with them either.
Which drivetrains? If Shimano 11sp, I recommend that, at minimum, you replace the RD cables. They really do go quickly -- you'll notice a couple times that you 'click' the shifter and nothing happens, and then...You're single-speeding. I've gotten as little as 1500 miles out of a cable. It's not a Koyote problem -- it's a known issue. Pops up in threads here on bf all the time.

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Old 11-29-22, 04:49 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
No. See my response above.



2 Fat Bikes, 2 Mountain Bikes, 2 Road Bikes and a hybrid bike. I average about 4,000 miles/per year between my two mountain bikes, fat bike and my road bike. The other fat bike, road bike and hybrid bike are the girls and she averages about 2000 miles/ year. I have yet to change any cables/housing on any of the bikes.

My 2016 hardtail has a Shimano 11 speed setup. SLX shifter and XT derailleur. Still using the same cable and housing that came on the bike in 2016. If you are chewing through RD cables more than once a year I'm thinking you don't have something set up properly. Sounds like the cable housing bends are too tight.
Cables breaking in Shimano road shifters has been happening ever since STI came on the market, so over 30 years. It has absolutely nothing to do w/ 'housing bends being too tight'. It has everything to do with how tightly the cable has to bend inside the shifter. Seems like you are blissfully ignorant of the problem, which is fine. Just don't deny that it happens and that regular cable/housing changes doesn't result in better overall shifting performance.
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Old 11-29-22, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Which drivetrains? If Shimano 11sp, I recommend that, at minimum, you replace the RD cables. They really do go quickly -- you'll notice a couple times that you 'click' the shifter and nothing happens, and then...You're single-speeding. I've gotten as little as 1500 miles out of a cable. It's not a Koyote problem -- it's a known issue. Pops up in threads here on bf all the time.
^^^This.^^^ I generally get 1500-2000 miles out of a Shimano rear shifter cable. I even once got only 800 miles out of a cable. And no, it's not a Lombard problem either.
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Old 11-29-22, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
A hard and fast rule of every year seems a bit excessive.
I would go by miles rather than time. If you ride at least 2000 miles per year, then yes, change your cables every year. More often if you ride more, less often if you ride less.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Which drivetrains? If Shimano 11sp, I recommend that, at minimum, you replace the RD cables. They really do go quickly -- you'll notice a couple times that you 'click' the shifter and nothing happens, and then...You're single-speeding. I've gotten as little as 1500 miles out of a cable. It's not a Koyote problem -- it's a known issue. Pops up in threads here on bf all the time.
Shimano 105 11 speed drivetrain.

Strava indicates that I have ~2900 miles on my Domane. Still shifts like the day I bought it. The girls bike is one year older and has more miles...also still shifts fine.

Not sure what bike you have, but your cable routing must have some really tight bends for it to be breaking twice a year on you.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Not sure what bike you have, but your cable routing must have some really tight bends for it to be breaking twice a year on you.
Both cxwrench and I have explained the issue to you. It is inherent in the system. But I'm glad that you've been so lucky.
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Old 11-30-22, 09:28 AM
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I have some friends with the same model of bike or a competitor bike Specialized, Giant, Cannondale...same-same...no issues with their shifter cables and many many miles on their bikes. Just checked with the girl....~3500 miles on her Domane and it still shifts fine and no cable problems.

Maybe there was certain run of shifters in the past that this was a problem and it was addressed on newer models? A quick google search indicates this inherent issue you describe was on Shimano 5700 series shifters. My bike and her bike have Shimano 105 R7025 and R7020 shifters.

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Old 11-30-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Not sure what bike you have, but your cable routing must have some really tight bends for it to be breaking twice a year on you.
It has nothing to do with cable routing. The cable frays and breaks inside the shifter. It has to do with the way the shifter is designed wrapping the cable in a tight circle inside the shifter.

I presume if you haven't had this problem in the miles you say, you probably ride mostly flat areas where you aren't doing a lot of shifting.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Maybe there was certain run of shifters in the past that this was a problem and it was addressed on newer models? A quick google search indicates this inherent issue you describe was on Shimano 5700 series shifters. My bike and her bike have Shimano 105 R7025 and R7020 shifters.
The problem is actually worse on newer Shimano shifters. Once they went to under the handlebar shifter cable routing, they had to redesign the shifter to make it wrap the cable tighter

And it wasn't a certain run or lot. Multiple generations of STI shifters have this problem from the 5700/6700/7900 generation and forward. I experienced it on both my 6800 rim brake shifters and on my 5800 hydraulic disc brake shifters. Different bikes. And I have seen others have the problem as well with different bikes.
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Old 11-30-22, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
It has nothing to do with cable routing. The cable frays and breaks inside the shifter. It has to do with the way the shifter is designed wrapping the cable in a tight circle inside the shifter.
Yeah. Mine isn't frayed.

I presume if you haven't had this problem in the miles you say, you probably ride mostly flat areas where you aren't doing a lot of shifting.
Oh god no. I have hills to go up and down in every direction from my house. Can't get away from them. The damn town I live in is in a valley. I have to climb to get out of it no matter which direction I go. And then once I get out...nothing but hilly terrain in every direction.



The problem is actually worse on newer Shimano shifters. Once they went to under the handlebar shifter cable routing, they had to redesign the shifter to make it wrap the cable tighter

And it wasn't a certain run or lot. Multiple generations of STI shifters have this problem from the 5700/6700/7900 generation and forward. I experienced it on both my 6800 rim brake shifters and on my 5800 hydraulic disc brake shifters. Different bikes. And I have seen others have the problem as well with different bikes.
I must be lucky. We don''t have this problem on our road bikes. Clearly I can't be the only one not having a problem.
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Old 11-30-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Yeah. Mine isn't frayed.

Oh god no. I have hills to go up and down in every direction from my house. Can't get away from them. The damn town I live in is in a valley. I have to climb to get out of it no matter which direction I go. And then once I get out...nothing but hilly terrain in every direction.

I must be lucky. We don''t have this problem on our road bikes. Clearly I can't be the only one not having a problem
Damn. You must have always lived a clean life.
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Old 11-30-22, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Damn. You must have always lived a clean life.
As an atheist that likes to drink beer? Not so sure on that.

Wonder if the cable is under high tension during shifts? Maybe inspecting bend loops further down the line (especially at the rear derailleur) could relieve the tension?

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