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Lubing the cables?

Old 02-01-04, 07:08 PM
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Lubing the cables?

I was wondering how many of you lube your cables. I read some articles about it, and recently started to lube my cables every now and then. My main reason for this is that I recently had all my cables replaced, and I don't like how cables go from the silver color to a dark shade of grey with time and slowly corrode. So basically I want to keep them look 'healthy' and prevent corrosion build-up. I use WD40 or sometimes silicon spray and rub the excess off with a dry cloth.

What are your thoughts about this?
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Old 02-01-04, 07:16 PM
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I use tri-flow i never use WD40 on anything, that **** will **** up anything it touches, save it for sqeaky door hinges.
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Old 02-01-04, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by djbowen1
I use tri-flow i never use WD40 on anything, that **** will **** up anything it touches, save it for sqeaky door hinges.
I don't use tri-flow. I use another bike lube...but I ditto the wd40 statement
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Old 02-01-04, 11:16 PM
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WD 40 has no place on a bicycle. Use any bicycle specific lube and you'll be fine. Personally I prefer Finish Line XC lube.
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Old 02-01-04, 11:52 PM
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Just to echo what others have said... don't use WD40. WD40 is not really a lube. I use Phil Wood's Tenacious on my cables. For brake cables, I release, them and wipe down the exposed sections with lube then I drip some in the housing and move the cables around. For derailleur cables, I do the same once each season but it's more of a pain since you have to readjust your derailleurs each time. I will try and squirt some into the housings from time-to-time while moving the shifters to actuate the cables.
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Old 02-02-04, 09:52 AM
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Hey Khuon,(and others)

You probably already know this, so it's more for the benefit of the mechanically declined, but....

Shift into the big ring/cog and then stop pedaling. Then shift down (w/o pedaling) into the smallest gear. The chain will prevent the derailleur from moving and this will release all cable tension. You can then slide your housing out of the stops on the frame, lube them, slide them back and forth a bit to make sure the lube is well coated and then put them back into the stops. This prevents you from loosening the cable crimps at the derailleur so you don't have to readjust everytime!

L8R
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Old 02-02-04, 10:03 AM
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the ad-bot moves!
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Old 02-04-04, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim311
WD 40 has no place on a bicycle. Use any bicycle specific lube and you'll be fine. Personally I prefer Finish Line XC lube.
I agree about not using wd40 as a lube, but as a thin oil to use as a cleaner, or as a moisture repellant then it will do. Just don't use it as a lubricant. After EVERY wet ride, and after every other ride in dry conditions, I loosen the cables on the brakes and deraillers, Wash through with a Thin oil,(WD40, or any of the other thin oils), untill it runs clean, and the cable runs smooth. Then I use a good Chain oil, and rub it into the Cable. In this way you can feel if the cable is corroding, or breaking. By doing this I find that a set of cables will last 6 months before they need replacing. Several of my mates never clean their cables until they run tight and they have to replace their cables at least twice a year.


Cables, inner and outer need maintenance, and replacing on a fairly frequent basis. If you are going to do this job yourself, then get the proper tool for the job, and get the specific cable cutter for the job. I have both the Shimano and Park cutters and they both work aswell as each other. Pliers and sidecutters just mangle the cable

Last edited by stapfam; 02-04-04 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 02-04-04, 06:57 PM
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i just use a couple drops of dry chain lube, seems to work fine for me.
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Old 02-04-04, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
By doing this I find that a set of cables will last 6 months before they need replacing. Several of my mates never clean their cables until they run tight and they have to replace their cables at least twice a year.

umm...
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Old 02-04-04, 08:25 PM
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I used to lube with one of those handy little gizmo's that fits on the end of the tube on a squirt can. After I discovered that I can replace every cable on my bike for under $15 I stopped all that sillyness and now just replace them when things start acting up.
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Old 02-04-04, 08:32 PM
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I just replaced the shifter housing on my wife's bike. This was full length housing, so I ended up using about 8 feet total (front and rear shifters). I used Shimano SIS housing and my local shop charged me 2.70 a linear foot. (that's with my 10% off). That job alone was $35.

Please note: She's much happier, and when Momma's happy, everyone's happy! So, I'm not complaining.

L8R
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Old 02-04-04, 08:36 PM
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Yo a2 - I bought Shimano SIS the other day from Jensonusa at $1 per foot.

My old Bullit had full length rear der housing, man that thing was a pain to keep working right.
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Old 02-05-04, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
You probably already know this, so it's more for the benefit of the mechanically declined, but....
That's very good advice. Yep, I've used that little trick in the past and in general it works pretty well although I do have a few sections of cable that it doesn't work on. For instance, part of my shift cables go through my swingarm (internal cable run).
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Old 02-06-04, 11:43 AM
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I use the WD40 only on the exposed parts of the cables to keep them clean and protect them against corrosion.
The silicon I use on the important spots. I'll try the FinishLine lube. Thanks for the tips guys.

Btw these things seem pretty handy:


http://www.middleburn.co.uk/cableoilers.htm

Anyone used such things before?
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Old 02-06-04, 11:48 AM
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Yo a2 - I bought Shimano SIS the other day from Jensonusa at $1 per foot.
NOW you tell me! I should just buy a whole roll next time I order something on-line. I'm constantly changing one out on one of our bikes. Between my wife and I we have 9 bikes!

L8R
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Old 02-06-04, 12:01 PM
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For some reason I've seen WD-40 seaze cable's up? not sure why this is, I think WD-40 is usefull stuff in the right place and lub'ing cable's is not the right place for it.
An oil is better for lub'ing cable's I tend to not use anything Aeresol based.

Those Middleburns cable oilers are design'd for use with an oil like good old simple cheap 3 in 1 oil! the best in the buisness none of this expensive designer stuff.
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Old 02-06-04, 12:38 PM
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will bearing oil work for a lube?
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Old 02-06-04, 04:12 PM
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you probably shouldn't be using oil for bearings...
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Old 02-06-04, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Phatman
you probably shouldn't be using oil for bearings...
it's actually speed cream for longboard skate bearings. its called cream, but its oil based as opposed to grease.
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Old 02-06-04, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
NOW you tell me! I should just buy a whole roll next time I order something on-line. I'm constantly changing one out on one of our bikes. Between my wife and I we have 9 bikes!

L8R

Sorry dude, did you see that you can also get the cables for $1.50 there?

One thing you probably already know but I'll remind for others, if you use SIS housing don't cheap out and skip the cable housing ends, it will drive you crazy trying to figure out why nothing stays adjusted. The little fibers squeeze out under tension a little at a time and cause you to have to adjust constantly.
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