Gear and brake cable replacement


Über Member
While I have the time I am refurbing our touring bikes, and after having my rear derailleur cable snap in the brifter last season in France thinking of replacing all our gear cables.
Firstly, are the cables for Shimano Sora brifters, and Shimano MTB style LX rapidfire shifters the same?
Secondly, any tips on how to replace them without excess dismantling and ending up with a pile of random parts?
We also both have Avid cable operated disc brakes, thinking of replacing these as well - JanetS has butterfly bar brake levers, so easy enough, mine has the Sora brifters, so any tips on doing those would be appreciated.

Ajax Bay

East Devon
Not clear to me why you think there will be lots of "excess dismantling and ending up with a pile of random parts", but anyway.

Sora STIs. Click down to the smallest sprocket/chainring. Release the cable clamp and cut the last inch off the cable. Remove the cable completely, laying down the outer cable sections. Consider replacing the outers at the same time. If cutting new outers take care, using cable cutters, to cut squarely and to reopen the 'ole if necessary with a pointy thing. Replace or transfer ferrules. Clean the guide under the bottom bracket (BB) shell and take the opportunity to have a general squirt/wipe clean inside the STI and the derailleur. Feed new cable in with care and reassemble. I put grease on the bit of cable going round the BB guide (external cabling). Current OEM recommendation is not to grease the cable where it passes through its outer. Ensure the ferrules are properly seated. Reindex/clamp. Cut cable end leaving 4cm (say), and secure with cable end. HTH
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Loch side.
Not clear to me why you think there will be lots of "excess dismantling and ending up with a pile of random parts", but anyway.
Probably visualising taking everything apart at once and only then replacing and getting confused about lengths and bits.

The stock answer to that problem is always the same. Do a little bit at a time and pay attention.

@OP: And yes, all gear cables are the same (except for those which aren't, such as Campagnolo).
The derailleur wires have a habit of breaking in the brifters unfortunately. The trigger shift type shifters are really quite simple to deal with as well. Make sure you start with the shifters in their lowest tension position ( smallest sprocket / ring ) and it will be quite obvious how to fit the new wires. Keep all the washers and screws in a container to prevent them getting mis laid and you’ll be fine. If you google ‘how to replace cables on a mountain bike’ there are plenty of good step by step guides out there:okay:.


If you have any internal routing, then don't take out both inner and outer cables at the same time, if possible, so that you always have a guide for the replacement cable.
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