Gear Cable

BrynCP

Über Member
Location
Hull
I rode my bike yesterday without any problems.

Today, it was shifting (rear) incredibly badly: when shifting up, it wouldn't "click" as normal, and if I did this 3 or 4 times, the gear might only move one cog, when then shifting down, it would just click 3 or 4 times with no resistance, like it had never shifted up.

I looked at the gear cable and it looked like it had a tiny fray, a little "loop" had formed, but now after cycling back 15 miles it looks like this:

IMG_20141226_144724537.jpg


Clearly the gear cable is broken. Is this normal wear (3600 miles, 7 months) or have I done something and what would I be looking at for a repair? Seems Halfords do a gear incl. inner cable service for £18, so I reckon an LBS would be around the same price (it's 105 dérailleur and shifters)? I might need to pay a bit more as I think the rear hanger could do with bending.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
You can get a cable for £1.20 and they're easy to fit, decent LBS probably £10 along with checking hanger.
 

mrandmrspoves

Middle aged bald git.
Location
Narfuk
A new cable will cost less than a fiver. Frayed cables are not uncommon and as yours had been symptomatic, I would recommend changing the outer cable as well as the inner (because the frayed cable may have damaged the outer)
Replacing a cable is not a particularly difficult job - but as you are already concerned about the derailleur function, you may struggle to get the indexing right. So for the sake of an extra tenner or so, you may decide it's easiest and worth the expense to avoid the aggro of DIY .
 

mrbikerboy73

Über Member
Location
Worthing, UK
My Giant Defy suffered similar symptoms after 4000 miles and was found to be a frayed cable up at the shifter. I was halfway through the Box Hill Sportive at the time and luckily got it sorted for free by the Shimano stand at the feed station. I'll be replacing cables as preventative maintenance from now on. Although I'm no stranger to bike spannering, I'll leave it to the LBS to save the grief!
 
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BrynCP

Über Member
Location
Hull
Thanks, wonder why yesterday it was perfect then broken today almost from the start of the ride, just a few miles.

Bad time of year for this to happen! Only two LBS I trust are closed until Montag. Gives me an excuse to make my hybrid ridable though; it'll do for shorter rides as I have no spare tubes for it.

Either that or I can probably get away with riding this bike as long as I don't change rear gear!?
 

mrandmrspoves

Middle aged bald git.
Location
Narfuk
You are unlikely to do any harm riding it as it is even if you continue to try shifting gears - just that at some stage it may not actually get into gear which could be dangerous. You can definitely pit it on to your preferred choice of gear and leave it there - just changing on the front derailleur. If you have a triple on the front, set the rear somewhere in the middle to have best choice without cross chaining.
 
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BrynCP

Über Member
Location
Hull
I rode home with it on 4th largest cog and just changed front dérailleur at lights etc. Had to coast quite a bit downhill, it's going into the smaller cogs that just doesn't happen at all. You're correct it was getting dangerous, hence why I stopped doing it as I never knew when the gear change would occur!
 

Broadside

Guru
Location
Fleet, Hants
Thanks, wonder why yesterday it was perfect then broken today almost from the start of the ride, just a few miles.

Bad time of year for this to happen! Only two LBS I trust are closed until Montag. Gives me an excuse to make my hybrid ridable though; it'll do for shorter rides as I have no spare tubes for it.

Either that or I can probably get away with riding this bike as long as I don't change rear gear!?
These things can come on quickly. I was 40 miles in to a century ride when I stopped to reindex the gears recently. At 60/70 miles the rear derailleur was no longer useable due to a frayed inner within the shifter. I had to ride the remaining miles from Catterick to Harrogate with no rear shifter. My bike is pretty well maintained but problems like this can appear very quickly and if you're in the middle of a big ride you just have to get on with it :-)
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
At least you got some mileage out of the cable. One I fitted recently unravelled into an unholy mess as soon as I snipped the surplus end off. Naturally it was in the evening, well after the shops had shut :angry:
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
At least you got some mileage out of the cable. One I fitted recently unravelled into an unholy mess as soon as I snipped the surplus end off. Naturally it was in the evening, well after the shops had shut :angry:
Never cut a cable till you've fitted it. :biggrin: unless its a 'universal' brake cable with a different type of nipple each end of course. :whistle:
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Never cut a cable till you've fitted it. :biggrin: unless its a 'universal' brake cable with a different type of nipple each end of course. :whistle:
I did.

But it's bad enough being reduced to using Shimano kit without the added indignity of being seen out with the end of the cable looking like Boris Johnson's hair on a windy day.
 

mrbikerboy73

Über Member
Location
Worthing, UK
These things can come on quickly. I was 40 miles in to a century ride when I stopped to reindex the gears recently. At 60/70 miles the rear derailleur was no longer useable due to a frayed inner within the shifter. I had to ride the remaining miles from Catterick to Harrogate with no rear shifter. My bike is pretty well maintained but problems like this can appear very quickly and if you're in the middle of a big ride you just have to get on with it :-)
+1 on that. Mine was perfect at the start of the ride but deteriorated rapidly and by the 30/40 mile point, changing gear was a nightmare. I was lucky it didn't snap completely but a lesson learned for sure. 105 shifters I might add.
 
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BrynCP

Über Member
Location
Hull
If replacing the outers too, they will need to remove the bar tape; do they usually re-wrap the old tape or will they need to put new on?

New tape might not be a bad idea as it's faded and a bit scuffed from when I fell off, also a crack in the tape has appeared!

I think I really should be learning to do this stuff myself but have no faith in my ability.
 

mrandmrspoves

Middle aged bald git.
Location
Narfuk
A shop will want to put new tape on, rather than try to carefully remove the old tape and reapply.
Back in the day when tape was either cotton or a plastic material it could be unwound and re-used - but nowadays it really wouldn't be worth the effort as the end result would be a mess.
If you are going to continue riding a bike, it really is worth learning to do these simple tasks yourself. They look difficult to beginners - but they really aren't. Have a look on YouTube to get an idea of what you need to do. To replace a gear cable you probably only need a couple of allen keys a couple of small spanners and a pair of cable cutters. A set of allen keys or small spanners will cost you a whole £1 each from a pound shop. The cutters need to be a good pair and I would strongly recommend buying a pair made specifically for bikes. Ice Toolz or similar would be adequate at about £12. Some cheaper ones might be adequate - but others definitely won't be. On all these threads someone will be along shortly to advise you to buy Park Tools ......nothing against then and if money were no object they would have a point - but their cutters will come in at about £22 and for the occasional user will not reward the extra investment any time soon.
For bar tape, I use "cork tape" which I buy in off eBay from China. It costs about a fifth of what similar products would cost here and I find it robust, comfortable and easy to apply. I buy a few at a time so I always have some available.
 
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