When to change brake cables


New Member
How does one determine when its time to change brake cables? I have one frayed bit where the cable clips/screwed onto the adjuster - I've adjusted it periodically and lately have seen that part of the cable a bit worn and stiff.

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
When it becomes stiff is as good a time as any. It won't get any smoother.

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
Brake cables are cheap and easy to replace. Once you think you need to change them - then you need to change them.

I guess the definitive answer is when any strands break at either the ferrule in the lever or at the adjustment nut on the calliper. This is not the same as just getting a bit splayed and flattened. Make sure you use one of those soft metal end caps on the cut cable as they do keep the strands under better control beneath the adjustment nut.


Cycling in the sun
The LBS did my cables today (next time I will give it a go myself when I've bought some cable cutters), and told me that you should use stainless steel ones, rather than the galvanized ones the bike came with. Any other tips on buying brake cable inner/outers?

(They also think I'm mad as I asked for all the bits so that I could practise cutting cables on the old ones first:biggrin:).


Über Member
I buy the outer in bulk - 10metres at a time. Apart from my best bike, I stock up on cables at the Cyclepromotions sales. Change them when they get corroded/wo't clean properly.
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