Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning when I started out on my ride I noticed that rear lever was stiff when I tried to change to an easier gear (larger cog), almost like something was stopping it from shifting. As I kept going it would take 2 taps to change gear, then it wouldn't change to the 3 smallest cogs and then finally it wouldn't shift at all.

Any idea if this is just a cable or the lever itself is broken? I tried peeling back the hood, but couldn't tell if it was the cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
Cable - as in frayed/broken in shifter. Pull back the hood to see the cable. You should be able to see whether the cable is messed up.

If it is replace the cable AND housings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, crit_boy.

This is a pic I just took:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep. It's time for new cable and housing.
Thanks Opus. As long as I don't have the replace the whole lever.

I'm taking it to my trusty bike mechanic after work today and he is going to try to have it fixed by the end of the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
In the future try and remember to replace the cable every 3K miles or so (tough to say because shifting habits vary, 3K is conservative)

Looks like you caught it early and shouldn't have any problems but if you get little pieces for frayed cable in there at best it's a pain to fish them out. They can ruin the shifter though. So replace before you 'need' too. You can probably guess how I know this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In the future try and remember to replace the cable every 3K miles or so (tough to say because shifting habits vary, 3K is conservative)

Looks like you caught it early and shouldn't have any problems but if you get little pieces for frayed cable in there at best it's a pain to fish them out. They can ruin the shifter though. So replace before you 'need' too. You can probably guess how I know this.
I don't do any mechanics on my bike. I took it in for it's spring tune up to a new mechanic because it was close to my workplace (never again) and assumed they checked the cable and chain but I guess they didn't. The mechanic that has previously worked on my bike and trust the most is going to fix it. I had no warning until I started out on my ride this morning to go to work.

He used to own his own bike store but closed it after his lease wasn't renewed to make room for a Dollar Store. It was fantastic and everybody took their bike to him. He is now wrenching out of his home.

There is about 12-14K Km on these cables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah that seems right with a cable failure.

Did you get the end out?
I haven't done anything, I'm at work and will take it to a mechanic after work. I don't touch anything on my bike that takes fine tuning, I'm not mechanically inclined, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
I don't do any mechanics on my bike. I took it in for it's spring tune up to a new mechanic because it was close to my workplace (never again) and assumed they checked the cable and chain but I guess they didn't. The mechanic that has previously worked on my bike and trust the most is going to fix it. I had no warning until I started out on my ride this morning to go to work.

He used to own his own bike store but closed it after his lease wasn't renewed to make room for a Dollar Store. It was fantastic and everybody took their bike to him. He is now wrenching out of his home.

There is about 12-14K Km on these cables.
um, the cable wasn't frayed in the spring or you wouldn't have just noticed the problem. You can't expect a mechanic to predict the future. Nevermind if this is your first time using the bike since spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,580 Posts
Things like cables should be replaced pre-emptively.

The alternative is to wait until they fail, and potentially leave you stranded, and causing damage to the shifter itself.

Unfortunately, cables aren't like tires. You can't visually see that they are wearing. You just have to keep a general idea how much use they've gotten and replace them.

As a rule of thumb for me, 3k-4k miles (or at least once per year) for shift cables, and housings once a year or so.

This can vary depending on a lot of things, including how much shifting you do, the weather you ride in, and the quality of cable and housings you use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
um, the cable wasn't frayed in the spring or you wouldn't have just noticed the problem. You can't expect a mechanic to predict the future. Nevermind if this is your first time using the bike since spring.
So then just have them changed every second year or so. My mechanic is really quite good about keeping track of things that need to be changed and pro active (I sometimes thinks he has almost a photographic memory). I didn't take my bike to him in this last spring.

Anywho, doesn't matter, the cable is toast, hopefully with no damage to the lever and I have learned my lesson to change them every second year regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Things like cables should be replaced pre-emptively.

The alternative is to wait until they fail, and potentially leave you stranded, and causing damage to the shifter itself.

Unfortunately, cables aren't like tires. You can't visually see that they are wearing. You just have to keep a general idea how much use they've gotten and replace them.

As a rule of thumb for me, 3k-4k miles (or at least once per year) for shift cables, and housings once a year or so.

This can vary depending on a lot of things, including how much shifting you do, the weather you ride in, and the quality of cable and housings you use.
I've learned that now. And yes I was lucky that I was in my last 10km. It totally failed when I was starting a 1km 6% climb (I know for some of you that's no big deal, but for an old lady like me it is) and had to ride the climb standing up because I couldn't shift into a lower gear.

I do a lot of shifting. It's gentle rolling hills with no really flat areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,636 Posts
In the future try and remember to replace the cable every 3K miles or so (tough to say because shifting habits vary, 3K is conservative).
Obviously varies with the amount of shifting you do and the quality of the cables you use, but if I followed your advice I'd be changing cables every couple of months. As it is mine (Campy) typically go three years/30K miles. Just saying.
 

·
Banned Sock Puppet
Joined
·
14,411 Posts
FWIW, I've only seen specifically Shimano 105 5700 generation shifters chew up cables - on about 4 different bikes. Don't know if this is coincidence. Maybe. I just thought I'd point it out. I even know someone who has this happen every 2000 miles or less.

The first symptom of a frayed cable inside the shifter is cable stretch. In other words, shifting feels sloppy. You turn the RD barrel to adjust it and it's OK for a few miles. Next thing you know, you can't turn it far enough to make it play nice. It either jams or pulls out completely and you end up riding home on a 2-speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,020 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
FWIW, I've only seen specifically Shimano 105 5700 generation shifters chew up cables - on about 4 different bikes. Don't know if this is coincidence. Maybe. I just thought I'd point it out. I even know someone who has this happen every 2000 miles or less.

The first symptom of a frayed cable inside the shifter is cable stretch. In other words, shifting feels sloppy. You turn the RD barrel to adjust it and it's OK for a few miles. Next thing you know, you can't turn it far enough to make it play nice. It either jams or pulls out completely and you end up riding home on a 2-speed.
There was some sloppy slipping a few rides before it frayed, but it wasn't anything different than when my cables needed a slight adjustment.

My bike is now fixed with no damage to the shifter, thank goodness and hadn't frayed enough for my mechanic to have to pick out pieces of wire.

He didn't have time to change all the cables, but will this winter.

Thank you everybody for your help. I'll be much more proactive in having cables changed.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top