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Last nite, riding with a group and one of the riders complained that she couldn't shift the rear der. We stopped and found the cable to be broken up in or near the shifter. Thought we could manually move the chain to an easier cassette so she could easily ride home. Found that after moving the chain, the der stayed to the outside, forcing the chain back to the smallest cassette. In case this happens to me in the future, just wondering is there a way, short of breaking the chain and making a single speed, to "lock" the chain in an easy gear to be able to spin home?
 

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Find something to wedge inside the parallelogram plates of the rear derailleur, preferably something that won't scratch (like maybe a piece of wood). It should hold the rear derailleur in an easier gear, sufficient to make it home without sacrificing your knees.
 

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Bill Silverman said:
Find something to wedge inside the parallelogram plates of the rear derailleur, preferably something that won't scratch (like maybe a piece of wood). It should hold the rear derailleur in an easier gear, sufficient to make it home without sacrificing your knees.
Unless it bounces out and causes a wreck.
 

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Dinosaur said:
How about just disconnecting the cable, then putting the chain on the desired cog by hand? The tension is what is holding the cable in place.
Won't work. The derailleur is spring loaded and will default back to the smallest cog as soon as you start pedaling. The only way to really do it would be to adjust the limit screws until the derailleur is in the desired gear.
 

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If you still have a few inches of cable attached to the head, you can remove the cable from the shifter, insert it directly into the rear derailleur's barrel adjuster (where the housing inserts), hold the derailleur in the desired position and clamp the loose end of the cable with the fixing bolt as per normal. You can then use the barrel adjuster to fine tune.

Really though, this isn't like a flat tire that happens often enough that almost every rider carries spares/patches/inflation etc. Other than a very rare factory defect, cables shouldn't just break (or be ridden to the point where they will break).
 

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I like PBB's method better than what I have done. You could probably tie a knot in the cable if you don't have the head and fish it thru.

I have taken the broken cable and held it in place under one of the bottle cage bolts.
 
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