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Anybody had luck lubing their cables? Is it a good idea? I realize that this is a double-edged sword. The lube may make the cable operate better temporarily until the lube attracts enough dirt to make them operate worse.

I know Zinn advocates against lubing new cables, but what about cables that are a year old or so, and aren't performing as well as new any longer. Of course, you know you're going to have to replace them sooner or later, but can you postpone that a bit by putting a drop of lube on the cable and allowing it to run down into the cable housing?

And what is Tri-Flow, and does it significantly differ from Pro Link? Could either one be used for this?
 

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John Nelson said:
Anybody had luck lubing their cables? Is it a good idea? I realize that this is a double-edged sword. The lube may make the cable operate better temporarily until the lube attracts enough dirt to make them operate worse.

I know Zinn advocates against lubing new cables, but what about cables that are a year old or so, and aren't performing as well as new any longer. Of course, you know you're going to have to replace them sooner or later, but can you postpone that a bit by putting a drop of lube on the cable and allowing it to run down into the cable housing?

And what is Tri-Flow, and does it significantly differ from Pro Link? Could either one be used for this?
try a silicone type of lube, or something like boeshield T9, both of which become basically a dry lube after drying. stuff like triflow will end up attracting crud.
 

· Inching to 1000 (again)
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I don’t know about Shimano or SRAM, but Campy cable housings are treated and do not require additional lubrication. I don’t and would not recommend lubricating cables. Keeping your bike clean should be all you need to do.
 

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lubing your cables...

Im not sure if this is frowned upon on the cycling world, and or how different the cables actually are, but in the motocross world. We had a cable attachment that would tighten on one end, and had a hole to put the cleaner straw into. Then you could spray out the cables, and lube as you feel necessary.

Wayne
 

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Controversial subject

Some say absolutely never, some say always. I lube them very lightly myself.

TriFlow is a light, solvent-carried lube that contains teflon. It's lighter than Prolink, and leaves a much lighter film. IMO it's a good choice for this application. I disagree on the Boeshield recommendation. That stuff is designed to leave a significant film to prevent corrosion. It's way too heavy and sticky for this use, IMO. Silicone spray and even the ever-controversial WD-40 are also okay in my experience.

In any event, if you do lube you want to leave only a very light film, so you wipe off as much as possible.

One other tip it took me a while to figure out: When removing a cable (either to inspect or replace), thoroughly clean any exposed portions of cable (the ends, and housingless interim runs, like the der cable runs under the down tube), BEFORE pulling the cable through the housing. Otherwise, you risk dragging dirt into the housing liners.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Generally keeping my bike clean including lubing the drive train there is always a bit of lube that gets on the cables and thats the only lube I do. If the cables are no longer functioning properly I would suggest spending the 20 dollars on new cables and housing and replace them. A bike that is not adjusted or functioning properly can be a dangerous thing.
 

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Lubing cables

John Nelson said:
Anybody had luck lubing their cables? Is it a good idea?
After 40 years of lubing cables (thin coat of lightweight grease with 20w oil on top of it) I've decided that it works just fine and causes no problems. This has been true with all kinds of brands of cables and casings, including those with plastic liners that "require no lube." I clean and relube cables during the annual overhaul (roughly every 10K miles). YMMV
 

· RoadBikeRider
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I lube cables only when installing new ones and then only with a very light coat of lube. Then I do not touch them unless they are having problems and usually that is where the cable runs thru the cable guide under the BB shell. Then it gets a shot of lube to clean it up and get it moving again.
 
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