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andydave
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding my current bike for 3 years and have about 12K on it. Should I consider changing cables and housings for brakes and derailleurs? Are there any good rules of thumb for this type of maintenance? Or, since I'm not having any troubles, should I just leave it alone.
 

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Say "nuke-u-lar"
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Maybe you can't tell the difference, so why bother? I'm serious, if you have no noticeable degradation in braking or shifting, don't bother...understandable if you never ride in adverse conditions, admirable if your setup still works after doing so. If you just want to find out, do it, it's not rocket science.
 

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Big is relative
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The shifting and braking could have gotten rougher over a long period of time and you wouldn't notice it until you swapped them out. It is the beginning of the season, treat yourself to a new set of cables and housings. New handlebar tape as well. Give your bike a thorough cleaning and lube everything, it will be like a new bike.
 

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I don't consider cables and housing to be disposables, at least...

not in the short term. I consider them to be "maintenance items". I do all of the things a good bike shop's "tune up" would do at least once a year, more so on my winter mountain bike. Many riders don't do much work on their bikes, and some that do only do it when something comes up. Maintenance isn't at the top of everyone's list.

My dime: pull the cables, wipe em clean, and if they are sound, relube big time and stick em back in the housings. If you are really picky you can run the cable back into the housing a few times to get as much gunk out as you can, then give a final wipe and lube. At some point, you will need to sacrifice the c and h, but not today.


andydave said:
I've been riding my current bike for 3 years and have about 12K on it. Should I consider changing cables and housings for brakes and derailleurs? Are there any good rules of thumb for this type of maintenance? Or, since I'm not having any troubles, should I just leave it alone.
 

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I have never understood why riders do this. The easiest and one of the cheapest ways to keep everything running smoothly is to replace the C & H, especially the shift cables. And not with the cheap rolls of stuff that the bike shops keep lying around. A pre-packaged pre-lubed set of shift specific cables and housing replaced every season, more if you ride in dusty conditions, will keep the drivetrain shifting smoothly.
 

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Campy recommends replacing the cables and housing every 2 years, or every year for competition bikes. Caampy cables are lubed at the factory and they are never supposed to be lubed in the field. The shifter cables wrap a round a small reel in the shifter, and they deteriorate way faster than the brake cable.
 

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Oh no!

eddie m said:
Caampy cables are lubed at the factory and they are never supposed to be lubed in the field.
OMG! I've been lubing Campy cables every year for the last 30+ and my cables last 3-5 years, which is 30-45K miles. Am I going to be hit by lightning? Will the world stop spinning? :)

I replace cables/casings when, after inspection, they show some sign of deterioration
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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andydave said:
I've been riding my current bike for 3 years and have about 12K on it. Should I consider changing cables and housings for brakes and derailleurs? Are there any good rules of thumb for this type of maintenance? Or, since I'm not having any troubles, should I just leave it alone.
They frayed? Strands broken in the cable? Housing compressing/not looking 'right?'

Then yes. If not, leave it alone.

If you're riding in crappy weather, have any of the above issues. Then I'd do a swap.

Tip to save $$: use the rear inner wire for the front. Shifting's not as critical up there, so it ain't as important to have the new stuff. Always use new in the rear 'cause the new brifters are somewhat 'sensitive.'

HTH,

M
 

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Big is relative
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Kerry Irons said:
OMG! I've been lubing Campy cables every year for the last 30+ and my cables last 3-5 years, which is 30-45K miles. Am I going to be hit by lightning? Will the world stop spinning? :)

I replace cables/casings when, after inspection, they show some sign of deterioration
Every couple of months I inspect the RD cable by shifting onto a big cog and then stationary upshift to slack the cable. I push the end out of the ergo lever to check that part of the cable. The only breakage that I have ever had was in the lever. That being said, getting a new set of campy cables in the box makes me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.
 

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Campy Record 1998...overdue for a change?

I've had a feelin' that I needed to change the Campy wires and dodads because of age. Everything still works GREAT after 20,000 miles. Maybe I'm afraid to adjust the setup because that Campy Record stuff has worked incredibly well. Could it be that I'm just too cheap?
 

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Roadbike Rider
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1,260 Posts
Yes, Change them

Maybe I have bad luck, or just ride in poor conditions but I need to replace my shifter cables about once a year. They tend to fray in the shifters.
 
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