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How much time to replace shifter and brake cables?(8 posts)

How much time to replace shifter and brake cables?Ken K
Jun 29, 2003 3:51 PM
I'm going to be replacing the shifter and brake cables on my Shimano 105 equipped bike and was wondering how much time I should budget. So, for those that have experience, how much time did it take the first time you did the job yourself. My bike is a tripple if that makes a difference.

As far as parts go, I have the Shimano shifter and brake cable sets, a Park cable cutter and replacement bar tape. Anything that I should look out for?

Thanks in advance...
Pretty hard to sayKerry Irons
Jun 29, 2003 4:29 PM
First of all, there's your general mechanical ability (totally unknown to us) and your experience with "all things bicycle" plus your intuition about how these things work on the bike. An experienced basement mechanic who does this sort of thing every other year would take about a half hour without replacing the casings. Since you're talking about bar tape, one must infer that you're replacing casings (not just cables as you stated). If you're used to adjusting brakes and derailleurs and can wrap a bar with ease, maybe 90 minutes. If you're intimidated by the whole thing, maybe add another 60 minutes. The range of time is huge depending on all of the above.
Correct, I'm replacing both the housings and cablesKen K
Jun 29, 2003 5:28 PM
I enjoy working on my bike and consider myself pretty handy with tools. This is the first time for replacing the cables/housings though.

If you have the already cut cable housings...TFerguson
Jun 29, 2003 5:42 PM
I would give myself about 3 hours for the first time. Find some good instructions (Park, Shimano) and go through them first. Cable install, taping, tuning, and brake setup.

Yeah--half a day the first time, half an hour eventuallycory
Jun 30, 2003 8:42 AM
Kerry's right--familiarity makes a difference in this job. First time I did it, I think I started at 2 p.m. Saturday and had to finish up Sunday morning.... Hardest part for me (still, after more than 20 years) is that last little finicky adjustment of the pads. I can DO it pretty quickly, but I put off replacement because I hate it.
You might not want to judge your time by mine, though. The first time I rebuilt a headset, it took me 15 years. I did it on the lawn, without any idea what I'd find when I pulled the fork (I didn't even really know what "bearing race" meant). The little balls went all over the grass, and I was so dumb I didn't know you could buy new ones. I had to go to the shop and ask if there were an alternative to throwing the bike away. I found bearings in the grass for years afterward.
I'd agree that 3 hours would be a fair estimate.Spoke Wrench
Jun 30, 2003 9:14 AM
As for hints: How's your front derailleur shift now? If it's working well now, you can be assured that cable tension adjustments alone will get it to shift OK after you change the cable.

When you get ready to pull out your old brake cables from the levers, just do one at a time. That way you can peek inside the other one with a flashlight or something to see how the cable runs and where the cable end thingie goes if it happens to pop out with the cable.

The rear derailleur's a piece of cake. Just make sure that your shifter and chain are both in your hardest (smallest) gear before you reattach the shift cable.
Time saver tip... bench grinderMrDan
Jun 30, 2003 7:50 PM
Get a cheap bench grinder at home depot. I bought the Ryobi 6" grinder for 40.00 (39.95 I think...) You will be able to get the casing end "perfect" in no time.
Trust me, very worth while...
Thanks for the responsesKen K
Jun 30, 2003 9:59 PM
I had a day off work and did the job today. Took about 6.5 hours including time to scrub the handlebars clean of the old tape residue, make coffee, check email, snack etc. Took the bike out for a quick spin and all seems to be working well. It's a very satisfying feeling to do your own work on your bike.