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how do you easily free-up tight sticky cables?(5 posts)

how do you easily free-up tight sticky cables?ishmael
Aug 26, 2002 7:03 AM
My brakes and campy shifter levers (especially the one behind the brake) need a lot more effort to get things going. I know if I take off the bar tape and .... but that takes all day, is there something I could squirt down there that will clean or lube them?
re: WD-40cyclopathic
Aug 26, 2002 7:12 AM
pull cables out, flush housing with WD-40 /that's what it has little red straw for/, then spray in white lithium grease (available in autostores in aerosol form). Rubbing grease on cables works too
temp fix vs doing it rightDougSloan
Aug 26, 2002 7:18 AM
I'd replace the cables. For about $20, you can have everything working like new. It shouldn't take more than a couple hours; I could do this in less than one, I've done it so many times.

You could squirt some oil into then cable ends with those little pipe things, but it likely won't penetrate all the way. The rear portions the rear derailleur and rear brake are relatively easy to pull off, lube, and replace, though. For the cables under the handlebar tape, you can yank out the inner cable, lube it, and replace without messing with the housing. That's not too hard.

The thing is, if they have gotten to the point of sticking, likely there could be some fraying inside the shifter housing or other places. I had a cable lock up completely from this one time. So, a thorough inspection or replacement is in order, anyway.

Aug 26, 2002 8:03 AM
There's two aspects to the problem. The obvious one is that there's gunk inside the cable housing interface and if you could just squirt the right lube/snake oil in there everything would be fine. However, this over looks the other side of the problem - namely you have metal on metal contact and the cable wears and cuts a groove into the metal housing (yes, through the plastic liner). No amount of lubrication is going to replace the metal and you'll always have binding. This is why replacing just the cable doesn't work and lubrication is only a temporary fix. There ain't nothing quite like that feeling of new cable AND housing. One of the advantages of Shimano over Campy is that you can replace the shifter cables with out retaping the bars. Of course with Campy you just do it all at once. Kind of a 2 for 1 deal.

Shimano makes some stuff called "Slippery Spit" (or something like that) that works pretty well. WD-40 is sort of a lubricant, but really it's more of a kerosene based penetrating oil that frees things up, but then is quickly gone. The way to get the lube all the way into the housing is to use a new cable and before you cut it to length is to slide it back and forthe several feet through the housing with the lube on it - you use the cable to pull the lube through the housing.
By replacing them (NM)...miposy
Aug 26, 2002 1:33 PM