Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

My bike’s gear cable


The first one lasted over a year. The second one lasted for under a year. On my old bike, which I had for fifteen years, I never had to replace a gear or break cable. So what’s up?!

My old bike had simple shifters on the frame, whereas, as you can see, my latest bike has fancy Shimano shifters integrated into the handlebars. I’ve done some searching online to see if other people have reported this issue – but it seems to be just me. I can’t see any reason for the cable failing to last – it must be down to how the cable is pushed back and forth by its end in the shifter, by means of the ratchet there. The cable must get kinked very slightly (but repeatedly with each shift up or down) right near the end.

Perhaps now the shifter is right next to my thumb the whole time, rather than me having to move my hand from the handlebars down to the frame, I shift gear more often – although I doubt I’ve done more gear shifting in two years on this bike than I did during the whole duration of owning my last bike – I live in hilly Wales in the UK, so I know I shift gear quite a lot.

It’s also only the right shifter / the rear derailleur cable that breaks – so far the other cables have been fine.

I don’t think it’s the type of cable that’s the issue – the first time I replaced it I used ‘Jagwire’ branded stuff, the slick type, as seemed to be the type best suited. Admittedly, having never replaced a cable before I’m not all that clued up on the types, so I’m open to suggestions.

It’s a real pain when the cable snaps since this causes the chain to drop down to the smallest and hardest gear, so I have to shift to an easier chain-ring on the front, but that causes the chain to clatter against the front derailleur. A work around to get me home most smoothly is to get the chain onto a gear I can live with for the duration by pushing the derailleur over by hand and then clamping the cable under one of the drink bottle holder nuts, so it stays in that gear – I can then rely on my bike’s front three chain rings… it’s like riding an old 3-speed!

From now on, for longer rides, I will keep a spare cable and a pair of cutters in my saddle-bag (along with the Allen key that’s always there).


One comment on “My bike’s gear cable

  1. Pingback: Bikes and Cars | BMH Online

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This entry was posted on 12 December, 2014 by in Cycling and tagged , , , , , , .
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