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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:12 pm 
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It's been two years since I purchased my bike and I have noticed the shifting isn't what it used to be.
I did have a RD cable break a month ago and had that replaced on the ride back home.
First question I had was about cable routing: Is it better to run full cable housing to the derailleur or segments like I have now.
Here a couple of places that don't have full housing, top tube and rear triangle
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It is better to drill out the cable holders and run full housing? I would think there is less chance of getting dirt in the cable.

My shifters have been acting sticky so I have been spraying them with triflow to get them working smoothly which helps. Do you ever take these apart and clean them out?

Same question for the derailleurs? It seems like the RD wheels go through a lot of abuse and wear, running through dirt all the time. Ever take them apart to clean them or are all these parts meant to be replaced after a while? The whole drive train has about 1880 miles and 150K elevation gain with my fat a$$ on it.

Let me know what works for you and any recommendations that you might have.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:07 pm 
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If it has truly been two years with the addition of lubrication to overcome sticky shifting, it is time to change out both the housing and cables. Once you have done that, your thumbs will thank you. Just the cables are really easy. I wind up changing out just the cable about 2 or 3 times a year. Since they are only $5 -10 (depending on how fancy you decided to buy) it is a stupid easy fix and you will wind up kicking yourself for waiting so long.

Most cable housing has Teflon or plastic guide tubes within the housing so you really shouldn't have to lubricate them. The problem is lubrication will attract grime and will bog down the cable movement causing the problems you are encountering. As far as the full vs cut housing, I still at am a loss for that. I think the bike builders feel less housing gives the bike a sleeker look and saves weight (negligible in my book) A full housed cable would stay cleaner longer but there would inherently be more friction over the length of the cable. Don't drill out the frame. There are after market cable guides that fit into your existing guides if you choose to go that route.

Since I am right across the street from you, I will be happy to swap it out if you need assistance. You can go to any shop and pick up a set (housing and cable). Don't go too crazy over the really expensive ones. It is easy to swap them out when they begin to bind. I have always bought housing in bulk and cables as I needed them.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Full housing is the way to go. Compare your pulleys with a new set, you'll be surprised how worn they are. Getting the drivetrain fresh is money well spent. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:07 am 
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blueskycycling.com usually has good deals on pulleys


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:20 am 
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bankerboy wrote:
As far as the full vs cut housing, I still at am a loss for that. I think the bike builders feel less housing gives the bike a sleeker look and saves weight (negligible in my book) A full housed cable would stay cleaner longer but there would inherently be more friction over the length of the cable. Don't drill out the frame. There are after market cable guides that fit into your existing guides if you choose to go that route.



BB- good points for sure. I would think that a full housing would be best at keeping crud out of the cable. I've seen those cable guides but if I was to go full housing I might just drill it out since if full is the way to go, why change it back? If the frame had long sections that you could use without housing it might be a benefit but you can see only a couple of places on my frame. The front one is only about 5 inches long :-?

As per Freds comments, those jockey wheels seems like a cheap replacement while I'm at it. thumbsup:

I think I'll take the shifters apart and clean them too. Can't hurt unless parts go flyin around the garage. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:43 am 
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Don't disassemble your shifters. Things will go flying and you'll be in need of an upgrade.

Sounds like the added friction in your system is from old casing. Swap out the cables and casing and it should feel good as new. Also, depending on the level of shifters you have that also will ad to a heavy lever feel, more expensive shifter have a lighter action and feel smoother.

As for full-vs-segmented casing, I prefer segmented so I can get a good pre-strech on my cables when replacing cables. You can always go with a sealed system such as gore or even the Jagwire ripcord setup. Gore is a little pricy but the Jags are affordable and work really well (I run them on all my bikes).


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:35 pm 
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gest24 wrote:
As for full-vs-segmented casing, I prefer segmented so I can get a good pre-strech on my cables when replacing cables.


How does a segmented cable stretch better than a full housing?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:19 pm 
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he probably pulls on the cables where they are exposed to manually stretch them?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Dirtrider wrote:
gest24 wrote:
As for full-vs-segmented casing, I prefer segmented so I can get a good pre-strech on my cables when replacing cables.


How does a segmented cable stretch better than a full housing?


I think he's saying with segmented cable he can easily grab the exposed cable by hand and pull really hard on it. I had this shown to me once as "pre-stretching" the cable, and it is a good thing to do. But not because it is stretching the cable. It is actually forcing the cable end, housing, ferrules, and guides tightly seated together. Important to be sure all these things are cleanly trimmed square and tightly seated when you set it up. I don't feel strongly one way or another about full housing, segmented, or "sealed". I thought about going full housing, but the friction isn't the issue, it's the housing, which compresses. More housing, more give. That's why segmented is "crisper". Also why there are alternatives like aluminum or ceramic bead type housings, although more commonly used on mech brakes where they are more noticeably better. Full housing does make sense for cleanliness, but you can also try using the sealed ones. I just put on sheathed Jagwire and I'm liking it. Didn't want to drill my guides either. Lubrication traps dirt, which is why using Teflon cables and or sealed system is better. No lubing. if plain bare cable, just wipe with a slightly oily rag To prevent rusting. Avoid taking apart your shifters, but go ahead carefully if they're screwed up. Reassemble with minimal light grease. Whatever kind of cables, new ones always seem to provide much better shifting, which probably means I should replace them more often. So that's my two cents.

(Edit: yeah, Loball answered the stretching thing correctly while I was composing a long- winded answer)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:28 am 
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According to many, there's no such thing as "cable stretch". Do a google search on it and read the arguments for yourselves, but the gist of it is along the same lines that OldDogDan pointed out. The cable housing takes a little while to get fully seated in the ferrules; the ferrules may take some time to get fully seated in the guides; the zinc ball-ends on the cable may need to deform a bit to seat in the shifter; and so on... And, cable housings that are properly cut and installed shouldn't experience any bedding-in. At least that's what some experienced mechanics claim.

Someone on another site did an experiment, using several brand-new cables with weights (cinder blocks, I believe) hanging from them; even after several weeks, and much more of a load than the cables would normally experience, they found absolutely no stretching. (It was on this discussion on Bicycling.com - look for posts by "velobro.1").

While there's not a clear consensus, there are some pretty compelling arguments that "cable stretch" is really a myth.

What made me think of this is the argument for a segmented cable being easier to pre-stretch (by grabbing the exposed portions and pulling sideways away from the frame). So, maybe this doesn't actually "pre-stretch" the cable, but it seats the ferrules etc. But the ironic thing, in my mind, is that there are more cut housing ends, ferrules and cable guides on a segmented cable, so the pre-stretching is more necessary than it would be on a fully-enclosed cable that just has the two ends (one end at the shifter, and one end at the derailleur).

Oh, and another thing... supposedly, modern cable housings (designed for use with indexed shifters) don't compress under load. Instead of having a spiral-wound metal sheath (covered with plastic/vinyl/whatever), they have a bunch of fairly stiff wires that run lengthwise along the full length of the housing, parallel to the cable. This design is supposed to prevent, or at least minimize, compression under load.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:09 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:33 am 
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Great link Danny. Speaking of brake cables which he does, those Nokon or other similar housings really do make a difference, but the Jagwire guy naturally wouldn't mention that. I like Chuck's point about fewer ends to cause problems in continuous housing.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:20 am 
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I can't believe this hasn't been said yet- maybe it has and I didn't see it because I've really only skimmed through all of the post's..

So I'll keep this short and sweet...

I've been told never (repeat.. Never) use lubrication oil or what ever type of liquid inside your cable housings!

The trick is to use graphite, the same stuff you'd buy to fix a door lock that is not working properly. Graphite is a dry lube that does not trap dirt and grime, while making the cable slippery as shit inside the housing.

This idea of full housing vs segmented... Not quite sure about this- I don't know why but I've never really seen anyone have good luck with full housing. Furthermore if it was an issue you'd see people who live in other parts of the county (say the pacific northwest) who actually have bad weather using full housing exclusively. right?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:00 pm 
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^^^ interesting suggestion about graphite. I think it might work well if you are starting with new inexpensive cable and housing and live in a dry climate like here. But if you buy the Teflon coated and lined setup, you don't put anything on them. Just be sure to keep them clean and sealed with the little boots, nipples, sheathing that come with, and wipe clean if you have exposed cable. And I think full housing actually is pretty popular in the NW, as well as the UK. Just not so much around here.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:19 pm 
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If you keep your housing as is, and want to replace cable and housing, a tip is to take the old housing pieces, line them up with the new housing and snip the new to match the old pieces. No measuring, no thinking. Just be sure to use a cable housing cutter like a Park so the cable housing does not get crushed out of round when you cut them. It makes a big difference to replace that stuff. Hmm maybe I should do it....

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