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  1. #1
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    Shifter cable for front gears broke

    So I've been having problems with the front gears for a while now, like taking a while to shift from 2 to 3, or funny noises like clicking and chirping every revolution or so. But today my bike totally started to refuse to shift any gears in the front. I can see it trying to a little bit but the chain is not coaxed enough to move to the next gear. I took a close look and found that the shifter cable leading to the front gear shifter broke (see pic). I got this bike brand new a little over 2 years ago but have only ridden it about 1700 miles total, about 2/3 commuting and 1/3 pleasure, most of both was on fairly smooth paved surfaces. I have kept up with basic maintenance like keeping tire pressure at the recommended level printed on the tire and applying bike chain lubricant to the chain about twice a month. I've washed the bike a few times
    as well with dish soap and a sponge like you would dishes in the kitchen.
    Anyway, about how much will it cost to replace the cable and how can I prevent it from breaking in the future?

    https://i.imgur.com/1gGGNAu.jpg

  2. #2
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    5 or 6 bucks for the cable.

    https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...eur-adjustment

    To prevent, keep it in tune, taking awhile to shift was a sign that it needed some attention.

    EDIT: looking at that link, you shouldn't have to mess with most of it. Just get the new cable and install it, you can check youtube for instructions as well.
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  3. #3
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    An addendum. Cables and cable housings just wear out. They corrode, stretch, etc. It's not abnormal to replace them every couple of years, particularly if there are any runs where the cable is exposed.

  4. #4
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    I knew about those screws to adjust the derailleur. It's way too expensive for me to buy a bike repair stand and whatever other tool's I'll need to replace the cable so I'll probably see about getting it fixed at the local shop.

  5. #5
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    Part of good maintenance is to occasionally lubricate the cables. To do this you back off derailleur cable adjusters enough to allow pulling cable housings free from guides on frame. From there you can slide the housings back and forth on the cable allowing you to clean the cable and add a few drops of lube. This prolongs life of cables. Another option is to just replace when they show signs of excessive friction.

    Lubing or replacing cables is not a hard job but I understand many folks are not comfortable doing things themselves. You don't need a bike stand or any special tools...just basic allen wrenches, screwdriver and some snips to cut cable/housing to size.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_15 View Post
    I knew about those screws to adjust the derailleur. It's way too expensive for me to buy a bike repair stand and whatever other tool's I'll need to replace the cable so I'll probably see about getting it fixed at the local shop.
    My "repair stand" is flipping the bike upside down. While slightly less convenient, it works reasonably well and is VERY portable. The tools you'd need are a screwdriver and a hex wrench. If you don't have them, maybe it's time to "invest".

  7. #7
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    As already mentioned, cables/housing are wear items like brake pads, chains and tires. They wear out with normal use and need to be replaced periodically. Pretty much all the other components on your bike will wear out too at longer intervals, like brake rotors, cassettes, chain rings, bottom bracket and headset bearings, wheel bearings, derailleurs, shifters and so on. Good maintenance practices can prolong the life of some of these.

    Some people feel some these items should last longer or should require less maintenance. They could, but then they'd almost certainly be heavier and/or more expensive. Many riders just do the minimum, like check tire pressure, lubricate the chain and have their LBS take care of everything else through periodic tuneups where parts are inspected and replaced when appropriate. Many others do varying amounts of this work themselves, learning and developing skills and acquiring tools as they go.

    No matter how you approach it, the purchase price is only the first expense in riding a bike.
    Do the math.

  8. #8
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    It seems you are very new to the whole bike maintenance thing. There are plenty of wear items that need to be replaced at certain intervals, like cables, chain, chainrings, cassette, brake pads. The cable you need only costs a couple of dollars and you only need basic tools to replace it. If you are not comfortable doing that, take it to your local shop and have them them replace it, but see if they will let you watch, or even let them supervise while you replace it. You will learn something and save yourself money in the future. I would suggest having them give the bike a full tuneup right away, there are probably more issues if it hasn't been maintained in 2+ years.

    Also, the PSI number printed on your tires is not the recommended pressure but the maximum pressure. you will have a much more comfortable ride if you go a bit lower.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    My "repair stand" is flipping the bike upside down. While slightly less convenient, it works reasonably well and is VERY portable. The tools you'd need are a screwdriver and a hex wrench. If you don't have them, maybe it's time to "invest".
    Yeah and you don't need to turn the bike upside down even to change an FD cable. It's the easiest run after the front brake. The worst part is probably getting the end out of the shifter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Yeah and you don't need to turn the bike upside down even to change an FD cable. It's the easiest run after the front brake. The worst part is probably getting the end out of the shifter.
    To change it, no. To adjust, you do. But yeah, not a hard job.

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