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Eight steps to caring for your cables

| Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike | 24/02/2012 10:13am

Follow these simple steps to keep your cables in good nick

Sharp cut
Blunt cable cutters can cause ragged cuts and frayed, kinked ends so buy a new set; even cheap ones will cut well for a while. Don’t whatever you do try to use the wire cutters on multitools or pliers.

Cable ends
One of the biggest crimes against bikes is fitting fresh gear inner cables, trimming them neatly then leaving the ends bare. These raw cut cable ends are sharp and prone to fraying. Small alloy cable ends are cheap and easy to use.

Proper crimping
We recommend at least two passes with the crimper over the cable ends. Most cable cutters have crimping slots on the jaw’s inside edges. Fact: pro mechanics often have a ‘signature’ crimp style that they use to sign off a finished bike.

Solder on
As an alternative to crimping the ends on trimmed cables, place a small drop of solder onto the freshly cut end, just enough to stick the individual wire braids together. Tip: file any excess solder away to achieve a smooth finish.

Clean up
Keeping your inner cables clean is the best way to ensure they last as long and work as effectively as possible. A regular wipe down with a cloth will remove any floating muck, tainted lube or trail debris that may have got into your cables.

Add lube
Some cables come pre-coated with a low friction Teflon, which helps them to slide more effectively inside the outer housing. All cables require some sort of lube to aid sliding inside the housing. Use a light lube and remove and replace it often.

Fresh outers
If you’ve gone to the effort to ensure that your inner cables are fresh and oiled, check that your outer housing isn’t letting you down by being kinked, cracked or just rusty. It will add to the cost but taking care of it will be worth it.

Rubber baffles
Fitting rubber baffles to your inner cables is especially useful in areas where water is likely to run down them and sit on the entry points to the outer cable. The baffles disrupt the flow of the water and help seal the cable outer.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 10:13 am and is filed under Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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