Replace Your Bike’s Shifter Cables in 9 Simple Steps

bicycling staff
·1 min read
Photo credit: Trevor Raab
Photo credit: Trevor Raab

From Bicycling

Like every other component on your bike, your shifter cables will eventually wear out. And when they do, you’ll know it: Corroded and frayed shifter cables are more likely to get stuck in the housing or catch on parts of your bike, leaving you with wonky shifting.

Don’t let an old cable get in the way of a smooth ride. Instead, follow the easy steps in our video for shifter cable replacement.

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Things You’ll Need

  • New cable set with inner wires, housing, end caps, and ferrules

  • Hex wrenches

  • Cable housing cutters

  • Diagonal cutters

  • Small pick or poker

Steps for Shifter Cable Replacement

  1. Shift the chain onto the smallest front and rear cogs.

  2. Unwrap your bar tape in order to access the shifters.

  3. Clip off the end cap and remove the cable from the old housing.

  4. Fully remove the old cable from the shifter.

  5. Use the old housing as a guide measure, and cut the new lengths of cable housing.

  6. Use a pick to widen the new housing opening, and install the new ferrules. Use either plastic or metal ferrules—both will work.

  7. Install the new cable into the shifter and through the new cable housing.

  8. Thread the cable through the derailleur, insert housing, and tighten the bolt.

  9. Snip off any extra cable, attach a new end cap, and crimp it to secure it.

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