Tip of the Week 7: New Cables and Housing

Aren’t brand new bikes fantastic? When a bike is new, the shifting is so effortless and precise. The braking so smooth. If you need to make adjustments, it is quick and easy. After some miles or bad weather, or even just time passing by, your braking and shifting performance degrades. It is usually so gradual that you don’t realize it until it is really bad.

A new set of cables and housing will bring your bike back to life. Even the least expensive stuff is much better than a corroded, rusty, frayed, or worn set. Prices range from very reasonable to astronomical and here are a few reasons why the more expensive models are in fact, better.

  • Weather/moisture resistant – stays fresher longer
  • Sealed system – some systems cover the cable from the shifter all the way to the derailleur to prevent contamination
  • Stiffer – the way a cable works is it pulls through the housing, but if the housing compresses, it is not as crisp of a movement. The stiffest housing gives the most accurate shifts.
  • Lower friction – smoother feeling and easier to push/pull with the brake/shift lever. Also contributes to quicker shifts both up and down.
  • Aesthetics – yes, we are vain and need to match the bike. Cables and housing are available in a variety of colors to customize your ride

We carry a variety of cables and housing systems in stock, stop by and we can find the right one for you. If you want to upgrade your bike, we’ll probably recommend the Yokozuna Reaction system. Anyone that has tried it knows. I will never go back to standard housing again.

Beat the Spring rush and get new cables, housing, and brake pads and you’ll be all set for the fantastic weather that will be here shortly.

Another culprit of poor shifting is the cable guide on the bottom of your frame. They are either screwed into or pop into the bottom bracket shell and guide the cables either up to the front derailleur or out to the rear derailleur. Those can get gummed up by sports drinks, road grime, mud, sweat, or can just wear with time. A new cable guide will freshen up the shifting easily. Sometimes you can have the same success by just cleaning and lubing that area. These cable guides are almost always specific to the brand and model of your bike. If you need a Cannondale cable guide, we have them all in stock.

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