Thursday Tech Tip: Having a tough time shifting?

If you’re having to put way too much effort in going from gear to gear, then consider replacing your cable and housing.

First step is to get a derailleur cable and housing. Most bike shops sell a cable for about $3-$10 (depending on brand and type). Housing is around $2.00 per foot. Best thing to do before going to the shop is measure how much housing you need. Obviously the rear derailleur will need more, I usually guestimate about 3-3.5 feet of housing for my bikes.

Don’t forget to buy some cable ferrules. Usually derailleur cables are 4mm thick, so that means get a 4mm ferrule.

You’ll also need some caps to prevent your freshly cut cables from fraying. Those will run you about $.10 a piece.

All you’ll really need for tools is a good set of cable cutters like this one from PricePoint.com

Other than that, just follow the routing of your old cable/housing, cut the housing to the same lengths as the old ones, place your ferrules at the end of each portion, add a bit of wax lubricant to the cable before inserting it, and you’re all set.

About the author

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).