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105 Sti snapped gear cable

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105 Sti snapped gear cable

19 Jan 2018 07:55

I don't think I've ever snapped a gear cable before, in 35 years of riding. 5800 shifter rhs. I recall reading somewhere that first iteration were prone to this, and some sort of revision was made. I thought id bought the revised model (about 15 months ago) can't remember exactly t model number.

I know it is a long shot, but am hoping somebody may know of a workaround?

I'm not keen to repeat yesterday's commute with 20% hills and only 2 gears :lol
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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19 Jan 2018 09:59

Yeah, it was the 5700's that had that issue. Something to do with the cable rubbing on a part in the shifter that caused it to fray. They also seemed to need a large amount of tension to shift properly. 5800's were supposed to fix it. Did the break happen in the shifter?

By workaround I'm guessing you mean make it work without replacing the cable? Or do you mean a way to make it more rideable (assuming you can't just push small ring x 11 up the hills?). You can't make it work (I have a coupe of spare cables in my toolbox, someone in my club even brings one with him on rides and we have done a roadside replacement before). You could attempt to single-speed it on a larger sprocket, bypassing the mech. Whether you can get enough tension in the chain is going to depend on gearing and chainstay length, you'll just have to test it. I wouldn't recommend this for more than a temporary fix though unless you happen to be really lucky on tension and chain-line.

Best solution, get yourself a fixed-gear/single-speed for commuting. Brother Cycles have a sale on frames at the moment, although for commuting I'd recommend building a fixed gear with a front disc brake.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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21 Jan 2018 09:04

Thanks King Boonen

By workaround, I meant a way of avoiding the issue rather than fixing, for example some people reckon choice of cable makes a difference.

Yes it snapped in the shifter about 3 cm from the nipple. In fact it had frayed, which worries me more than a straight snap as it implies something is abraiding. To be honest a roadside fix wasn't possible, spare cable or not, as I had to partially disassemble the lever to remove the remains of the cable and frankly my eyesight is so crappy with age that I'd also have to carry a head torch and my reading glasses. So, I just did the old trick of winding in the limited screws to move 3 sprockets up the cassette. To be fair, I did get about 15 miles warning as the shifting had degraded and it couldnt drop into the smallest 2 sprockets. I ignored it, thinking Id fix it on friday night before a 200k ride yesterday.

So...I felt a bit smug yesterday, glad that it hadn't happened mid-200k!

....up until both cable disc brakes failed :eek:

Fortunately this happened 50 miles from finish, but only 15 miles from my house, so I was able to get within 7 mikes of home using feet as brakes and a bit of verge action before holing up in a pub and calling Superwife.

I'm a bit embarrassed as I'm normally a stickler for maintenance, but I ignored a few warning signs :p

Thanks for the tip about fixed. I'll have a look at the Brothers sale out of interest, but I do have a fixie in the shed. It did used to be my commuter but I've not ridden it for a few years. Not sure why to be honest. Thanks for jogging the memory, I'll get it out and rediscover the joy of hurtling down 25% almost totally out of control :lol:
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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21 Jan 2018 10:35

Ah ok, better cables will probably be tighter wound and have a better coating but if it’s catching on something that might not help. 3cm sounds almost long enough to be where the cable exits the shifter, could well be a sharp edge on an outer stop or poorly cut outer that’s causing it, I’d check there when you can.

How did the brakes fail? Must have been a brown trousers moment!

Fixed is brilliant for commuting, and anything else really. If you don’t know how to skid-brake I’d recommend learning. Only takes a day or two to get it down. Starts as a force thing but as you get better it’ll become about technique and it really helps. I find even leg resistance is better than a rear brake. My favoured tyre is a Panaracer Ribmo, loads of life in it. I’ve got a Brother swift frame, would have an all day with a disc fork if I had space. Add full guards and it’d be a brilliant commuter/winter trainer.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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Re:

21 Jan 2018 18:15

King Boonen wrote:Ah ok, better cables will probably be tighter wound and have a better coating but if it’s catching on something that might not help. 3cm sounds almost long enough to be where the cable exits the shifter, could well be a sharp edge on an outer stop or poorly cut outer that’s causing it, I’d check there when you can.


You'd be surprised at how much cable there is between nipple and outer. It winds round a pulley that rotates when you shift gear. I don't think It was the outer as the cable passes through a fine tube just before the outer and the break was way before. Plus I installed the levers myself and I am pretty fastidious at cleanly cutting, opening out and filing my outers. Don't know what is was to be honest. I'll probably have another look in a few months and check for cable wear.

How did the brakes fail? Must have been a brown trousers moment!


Not too bad as it was progressive. I have hydro/mechanical hybrid calipers called Juin Tech R. They have an adjuster that allows you to wind in the piston as the pads wear. I'd been finding that they had started needing frequent adjustment recently and basically I ran out of adjustment travel. It's my fault, I should have taken the pads out to check rather than relying on visual. When I took the pads out this morning the wear pattern was the same front and bad...one side worn to the metal the other side with little wear. I'm not sure why as I'd centred them per instructions.

Anyway, I changed both sets off pads after cleaning and oiling the piston but on torquing the front cable clamp the whole fracking thing twisted. It's a scrapper. ****. Got to find a replacement...


Fixed is brilliant for commuting, and anything else really. If you don’t know how to skid-brake I’d recommend learning. Only takes a day or two to get it down. Starts as a force thing but as you get better it’ll become about technique and it really helps. I find even leg resistance is better than a rear brake. My favoured tyre is a Panaracer Ribmo, loads of life in it. I’ve got a Brother swift frame, would have an all day with a disc fork if I had space. Add full guards and it’d be a brilliant commuter/winter trainer.


I'm with you on all of that bar the skid stopping :D

The fixie is going to have to emerge from the shed for this weeks commuting and next sundays 200k event.
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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22 Jan 2018 21:52

Right, fixie is out of shed, dynamo light wired up, chain tightened, tyres pumped...

....Now all I have to do is remember not to try and freewheel :p
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User avatar macbindle
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22 Jan 2018 21:57

You only forget once! :D
Vincenzo Nibali:
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Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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22 Jan 2018 22:02

Its been maybe 15 months since Ive ridden fixed. But prior to that on and off for 11 years....so we'll see if Ive still got the magic :lol:
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User avatar macbindle
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23 Jan 2018 15:06

Well...I survived. Stuck some old skool 303 house on the 'phones and pedaled off in the moonlight. I haven't ridden fixed since starting a regime of 3 hours of yoga a week and I was pleased at how supple my spinning was. Got to change the position though, need a shorter stem and compact bars.

Got any recommendations for brake levers? I'm using Tektro 520 and they are a bit schitt.
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User avatar macbindle
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23 Jan 2018 16:09

Good to hear, it's a great way to wake the legs up.

I use the same levers (well, lever) and find them fine, it was the caliper that was the issue for me. Cheap rubbish that easily flexed. Swapped out for a TRP 957 and it was night and day when I needed the front brake.

Sram do some brake only levers and TRP do some higher end drilled ones and and bulkier ones.

Or go all out with Campag Record:

https://www.fatbirds.co.uk/16039/products/campagnolo-record-carbon-brake-levers.aspx

You'll have to search for them though.
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012 14:38

23 Jan 2018 17:41

Ahh that's it.. you've jogged my memory. It's the TRP ones that are really nice and not too pricy. The SRAM are crazy money.

I've got a Campag Centaur caliper on the front and it's fine. Some sort of cheap Shimano thing on the back also fine. I've got no recollection of fitting it or buying it. I think it might be a deep drop I've salvaged from somewhere.

Yes the Tektros are falling apart. The levers are bending in and the qr pins fall out when pushed.

I'm going to have to have a good look at the bike though. there was a weird bumping on every wheel rotation (or chain rotation) that felt like there was a lump in the tyre. I thought it might be shot hub bearing but I'm pretty sure I changed them not long before the bike ended up in the shed.
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User avatar macbindle
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