Downtube Shifters

28
Mar/08
0

Downtube shifter gear cable help?

I picked up an old Schwinn World Sport road bike today at a garage sale for cheap. Anyway, it has down tube shifters and I noticed that one of the gear cables was cut, and one was actually missing. The bike still rides, just is stuck on one speed, all I need to do is replace the cables, and then I'll be able to change gears, right?

my apologies if this is a dumb question, just need some advice from people who know what their talking about :)

Keep in mind that it wouldn't cost much more just to have the shop install the new cables. However, you may not want to hassle hauling the bike to the shop and waiting for the repair.

To DIY, have the shop cut you a section of housing to the correct length when you pick up your new cables. You should remove the old section of housing (there's only one short piece on your bike) and take it with you for proper sizing. Also ask for two metal ferrules to place on the ends of the housing AND two endcaps to place on the cable ends.

The only section of cable that would ever need lubrication is the short section that travels through the housing. If you do lubricate it, you want to use a light oil such as Tri-Flow. And only one or two drops of it. You can also use a light chain lube such as Prolink.

The directions at bicycletutor, parktoo.com and sheldonbrown.com provide plenty of information. There are also several excellent repair & maintenance manuals available, some of which are probably available for loan from your library. Any of the manuals will discuss installation of downtube shifter cables.

Make sure you route the cables through the derailleurs' pinch bolts properly. Failing to do so can cause the bike to shift poorly or incorrectly. Secure the pinch bolts to proper torque as noted online or in the manuals; too tightly and you risk stripping the bolt threads, not tight enough and you risk having the cable slip out on the middle of your ride. Using a quality cable cutter, cut the cables to length. Generally, about two inches of cable extending past the pinch bolt allows for any future adjustments. Crimp the endcaps onto the cable ends securely to prevent frayed cable. If you don't crimp firmly enough, the endcaps will quickly or eventually slide off.

There are several places during the installation where you can get frustrated or make a mess of things. It's not a hard job, but it's not exactly easy if you aren't familiar with bike maintenance, shifters, or you lack the basic tools to do the work. In that case, it's easiest just to pay a few extra dollars to have the work done for you.

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