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Keeping gear cables clean and lubricated, and replacing them if they fray, is very important for smooth shifting. Change them as a matter of course at least once a year, or more often if you are a heavy user.
Lubrication reduces the effects of friction between the inner cable and the cable housing, and helps to keep out water and grit. If the gears become difficult to shift to a different chainring or cog, the cable is probably dry and needs lubrication.
Friction increases with cable length. Cut cable housings as short as possible, but not so short that they constrict the cable or restrict the steering, If you are unsure how much cable housing to cut, look at the arc of the housings on other bikes.
Above: Parts of gear-shift units
Replacing a Shimano gear cable
Replacing a Campagnolo gear cable
Carefully unwind the old tape from the center of the handlebar to just below the shifter and leave it hanging while you carry out the work.
Pull the rubber brake hood cover forward to free the tape beneath it. Pull the tape off slowly.
(3) Dribble oil into
a cable housing, which should be cut to fit between the cable guide and
the component. If it is cut too short, it constricts; if it is too long,
it increases friction.
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