How to Install Bicycle Shift Cables

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Replacing bicycle shifters. Learn how to install shift cables on a bike with expert tips on bicycle repair in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Basic Bicycle Repairs
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Video Transcript

Hello. This is Russ with the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. I'm online at www.slcbikecollective.org. I'm here today on behalf of Expert Village and we are going to show you how to install some shift cables. There's two different types of cables out there; one is shift and one is brake. Shift cables are linear and they go straight in and out. Brake cable is more of a coil, like a spring design. So, you want to make sure that you use the right one. After I have the shift cable and it's all set up, what I want to do is make sure that I have the housing here to cover the distance from the shifter to the bike frame which would be on this side. You want to give it enough room so that when you turn it, that cables not going to get all binded up. What you are going to do is, get a new shift cable. When you have that new shift cable, you are going to go ahead and take of the set screw that is in here in some capacity. You are going to run it straight through here as long as it's in the lowest gear. You're going to kind of fish it through there. It might take you a couple of tries. It's going to come out this other end over here. When you have that, you can go ahead and pull this all the way through and that should steep inside there. You can always check by double shifting it and making sure it goes in and out. After you have that, this length of shift housing that you've already cut will end up on the end here. On both ends of this shift housing there is what we call a feral. They are normally metal or plastic. It's just a cap to keep the shift housing from extending beyond it's casing. You're going to run this inside here and go around whichever side of the frame it needs to be on. In this instance, this one is going to line up with the back, so we are going to run it on the drive side of the bike here. It's going to go through here and it's going to go underneath. Underneath there is a piece of plastic with a little slot in it. You are going to run it through that, come all the way to the back and I'm going to run it through this other piece of shift housing that I've already determined the length for. You are going to insert it inside here. It's going to come out of the other end and go into these slots. In another video, we are going to show you how this actually connects into the dérailleur and how we are going to secure it and create shifting.

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