Changing Gears

After three months of driving to work I’m feeling the £25.00 a week that’s been going in the tank. This and missing the ride I got back on my bike and started to peddle commute again. It was going well till Friday evening.

My rear gear cable snapped at the shifter about a mile from home. This means being stuck in the highest gear on the cassette. I’ve got Shimano Tiagra 4500 9 speed STI Shift/Brake levers; not something I thought much about until now.

The old cable was jammed inside with just a cm of the frayed ends sticking out. It seems that this is not an uncommon problem. I’ve read that the knack is to get the shifter into the highest gear (ie smallest cog). Once that’s done then the old cable should pop out easily and the new one simply threads through from the outside of the shifter. You need to squeeze the brake lever to get the cable in or out.

When all is well and the cable is not snapped the derailleur spring pulls on the cable which helps pull the shifter to a higher gear when pressing the upshift lever (the small black one in case you’re still interested). When the cable is broken, the spring obviously does not pull, and the upshift lever won’t get you to the highest gear. Grabbing the frayed cable with a pair of pliers and pulling on it whilst operating the upshift lever gets the shifter to the highest gear. Once the shifter is in the highest gear getting the cable out and back in should be easy.

Should is such a loaded word. Saturday morning. I tinkered. I followed instructions. I then took apart. I swore a lot. I put back together. I made no progress in getting the damn thing out. In the end I gave up before I broke something. I went to a local bike shop which is where my bike is now. Hoping to get it back on Monday or early next week. Fingers crossed they have the knack better than I do.

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