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  1. #1
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    Weird issue with Specialized Tarmac

    I have a strange yet potentially catastrophic issue with my 2008 Specialized Tarmac. The other day I went in for a routine cable change, and the front der cable was fairly difficult to pull out of where it runs through the frame. I figure it was just dirty/gritty so I yanked on it and it came through. When I went to put a new cable in, it would NOT go through. It's as if there is something blocking it, it goes about half way through and then stops like its hitting a wall.
    I was a pro mechanic for 7yrs, so I generally know my way around a bike. But this one has me stumped, and worried. I took the BB out, and the aluminum shell goes all the way through - no access from there. I don't know what to do next.

    Anyone heard of this happening before? Any ideas?

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Without seeing it in person it's not possible to say, but if i had to guess i'd say you pulled some grit/dirt into the internal liner when you pulled the cable through. It could be broken at this point, not allowing the new cable through. But...no way to know via the interwebs. How often do you clean your bike? How often do you ride in bad weather?
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
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    I clean my bike often, but also ride a lot in the wet (live in Seattle). I'm guessing you are right, there is something in there blocking it. The question now is what to do about it. I even tried putting a super thin Allen wrench down there and gently tapping on it with a hammer and it won't budge at all.

  4. #4
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    Weird issue with Specialized Tarmac

    Try a piece of brass rod a little smaller then your cable ( true value has these) this has enough umph to knock stuff out of the way. But won't damage your frame in any way.
    You are just going to kinda work at it until whatever is blocking it is dislodged.

    Keep us posted how it's goes.

    Bill

  5. #5
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    Thanks, ill give that a try tomorrow. Another strange thing is that from either the top or bottom the cable will only go in about 3/4 inch, while the total distance between the two holes is about 2.5 in so there are either two blockages or something else strange I haven't thought of yet. Seems like if an internal plastic sheath broke, the opposite would be true (I'd be able to push it in almost 2.5 inches from either end until it hit the opposite wall).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossracer View Post
    Try a piece of brass rod a little smaller then your cable ( true value has these) this has enough umph to knock stuff out of the way. But won't damage your frame in any way.
    You are just going to kinda work at it until whatever is blocking it is dislodged.

    Keep us posted how it's goes.

    Bill
    This!
    I had the same issue and this helped me fix it after some trial and error...

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    The copper wire idea sounds pretty good...maybe some compressed air too.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Like the others, what's worked for me is a very thin stiff steel wire to poke through and loosen up the blockage which was mainly jammed up dirt and grit.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Like the others, what's worked for me is a very thin stiff steel wire to poke through and loosen up the blockage which was mainly jammed up dirt and grit.
    Another follow-on idea is piano wire. You can typically buy it in short lengths at a hardware store in many different sizes. It is nice and flexible yet stiff when constrained in a tube. Another idea for the OP is to sluice the tube out with some spray lube or ED-40 aerosol. If it is gunky grit, you might just flush it out.

  10. #10
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    SUCCESS! Finally got it, it was just grit jammed in there. I was amazed how solid it felt, I was convinced I was hitting the aluminum BB shell or something, I could tap on a brass rod in the hole with a hammer with NO give and a very solid/hollow thunk sound. What finally did it was 19gauge steel wire plus some wd40 sprayed down the hole. I took some side cutters and put a couple of little bends right at the end of the wire. This acted as a sort of drill to ream out the grit, I was sitting there just spinning it for a couple minutes and I pulled it out and saw some grit on the end. I wiped it off and repeated. Took at least 10 minutes of spinning/cleaning the wire but eventually it worked its way through. Lesson for those others out there is don't give up - I was looking at new frames on Craigslist and thinking about other ways to route the FD cable, that's how solid this blockage felt.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

  11. #11
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    Yes, and for the many, many critics of WD-40, well you always take heat when you're the best, really WD-40 is handy and moisture displacing, acts as a solvent, but is definitely not a long term lube. I am glad you got your blockage resolved, perhaps you need to be in medicine????? LOL

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