Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    126

    Ultegra 8000 cable replacement preventive maintenance

    Hi everyone,

    I just read an article in which the author said Shimano shifters wear out cables pretty quickly, apparently at some sharp angle inside the shifter. So he thought they should be changed every year (I suppose he rode thousands of miles per year).

    My bike with Ultegra 8000 will be about 18 months old this winter, with about 1500 miles on it. Should I order new cables already?

    -John

  2. #2
    Rub it............
    Reputation: frdfandc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,572
    The newer shifters like 6800 and 8000 don't eat cables like their predecessors did. But preventative maintenance will keep you going without worry.

    You probably could go another 1500 miles with them, but 2 years is a good time frame to replace them.

    I have 4 years on mine (6800 Ultegra)but my miles are lower than yours. But I am going to replace them this winter.

    Make sure to get the Shimano cables for optimal shifting.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

  3. #3
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    12,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelspeed View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I just read an article in which the author said Shimano shifters wear out cables pretty quickly, apparently at some sharp angle inside the shifter.
    The author is correct. It's a known issue with all Shimano shifters that route under the bar tape that requires a tight bend on the cable. The newer models are "better" but they're still poorly designed.
    Saying they should be changed every year is bad advice. Different people ride vastly different amounts of miles, and different terrain vastly changes how much someone shifts.
    2,000-3,000 miles is a safe replacement frequency. Once you get beyond that, you're playing with fire. When the cables break, they fray and jam up inside your shifter, making them extremely difficult if not impossible to remove.

    Always keep a few cables on hand and replace them regularly.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8,732
    As noted the passage of time means nothing. Miles is a better guess but still will vary greatly from person to person and bike to bike (depending on friction from cable routing).

    Agree 2-3K is a good safe approach for the rear inner. I don't track miles anymore so replace the inner every time I replace a chain. Which is probably over cautious but needing a new chain is a convenient easy to remember reminder for me.
    I replace the front once a year when I'm also replacing housing which would be at about 10K miles. Unless you have some crazy shifting habits you should be able to let the front go a lot longer.

    Make sure you get stainless steel cables.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    20,838
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Saying they should be changed every year is bad advice. Different people ride vastly different amounts of miles, and different terrain vastly changes how much someone shifts. 2,000-3,000 miles is a safe replacement frequency. Once you get beyond that, you're playing with fire.
    I have no experience w/Shimano stuff and my Campy cables last well over 20K miles, but it can't be emphasized enough how much this depends on local terrain and rider style. Someone who rides flat roads and rarely has to stop might only shift a few times per ride. Someone in hills or lots of cross roads might be shifting all the time.

    The key question is whether it is relatively easy to inspect the cables for wear. If you can peel back the hoods and see the sharp cable bend where the failures take place, doing that every 500 miles would seem to make the most sense. If you can't inspect the cables, then you can curse Shimano's poor design and learn from experience how often to replace your cables.

  6. #6
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    12,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    I have no experience w/Shimano stuff and my Campy cables last well over 20K miles, but it can't be emphasized enough how much this depends on local terrain and rider style.
    My previous Sram was somewhere around 10k when I replaced them. But they still looked pretty good.
    Definitely a Shimano issue. I can easily count 10x it's occurred on group rides over the last 5 years. Always Shimano shifters.

    The key question is whether it is relatively easy to inspect the cables for wear. If you can peel back the hoods and see the sharp cable bend where the failures take place, doing that every 500 miles would seem to make the most sense. If you can't inspect the cables, then you can curse Shimano's poor design and learn from experience how often to replace your cables.
    Nope, you can't inspect them without pulling out the cable. So if you're gonna do that, might as well just put new ones on.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    13,405
    As others have posted the 'age' of the cable doesn't matter. The important thing is how many shifts it endures over time. 2-3k miles is when the majority of them fray and break. With the newer 11 speed shifters it's much easier to get them out if they do actually break. You can remove the bottom cover and take a look at the entire mechanism pretty easily. You'll know it's fraying when it becomes very hard to adjust properly.

    When you replace the cables you'll want to replace the housing as well...don't just replace the cables.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Srode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,045
    I've found using the Shimano Cable Lube significantly extends the life of the shifter cables too. Just add it to the bends under the hood cover, not the entire cable.

    Inspecting them isn't that hard - put the rear in the highest gear (smallest cog) and release the pinch bolt - pull the hood cover back and pull some of the cable out of the shifter to see what it looks like. Of course this only works if the installer left enough of a tail on the cable at the DR to push enough cable out to see the area that bends back to the rear of the bike in the shifter.
    Gravel Rocks

    Trek Domane
    Niner RLT9 (Gravel Bike)
    Trek Crockett

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    20,838
    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I've found using the Shimano Cable Lube significantly extends the life of the shifter cables too.
    You mean "just about any grease"?

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    6,064
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    As others have posted the 'age' of the cable doesn't matter. The important thing is how many shifts it endures over time. 2-3k miles is when the majority of them fray and break. With the newer 11 speed shifters it's much easier to get them out if they do actually break. You can remove the bottom cover and take a look at the entire mechanism pretty easily. You'll know it's fraying when it becomes very hard to adjust properly.

    When you replace the cables you'll want to replace the housing as well...don't just replace the cables.
    wasn't it you or someone on here who said that when you have to keep raising the tension of the cable to make a shift, that's when it's time to replace the cable and housing.

    Interestingly, here's something I've found out regarding the Shimano 7900 DA 10 speed shifter series. If you use these shifters with their 10speed Shadown mtb derailleur, then the force required to shift is like HALF compared to when using these shifters with their original DA 7900 rear derailleur. This is due to the design of their Shadow tech. It's actually quite an amazing feeling as shifting requires litterally 1-finger for me. So, this means that the force imparted on the cable is also less. I've run the same cable on my climbing road bike with their Shawdown mtb derailleur for at least 3 years now and the cable still looks like it's going strong.
    Last edited by aclinjury; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:23 AM.

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    13,405
    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    wasn't it you or someone on here who said that when you have to keep raising the tension of the cable to make a shift, that's when it's time to replace the cable and housing.

    Interestingly, here's something I've found out regarding the Shimano 7900 DA 10 speed shifter series. If you use these shifters with their 10speed Shadown mtb derailleur, then the force required to shift is like HALF compared to when using these shifters with their original DA 7900 rear derailleur. This is due to the design of their Shadow tech. It's actually quite an amazing feeling as shifting requires litterally 1-finger for me. So, this means that the force imparted on the cable is also less. I've run the same cable on my climbing road bike with their Shawdown mtb derailleur for at least 3 years now and the cable still looks like it's going strong.
    I think it's more that the cable gets wrapped around a small diameter shift drum (or whatever they call it) inside the shifter and the repeated wrapping/unwrapping fatigues the cable, just like bending a paper clip back and forth.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: OldZaskar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,167
    aclinjury - I made a comment a while back that a sign you're about to break a cable is having to add tension... and add tension... and SNAP!

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Srode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,045
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    You mean "just about any grease"?
    Well, I haven't tried other greases - as long as they are compatible with the coating on the cable and don't gum up over time they would have to improve the life I would guess. The Shimano stuff feels slicker than most lubes, not a scientific assessment to be sure. One little tub of the Shimano stuff will last a lifetime probably as long as it doesn't separate.
    Gravel Rocks

    Trek Domane
    Niner RLT9 (Gravel Bike)
    Trek Crockett

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    13,405
    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Well, I haven't tried other greases - as long as they are compatible with the coating on the cable and don't gum up over time they would have to improve the life I would guess. The Shimano stuff feels slicker than most lubes, not a scientific assessment to be sure. One little tub of the Shimano stuff will last a lifetime probably as long as it doesn't separate.
    It does feel more 'slippery' and doesn't gum up over time. Even at the shop a tub seems to last for a couple years.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    6,064
    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    aclinjury - I made a comment a while back that a sign you're about to break a cable is having to add tension... and add tension... and SNAP!
    ah, I knew it was somebody. Great tip!

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    6,064
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I think it's more that the cable gets wrapped around a small diameter shift drum (or whatever they call it) inside the shifter and the repeated wrapping/unwrapping fatigues the cable, just like bending a paper clip back and forth.
    does stainless steel cable last longer then the el cheapo steel cable? Now why don't they make these cables out of kevlar or carbon fiber? I wouldn't mind paying a little more for an indestructible cable

  17. #17
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    13,405
    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    does stainless steel cable last longer then the el cheapo steel cable? Now why don't they make these cables out of kevlar or carbon fiber? I wouldn't mind paying a little more for an indestructible cable
    I would guess it does last longer, but I can't remember the last time I installed anything other than stainless so I have to compare it with. I'll bet kevlar cables would cover all needs pretty well. Might have to do something fancy at the end where you clamp it to the derailleur, but I don't even think they'd be that expensive...hell, Shimano have some pretty expen$ive steel cables w/ coatings that come right off.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    7,684
    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    The newer shifters like 6800 and 8000 don't eat cables like their predecessors did.
    Wrong! My 6800 right shifter chewed a cable to death in 2000 miles. As one poster said, it's a problem with all Shimano shifters that run the cables under the bars.

    The first symptom is when shifting degrades and increasing cable tension temporarily solves the problem. When that happens, shift to the smallest cog, peel back the hood and check for broken strands. It will be visible. You don't need to loosen the derailleur clamp. And it's probably a good idea to do this check periodically anyway - especially if you are planning a lengthy event.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Srode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,045
    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Wrong! My 6800 right shifter chewed a cable to death in 2000 miles.
    Wow, Seriously? That's just crazy - I'd be checking for something wrong with the shifter or the install. What cables are you using? The last rear DR I changed had over 8000 miles on it, Shimano Dura Ace cables. Admittedly 8000 is longer than most would last, but surely 3500 minimum unless you are continuously shifting in which case Di2 would be a much better choice.
    Gravel Rocks

    Trek Domane
    Niner RLT9 (Gravel Bike)
    Trek Crockett

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    932
    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I've found using the Shimano Cable Lube significantly extends the life of the shifter cables too. Just add it to the bends under the hood cover, not the entire cable.
    I agree and also use the Shimano lube on cables. Higher cable friction translates directly into higher shift lever force. Higher shift force appears to lead to shorter cable life.

    The main friction points are usually at the sharp bends - the rear loop, under the BB, and the front shifter area.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    932
    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Well, I haven't tried other greases - as long as they are compatible with the coating on the cable and don't gum up over time they would have to improve the life I would guess.
    The grease needs to be compatible with the housing, which usually has a plastic liner.
    You need to be careful as some greases may degrade or soften some plastics.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    978
    I put the bike in the stand & shift it into the easiest (biggest # of teeth) rear cog, then, without pedaling, push the shifter paddle into what would be the hardest gear ( smallest # of teeth). This releases the tension on the cable. Next pull the cable & housing from the rear split cable stop on the chainstay, this will completely detension the cable. Then pull the brake lever and push the "sinker" through the outer side of the shifter and inspect the first few cm of the cable.

    This way you don't have to touch the pinch bolt and mess with rear derailleur adjustment. This method won't work on a cable routed internally through the chainstay & I'm not smart enough to figure out if it will work on one of those reverse sprung dyslexic mtb derailleurs.

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    13,405
    Quote Originally Posted by twinkles View Post
    I put the bike in the stand & shift it into the easiest (biggest # of teeth) rear cog, then, without pedaling, push the shifter paddle into what would be the hardest gear ( smallest # of teeth). This releases the tension on the cable. Next pull the cable & housing from the rear split cable stop on the chainstay, this will completely detension the cable. Then pull the brake lever and push the "sinker" through the outer side of the shifter and inspect the first few cm of the cable.

    This way you don't have to touch the pinch bolt and mess with rear derailleur adjustment. This method won't work on a cable routed internally through the chainstay & I'm not smart enough to figure out if it will work on one of those reverse sprung dyslexic mtb derailleurs.
    This really only works on older 9 & 10 speed systems w/ the shift housing NOT under the bar tape. With so many bikes having internal routing now it's not as good of a solution.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    20,838
    Quote Originally Posted by Z'mer View Post
    You need to be careful as some greases may degrade or soften some plastics.
    While this is true in an absolute sense, it bears little relevance to the issue at hand. Any standard grease will work and will not degrade the plastics used in cable liners or cable coatings.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,593
    Iíve had two occasions where an 11 speed shifter ate the cable. One Dura Ace and one Ultegra.
    As an overreaction, Iím likely getting Sram eTap before the end of the year on my best bike. Then Iíll decide about bike #2.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New Ultegra 8000 compatibility with 6800
    By alxrmrs in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-02-2017, 12:16 PM
  2. Shimano Ultegra 8000 is out
    By pmf in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 08-22-2017, 01:19 PM
  3. Preventive maintenance when caught in downpour
    By johninfairfax in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-17-2005, 04:46 PM
  4. preventive measures:stuck post or stem
    By Djudd in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-13-2004, 03:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

roadbikereview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.