Shifting gone?

David Fiedler’s blog about “Improvised Repairs” reminds me that I’ve broken three shifter cables in the last two years. Luckily for me none were catastrophic. The rear derailleur cable controls the fine tuning of the rear cassette. When the cable tension is gone, the chain rests in the smallest cog giving you plenty of power to mix and match with the three chain rings up front. This works fine until you hit that long steep climb where cross-chaining little to little just isn’t enough.

I had some steep rollers the first time this cable broke but by spinning I was able to maintain enough momentum to get over all but a couple and those I was able to make with cross-chaining and standing.

The second time the route was almost flat so the broken cable didn’t cost me much at all.

Still, I could have tried this trick of manually shifting and then tying off the cable. Next time I will.

But what to do when the front derailleur cable breaks? That’s what happened to me in the Stanley Basin this summer. In this case you are stuck in the granny chain ring which is fine if you have to climb but no fun at all if you are going down hill or on the flat.

Here’s David’s Blog:

So I ditched work last Tuesday to go out on the bike with some buddies on an absolutely gorgeous day. We planned to take off early and get in a century ride, returning home mid-afternoon.

However, not even twenty miles into the ride, one member of our group had a shifter cable break.  Bummer for sure – but what to do?  It was around 7:30 a.m. No bike shops open.  Our pal could either bail out and miss the rest of the ride, or try to find a way to fix it enough to keep riding.

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