As part of our Bike Shop video series, we'll be rolling out Bike Hacks – quick edits with tricks to make your time in the garage easier and your time on the trail smoother. Our first edition is a method that professional mechanics often use to ease friction in old shift housing.
Every ride introduces more dust and grime into your cables, damaging the housing and affecting your shifting performance. Of course, changing the cable and housing will yield the best results, and you'll have to do it someday. But a cable flush is an easy way to add a good month or more to the service life of your housing.
For best results, you'll need an air compressor, but the main ingredient is a can of degreaser with a plastic straw. Degreaser works better than lubricant on old cable housing because after the liner has been abraded with use, it tends to absorb oil and swell. Degreaser will clean out the collected dust and grime, easing friction in your shifting.
Results will vary. Some cables are too far gone to be saved, but give this a try before you tear down your housing.
Watch to learn how. It'll only take a minute