Dirty or worn cables can create problems when braking and shifting. If you ride in the mud, you'll need to clean out your cables every couple of months. Want to keep the dirt out of the cables? See our mud-proofing page! A dirty brake cable makes it harder to apply the brakes, and can keep the brakes from rebounding fully away from the rim.
Check the cable housing (the sections of big black tube that surround the cable). If you see a sharp bend, the housing needs to be replaced. Look at the exposed sections of cable. If you see fraying, breaks in the individual wires, or loosened wires, the cable itself must be replaced. See our cable replacement page.
Clean the cable by rubbing it with a paper towel soaked in degreasing solution. Once the degreaser is completely dry, rub a dry lubricant such as chain-wax into the cable. When the chain-wax is dry, rub the cable smooth with a dry towel.
Apply bearing grease onto the threads of the barrel adjuster.
CAREFULLY slide the cable through the barrel adjuster and towards the retaining clamp. If it stops moving, don't try to force it, or you'll delaminate one of the strands of metal in the cable!
Pull the cable tight and secure the retaining clamp.