Tech: Smoother shift trick

For those still on mechanical groups we all know how the cable condition really matters for smooth shifts. Well, have you considered the state of the cable guide at the bottom bracket? Often an overlooked area, this cable guide has a large amount of surface area and can hold dirt and sticky bidon leftovers from when it seeped down your seat tube that cause extra friction and poor shifts. It’s a good idea to clean this plastic guide once in a while to get your butter smooth shifts back and here’s a quick tip that can make cleaning it much easier and much much better:


Flip the bike over, remover the rear wheel. Take a knife and slot the cable guide, (cutting to remove the retention tab that crosses the channel- photo shows mine cut already) this means you can then relax the inner wires and clean the plastic cable guide with a rag or sponge to remove crud without pulling apart your whole groupo. While relaxing the cables, you can also clean the cable too. Bingo, dirt and grunge gone, optimal shifting back. Weather you run regular cables or super teflon coated – a clean helps everything. 

After slotting the guide, the above photo shows how I relaxed the rear derailleur cable (normally in guide channel to the left) and moved it out of the plastic guide so I could clean the area. To relax the wire, make sure the rear derailleur is shifted at the lever into the smallest cog, then with your hand manually move the body of the rear derailleur inward (helps if you don’t have the rear wheel in the bike) – this makes the cable slack and you can move the cable out of the way. 

You can do the same thing with the front derailleur, make sure it’s shifted to the small chainwheel, then manually move the derailleur to the large chain wheel position – you will find slack in the cable and be able to move it out of the plastic guide. The front derailleur will give less cable slack than the rear depending on setup and brand of mechanical, so you may need a small tip of screwdriver handy to help move the cable out of the guide as you push on the derailleur (At least on mine I did)

Bingo – easy clean cables. Butter shifts all in a few minutes.

PS: look at those amazing welds on that Moots. 

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