When To Replace Bike Cables?

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Goggles hanging from a bike's handle - When To Replace Bike Cables?

The last thing anyone wants to be is out on a ride enjoying their time in the great outdoors and find that one of their bike cables is not working properly. That’s why maintenance is so very important when it comes to these cables like the break or gear cables.

One of the biggest things to understand when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep S of these vital components of your bicycle is to know when to replace them. 

In truth, no matter how frequently or infrequently you utilize your bike it’s always best if you replace these cables between two and 3000 views. Along with this, if there is consistent wear and tear due to rigorous activities, it may require replacement sooner.

So let’s look at when to replace the bike cables and a few other key pieces of information that should help you create a consistent maintenance schedule. With this consistent schedule, you’ll be able to ensure that your bike is functioning properly at all times.


How Often Should You Replace Bicycle Cables?

When it comes to the frequency of replacing your bicycle cables, they should be replaced when there is significant wear and tear or you see a decline in functionality of the system it’s attached to. 

Typically this with average use range of somewhere between the 2000- 30000 mile range.

However, if you’re consistently using the bike as your number one hobby, you may find that replacing the cables will be done earlier than that mileage. 

Keeping a careful watch out for any decline in performance or physical signs of wear and tear can help you determine when it’s time to replace those cables.


How Can You Tell If It’s Time to Change It?

The best way to determine if it’s time to change is to look at the overall performance of the system that the cables are attached to. That means, for instance, if your brakes have been a little sluggish, it may be time to replace those cables.

Here are a few other signs that it could be time to replace your cables other than the mileage that we discussed above: 


  • Shifting has become challenging
  • The brakes are reacting slowly
  • Noticeable damage to the cables


What Happens If You Don’t Replace It On Time?

Like with any other component of your bike, if it’s not replaced in the right amount of time, any cable, whether it be the brake or gear cable, will cause a decrease in performance. 

This could also lead to potential risks of injury as the systems not working could cause problems when you’re out on the trails.

Systems not working on a bike can cause extra wear and tear on other components, and that, in turn, could elevate the cost of maintenance and replacement of these systems. 

So keeping a close eye on the above signs that it’s time to replace as well as the mileage you put on the bike, is crucial to ensuring your safety and the longevity of your bike.


Which Tools Do You Need For It?

When you’re looking to replace these cables, it’s important that you have the proper tools on hand. It doesn’t matter which cable you’re replacing, either the brake or the gear cable. The tools are the same.

Here are the tools you will need to change both the brake on your bike:


  • Cable cutter
  • File
  • Scissors
  • Side cutter
  • Awl
  • Allen wrenches


How Long Does It Take to Change It?

When it comes to replacing anything on your bike, you want a good idea of how long everything is gonna take. Once you have all the tools on hand and the bike ready for the maintenance project, you can get started.

No matter which cable you’re replacing, and you’re probably looking at roughly about 30 minutes to an hour. Of course, this depends on the bike type and your familiarity with the tools you are using.


Final Thoughts on When to Replace Bike Cables

Making sure that the cables on your bike are working at their optimal levels is vital to not only your safety but the functionality of the bike. 

Each of the cables on your bike is designed to withstand up to about 2000 to 3000 miles of use. Of course, there are other factors, and we hope that by diving deep into this topic, we were able to help you with your bike’s maintenance.