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How to Remove Shifting Cables & Housing on a Bike

Learn how to remove shifting cables and housing from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video.


Now we are going to talk about shift cables and housing. This is a slightly different bike than we had on the stand for the brakes. This is a road bike shifter, so all of the shifting is integrated in here. So it may be a little bit different on your bicycle but the concept is kind of the same; basically there is an exit point and an entrance point that are the same for the shift cable.
You want to make sure that you are using, once again, your right cable or else it could jam into your shifter and break it. So make sure it is a small tip right here as it is shift specific.

So for this one you have to pull back the hood. On Shimano, SRAM and Campanello and things like that, usually there is an exit point, an entrance point, down here. Sometimes on other shifters it will be right here. You can always look at your user manual online or something like that and they will show you exactly where it is, it is pretty easy to find.

You want to shift down all the way to the highest gear to make sure that it is in the right spot to come out. Then you pull the hood back and you push the cable through the housing and you will see it pop out right at the bottom here. So it is popping out and you can just pull it right through.

Now that the cable is all the way out, we are going to talk about the housing on this type of shifter. Once again it is the shift specific housing and what that means is it does not compress, or it compresses very little. You will feel it is really, really stiff, so you need to make sure that you are using this specific type of housing when you have the click shifting, what they call index shifting.

Make sure that it is all the way to the high gear. Make sure it is all the way down to the high gear and make sure that your housing has pharos (sp) on it, depending on the specifications of the shifter and depending on where it is being installed. So if it is going to be on the frame, usually you have to put a pharo on it, and the pharo is basically a tip that is going to prevent these pieces of metal from fraying or pushing through. So you put that on there. Place it all up. Make sure that the sizing is okay, same as the brakes. It is usually really easy just to size it up to the old piece of housing. So then it is usually correct, especially if it was installed by a professional bike mechanic.

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