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Old 06-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #1
tshelver OP
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Clutch cable: to lube or not to lube?

Just had a seized cable as a result of corrosion. Only 6 months on the bike.

It could have been a sea crossing where the whole bike was liberally doused by the waves, or standing in the rain, or it could have been slightly corroded from delivery, as the clutch and shift action after replacement is much better than it's ever been.

I have a lube tool, another question is whether to use the supplied cable lube or a really good corrosion inhibitor I have (ACF-50).

No WD40 thanks, I've proved that the ACF-50 works a lot better already.


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tshelver screwed with this post 06-16-2013 at 10:55 PM
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
usgser
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Lube.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:49 AM   #3
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I been using transmission fluid on my throttle cables and clutch cable on all my bikes never had a broken cable yet in 600000 KM.

I think as long as your using something to lube it its better then nothing .
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:51 AM   #4
trailer Rails
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Once you start lubing, you have to do it regularly. Dust gets stuck to the lubed cable and you have reoil to flush it out. I prefer not to lube and just replace the cable when it gets sticky.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:38 AM   #5
tshelver OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
Once you start lubing, you have to do it regularly. Dust gets stuck to the lubed cable and you have reoil to flush it out. I prefer not to lube and just replace the cable when it gets sticky.
Thanks for the info guys. About what I expected.
Apart from my old Guzzi in the early 80s which had very stiff controls, I've never had an issue until now, at least on a motorcycle, and never lubed them.

I've had cables freeze up in winter on my bicycle, due to moisture, but solved that with sealed and lined Gore Ride-on cables. Lubing worked a bit to solve that problem but wasn't a permanent solution, at least for sub 20F riding.

It could also be that I'm in a much hotter, moist climate with no real garage, and I guess a few doses of salt water doesn't help either.

I'll do a spray test with the cable lube to see how sticky it is, but my guess is that the ACF-50 or maybe 3M Teflon lube will be the way to go, as neither leave much sticky residue to trap dirt.


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tshelver screwed with this post 06-17-2013 at 04:57 AM
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #6
yooperbikemike
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Yes, but use a moly/graphite based lubricant.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:02 AM   #7
lnewqban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawdog View Post
I been using transmission fluid on my throttle cables and clutch cable on all my bikes never had a broken cable yet in 600000 KM.

I think as long as your using something to lube it its better then nothing .
I second that and add that some grease on both heads of the cables help avoid bending the wire at each control input, which is the main reason of failure.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
greywolf
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If you have an uncoated steel cable, lube it. If you have a Teflon coated cable, don't lube it. Always grease the cable ends.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
If you have an uncoated steel cable, lube it. If you have a Teflon coated cable, don't lube it. Always grease the cable ends.
I'd have to agree with this. I've seen the lined cables start dragging because the inner cable eventually saws its way through the lining, creating drag. "Modern" cables seem to last a long time. Unless they get doused with salt water.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:01 AM   #10
LuciferMutt
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I would use a lube made for cables -- most of them have a solvent carrier that distributes the dry graphite lube where it needs to be, then evaporates. Nothing left to attract dust and grit.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
Navin
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Bel Ray 6 in 1 is awesome cable lube.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
Geoff
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Lube the cable with Dri-Slide.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
tshelver OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
I would use a lube made for cables -- most of them have a solvent carrier that distributes the dry graphite lube where it needs to be, then evaporates. Nothing left to attract dust and grit.
How are they on corrosion? That was my problem on the cable I replaced.

Sent from my Android chinaphone, please excuse the spelling
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
Lube the cable with Dri-Slide.


Dri-Slide Bike Aid is great stuff. Moly and graphite powders suspended in kerosene, and it comes with a needle to get between the cable sheath and cable. No spray getting everywhere, no rags, no leaky little gizmo or disconnecting the cables.Needle between the cable and sheath, squeeze gently, work the throttle or clutch a few times and yer done.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #15
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshelver View Post
How are they on corrosion? That was my problem on the cable I replaced.

Sent from my Android chinaphone, please excuse the spelling
I don't know. Probably not great, but if you grease the cable ends, it acts as a barrier to keep moisture out of the cable sheath and let the dry lube continue to keep things smooth.
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