Make it easy to get broken cables out
When shift cables break inside the shift lever, it can be a pain getting the end of the cable out of the lever. To make the cable less likely to break in the first place and easier to get out if it does, be sure to put plenty of lube on the cable head and a portion of cable inside the lever.
Most bicycles have brake cables that don’t need frequent lubrication because they’re inside fairly well-sealed housing, with a slippery nylon liner inside. But shift cables are usually exposed and can become gunked-up with dried energy drink, or can simply get dry or even rusty. You’ll usually feel this in sluggish shifting and increased shifting effort.
The cure is to regularly check your shift cables and keep them clean and lubed. Energy drink usually runs down the cables and collects on them at the bottom bracket guides beneath the frame. Use hot water to clean it off, and lubricate the cables there with grease.
Also, inspect the cable where it enters and exits the short housing section leading to the rear derailleur. On many bikes the housing stop on the chainstay is split. This allows you to create slack in the cable and then lift the housing section out of the stop. You can then slide it along the cable to apply grease to the section of cable that was hidden to make your shifting smooth and fast again.
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—John Marsh & The RBR Team