My rear cable housing got torn apart while I was tunning gears as you can see in the picture. I'm quite new to cycling so i'm not sure if i should replace the whole cable or just the part of the housing which got damaged?

Also if I'm just replacing the cable housing, do i have to cut the cable as there is a nut at the end of the cable which stops me sliding the housing out of the cable?

(just for your information i have shifting issues in the rear derailer as well: i.e., for certain gear combinations it sometimes overdo the gears when upshifting and downshifting. Maybe be this is related to a bad cable as well)

enter image description here

  • 1
    Replace the whole cable. It's easier than trying to replace just the housing. You do need proper tools, though, so it may best be done by a bike shop. Dec 13, 2015 at 14:36
  • If your cable isn't cracking at it's end, it can be done replacing only the housing. But if there are cut fibers, you will better replace the whole cable. Also you should check for rust etc. on whole cable as Batman mentioned.
    – Alexander
    Dec 13, 2015 at 15:24
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    I don't see why you'd avoid replacing the cable. It's like 3 dollars more than just buying the housing, which is probably the majority of the cost.
    – Batman
    Dec 13, 2015 at 15:26
  • I don't really know the US bikes market economics.
    – Alexander
    Dec 13, 2015 at 15:53
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    A lot depends on the age and condition of the cable. If the cable is old and beginning rust it might as well be replaced. And, if upon examining the raw cable end (at the derailer), the end is found to be badly frayed, snaking the old cable through the new housing will be difficult to impossible. If you're lucky and the cable is unrusted and the end not frayed (you can get a replacement crimp-on cable end probably for free at a bike shop), and there is no fraying elsewhere along its length, then replacing just the housing may be a reasonable thing to do. Dec 13, 2015 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


Its likely that your bad shifting is due to messed up cables or a misadjusted derailleur.

You can either cut the cable crimp off at the end of the cable with a pair of pliers, or pull it off with a pair of pliers.

As for replacing the cable housing, you can either get your bike shop to cut a piece of housing of the right length by taking your old housing to them, and cleaning up the cut with a file + awl so its flat and the hole is completely open, or you can buy housing kits from companies like Jagwire and cut it yourself (but you will need a bicycle specific cable+housing cutter like Park Tool CN-10 or a dremel to cut the housing properly). There is a nice tutorial on how to replace your housing here. Another good page on prepping housing is here.

As for replacing just the housing vs replacing the housing + the cable, its generally a good idea to just replace the housing + the cable, just because its not all that much more expensive and if your cable has some rust on it or has been damaged, it may lead to poor shifting even with new housing. I always replace the cable and housing together, just to avoid problems.

EDIT: I zoomed in on the picture. The cable is toast. Get a new cable.

  • Sounds like you did a CSI enhance ?
    – Criggie
    Dec 13, 2015 at 18:44
  • I have changed both the housing and the cable. "The cable is toast. Get a new cable." cable wasn't a toast and i'm not quite sure how you can get to see the cable by zooming, i guess you meant the shield..?
    – samsamara
    Dec 21, 2015 at 1:11

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