I have recently had problems with my front gear cable. I know for a fact it's not a problem with the cable housing. Is there a way I can replace my front gear cable without removing the housing and the Bar Tape? I'm on full Shimano Sora groupset.
I’ve never had any issues with only replacing the cable (they break from time to time). The important part is that the housing sits snuggly against the brifter so that you can hit the hole with the cable. If it does not you can lift the rubber grips and try to guide the cable into the housing.
Just make sure the cable end is not frayed when you remove it. It can get stuck and/or destroy the housing.
Maybe - it really depends how the housing is seated into the base of the brifter.
If the housing is in a dish, recess or socket then you can pull the inner wire out through the brifter, and feed in a new one. Job done.
But that depends on the alignment staying concentric, which is unlikely. What you might end up doing is pulling short segment out the brifter, cutting the end off, and butting your new cable end to the old one.
Tape probably won't work here cos it will be too thick. Instead, slightly splay the strands on the old headless inner, put the free end of the new inner in the middle, and try and feed it back down through the brifter. As soon as you get three inches into the brifter you're probably good to pull the old inner out the lower end and then free-feed the new one down.
Tip - check the end of your new cable - if its soldered then that's good. If its just twisted, you might suffer a flyaway strand. So solder or superglue the tip so that its a bit more robust. This end will get trimmed off later anyway.
Last resort, if it all goes badly, is to carefully unwrap the bar tape. It generally goes back on well enough afterward, certainly easier than the initial application because the bartape takes a "Set" and will reinstall easier second time around.