Bike Maintenance for Beginners

Not all frames have guides, don’t know about the P3

I haven’t done this myself yet, but have seen this done:

  • leave the inner cable in place
  • pull the outer through the frame (leaving the inner still going through the frame)
  • with a good pair of wire cutters, snip the inner near the rear mech ( to leave a clean non-frayed end)
  • slide a new outer over the old inner through the frame using the inner as a guide
  • replace the inner

It looked easy when someone else did it, but he was a seasoned bike mechanic.


My 2007 P2C has no internal guides. You can either just wing it and poke about with the new cable which will either take 5 mins or 2 hours based on luck. Or you can snip the old cable at the shifter and glue the old and new cables together temporarily and use the old cable to pull the new one through. Or pull some strong thread or monofilament fishing line through the frame in a similar fashion and then use that to pull the new cable through. I’ve usually been ok with the poke ‘n hope method.


Might be worth preparing to remove the bottom bracket if it goes wrong! I must have done it when I built mine but just can’t remember.

Partly why I’ve got etap.

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You old smoothy :grin:


Like it!


Thanks for the replies gents; I’ll report back with my findings…

Got a bb tool just in case @jeffb :crossed_fingers:t2:

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My 2017 P3 has no internal routing. I ran DI2 and it was a pain. BB was already out as I was building it from scratch. Pretty sure its going to be a mare with it in place.

Cut the sable at the derailleur then slide something like this along the cable into the cycle:

Once it comes out of one part of the bike, pull the cable through it and then cut it off at the derailleur end.

Leave that bit hanging out of your bike then slide it up the next bit, usually the down tube until it comes out at the top. Pull it through again and snip it off and then it should be fairly easy to reverse the process to fit a the cable.

That sheathing is only a bit bigger than the cable it’s self so unless you have minute tolerances, it should take less than 5 minutes for subsequent cable swaps.

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On my Exocet, I just used the old cable to pull through the new one. Absolute piece of pie :cake::pie:

Front mech cable was hard, due to the bend and bottom bracket, but still managed it.

The inner guides tend to rot and get filled with gunk from rain and riding, so are next to useless after a few years.

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Coming back to this I can report all is well. Decided to tackle this after necking a couple of espresso martinis tonight…

I only changed the inner cable as everything else looked fine. Pulled it out, popped the new one in. It did poke out the frame under the bottom bracket but with the use of an electrical screwdriver it was quite simple to guide it out of the rear chain stay.

No idea why but I had to re adjust my limit screws. Bike wouldn’t adjust into either the top or bottom gear. Took the chain and cable back off and adjusted those then all was golden.

Hopefully you all won’t see a post on the rant thread on Sunday with a rear mech through a rear spoke…!