So, all of a sudden, with one day to go before returning to racing (Norwell Circuit Race), right at the start of a 40-mile easy group ride, my front derailleur doesn't respond to my repeated flicks/click of the lever or even to tugging directly on the exposed part of the cable as it runs along the side of the bike's down-tube.
Hrm, I think to myself, this sucks.
Somehow or other, I managed to get the thing working again and get through the ride today with minimal shifting between chainrings.
Upon returning home, I take another look at my setup and remember that although my bike came out of last month's crash almost completely unscathed, the one obvious thing that happened was that the newly-installed FD cable housing that runs from the shifter to the barrel adjuster on the down-tube got a wee bit kinked. Well, it turns out a lot more happened to it than that.
Reluctant to do anything major to my drivetrain the day before a race but anxious about having a mechanical that would take me out of the running, I loosened up the cable locking nut and tried to thread the cable back through the housing. It took some effort to pull the housing away from the shifter and once I had it completely off, it was plainly evident what the problem was:
My guess is that as the bike and I tumbled over, the housing smacked the ground and drove the end right through the little plastic cap. The frayed end of the housing did no damage to the cable itself but was pressing on the side of the shifter, impairing it's proper functioning. it's a wonder that it worked for the last six weeks at all.
I had an extra set of cables and housings on hand, made the swap, adjusted the FD and the RD and things were ship-shape again.
Only thing left to do before tomorrow is get a good night's rest...