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+1 Liquid Wrench and WD-40 are too thin and have insufficient lubrication to be used as cable lube. In fact they will probably wash away whatever lube is currently on the cable. Yeah, I'm sure some folks have gotten by with using them, but I wouldn't risk it.
 

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As others have said, do not use penetrents for lube. Use lube or oil. I have used fogging oil in a pinch.
 

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It all depends on the surface texture and material. If you have plastic or teflon coated cables use silicone spray. If you have classic metal cable in metal housing use a product designed for this purpose. There are rubber parts, and some sections are quite long. A dedicated product will last a long time and provide adequate results. In any case, the best results are obtained by a nice cleaning/flushing.

Believe it or not, dirt gets inside these cables... The product I use provides cleaning and lubrication and when I perform this maintenance the first jets come out dirty...You need the 'cable luber' tool. If I were to use a syringe or just dripping oil in, the smoothness would not last very long. While you are at it, slide off the right grip, clean it and use silicone or teflon lubricant. Don't forget to allow a 2mm play on both the clutch and throttle cables.
 

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I maintain 30 bikes for the local MSF training site. The best cable lube I've found was DuraLube synthetic. Can't find it any more.

WD-40 is more of a cleaner than a lubricant. The cables dry out too fast.

A good silicone lubricant works great.

Never use chain lube/wax. Once the solvents evaporate the lube is very sticky and will prevent the cables from working.

Lube cables and lever pivots at least once a year. More often if you ride a lot but never less often.
 

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I use PJ1 cable lube, best to use a cable lube tool to ensure lube gets injected down the length of the cable. Available online or at Cycle Gear retailers.
 
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