Saturday, January 12, 2008

Simple setup tricks

After assembling hundreds of bikes over the years, I have refined my approach to how a bike should be cabled. I have two goals when running cables on a bike.
1. Create the cleaniest, most efficient route with very easy loops rather than harsh bends.
2. Keep the housing off the paint.

First, cut the front sections of housing so that there is one arc around the head tube. A lot of riders will try to have the rear derailleur housing on the right side of the head tube. All this does is force the housing onto the head tube and the paint. And it creates another bend in the housing. A SRAM setup will look the same as the Campy setup below. A Shimano setup will have even easier bends coming from the STI levers.

The rear brake enters the left slot, the rear derailleur enters the middle slot and the front derailleur enters the right slot. Then, cross the derailleur cables. This allows the rear derailleur cable to exit from the right slot. On bikes with down tube routing (this includes road bikes of course), the derailleur cables will cross under the down tube. On some frames, the layout of the braze-ons will not allow this. In that case, you will have to run your cables the more common way.

Create your housing loops at the seat cluster such that the housing rest on the seatpost rather than the paint on the frame. And better yet, you may put a wrap of tape on your post for the correct saddle height and then have the housing rest against the tape. Nothing gets rubbed by the housing except the tape. Also remember to run the housing in such a way that you can get to your seat post binder bolt.

And that's it! You are left with very tidy housing runs and none of the housings are touching your frame.


Colin R said...

I is learning!

benlikesbikes said...

That is really nice looking, clean and elegant. Thanks

Yash Katsumi said...

Thanks Zank, I just rerouted my cables, the look is far cleaner, and I think the shifting is noticeably better!

I am very sorry for not attending your get together. I was on mem drive when a horrible and debilitating gastric phenomenon occured.

gewilli said...

with that cross over you could run the front der cable on the drive side and shorten the rear brake a touch.

Would clean it up a bunch esp as the rear der cable drops down and would sit just under the front der cable.

One comment, re your bikes, with the top tube, run solid housing from the top tube to the rear der. It is without a doubt very PacNW. But for a very good reason. Instead of sticking cable stop braze-ons, stick some disc brake housing mounts. Then ya can zip tie the cable housing in place. It would be a huge boon for those OCD types who wash their bike every weekend. And if ya race a Zank, you'd better be washing the damn bike. Cause they is hot bikes.

hot hot hot hot.

awesome front cable routing. (don't look at my cross bike... shimano + freak size + down tube shifter braze on locations = cable nightmare)

zank said...

g, The FD housing was originally on the drive side. In my rush to get the bike built back up after my Portland trip, it ended up on the non-drive side.

I've thought about going full length on the RD housing even before the Speedvagen appeared. But honestly, I don't like the spongy feel at the shifter. I did it on my mtb a few years back and promptly went back to split housing.

gewilli said...

oh it ain't speedvagen man.

"we've" been doin it on MTBs ever since someone had the retarded idea to run the cables on the top tube.

The type of housing used makes a bit difference. But simply running the ends of any housing on a grinder (to make em smoooooth and flat) and using metal end caps makes a big difference. I would speculate that the Nokon housing would make your mushy point completely moot.

Another alternative would be to run the new Gore Cables.

I just would never run bare cables or even "sealed" cables in a top tube set up. Yes there are thousands of them and with some reasonably attention to cleaning and lubing that cable after washing, before racing, etc. it would be not an issue. I just being a bit OCD.

The true and only solution is to run cables ala the Master:
Gary Klein. All bow down to the pre-trek Patenting genius!

zank said...

until you lose the end of the damn plastic tube in the hole...

Many a angry hour were spent trying to fish those suckas out.

gewilli said...

i got pretty good at fishing that thing out...

but then the two shops i had the longest tenure at were Klein dealers...

Now if Gary had just seen the light and was building a cross bike... imagine the cross goodness of a Quantum Pro Cross ma chine?

Sorry. I think i just soiled myself.

kraus said...

I always think the front routing can be shortened so the cable is short enough to stop the bars from dinging the top tube in the case of a crash...which can happen in cx right? And nobody needs to turn their bars that much to turn.

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