Cable conundrum

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  • Cable conundrum
  • ndthornton

    So I’m getting towards the end of a bike build and I’m starting to fit hoses and cables, specifically the rear brake hose and the rear mech cable. Normally I route these cables around the front of the head tube before meeting up with the top or down tube (in this case down tube). But this means that the cables end up on the wrong side of the tube and they have to be crossed before connecting to the cable guides.

    So what is wrong with shortening the hose and cable and routing them directly down the side of the frame to their correct positions? Surely shorter = better right?

    What is the preferred method? The only drawback I can see with the more direct approach is that you may get some cable rub on the frame – but if I fit some protector patches…..?

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan

    Yep, down the same side can work. Make sure that the cable in particular exits the shifter without too much of a bend. Check out Sheldon for further discussion.

    However could you not have them go to the “other side” of the head tubes, into the stops and then change sides as they go down under the down tube?


    Premier Icon cookeaa

    length isn’t the only factor though.

    Think about how the cable or hose is likely to kink or bend througout the rotation of the bars, too short a line and it might get pulled if your bars get spun 180deg or further, or wrenched through a tight angle and damage the hose/outer…

    smooth, larger Radius sweeps are a better way to ensure cocnsistant gear cable operation, routing to the oposite side of the Head tube often allows for this.


    I prefer to run cables and hoses ‘same side’ as when the bars are turned fully the cables/hoses don’t have to go the long way around the headtube.

    For what it’s worth my gears and brakes work perfectly, no kinking or straining. A bit of helitape and you are good to go 🙂

    Premier Icon stevied

    When I built my Intense I found that I needed to run the cables down the same side as they exit the shifter. I prefer the look to ‘crossed over’cables and have never had a problem with turning the bars 🙂


    hmm – seems like there is no hard and fast rule. Think Il loop it round the head tube. Main reason – I have bought a longer hose to do this and if I dont bother it will have been a waste of money! bad logic I know.

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