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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 pm 
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Lately i've been seeing more and more people with their shift cables routed so that they don't touch the headtube with the cables crossing underneath the downtube. This provides a cleaner look up front and prevents the housing from rubbing on the headtube. What are the downsides of this approach? Is there any added friction with the cables crossing underneath?


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Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Its perfectly fine for externally routed cables. It can be tough to not cross them twice though if internal. Can totally be done, but you have to take your time with a little trial and error.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:55 pm 
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i have mine crossed. it makes for a smoother transition on my Indy Fab bike with mechanical shifting.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm 
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There is actually less friction using this method as the bends are smoother. Plus, no cable housing touches your frame. The only downside is making sure the cables don't get twisted in the downtube during installation, since you can't see them and generally have to ensure this by "feel". But lately, with some manufacturers putting the cable insertion points dab smack in the middle of the downtube (rather than off to the sides), it can actually make for harsher bends again, so you have to just evaluate each situation as it comes up and use your better judgement.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:30 pm 
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Calnago wrote:
The only downside is making sure the cables don't get twisted in the downtube during installation, since you can't see them and generally have to ensure this by "feel".
I had this happen to me once. It was driving me nuts. Got the RD shifting perfectly. Then I started working on the FD, and every time I'd shift up, the RD would shift too. Could not figure out what was going on. Took it to my shop, and the first mechanic was a bit mystified until the second one told him the cables were twisted around each other - he had had it happen to him once before.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:47 pm 
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I've run them both ways. No downsides to doing the cable cross, just have to be more careful in running cables, ensuring they are not crossed by keeping tension on one while increasing tension on the other and seeing if there is an effect. As said above, evaluate based on the geometry of the ports.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:51 pm 
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It can be impossible to achieve with external cables without having them rub the downtube - at least I've yet to own a bike where it is doable.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:22 pm 
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Fiery wrote:
It can be impossible to achieve with external cables without having them rub the downtube - at least I've yet to own a bike where it is doable.
Depends where the stops are, the shape of the downtube and the type of bottom bracket guide.

We've only got one bike where it's possible. The others all have too deep a downtube/end stops mounted too high.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:56 pm 
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I don't like how crossed can make the cables stick out in between the bars and the frame entry. It depends on where the the cable stops or frame entry holes are positioned. I like the the cables to stay in front of the head tube as much as possible.


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Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:56 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:13 pm 
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wilwil wrote:
I don't like how crossed can make the cables stick out in between the bars and the frame entry.
Fair point, and if your frame is large enough the S-bends required probably don’t add too much cable friction, but every curve in a cable housing does add “some”. This is why in the old days with skinny steel tubes and cable stops on the lower side of the downtube, it was often the preferred method of routing for many, particularly when it came to the smaller frames. This went out of favor for quite awhile as tubes became bigger and cable bosses were more and more installed on the side of the downtube making it impossible to do the cross underneath the downtube with externally run cables. Then, as tubes became “superfat” it was apparent that you could do the cross cabling method again, except it was internally routed and you don’t even see it. I’m obsessive about having a perfectly shifting mechanical drivetrain, and so at some point I switched over and began routing the cables crossed internally. I cut the cable housing as short as possible to minimize the flaring out of cables from the downtube while maintaining as smooth a line as possible and being able to turn the bars fully either side without ripping out cables in the event of a crash or even just transporting the bike in a contorted position in the back of a car or something. The only reason I didn’t do it on my C59 earlier was because I knew there was sort of an “I-beam” sheet of thin carbon running lengthwise down the center of the downtube. I initially thought that piece ran the length of the downtube which would have prevented crossing of cables internally. But it doesn’t, it only goes a little ways down the downtube, probably to stiffen things up a bit up front. This was one of the key changes with the C60, in that they could do away with that internal piece of carbon. Anyway, the point is that piece didn’t run the length of the downtube and therefore allowed me to cross the cables internally in my C59 as well. It took a little while for me to get used to the “new look” having always taken pride to kind of “frame” the headtube badge in a perfect elipse of cable housing up front. But now, with the way I do it, I think it looks even cleaner than before and there’s no denying the cable runs are smoother, which is significantly more critical these days with 11 speed drivetrains than it was back in the days of 8 or even fewer cigs in the back. My C50 still has the double cross in front of the head tube routing due to the fact it’s externally routed and the cable bosses and downtube thickness prevent an “under the downtube” cross.

_________________
Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
C59 Five Years Later
Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ


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