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Crossing shifter cables(6 posts)

Crossing shifter cablesdzrider
Dec 3, 2001 6:18 AM
My wife and I dropped her Pinarello at a frame builders to be repainted and have the stays spread to 130. While chatting he suggested putting the rear derailleur cable through the cable stop on the left side of the down tube and the front derailleur cable through the cable stop on the right side. Then cross the wires between the cable stops and the bottom bracket to get them to the correct derailleur. This keeps the cables off the head tube and saves the paint.

Sounded like a good idea, so I tried it on my bike. I couldn't get the system to index well at all. I put it back the way it was and got it to work perfectly in about 10 minutes, but I'm still intrigued by his idea because the cables do sit pretty far off the head tube. Any suggestions on how to make it work?
re: Crossing shifter cablesDavid Feldman
Dec 3, 2001 7:39 AM
The idea is to give the cables a more gradual line from the controls to the frame; it's of marginal help with down-tube-boss mounted cable stops, of greater help with head tube moutned stops. It also seems to help more on Ergopower equipped bikes than bikes with SHimano controls. The advantages vanish if (1.)The bike has tubes that are oversized enough to cause the cable to drag against the downtube's "belly," or (2.)If the bb cable guides won't allow the cable a clean line of entry at the different angle
caused by the switch. If you have a bike with Campy equipment, head tube cable stops, and a 1 1/4" or 1 1/8" diameter down tube it's probably a noticeable improvement. It not, less so.
My beef with Shimano cablesbrider
Dec 3, 2001 9:17 AM
Okay, I've always had this problem with Shimano cables. Why are the housings so long? I see people riding with the housings tied in knots going from the STI shifters to the stops. Even when the stops are at the normal downtube shifter bosses, the housings are so long as to make a huge loop before getting to the stops. Why not trim the housings? Just make a gradual single arc to the stops, and you avoid the problem of the housing rubbing the head tube. I've done that on both my road steeds (one with head tube stops), and it's elegant, works great, and weighs less (for the weight weenies). Just something I never understood.
Totally agree.dave woof
Dec 3, 2001 1:05 PM
Totally agree with this. It bugs me that some pros' cables are so long that they loop in front. It only takes 5 minutes with cable cutters to trim this loop. I have a nice arc, and if it's the right length the housing rarely touches the head tube, only if the front wheel is twisted while at rest or something. I think LBS' are just too lazy to trim housing and a lot of bikes go out like this.

housing lengthvanzutas
Dec 3, 2001 10:21 AM
you will have to alter the housing length so that you get the smoothest line from the shifter to the stops. if you use the same length you had previously you may not get the ideal cable line.

re: Crossing shifter cablesBeaver
Dec 3, 2001 10:27 AM
Can't help you with the shifter cables, but if you want to save the paint, the mechanic at my LBS puts rubber o-rings on the cables where they come into contact with the frame.