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Old 08-05-05, 08:55 AM   #1
Jason Curtiss
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Why Different Brake Cable Routing Systems?

Why are there two different rear brake cable arrangements? My Schwinn Voyageur has two cable stops at each end of the top tube for the rear brake cable. The cable housing terminates at these stops with the naked cable running between them. This is a clean, neat arrangement with no apparent disadvantages.

On the other hand, my Bianchi has three small “tunnels” that are brazed to the top tube. The rear cable complete with housing runs right through these tunnels and terminates at the caliper and at the brake lever. The problem with this tunnel method is corrosion. Sweat, water or whatever becomes trapped between the cable housing and top tube causing rust in fairly short order. The simple cable stop method on my Voyageur has no such corrosion problems.

So, why do some bikes have the seemingly inferior tunnel method of routing the rear brake cable?

Jason
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Old 08-05-05, 08:59 AM   #2
sydney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Curtiss
Why are there two different rear brake cable arrangements? My Schwinn Voyageur has two cable stops at each end of the top tube for the rear brake cable. The cable housing terminates at these stops with the naked cable running between them. This is a clean, neat arrangement with no apparent disadvantages.

On the other hand, my Bianchi has three small “tunnels” that are brazed to the top tube. The rear cable complete with housing runs right through these tunnels and terminates at the caliper and at the brake lever. The problem with this tunnel method is corrosion. Sweat, water or whatever becomes trapped between the cable housing and top tube causing rust in fairly short order. The simple cable stop method on my Voyageur has no such corrosion problems.

So, why do some bikes have the seemingly inferior tunnel method of routing the rear brake cable?

Jason
The Bianchi is the 'old' or traditional way. There is also internal routing. Just different ways of skinning the cat.
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Old 08-05-05, 09:10 AM   #3
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If you ride in all weather and dont like maintenance, then full-length housing will protect the cable better.
Exposed cable is more responsive but the exposed ends of the outer provide a path for mud and dirt to enter.
You can protect the frame from corrosion by applying some car wax.
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Old 08-05-05, 09:37 AM   #4
capwater
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I would also tend to think that the exposed or internal routing, since it has less covering housing, would have less resistance and thus more responsive braking.
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Old 08-05-05, 10:49 AM   #5
moxfyre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Curtiss
Why are there two different rear brake cable arrangements? My Schwinn Voyageur has two cable stops at each end of the top tube for the rear brake cable. The cable housing terminates at these stops with the naked cable running between them. This is a clean, neat arrangement with no apparent disadvantages.

On the other hand, my Bianchi has three small “tunnels” that are brazed to the top tube. The rear cable complete with housing runs right through these tunnels and terminates at the caliper and at the brake lever. The problem with this tunnel method is corrosion. Sweat, water or whatever becomes trapped between the cable housing and top tube causing rust in fairly short order. The simple cable stop method on my Voyageur has no such corrosion problems.

So, why do some bikes have the seemingly inferior tunnel method of routing the rear brake cable?

Jason
I'm not sure that the "tunnel" (traditional) method is much inferior. There is perhaps slightly more cable drag because of the longer housing, but on the other hand there are fewer places for dirt and water to get inside the housing: one end of the housing is under the brake lever hood, and the other end is normally right up against the adjuster barrel on the brake.

I have never been able to feel a perceptible difference in the brakes between the old/new cable routing styles...
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