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  1. #1
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    Newbie/first poster looking for help with cable routing

    I've read a few guides and still haven't seem to got the right style of routing on my Schwinn Mountain bike. Shimano Triggers with non-integrated shift levers. I provided more that enough pics I think, and any input on my improper routing and/or ferrule placement would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ahead of time.
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    Last edited by ChrisG164; 09-06-10 at 05:04 PM.

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    the right hand shifter and brake cables should be on the opposite side of the stem. And the intersection at the seat stays looks off, but I don't know, it might be right

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    You know more than me, trust me.. and the most sense to me for the front deraillerr/shift cable seemed to go from the rear top tube guide (?) down to the next guide then the derailleur. But everything at the head tube just seem out of wack.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisG164 View Post
    I've read a few guides and still haven't seem to got the right style of routing on my Schwinn Mountain bike. Shimano Triggers with non-integrated shift levers. I provided more that enough pics I think, and any input on my improper routing and/or ferrule placement would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ahead of time.

    Please guys.. I'm in need of experience, which I don't have when it comes to the mechanics of bicycles.

  5. #5
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    It actually looks not bad... the only thing I would do differently would be to route the front shifter (left) on the left side of the stem and into the middle cable stop, then from the rear middle cable stop around the left side of the seatpost and into the seat-tube cable stop.

    The rear brake housing should also go around the left side of the stem and into the leftmost cable stop, instead of crossing tightly behind the stem then bending into the cable stop.

    Also, make sure all the shift housing is SIS style - or 'compressionless' housing - not spiral wound brake housing. And make extra sure all brake lines are spiral wound brake housing and not shift housing... that would be dangerous.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    1. The rear brake housing from the lever to the stops near the head tube should wrap around in front of the head tube so that it crosses over the left hand shifter housing. The goal is to make the run to the cable housing stop on the left side for the brake cable less of a kink which it is now. Crossing the housings over in front of the head tube is perfectly OK if it makes the line to the housing stops smoother.
    2. Why are you using housings and ferrules on the rear brake cable and rear derrailluer cables between the two top tube housing stops? Those two bits of housing and ferrules are doing nothing but hold in any grime that gets in past the ends and it causes unwanted drag on the cables. If you did this to protect the frame from cable scuffs then replace these bits of housing with lengths of something like unshrunk heat shrink tubing or some small diameter nylon tubing or some such thing. If you add the tubing over all three cables just leave them loose and about an inch or two shorter than the distance needed so they just float back and forth on the cables. If you did this to go for "full length housings" to keep dirt out of the cables and housings then you did it wrong. Full length housing means exactly that. An unbroken run from the lever to the derrailleur. In such installations you then zip tie or electrical tape the housings to the frame to hold them in place and ignore the housing stops on the frame.
    3. The lower end of the last bit of housing for the front derrailleur needs a ferrule. Note how it sits in the housing stop at an odd angle. The ferrule will fill the gap and hold the housing more in line like it should be. Also that bit of housing is a touch longer than it needs to be. It should end at the stop more inline.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  7. #7
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    The following setup is what I use:

    Brake cable: Left side of stem, Left guide, Left side of seatpost.
    Front Der: Left side of stem, Center guide, Left side seat tube. (enters rear triangle from the left, not between the seatstays)
    Rear Der: Right Side of stem, Right guide, Right side of seatpost.

    In some cases the center cable guide is designed spicificly for brake cables (the center guide would be visibly different from the side guides). In this scenario the locations of the brake and front derailleur are switched

  8. #8
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    Thank you for all your posts! BCRider, thank you for saving me from having to ask if there was any purpose or mistake in putting ferrules on every single housing end, because I knew this was incorrect. I have had no instruction besides some web pages and am looking for guidance, here.
    BC; as for the full length housings, I did this, as you said...

    " If you did this to go for "full length housings" to keep dirt out of the cables and housings then you did it wrong. Full length housing means exactly that. An unbroken run from the lever to the derrailleur. In such installations you then zip tie or electrical tape the housings to the frame to hold them in place and ignore the housing stops on the frame."

    Do you have any objection to doing it in the fashion you just said? If not, I think I would like to do just that, zip tie and tape them to the frame. I really do more road riding than dirt-mountain biking, so it may not be the best choice But, It definitely isn't going to harm anything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisG164 View Post
    ..
    " If you did this to go for "full length housings" to keep dirt out of the cables and housings then you did it wrong. Full length housing means exactly that. An unbroken run from the lever to the derrailleur. In such installations you then zip tie or electrical tape the housings to the frame to hold them in place and ignore the housing stops on the frame."

    Do you have any objection to doing it in the fashion you just said? If not, I think I would like to do just that, zip tie and tape them to the frame. I really do more road riding than dirt-mountain biking, so it may not be the best choice But, It definitely isn't going to harm anything.
    First off, having already cut your housing, you'd have to get new lengths to get the full benefit of running full lengths.
    It's not like a patchwork will cause the bike to self destruct, but every transition from one part to another is a place where you can pick up some extra drag and contamination.
    Next, you have to be quite meticulous with how you tape/tie it down. The housing will want to push out in a bough, and it doesn't take much of that to seriously upset the performance.
    And full length for a front derailer is a different thing than for a rear derailer. For the FD you have to use the last cable stop on the frame, as there's nothing on the FD for the housing to push against.

  10. #10
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    You can see here how my cables ran in a somewhat similar setup.

    The front shift cable ran to the outer (*right*) side of the headtube and then to the rightmost housing stop.

    The rear brake and shift cables ran to the outer (*left*) side of the headtube and then to the leftmost and center housing stops, respectively.

    At the rear braze-on, the front derailleur housing ran from the rightmost housing stop, outside the right seatstay, and then to the housing stop on the rear of the seat tube. Not suggesting this necessarily, rather just noting it since you can't see it here.
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  11. #11
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    DesertDork: That pictures helps tremendously, and as "dabac" said, which I didn't think of at the time is that I will need to buy new housings to go full length. I think i'm being overprotective if I go that route, because, honestly, I do very little dirt and mud biking that will cause them to filth up. Also, if I'm diligent enough to wipe the bike down every time I do dirt ride, I shouldn't have problems setting it up with housings only where they were meant to go, as per the housing stops and their female side configurations. If that makes sense.

    Chris

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    You said it yourself that you don't do a lot of mud and dirt riding. So just remove the sections on the top tube that you put there and leave those parts exposed. Riding with the cables exposed like that is fine even in sloppy weather commuting and for occasional dirt trail riding. If you notice the brakes or shifters getting a bit gritty feeling or draggy then just slip the cables out of the housings, blow the housings out with a shot of brake cleaner solvent from a spray can and wipe down the cables with a degreaser and put the whole works back together.

    If you need them and if they are long enough you can use the sections you removed to redo the parts from the levers or shifters to the forward housing stops on the top tube if you need longer housings to reach. Note that the sweep of the curve on the bar mounted housings needs to be loose enough that you can turn the bars through a little more than 90 degrees without binding where the pass around the frame's head tube. They should never actually get tight. You can clearly see this extra housing in the wide curves of the runs in desertdork's picture.

    And don't forget the ferrule on the end of the last bit of housing for the FD run to help that poor housing line up better.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  13. #13
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    Very good.. Going to to work on the cables right now. Thanks everyone.. I'll post more pics when I hope to have it the way I like

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