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  1. #1
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    Drum brake installation - cable guides on fork?

    I'm approaching the end of a build, and the last thing to do is build the drum brake-equipped front wheel once my XL-FD hub arrives. I've never had a bike with drum brakes before, and I'm trying to figure out what'll keep the cable from flopping around on its run from the brake lever to the reaction arm on the hub. It'll be going onto a Panasonic Sport 500, an early '80s 10-speed. I'm hoping for something a bit nicer than just zipties, but it seems like that's perhaps the simplest option? I looked for pictures of these hubs installed, but everything was a close-up of just the hub, or if it showed more of the fork, it was usually on a bike that had brazed-on cable guides from the factory.

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Zip ties are how I did it 30 years ago. The cable attachments used for disc brake cables might also work:

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    I've only ever used zip ties to secure drum brake cables on forks which do not have a built in cable guide, but there are cable guides out there which might be pressed into service. Might have to do some bending to get them to work on ovalized fork tubes.



    Or, in the Sturmey Archer catalog, check out the cable guides on p. 46. One of what they have listed as top or down tube might fit, or the one for chain/back stay. Says you need the little plastic widget if you want it to be a cable stop, but ignore that and you've got an assortment of cable guides from which to choose.

  4. #4
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You might want to try routing the cable on the hidden side of the fork. Put two or three dabs of silicone on, and embed the cable before the silicone dries fully.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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    Doesn't really apply in the OPs case, but I tend to like running drum brake cable/housing through the headset of a threadless setup using BMX-style through-the-headtube hardware. Answer makes one, there are others out there. Cable/housing runs out the bottom of the fork and I'll usually use one zip tie somewhere on or very near the fork crown area. Visually, cleans things up by hiding the big run of floppy cable/housing, and routes it to where it can be more or less hidden.

    This is going to a disk brake and the fork actually has a cable guide, but you get the idea:


    Not through the headset, but cable run under the grip, routing unsecured until it hits the drum cable stop:

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I've only ever used zip ties to secure drum brake cables on forks which do not have a built in cable guide, but there are cable guides out there which might be pressed into service. Might have to do some bending to get them to work on ovalized fork tubes.



    Or, in the Sturmey Archer catalog, check out the cable guides on p. 46. One of what they have listed as top or down tube might fit, or the one for chain/back stay. Says you need the little plastic widget if you want it to be a cable stop, but ignore that and you've got an assortment of cable guides from which to choose.
    I measured my fork blades near the top, looks like they're 1-1/8" x 5/8". Not looking too promising for those clip options. I'll have to look into those adhesive ones...I'd be worried about them coming off in wet/cold weather.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Doesn't really apply in the OPs case, but I tend to like running drum brake cable/housing through the headset of a threadless setup using BMX-style through-the-headtube hardware. Answer makes one, there are others out there. Cable/housing runs out the bottom of the fork and I'll usually use one zip tie somewhere on or very near the fork crown area. Visually, cleans things up by hiding the big run of floppy cable/housing, and routes it to where it can be more or less hidden.

    This is going to a disk brake and the fork actually has a cable guide, but you get the idea:


    Not through the headset, but cable run under the grip, routing unsecured until it hits the drum cable stop:
    The stem idea is interesting, but you've correctly assumed that it won't work on my bike (quill stem). In the second picture, that looks cleaner than I'd expected (although I have my right hand controlling the front brake, so it would be crossing in front of the headtube). Do you run into any issues or excessive noise with the cable bouncing around?

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    "I'd be worried about them coming off in wet/cold weather."
    I'd be more worried about them coming off in hot weather when the adhesive softens and creeps.

    You could also use self-fusing silicone tape in a matching or contrasting color (or clear) to strap the cable to the fork; it won't come loose and since it only sticks to itself it can be easily removed without leaving a sticky residue behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agmetal View Post
    The stem idea is interesting, but you've correctly assumed that it won't work on my bike (quill stem). In the second picture, that looks cleaner than I'd expected (although I have my right hand controlling the front brake, so it would be crossing in front of the headtube). Do you run into any issues or excessive noise with the cable bouncing around?
    It was actually staying in place quite nicely. You can't see it from this angle, but the bolt-on fork bracket for the brake torque arm provided a nice place to tuck the housing in a way which kept it more stable than you'd think. I fully expected to have to zip tie it up near the crown, but never got around to it and it was never an issue. Might be a bit of trial and error, but if you got the correct housing length down, you might not even need to anchor the housing to the fork.

  10. #10
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    Cool...I'll probably try that to start, and see how it works out. If only the damn hub would hurry up and get here!

  11. #11
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I used electrical tape, b/c i'm classy. Plus, i've got front drums on bikes with black forks....

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    You just need a braze-on


  13. #13
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    You just need a braze-on
    Brutally trick.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I made a guide, its bolted to the backside of the fork crown, and has a P clamp to loosely hold the housing.

  15. #15
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Zip ties are how I did it 30 years ago. The cable attachments used for disc brake cables might also work:

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1613

    I have these on my bike. I liked the look until they pulled away from the fork. The cable springiness slowly peels them off. I am using a zip tie now at the top of the fork. Whenever I repaint, I'll be adding some braze-ons.
    Any information, no matter how good, will always under-represent reality.
    -paraphrasing J a r o n L a n i e r

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Or, in the Sturmey Archer catalog, check out the cable guides on p. 46.
    Just wanted to thank you for posting the catalog link. I need to replace my cables and housing and have been having a hard time figuring out what my options are, so this is very helpful.

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Yeah, great catalog. I really like what the new Sturmey Archer has become. It's a bike geek's dream company.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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