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  1. #1
    dropped at birth
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    First time cabling a road bike

    I am just getting to the end of my first ground up build on a full Campy 10 speed road bike. I have never cabled a bike before, and would like to not screw it up.

    I notice that the Ergo levers have the option of running the shifter cables in front of, or in the rear of the bars. I am not sure which way would be best, and would appreciate input.

    Also, I have seen bikes with the derailleur cables crossing at the front, then recrossing underneath. Is there reason for this?

    I do have a good pair of cable cutters. Any other helpful advice would be great - thanks.

  2. #2
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    How you run the cables under the tape depends on the bar and personal preference. Some bars have cable grooves front and back and you'd use one for brake and one for gear. Others have a single wider groove in front, and you'd route both there. Or some have no grooves and you route however you prefer (I prefer both housings in front, but that's just me).

    As for crossing in front, some folks believe that makes for a gentler more open curve in the housing and lower cable friction. I'm not one of these, but don't debate it. Like how you route cables under the tape, it's a "to each his own" issue.

    IMO, there are no rules, except that then housings must be tight to the lever, and you need to be careful not to pull them away as you tape them into the curves.
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  3. #3
    dropped at birth
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    Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to provide such good info - as you always do.

  4. #4
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    I originally ran both cables in the front. I thought it would be better to avoid the ridge along the back of the bars when I was holding the tops. But my new bike came with cables in front and back, and it's fine that way, too.

    With both in front, one cable crosses over the top of the bar behind the hoods. I cut a few layers of old inner tube and taped them on each side of the cable, so there wouldn't be a ridge under the bar tape.

    Bike stores usually leave some excess housing--better to be too long than too short if the customer changes the stem or the bars. When I do my own housing install, I can cut it approximately right, then then fit it without installing the internal cable, recutting the housing to get it "just right". Enough to allow the bars to swing all the way to each side, but no more.

    Similar to this example. No huge loops of cable.
    head-cables.jpg

  5. #5
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    For aesthetics: the housings should have a pleasing and symmetrical curve, no floppy excess housing. For function: make sure to dress the cut housing ends with a file or similar.
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  6. #6
    dropped at birth
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    The cable kit contains a bag with about 5 housing ends, one of which is specific for the RD cable housing at the rear dropout. The ends fit over the shifter housings, but not the brake housings. Do the brake housings not require ends? Sorry if this seems like a dumb question, the Campy instruction sheets leave something to be desired IMO.

  7. #7
    Senior Member trailangel's Avatar
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    Those brifters sure make a mess of things, dont' they?

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