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Converting to inner cabling

Old 09-05-22, 07:00 PM
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XxHaimBondxX
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Converting to inner cabling

Found a nice Trek 7.3, best riding position I ever had. Only I hate exterior cabling on it, always gets hung up on my bike rack and on bike stand. Seems like pretty simple procedure, just need a ton of tubing and a few plastic grommets. Plan is to have one cable on one side and two cable on the other or should I pull them from the top where the cable guides used to be once I cut them off? Any issues or this is a dumb idea?
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Old 09-05-22, 07:07 PM
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Wait...you want to convert a frame w/ external cable routing to internal? Really?
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Old 09-05-22, 07:21 PM
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XxHaimBondxX
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Really. Seems like you like that word.
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Old 09-05-22, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX View Post
Really. Seems like you like that word.
How exactly are you planning on doing this? I'll just say that's it's most likely a tremendously bad idea, unless you're some sort of frame building/machining savant.
ETA: Don't be a **** when you're the one asking the admittedly dumb question and are looking for help.
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Old 09-05-22, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Wait...you want to convert a frame w/ external cable routing to internal? Really?
Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX View Post
Really. Seems like you like that word.
Well, after you destroy the frame, you can buy one with internal cable routing.
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Old 09-05-22, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX View Post
Any issues or this is a dumb idea?
The latter.
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Old 09-05-22, 10:51 PM
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I have seen so many threads on this site about the difficulties of dealing with internal cable routing on frames designed for it that I have lost count. You, on the other hand want to run internal cables on a frame that was never designed for internal cables. All I can say is that your idea is STUPID

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Old 09-06-22, 12:07 AM
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There should be a special place in hell for people who design internally routed cable frames.
Enjoy the simplicity of the "old tech" you have for as long as you can.

In other words: it's a bad idea IMO.

If you still insist, I'm not sure how to get the cables in and out of the frame - i.e. not sure it has holes drilled in the right places for that.
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Old 09-06-22, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post

If you still insist, I'm not sure how to get the cables in and out of the frame - i.e. not sure it has holes drilled in the right places for that.
ok, we're finally getting somewhere. I'm assuming the top tube is completely hollow, so drilling oval holes on both ends and fishing out the cable shouldn't be a huge deal. I wasn't planning on doing full reroute like through handlebars or downtube.
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Old 09-06-22, 04:43 AM
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Trek at one time made an internal cable model of the 7.3.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-3-fx/p/16277/

You might be better off looking for one of those (not sure if Trek still makes them) in your size vice Drewing your current frame.


Edited to Add: link added to give background on the infamous "Drew" for those unaware of the history of the term "Drew" (and its variants) on BF.

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Old 09-06-22, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX View Post
ok, we're finally getting somewhere. I'm assuming the top tube is completely hollow, so drilling oval holes on both ends and fishing out the cable shouldn't be a huge deal. I wasn't planning on doing full reroute like through handlebars or downtube.
Yup. With a gun to my head very persistant enthusiast, I'd try drilling holes in the top tube - at least 5 cm away from the welds, just in case.

Thinking out loudly (haven't ever done something like that... drilling for internal routing I mean... not that I'm exceptionally good at thinking either ):
The next challenge would be preventing cables from slowly cutting through aluminium. Full housing routed through the frame would prevent that, but would also provide a bit more flex (not a good idea for both the brakes, and the shifters).
Alternatively, some sort of steel reinforced housing ends/stops that guide the cables on entry and exit could do, but if they are permanently fixed, they would also make cable replacement a bit more tricky (in either case one should try to use the existing cable as a guide when replacing the internally routed cables - whenever possible).

I also believe spare plastic cable/housing guides for frame entry/exit are sold somewhere on them Internetses and/or bike shops - and I wouldn't be surprised if every model of every manufacturer uses a slightly different mold (guide shape, and frame hole shape/size), but I could be wrong on that.

If done right, it will definitely look "smoother" when done. And any future cable/housing replacements will most likely be a lot more hassle (but also quite meditative ).

While I'm at it, at the cost of sounding like a fear-monger, I'd advise against drilling the fork, stem, bars, or the downtube. Just to be on the safe side.

BTW, if you go through with this, I'm interested to see what you opt for eventually, as well as to see the pictures, and hear how it went in the long run (i.e. the next cable replacement).
I'm sure you aren't the only person who prefers the look of the internally routed cables so it would probably be useful to any other enthusiasts.
I still think it's a bad idea (just like the 1x drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes on road bikes ), but it's also interesting.

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Old 09-06-22, 05:55 AM
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You must have the older model with the rear brake, FD and RD cables down the top of the TT. I have a Ti gravel bike with that arrangement as do many people and it is not a bother in any way. Changing your rack and in the work stand clamping you seatpost rather than your TT will keep you from destroying your frame.
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Old 09-06-22, 06:23 AM
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More trouble than it is worth. If the external cabling bothers you that much, get a bike designed for internally routed cables.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:37 AM
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I might be tempted to try it, as a styling exercise; but certainly not on "mY fAvOrItE bIke EvAr"

Study a couple different bikes that have internal cables and see how they are laid out and go together (especially what the cable has to do after it comes out) before you start drilling holes in things.
T There's not a kit for this, and there's no "Part That Does" so you're going to have to do the engineering on your own. Get your hands on the grommets or inserts so you can figure out how the penetrations will go and how the cable will run inside the tube.

Also, don't clamp the top tube; that's rookie stuff.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:37 AM
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Personally, I feel that BF members are going about these threads all wrong (myself included). When asked for advice or direction, BF members typically apply logic and reason as to why something shouldn't be done or even attempted (whatever the dumb thing is, drilling holes in frames, riding bikes with frames that are cracked and/or fixing them with hose clamps, etc). I propose we adopt the stance that if someone comes here with a bad idea, we should overwhelmingly support it for two reasons.

One
Posters who come to ask questions, seek opinions, have already decided what they think is best and are really here to recieve kudos for such a great idea via a course of "amens". Not to mention they get hostile when someone genuinely tries to help/save them from themselves.

Two
We don't have saber tooth tigers to cull the slow and slow witted anymore. All we have left is "watch this". So, if they're gonna do what they're gonna do regardless of sound, logical advice; why not give them a thumbs up and wait for the newspaper article or post crash recovery thread? It'd save a lot of time and energy.

Neither of these two things address the "Where do they come from and what do they get out of it?" posters who don't have or ride a bike that ask questions that will give them the pleaure of watching the ensuing dog chasing it's tail thread degradation.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:03 AM
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As far as getting the external cables out of the way for racks and stand clamps you can just release the brake and shifter cables by squeezing the pads together and pulling the cables out of the stops and shifting the derailleurs to the highest (front) and lowest (rear) and then without pedaling shift the levers all the way down which will also give you enough slack to remove the cables from the stops provided they are open to allow the cable to go through. As mentioned, besides the difficulty of getting the holes drilled properly, if even possible on your bike, for internal cabling the headache of changing out cables and possible rattling, etc., are just not worth it IMO.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:46 AM
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Well I'm not sure why all the hostility. This forum has been most helpful in the past and I learned a lot. This particular issue didn't stand out in my mind as being very controversial. Bike is not a unicorn, just a 15 year old beater that I happened to like and thought I could improve. I still haven't decided either way. Clamping to the seat post is definitely great advice I will try from now on.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHaimBondxX View Post
Well I'm not sure why all the hostility. This forum has been most helpful in the past and I learned a lot. This particular issue didn't stand out in my mind as being very controversial. Bike is not a unicorn, just a 15 year old beater that I happened to like and thought I could improve. I still haven't decided either way. Clamping to the seat post is definitely great advice I will try from now on.
I suspect what you see as hostility is (a) the general consensus that this is a very bad idea (in your OP you said "stupid" but most people are trying to avoid such an emotional word), and (b) the perception you want to argue about (a) and, as such, BF posters in general are ready for an argument.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:09 AM
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If you really want to try this you'll need to find either some grommets (if you want to use one continuous piece of housing) OR housing stop inserts. Then you'll have to make holes for whichever you choose that fit exactly. Not a huge job, but considering you didn't think to clamp your bike in the work stand by the seat post like virtually every mechanic in the world...I see this becoming a somewhat more challenging project.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:25 AM
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I understand and accept the consensus that this idea is not worth it the trouble. It's just nomadmans "advice" to encourage stupid and dangerous ideas from noobs to watch them on the news had me depressed a bit. I wasn't even arguing to deserve such response, just trying to learn and understand the downsides.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:33 AM
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Boy, what a bunch of negative nancys. I say go for it. I mean, what could go wrong?
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Old 09-06-22, 09:38 AM
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Instructions how to do it.
https://www.instructables.com/Intern...ny-bike-frame/

Dan
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Old 09-06-22, 09:43 AM
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I wouldn't consider myself a mechanic lol. My stand is not top of the line and bike has suspension post and Bolt-on clamp so I was just being lazy. I've used seat post method in the past.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
There's also one on YouTube where a guy did it to his indoor trainer for some reason.


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Old 09-06-22, 11:30 AM
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1. I think this is a fine idea if you're willing to accept the risk that it'll ruin your bike.
2. I hacksawed off a brake bridge and cable guides on an old fixie conversion and got all kinds of grief from BF folks, but it was fine.
3. It probably won't work. And I would definitely not drill handlebars... but that's me... broke a set once because it fatigued under the wrap and I couldn't see it.
4. I love my internal cables - I also love that other people can't figure out how to work on them... I also like gluing sew-ups, and I hate the fussiness of disk brakes. So chacon au son gous or something like that.

Photo for cred:
Note how the tube shape is changed around the penetrations - these are not just drilled into the frame, they are planned and fabricated. Also the penetrations are cable stops so there's no housing inside the tubes. The housing liner shown in this photo is how you get the cables in there, and use it to hold your place when you're taking cables out.

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