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bar end shifter cable routing

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bar end shifter cable routing

Old 03-27-12, 09:01 PM
  #1  
ryanwood
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bar end shifter cable routing

I am giving my Cross-Check an overhaul, and replacing brake levers, housings, and cables as well as shifter cables and housings.

My question is about routing the shifter cables under the bar tape all the way to the center of the bars. Every other bar end installation I've see has the cables hanging freely, but I think it would be a cleaner installation with the housings kept out of sight.

They were hanging out when I got the bike, and I have kept them that way every time I have rewrapped the bars, but I would like to bury them as long as it doesn't severely affect shifter performance
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Old 03-27-12, 09:51 PM
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I have two bikes with barcon cables routed under the tape. No problems whatsoever.
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Old 03-27-12, 10:19 PM
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With larger bikes, you might need a tandem length cable, but that's a quick fix.
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Old 03-27-12, 10:27 PM
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Have actually run the cables inside the handlebar on one of our tandems.
Drilled hole about 1 inch from bar end and another hole where bartape ends topwards the stem.
Was told that handlebar would eventually break where we drilled it.
Lasted 56,000 miles, and no issues.
Your results may vary.
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Old 03-27-12, 10:29 PM
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I always wrap them with the housing exiting just above the point where the drops begin the upward curve. A good thing to consider is that for every inch of housing, there is a higher possibility for the inner cable to drag. In addition, the more turns your cable housing makes, it also increases drag on the inner cable. Personally, I have never found a way to route the housing past the brake lever, where it's not pressing on my hand painfully in the drops(on either side). The path of least resistance works for me, literally.,,,,BD
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Old 03-27-12, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
With larger bikes, you might need a tandem length cable, but that's a quick fix.
Beat me to it. Other than that, no worries.

Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
I have never found a way to route the housing past the brake lever, where it's not pressing on my hand painfully in the drops(on either side). The path of least resistance works for me, literally.,,,,BD
It's easy. From the shifter, run the housing on the bottom of the bar. As the bar bends up, follow along the front of the bar. When you get it up to the brake lever, transition over to the inside of the curve and run it along the front of the bar in the middle, maybe just a bit below center, and exit the tape at the middle of the bar.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-27-12, 11:28 PM
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Interesting, I will probably still stick to the old ways though, hehe. Thanks of course.,,,,BD
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Old 03-28-12, 07:32 AM
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Thanks for the info everyone

I was mostly concerned about the indexed shifting getting sloppy with additional friction, but it sounds like I shouldn't have a problem
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Old 03-28-12, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Have actually run the cables inside the handlebar on one of our tandems.
Drilled hole about 1 inch from bar end and another hole where bartape ends topwards the stem.
Was told that handlebar would eventually break where we drilled it.
Lasted 56,000 miles, and no issues.
Your results may vary.
With heavy wall aluminum bars I suppose this is ok but certainly not recommended and particularly not a good idea with thin wall, lightweight aluminum or cabon bars.
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Old 03-28-12, 10:44 AM
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Die drawn cables are flattened on the outside, to be smoother.
highly recommended

After a few variations, mine, are exiting the tape, on the inside face,
where Your brake lever mounting band is, then running up, past the corners
of my handle bar bag on my touring bike, then down to the frame stops.

Though the Cross bike's brakes, having the Housing already taped down to the second
set of brake levers, the bar end shift cables went along with them to the center..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-28-12 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 03-28-12, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
With heavy wall aluminum bars I suppose this is ok but certainly not recommended and particularly not a good idea with thin wall, lightweight aluminum or cabon bars.
Carbon bars are scary enough as it without diy modifications. I'm sort of afraid to make loud noises or use flash photography around them.
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Old 03-28-12, 10:52 AM
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just another data point in favor of routing the cables under the bar tape to the stem area.

I've done both - exited the cables right below the bar curve to loop in front of the handlebars and then back to the down tube, and then next time I cabled, I tried just routing them under the tape all the way around to the stem.

Both worked perfectly. Sure, there's "theoretical" additional friction on the cables which "might" degrade shifting. But in my case, if it was there it was imperceptable.

FWIW, the housing length was very close to the same for both techniques, so that was not a factor at all. The only possible factor was that the cable makes slightly (slightly) sharper curves with the second technique, but again, it was meaningless.
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Old 03-28-12, 12:16 PM
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I'll give an opinion from the other side. I've done an under the tape routing, but that did not work well for me at all.
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Old 03-28-12, 12:26 PM
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ryanwood, A long time ago when I first installed bar end shifters I looked for pictures and eventually chose the traditional style. Of the under the bar tape examples the best looking I saw was where the cable housing was criss crossed in front of the head tube and the recrossed under the down tube. Very clean looking.

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Old 03-28-12, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post
I'll give an opinion from the other side. I've done an under the tape routing, but that did not work well for me at all.
I had problems when I just used the existing cable housing (friction shifted bike with brake cable style housing for shifters). Once I changed it over to indexed shifting cable housing, it worked great.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-28-12, 05:55 PM
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I just tried this out this winter, working great so far. Used the regular rear cable for the front, and got a longer (3000mm) cable for the rear, as previously mentioned.

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