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How is this cable/housing length look?

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How is this cable/housing length look?

Old 03-13-14, 02:39 AM
  #1  
Metis 
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How is this cable/housing length look?

Hi Guys - Just picked up my new bike from the LBS today! It's a Specialized Tarmac SL4 Expert I've been saving up for about a year to buy. Upgraded from a Sora equipped Allez.

Anyway, when I got home it looked to me like the shifter lines/housing coming from the handlebars were a bit long. I say that because they seem to bow out and when I turn the bars all the way there is still a bit of slack. I'll probably also be adding a slightly shorter stem (-10mm) in the near future so that would add a bit of slack. My mechanical ability is pretty low so I'm asking for some second thoughts. Just want to ensure everything is up to par because I'm very OCD and it was an EXPENSIVE bike for me!

Thanks!





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Old 03-13-14, 03:11 AM
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The cable housing is a little long. If it bothers you at all I'd ask the shop to trim things down--probably while swapping out your stem. It's really a very easy job for them, and at most will require new cables. On a premium bike asking them to do this for you is reasonable. Stock setup is also always a little conservative--you can't make the housings longer, and replacing them is actually somewhat labor/cost intensive. Cutting them short if someone is slightly particular isn't expensive, in comparison. What if someone wants a longer stem out of the door?

Of course, bike cable cutters are really nice tools to own. DIY alternatives include dremel cuting wheels, but particularly for index housings, cable cutters are great. Basically what you're going for is the shortest run that runs smooth, and doesn't bind at any extreme of the handlebar's turn. As I am also a little obsessive about this, I've always trimmed up the cables on the new bikes I've purchased. I also have always run a position lower than stock which contributes to the cable length.

Nice bike. Have fun.
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Old 03-13-14, 04:54 AM
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Turn your handlebar all the way from side-to-side until it stops. Ideally, in the extreme positions, you want the cable housing to make the shortest possible smooth curve with NO tension on the cable housing. That's important. If you have any doubt, a little too long is always better than a little too short.

Just looking at yours, if it was my bike, I'd probably leave it as it is but I haven't seen the side-to-side test and that's the key.
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Old 03-13-14, 06:11 AM
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I like my cables as short as possible without binding and usually allow them to contact the head tube even when the bars are not severely turned. I use rubber fittings on the cables to protect the frame at the contact points. The one exception is my recently repainted steel frame. I never want to have to redo this frame again, so I run the cables a little longer on it and cross over the shifter cables to the opposite side guides (then back again under the down tube). That gives me a bit more bow in the cables without an ugly appearance. Hopefully this will keep the cables from damaging the frame paint.
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Old 03-13-14, 09:00 AM
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My cables are all a bit long on my Bike Friday .. as you need slack for folding to pack ..

Short is a Problem , on indexing shifts that dont reach full stroke.
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Old 03-13-14, 02:39 PM
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They look OK...nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:15 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it. Longer is actually better than too short. Short may create shifting isues and rubbing the frame.
But I have to say that housings on most bikes looks ugly lol
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Old 03-13-14, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Turn your handlebar all the way from side-to-side until it stops. Ideally, in the extreme positions, you want the cable housing to make the shortest possible smooth curve with NO tension on the cable housing. That's important. If you have any doubt, a little too long is always better than a little too short.
+1,

I use the full swing of the bar to set a minimum length, so the bar can never tug on any cables.

Eyeballing your cables, they're probably longer than I'd make them, but there's plenty of room for mechanic judgement on this point. It also depends on the frame. My general guideline is to have the free section of housing have the best line to the constrained part where it joins the frame.

If your frame has internal cable routing which has the cables leave the tubes at an angle (as most do) than this may be the right length since it lines up with the cable as it leaves the tube.

OTOH if you have cable stops on the frame that have the cable leaving parallel to the tube, than this is probably too long.

Ultimately, however, what matters isn't how it looks but how it works. It's very possible that the mechanic has built a number of these and found that the longer housing works better. If you have concerns, your best bet is to discuss them with the mechanic, and respect his judgement if he says he cut them this long based on experience.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:43 PM
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I think they're totally fine. They're a bit longish, but that leaves you room to make changes if you need to. I have once or twice really regretted having cables and housings just slightly shorter than I wanted them.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
But I have to say that housings on most bikes looks ugly lol
How about this?



Note to the OP: ignore my RD loop; Shimano systems require a bigger one - the upper pivot on a SRAM RD doesn't move, and Shimano (particularly 10s) has crappy signal-to-noise thanks to short cable pull, and requires cable perfection.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:48 PM
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Side note.

If you do decide that they're too long. I wouldn't be surprised if it's by an inch or so, or the exact length of the inline adjusters.

Sometimes mechanics carefully measure and cut housings, then add the inline adjusters, but forget to subtract an inch form the housing.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
How about this?
Looks like crap. Any halfway decent mechanic would have gotten the bare brake wire to follow the curve of the top tube so it was equidistant along the entire length.
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Old 03-13-14, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Looks like crap. Any halfway decent mechanic would have gotten the bare brake wire to follow the curve of the top tube so it was equidistant along the entire length.
I don't see any issue with that...I guess it's a "war" between 1 decent mechanic VS 1 Bicycle industry.

Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
How about this?



Note to the OP: ignore my RD loop; Shimano systems require a bigger one - the upper pivot on a SRAM RD doesn't move, and Shimano (particularly 10s) has crappy signal-to-noise thanks to short cable pull, and requires cable perfection.
Well...looks much cleaner than most, but red housings and red graphics make kind of optical mess lol
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Old 03-13-14, 04:20 PM
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Metis, IMHO the cables are a bit long, but that might be on purpose for this model as everything is equidistant/balanced. I wouldn't worry.

Brad
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Old 03-13-14, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
I don't see any issue with that...I guess it's a "war" between 1 decent mechanic VS 1 Bicycle industry.
Don't worry about it. My comment was intended for Kimmo, and I'm sure he understood.
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Old 03-13-14, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Don't worry about it. My comment was intended for Kimmo, and I'm sure he understood.
I don't. I somehow saw your PM I guess. Carry on my friend.
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Old 03-13-14, 05:28 PM
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They look just a little bit long, but I don't think that would cause any problem.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
optical mess
Challenge accepted

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Old 03-13-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Challenge accepted

Damn...that looks sooooo good!
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Old 03-17-14, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
Damn...that looks sooooo good!
Just a photochop for now... I have the fork, which needs stripping and painting, and I have to do a bit of work to the frame before I get someone to anodise and etch it...

Also, picture a FC-7700 (the Octalink Dura-Ace) on there, grey anodised with oversize Dura-Ace logo etched on in silver, fitted with classic-style BBB rings in black with the trick machining (rings currently fitted to my 3rd bike <---).

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