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Bar-con cable management

Old 04-19-24, 08:57 AM
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Bar-con cable management

In another topic, where I suspect it was not seen, I posted "First time dealing with barcons in so many decades. After the rebuild the SunTour shifters seem to work really well — but the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant, I have a clip holding the cables together below the handlebars, and I still need a zip-tie directly above the housing stop on the downtube to keep the cables from drooping. Moreover, the shift cable housing comes rather close to the front brake’s straddle cable assembly. Is there a fix?" I really do not want to leave the cables like this, interested in input on a better installation, altohuhgt "everything works" right now.

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Old 04-19-24, 09:32 AM
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Yeah. I don't like that either. What I do is exit the brake housing just below the brake levers, where there is a more or less natural opening in the bar tape. Let's see if I can find a pic . . . . Ah!


You can see here how the cable is taped to the bar.

And how the cable exits the bar just under the brake lever.
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Old 04-19-24, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
In another topic, where I suspect it was not seen, I posted "First time dealing with barcons in so many decades. After the rebuild the SunTour shifters seem to work really well — but the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant, I have a clip holding the cables together below the handlebars, and I still need a zip-tie directly above the housing stop on the downtube to keep the cables from drooping. Moreover, the shift cable housing comes rather close to the front brake’s straddle cable assembly. Is there a fix?" I really do not want to leave the cables like this, interested in input on a better installation, altohuhgt "everything works" right now.
I made the big silver Merz analog for Eroica last year, switched it to SunTour barcons and plain brake levers.

Made the cables a little short but they work and look pretty good to my eye.

I always used to exit at the brake lever but haven't been able to get the look right now days.

With the super slick cables we have now, some have had good luck wrapping to the top of the bar, doesn't work for me but seems like it can be ok.

I think fancy robust casing is hard to get right with them.

Length especially and exit are critical to how they "sit".

The old bare casing always seemed to work ok and look right but is also inelegant.

I have some casing from Serbia that is very good, looks like the original but has plain clear casing that is perfect to me, I need to try and get some more, its what I used on the Merz.


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Old 04-19-24, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
In another topic, where I suspect it was not seen, I posted "First time dealing with barcons in so many decades. After the rebuild the SunTour shifters seem to work really well — but the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant, I have a clip holding the cables together below the handlebars, and I still need a zip-tie directly above the housing stop on the downtube to keep the cables from drooping. Moreover, the shift cable housing comes rather close to the front brake’s straddle cable assembly. Is there a fix?" I really do not want to leave the cables like this, interested in input on a better installation, altohuhgt "everything works" right now.

I don't have a photo but I've wrapped a number of bars with end shifters for the Bike Exchange. What I find works best is to wrap the housing under the tape up to the bottom of the brake levers, similar to Aubergine's illustration. That helps keep the cables from getting mixed up with fingers that are trying to use the brakes. Your existing housings may already be long enough, just try rewrapping the bars keeping the housing under the tape up to the levers.
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Old 04-19-24, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
In another topic, where I suspect it was not seen, I posted "First time dealing with barcons in so many decades. After the rebuild the SunTour shifters seem to work really well — but the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant, I have a clip holding the cables together below the handlebars, and I still need a zip-tie directly above the housing stop on the downtube to keep the cables from drooping. Moreover, the shift cable housing comes rather close to the front brake’s straddle cable assembly. Is there a fix?" I really do not want to leave the cables like this, interested in input on a better installation, altohuhgt "everything works" right now.
Forgot to add a critical for me note.

I always lock the cable to the bar with electrical tape, full wrap to the exit and 2-3 at the exit so it stays put and doesn't mess with the actual bar tape.

It can squirm around under use and make mess where it exits.
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Old 04-19-24, 11:07 AM
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I just run the cable along the flat of the "drops" and straight out from there. It makes for the smoothest cable run and I'm okay with the look, even if it isn't the most elegant visual ever.

It appears Rik van Looy ran his all the way up to the top of the bars, as shown in the photos.


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Old 04-19-24, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses!

Originally Posted by Aubergine
Yeah. I don't like that either. What I do is exit the brake housing just below the brake levers, where there is a more or less natural opening in the bar tape. Let's see if I can find a pic . . . . Ah! You can see here how the cable is taped to the bar. And how the cable exits the bar just under the brake lever.
Originally Posted by merziac
I made the big silver Merz analog for Eroica last year, switched it to SunTour barcons and plain brake levers. Made the cables a little short but they work and look pretty good to my eye. I always used to exit at the brake lever but haven't been able to get the look right now days. With the super slick cables we have now, some have had good luck wrapping to the top of the bar, doesn't work for me but seems like it can be ok. I think fancy robust casing is hard to get right with them. Length especially and exit are critical to how they "sit". The old bare casing always seemed to work ok and look right but is also inelegant. I have some casing from Serbia that is very good, looks like the original but has plain clear casing that is perfect to me, I need to try and get some more, its what I used on the Merz.
Originally Posted by daka
I don't have a photo but I've wrapped a number of bars with end shifters for the Bike Exchange. What I find works best is to wrap the housing under the tape up to the bottom of the brake levers, similar to Aubergine's illustration. That helps keep the cables from getting mixed up with fingers that are trying to use the brakes. Your existing housings may already be long enough, just try rewrapping the bars keeping the housing under the tape up to the levers.
I just grabbed the bike and pulled the cable/housing up to the brake lever; looks like a "probable" using the existing cables/housing. If not, yet another Velo Orange order... I guess that's OK.

Originally Posted by merziac
Forgot to add a critical for me note. I always lock the cable to the bar with electrical tape, full wrap to the exit and 2-3 at the exit so it stays put and doesn't mess with the actual bar tape. It can squirm around under use and make mess where it exits.
I have plenty of electric tape, and am not afraid to use it!

Originally Posted by bikingshearer
I just run the cable along the flat of the "drops" and straight out from there. It makes for the smoothest cable run and I'm okay with the look, even if it isn't the most elegant visual ever.
If the shift cables were not so close to fouling the front brake, I'd leave it too! I should get the owner's input.

Originally Posted by bikingshearer
It appears Rik van Looy ran his all the way up to the top of the bars, as shown in the photos.
I definitely cannot do that with the existing cables! Does that impact the quality (a) of shifting, or (b) of the steering?
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Old 04-19-24, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
Thanks for the quick responses! . . .
I definitely cannot do that with the existing cables! Does that impact the quality (a) of shifting, or (b) of the steering?
Tiger, I have run the housing to the top of the bars a couple times (usually when the bike has aero brake cables as well). It does not affect shifting quality or steering as far as I can tell, but I still prefer the exit under the brake lever, just to be sure there is no impediment.
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Old 04-19-24, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
It appears Rik van Looy ran his all the way up to the top of the bars, as shown in the photos.
Originally Posted by tiger1964
I definitely cannot do that with the existing cables! Does that impact the quality (a) of shifting, or (b) of the steering?
I have no idea. But it was good enough for van Looy, and he had 367 pro road victories.
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Old 04-19-24, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
In another topic, where I suspect it was not seen, I posted "First time dealing with barcons in so many decades. After the rebuild the SunTour shifters seem to work really well — but the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant, I have a clip holding the cables together below the handlebars, and I still need a zip-tie directly above the housing stop on the downtube to keep the cables from drooping. Moreover, the shift cable housing comes rather close to the front brake’s straddle cable assembly. Is there a fix?" I really do not want to leave the cables like this, interested in input on a better installation, altohuhgt "everything works" right now.
Will echo some others here-- your cables exit the bar tape a bit too early. Always preferred mine exit just above where the bars start to curve up, but not quite as high as the levers. Provides room enough to hold the bars at any position, and no interference with my preferred c'dale bar bags.

Also, those cables look too long for the chosen exit location, so appear extra saggy. Might as well experiment with raising the exit point whilst keeping the same length.
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Old 04-19-24, 01:36 PM
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Kind of hard to see with this blurry photo, sorry. This is how these Mondia were rigged from the factory ( copied from an old Bicycling Magazine review , 1973 I think ) and it works well, have just enough room to clear the straddle cable for the brakes. This is my only "bar end" bike. Joe
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Old 04-19-24, 01:47 PM
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Everyone has their concept of aesthetic-

On every bike that routes under the BB, I cross the cables in front of the head tube and under the down tube. It just makes for nice, easy cable bends.

If I were to put in bar end shifters, I would use quality modern shift housing and cables and wrap them up to the top and exit at the stem, then cross over to the opposite side cable stop, then cross under the down tube.

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/151917295@N05/, on Flickr

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/151917295@N05/, on Flickr



In the past I have routed out in front of the head tube- but crossed in front, then under the downtube.

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/151917295@N05/, on Flickr

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/151917295@N05/, on Flickr

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/151917295@N05/, on Flickr



But with good quality modern shift housing and cables, there's no reason to NOT exit tape by the stem... unless you like that look. And for me- I'd just be focusing on how the cable arcs weren't perfectly symmetrical throughout the whole ride.
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Old 04-20-24, 08:28 AM
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It’s been a few years since I’ve set those up. Bitd I would have the Suntour ratchet shifters cables roll up the bend some enough to lift, not up to the brake levers. Probably half way the bend to the lever.

I have tried the all the way to the top. I thought the run was too long and more friction with the top exiting. I could not get a good feel like I could with the downtube ratchet ones.

Those can be tricky to setup.
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Old 04-20-24, 09:22 AM
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I run mine like Golden Boy. Up all the way around the bend and across the flats, exit near the stem and then crossed over in front. (Then cross over the cables under the down tube).
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Old 04-20-24, 11:13 AM
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The traditional method looks fine if you keep the cable runs on the tight side. I don't criss cross. It's my preferred routing.



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Old 04-20-24, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964
... the cable routing strikes me as really inelegant.
Aside from your normal looking barcon routing, what I find inelegant is excessive non-aero brake cable. Maybe try something more like this:




It's also difficult to build an elegant bike with Cane Creek hoods. You have a beautiful Falcon, and it'd be nice if you could find some more appropriate gum hoods for it.
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Old 04-20-24, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12

Kind of hard to see with this blurry photo, sorry. This is how these Mondia were rigged from the factory ( copied from an old Bicycling Magazine review , 1973 I think ) and it works well, have just enough room to clear the straddle cable for the brakes. This is my only "bar end" bike. Joe
Well if Joe says this is the way to go . . . .

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Old 04-20-24, 02:43 PM
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Campagnolo 11-speed indexing bar ends with tape sacrilegiously wrapped from the top down to smooth the cable exit on the drops. Short piece of inner tube to secure and seal the tape ends.




Same shifters did not work as well with cables routed along the bars. Cleaner but too many tight bends blunted precision at the rear changer.
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Old 04-20-24, 02:45 PM
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Old 04-20-24, 05:54 PM
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Never liked the look of the barcon cables coming off the bottom of the bars, so as a few others tried other routings on my Supercourse. I stuck with the 2nd one, not the best illustrative of pics, sorry.
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Old 04-20-24, 07:13 PM
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Perhaps the OP could make the shifter cables even longer and zip tie them to the brake cables?
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Old 04-20-24, 09:31 PM
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I have run the cables under the tape to the stem before and I will likely do it in the future. But there is noticeable extra friction even with new cables and housing. Also there is some tension in the steering with the cables so short between their exit from the tape and the guides.

You must tape top to bottom--from the brake levers at least. With Bike Ribbon Pro and maybe some others, the edges are tapered so nicely that there is no curling from siding down the ramps.

I try for the fewest smoothest curves in cables. (And of course an elegant flow is strived for.) On my Milwaukee, with the cables run to the top tube, I wrap the cables up into the curve and they head right to the cable guides. This also lets me slide forward in the drops braking without the cables catching my thumbs.

On my Sachs, the cables go to the usual position and I wrap them just past the flats so they gracefully arch into the angle of the downtube.
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Old 04-21-24, 07:51 AM
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I have used the Suntour Barcons for decades and I had one instance when a shift cable needed replacement and I was unable to get the new cable started through the housing and had to unwrap the bar tape to get it done. Since then I have gone completely ugly and now zip tie the housing to the outside of the handlebar. On my touring bike this is compulsory for easy service on the road, and on the road bike because I am always horsing around with different handlebar and stem combos.
FWIW, running the cable all the way up to the stem is the most elegant way to do it.
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Old 04-21-24, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
I have used the Suntour Barcons for decades and I had one instance when a shift cable needed replacement and I was unable to get the new cable started through the housing and had to unwrap the bar tape to get it done. Since then I have gone completely ugly and now zip tie the housing to the outside of the handlebar. On my touring bike this is compulsory for easy service on the road, and on the road bike because I am always horsing around with different handlebar and stem combos.
FWIW, running the cable all the way up to the stem is the most elegant way to do it.
You could have taken the shifter mount out of the handlebar to get the cable started. That completely exposes the housing end.
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Old 04-21-24, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Perhaps the OP could make the shifter cables even longer and zip tie them to the brake cables?
That's funny! Or perhaps not!

Anyway, the whole point is to not need zip ties...
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