Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Crossed Cables OK?

Old 09-05-06, 07:41 AM
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mleess
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Crossed Cables OK?

Hey all:

I happened to notice that on my new bike (C'dale Synapse Alloy 4) the shifter cables cross each other under the down tube. In other words, the L shifter cable crosses over the right side of the stem, then runs along under the down tube. The R shifter cable crosses over the left side of the stem, then also runs along under the down tube. But at the bottom of the down tube, the two cables cross each other, and seem to be in contact with each other. A biking friend of mine said this is unusual, and that the cables being in contact with each other could wear them down over time due to the friction.

Is this a standard way of running cables? Should I have it changed?

Thanks
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Old 09-05-06, 07:49 AM
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Ray Dockrey
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My Specialized Allez is the same way. It allows the housing a gentler curve to the cable stops and then they criss cross under the down tube. There have been several discussions on this and general concensus is that it doesn't hurt anything. It also helps keep the cables from rubbing the paint off of the head tube. I have not had any problems with mine and I really don't see how it could harm anything. The length of time it would take for them to start showing signs of wear would be so long that it would be time for replacement anyway.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:27 AM
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That's how I run 'em. I think it was either the Park Tool or Sheldon Brown site that describes this method. I used both sites like crazy when I built my bike.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:31 AM
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Ray Dockrey
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Here is one the articles that dstrong talks about. It's about three quarters down the page.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cables.html
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Old 09-05-06, 08:36 AM
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My MTB has been this way since I bought it in about '01. Haven't had any problems due to this arrangement yet. BTW- it's also a C-dale.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:28 AM
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I had my bike set up with the X cables and noticed the shifitng got sticky. I ran them without the cross and shortened up the housings to make smooth bends and shifted perfectly after that.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:03 AM
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Bob Ross
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my 2006 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2 came like that. LBS told me their mechanic likes to build bikes up that way...though I noticed that *none* of the other bikes in the shop were set up that way! Oh well. No problems yet.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:15 AM
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It depends on the frame. I tried this with my LeMond Zurich but the cables rubbed the frame so I switched them around so that they don't cross. If it doesn't rub the frame you shouldn't have any trouble. If it does, the cables will quickly wear through the paint.
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Old 09-05-06, 01:39 PM
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I rode a bike this past weekend with the cables crossed like this and think this is the best routing for the cables, they don't rub the frame, the cables turns seem smoother and there is enough cable to allow free turning of the front wheel. just make sure you have those little rubber donuts on the cables to keep them from making noise on the frame. I just can't see how much junk under there is needed to gum up the cables...as with all the exposed cables, it should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.
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