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Bikepacking Bags - Cables/Housing

Old 11-06-21, 01:05 PM
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Noonievut
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Bikepacking Bags - Cables/Housing

My allroad/gravel bike has internal cable routing and I use a couple bikepacking bags without a fuss. My road bike has external cable routing and the 1/2 frame bag attached to both the top and down tubes contact the cables, so I havenít used that bag on this bike. If I used full length shifting and brake cable housing would it be okay for the housing to contact the bag?
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Old 11-06-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
My allroad/gravel bike has internal cable routing and I use a couple bikepacking bags without a fuss. My road bike has external cable routing and the 1/2 frame bag attached to both the top and down tubes contact the cables, so I havenít used that bag on this bike. If I used full length shifting and brake cable housing would it be okay for the housing to contact the bag?
I can't imagine that there would be a problem. Is there some unusual thing about your routing?
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Old 11-06-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't imagine that there would be a problem. Is there some unusual thing about your routing?
There are two possible issues I can think of. One is if the cables are routed in such a way that the bags cause kinking. Seems unlikely though. The other is that you should avoid having a bag strapped tightly against a portion of the cable with no housing. Avoid straps binding those portions of cables. It might wear the bag and bind the cable.

Consider where you might hve cables without housings and whether they may be an issue with the bags you plan to use. If you need to you could go with full length housings.
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Old 11-06-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
There are two possible issues I can think of. One is if the cables are routed in such a way that the bags cause kinking. Seems unlikely though. The other is that you should avoid having a bag strapped tightly against a portion of the cable with no housing. Avoid straps binding those portions of cables. It might wear the bag and bind the cable.

Consider where you might hve cables without housings and whether they may be an issue with the bags you plan to use. If you need to you could go with full length housings.
I fully agree with you, but he said:

Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
... If I used full length shifting and brake cable housing would it be okay for the housing to contact the bag?
My expedition bike has full length outer housing, so I was thinking that. It is possible that his bike has cable stops on the frame so he can run bare inner cable, but if so I interpreted his plan to be to use a section of outer housing between any cable stops so that nothing would rub and chaf on the bag(s).

Photos and clarification would be useful.




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Old 11-06-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
If I used full length shifting and brake cable housing would it be okay for the housing to contact the bag?
any contact with exposed cables WILL be a problem, either affecting braking/shifting or damaging the bags. most likely both. contact with cable housings shouldn't be a problem........after all, cables in housings are often run under handlebar tape without problems.

sandwiched between the frame and the frame bag should be fine. just check the curvy bits where the housing jumps between triangle tubes. loose/unsecure bag could pull cables out of alignment in the corner curves and affect braking/shifting.

Last edited by saddlesores; 11-06-21 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 11-06-21, 06:01 PM
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Sometimes it is a problem on my bikes with manual disk brakes with exposed cables with couplers. Kinking definitely happens if I donít pay attention how I position things
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Old 11-07-21, 06:57 AM
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One of my bikes has full length housings and I know it has little guides for the housing to nestle into and little holes in these partial guides for zip ties to hold the housing in place.

with your road bike, how do you see full housing to be held to frame, zip ties around the whole frame tube? And wouldn't the standard housing stop things get in the way?

photos would certainly help
I'd Google ideas also.
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Old 11-07-21, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I fully agree with you, but he said:



My expedition bike has full length outer housing, so I was thinking that. It is possible that his bike has cable stops on the frame so he can run bare inner cable, but if so I interpreted his plan to be to use a section of outer housing between any cable stops so that nothing would rub and chaf on the bag(s).
Yep, that or just reroute the cables using full length housings. Either way would work. I guess a little care should be taken to not kink the cable right at the stops if using housing as a sleeve between brazed on cable stops.

Photos and clarification would be useful.
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Old 11-08-21, 01:57 PM
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I've run a full frame bag on my touring bike with exposed cable for ~10k miles. This has rear brake cable exposed between cable stops on the underside of the top tube, and exposed front and rear shift cable on the down tube. All three have Ritchey couplers (S&S couplers on the frame), so the coupler for the rear brake does move a little between the top tube and the top fabric of the frame bag, but it's fairly loose between top tube and bag. (If you have a frame bag with laces along the whole top edge, you might need to take care not to lace it extremely tightly.) The shift couplers just move in free air below the down tube.

No problems to report. One does need to take care with any velcro straps -you want the strap under exposed cable, not over - but with housing it doesn't matter. And I had this bag custom designed to this bike - between the cable stops, cable couplers, and frame couplers, it's a little fussy about where the velcro straps should go. Plus at the time (2013?) there were not many off-the-shelf frame bags yet.

Custom bags from small makers are the same price or cheaper than ready-made ones, so this shouldn't deter anyone reading this post. It's usually quite simple now, you just upload a good quality photo of the frame, with a ruler or tape measure in the photo
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Old 11-08-21, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Sorry no photo - right now I have exposed cables under the top tube and under the down tube. When I next replace cables I was going to get full length housing in those areas so that I can run a bag. Pretty confident this wouldn't be an issue thanks to the positive feedback.
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Old 11-08-21, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
Thanks for the responses. Sorry no photo - right now I have exposed cables under the top tube and under the down tube. When I next replace cables I was going to get full length housing in those areas so that I can run a bag. Pretty confident this wouldn't be an issue thanks to the positive feedback.
My LHT has the exposed cable on the top tube. I went with full length housing and zip ties. It does surface scratch the paint, but much more convenient for bags, bikes stands, etc.
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Old 11-08-21, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
Thanks for the responses. Sorry no photo - right now I have exposed cables under the top tube and under the down tube. When I next replace cables I was going to get full length housing in those areas so that I can run a bag. Pretty confident this wouldn't be an issue thanks to the positive feedback.
If you were careful to make sure that your straps around the downtube were between the cables and frame, you probably could leave your downtube cables as is. You might want to try it first that way, and if it added any friction to your shift cables, you could make the modification later.
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Old 11-09-21, 07:05 AM
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and if you do really go the full housing route, be sure to put some layers of electric tape or whatever for where the zip ties will contact the frame, as with frame bag strap contact points, just so paint doesnt get rubbed off over time. Pretty important.
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Old 11-09-21, 11:19 AM
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I have run a frame bag for years with exposed cables on my LHT without issue. The weight of the bag is pulling down. If they rub, they aren't rubbing hard on the bag.
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Old 11-09-21, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I have run a frame bag for years with exposed cables on my LHT without issue. The weight of the bag is pulling down. If they rub, they aren't rubbing hard on the bag.
I am not surprised. I wasn't going to suggest that would be the case without personal experience, but am glad to hear it has worked out tht way for you.
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Old 11-09-21, 01:57 PM
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If I was going to put outer housing over the inner along the top tube, I would just cut a piece of outer housing that is a hair shorter than the distance between the cable stops. (Also factor in the ferrule length for two ferrules for that distance.) If the outer housing there is shorter than the distance between the cable stops by a couple mm, then the cable stops still serve their purpose, as the frame and cable stops is as compressionless as the shifter compressionless shifter cable is. In that case you could even use brake outer housing between the stops because the sole purpose of the outer housing is to prevent friction between the bag and cable and the outer housing is not under compression. No need for zip ties to hold the housing to the frame.


Originally Posted by djb View Post
and if you do really go the full housing route, be sure to put some layers of electric tape or whatever for where the zip ties will contact the frame, as with frame bag strap contact points, just so paint doesnt get rubbed off over time. Pretty important.
I used to put electrical tape on my frame in chafe spots. Then on my Nomad Mk II frame, they had sprayed clear coat over the decals which were over the color coat. Some of the clear coat stayed stuck to the tape when I pulled it off. You probably can do the electric tape thing 9 out of 10 times without any problem. But after my experience with the tape lifting the clear coat off, if you plan to do that you might want to try putting a piece of tape on in a small spot and see if it peels off ok a month later.
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Old 11-09-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If I was going to put outer housing over the inner along the top tube, I would just cut a piece of outer housing that is a hair shorter than the distance between the cable stops.
Thanks for the suggestion Tourist. I've been using electrical tape to preserve my paint under a short top tube bag, but I like your idea to use a slightly short section of cable housing the entire length between stops. Think I'll re-do mine that way. I also like Doug's suggestion a few months ago to use 3/32 heat shrink for a tidy cable end cap. Much easier than bugging the LBS for a handful of caps from the shop supply.

Last edited by BobG; 11-10-21 at 05:27 AM. Reason: delete photo
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Old 11-09-21, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
....you could even use brake outer housing between the stops because the sole purpose of the outer housing is to prevent friction between the bag and cable and the outer housing is not under compression. No need for zip ties to hold the housing to the frame.....
but you'll prolly want to use zip ties anyway,
as you'll inevitably wind up with a bit of unsecured
housing "plinking" against the metal tube each
time you hit a bump, especially if you ride with
the frame bag removed.

nothing more bothersome than weird noises
coming off your bike, random clicks or tapping.
worst has gotta be aiglets slapping your grommets.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:16 AM
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Some of this probably comes down to how careful we are as individual about wear points and so on. Some go to great lengths to avoid even the slightest scuff. Others don't sweat it if a little paint gets rubbed off over time. Similar attitudes can apply over wear on bags and other gear.

Personally I figure I am not much worried about hurting resale value since I seldom have ever sold one of my bikes. I keep them either forever or until they are ready to donate to a co-op. A scuff here or there that is normal wear doesn't bother me. A scar from a crash may bother me more, but is less avoidable and I see it as just another battle scar. Wear on bags and stuff like that concerns me if it actually shortens the life of the bags. Otherwise not so much.

I have almost never bothered with tape or other protective stuff on the frame unless I was putting it under a metal p-clamp or something.

Not suggesting others should do as I do. Just pointing out that there is a range of approaches to how much we fuss over this stuff. Some of us go to great lengths and some of us pretty much just don't sweat it.
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Old 11-11-21, 05:55 AM
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I've been anal about maintaining paint on steel frames since the demise of my Bill Vetter frame, particularly the thin mid-section of the top tube. The frame below was 12 years old ('82-'94) thus it owed me nothing. Despite having been freshly re-painted with Imron a bubble appeared. I peeled it and this crack was revealed below. I think I waited too long to re-paint ...



Powdercoat on my current frame with thicker tubes has held up better for 27 years with one re-application.

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