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Thread: Hard Lines

  1. #1
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    Hard Lines

    Hey guys, I was just pondering something...

    As I was watching the World Biker Build-Off last night, they used hard-lines on their motorcycles and then used flex joints where needed. It made for an extremely clean looking line setup, without huge bulging cables going everywhere.

    Anyway, I was wondering.... why don't mtn bike companies use hardlines on areas like the down-tube, and then use a flex joint where the suspension pivots, and then where it goes to the caliper? It'd be absolutely awesome looking, and clean .. and you could still unbolt your caliper easily for servicing.

    Just a thought...


    -Matt
    Rigs:
    Specialized Rockhopper HT
    Trek 6500 HT
    Trek 3700 Disc HT (The son's)

  2. #2
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    While I can't speak to the manufacturers' reasons, my own guesses are the following:

    -weight. The more you cut a hydro line, the more hardware you have to put in. On downhill applications, maybe not so much of an issue, but still.

    -more things to go wrong. Every time you cut into a line, there's the possibility that it'll leak, or be problematic in some other way. If you snag a soft line on something at a million miles an hour, the rest of the line has room to tug. On a hard line, there's a possibility that it'll get yanked off.

    -easier assembly. By and large, assembling bicycles is basically a tab-a and slot-b operation, and then adjustments are made. That means that something that might be more custom, like hard-lines, would add complexity to the deal, which isnt' always desirable. In addition, the brake systems as they come are often pre-bled, ready to go units, where you clamp onto the bar, mount onto the bike, and go. Hard lines will mean more work and more mess for somethign that, while cool, isn't necessary.

    -Compatibility. Where do you decide whose hose becomes the standard? Do you teach mechanics to properly bend hydraulic hard line, so they can mold to any bike? Or do you make standardized line shapes for individual frames? Or if yuo go the other way and leave it to the manufacturer of hte frame to make their own hard lines, again, how do you judge what coupling will be used? Company A will come up with a new standard that they'll make a readily available prototype for, company B will make a poor imitation of that system, Shimano will decide to do their own thing that won't even consider working with anything else, and in the end, it'll become a hassle.

    All that said, I really, really hope that Avid is allowed to continue their own brand of outside the box thinking. If anyone was going to come out with such a thing, I'd think it would have been them. It wouldn't take too much for them to modify their full metal jacket concept into something that could be workable in such a fashion.

  3. #3
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    Uber-Stupid: I definitely see where you're coming from.

    I was just thinking, you know... that maybe a manufacturer could offer "kits" for specific frames. Maybe not every frame out there, but a good chunk of them.

    I see it being something more useful for DH than XC, as yes it might *gasp* weigh a smidge more. The biggest plus to having hard lines on runs of tubing is that there's NO expansion of the line, meaning it'd make the lever nice and crispy... with no "squish" feeling to it.

    Sort of like companies make exhaust kits for cars, I could see where a company could offer a brake-line kit for a specific frame. Hit frames, such as the Specialized Big-Hit, the Santa Cruz V-10, or something of the like would definitely benefit.

    It's just an idea, but hey... there's always room to dream... right?

    Maybe I'll just get some goodridge lines and "getter' done" eventually.

    -Matt
    Rigs:
    Specialized Rockhopper HT
    Trek 6500 HT
    Trek 3700 Disc HT (The son's)

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