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  1. #1
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    Internally routed brake housing - pros and cons

    I'm currently in the process of getting a new custom steel 29er. Internally routed brake lines looks super clean but it seems that most frames, both custom and non-custom, use normal cable guides braced to the frame.

    Why don't we see more frames with internally routed cables?

  2. #2
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    The reason you don't see them more is, unless the builder/manufacturer is very thoughtful and sets up the frame with internal guides for the cables/lines, it is a screaming pain in the butt to route new cables or lines through the frame. Other problems not related to normal maintenance are, positioning of the openings so as not to weaken frame tubes, securing or buffering the line, housing or, cable so that it doesn't abrade against the opening in the frame, and so on. It's simply easier and less expensive to braze on cable stops or line guides externally on a metal frame. Carbon frames are easier as the openings can be incorporated into the forms the frame is laid in. But the above issues still apply. they're simply easier to resolve. It certainly can and is being done. And a frame with internally routed cables does look very clean. However from a maintenance and manufacturing stand point internal cable/line routing isn't nearly as practical.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    Most steel bikes will have full liners so the issue of finding the other end is negated. If your just talking brake line it's pretty straight forward as long as the entry point is on the correct side of the tube for your braking preference.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Most steel bikes will have full liners so the issue of finding the other end is negated. If your just talking brake line it's pretty straight forward as long as the entry point is on the correct side of the tube for your braking preference.
    This is my thought to. If the frame builder uses a thin tube (eg brass) inside the frame it should be pretty easy to get it to work…

    Any other thoughts…?

  5. #5
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    Pain in the a** IMO. Anytime you install or swap out brakes, you got to re-bleed. One big advantage is that your lines are protected in a bad crash.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable0guy View Post
    Pain in the a** IMO. Anytime you install or swap out brakes, you got to re-bleed. One big advantage is that your lines are protected in a bad crash.
    Bleeding brakes is not a big problem. I've used Hope Tech M4's for the last 3 years and only had to bleed them once when I moved the brakes to a new frame and needed a longer hose…think it took me around 15 min.

    I fear noise from the thin tube inside the frame or rust issues more than bleeding my brakes, anyone had or heard of such issues…???

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