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  1. #1
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    Are frames with cables routed under BB bad news?

    I can get a frame like the one below for a super low price, but I'm wary about the cable routing. They use the old style routing through a little plastic thingy under the BB and then up for the F der., and straight along the lower chainstay for the R der. Seems like this setup would be more prone to getting gunked up with dust, mud, water, etc. Am I right? I've never had a bike with cables run like this so I don't know, but it looks questionable to me for trail bike. I'm looking for a cheap frame to build up for my wife, but I don't want something that'll be prone to a lot of shifting problems. What have been your experiences with frames like this?

    merida sub frame - Yahoo! Search Results

  2. #2
    dru
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    No, just buy the thing. You might have 1% more maintenance with that design. It isn't really an issue.
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    It works just fine even when the bike is plastered with mud to the point where the wheels don't turn. I have a bike where the cables are routed that way, I did the cable install 2 years ago and didn't touch them until this year when one of the shifter cables started fraying. Bike shifted just fine despite all the crap I rode it through, though I do have to point out that I'm on an 8spd drivetrain which has a lot more wiggle room than modern 9 & 10 speed stuff.

  4. #4
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    Its not so bad of a thing, you'll just need to oil the guide at the bottom every now and again. Or just run full length housing up under the BB (or along the top tube).

    Bikes were like that for a long time and folks got along just fine. Cables routed under the BB doesnt work so well on some FS designs but on a hardtail you're fine.

  5. #5
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    It's actually just the opposite. All of the open cable ends point down. So in theory they are less likely to draw contamination. This setup also uses the least amount of housing possible. So that in itself will result in less friction. This setup is about the only 'standard' feature left on road bikes.

    Of course what cables and housing you use has a huge part to do with your experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    It's actually just the opposite. All of the open cable ends point down. So in theory they are less likely to draw contamination. This setup also uses the least amount of housing possible. So that in itself will result in less friction. This setup is about the only 'standard' feature left on road bikes.

    Of course what cables and housing you use has a huge part to do with your experience.
    The part I was most worried about is the cable stop on the chainstay just before the rear derailleur. It's horizontal at that point.

    Good feedback. That's the only thing I don't like about the frame, but based on what you all are saying I'll probably get it. It will be a 9-speed setup though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pollution Warrior View Post
    The part I was most worried about is the cable stop on the chainstay just before the rear derailleur. It's horizontal at that point.

    Good feedback. That's the only thing I don't like about the frame, but based on what you all are saying I'll probably get it. It will be a 9-speed setup though.
    If the bike has any BB drop it will be pointed slightly downhill. not a lot but it's running down hill. Either way it's better than having it on the where it's pointing up and encourages more contamination. There are ways to deal with almost any cable routing system. Weather it be sealed ferrules, fully sealed cable systems or just replacing it all the time. I've never seen cable routing bad enough on a MTB that would keep me from buying a specific bike. Road bikes are another story though, Cervelo

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