Downtube cable routing, any issues?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Downtube cable routing, any issues?

    I've been seeing downtube cable routing listed as a negative on a lot of reviews I've been reading lately, but I've never heard of anyone actually having a problem with it.

    I've owned 3 bikes with the cables routed this way: Rocky Mountain Altitude 29er, Rocky Mountain Slayer and Specialized Stumpjumper.

    Has anyone ever had any real issues with this? Torn cables, busted brake lines, etc. Please share. I've never had an issue with it, maybe I'm not riding hard enough...

  2. #2
    dru
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    No one I've known has had a problem with it. I don't ride hard enough either......

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    Downtube cable routing to the rear derailleur puts more of a bend going to the rear derailleur. somewhat alleviated with newer derailleurs with straighter cable routing. but that big loop on older Shimano derailleurs was a point of friction that could create issues.

    IMO, downtube cable routing is more of an issue because of crud flung up from your tire has more of a chance to contaminate the housings. I prefer full length housing on most bikes, anyway.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Downtube cable routing to the rear derailleur puts more of a bend going to the rear derailleur. somewhat alleviated with newer derailleurs with straighter cable routing. but that big loop on older Shimano derailleurs was a point of friction that could create issues.

    IMO, downtube cable routing is more of an issue because of crud flung up from your tire has more of a chance to contaminate the housings. I prefer full length housing on most bikes, anyway.
    True in theory, but in fact a nonissue. I prefer top tube routing with exposed sections of housing. Makes me feel good. And that's what matters!

  5. #5
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    I recently had something kick up, and knocked cable out of the guide under BB. Bike would not shift past mid rear cogs. I got it back in guide after some struggling, and it is fine now. This was on a new karakoram.

  6. #6
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    my specialized pitch has downtube cable routing (pretty sure its same as stumpy), the front and rear derailleurs and the rear brake.
    I have had one minor incident- chainstay ziptie broke somehow and the rear derailleur cable slack pulled toward the BB/chainstay area and was rubbing agaisnt my chain for a bit before i noticed (its a fully enclosed cable). I fed the slack back to the front of the handlebars, kept an eye on it, went home, and now carry a few extra zipties.

    As much as i agree that it looks like a terrible spot, I think it is usually fine (maybe keep fully enclosed cables). The chain ring/bashguard should take whatever it is that would potentially be a risk.

  7. #7
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    I've had bikes with all types of cable routing (except internal) and I don't think I could tell a difference if you blindfolded me. Others might be more 'perceptive' than I however. I will say that up here in the PNW, full cable housing helps to keep things running cleaner. All the set-ups will have their own pros and cons. All the different ways to run full suspension change throw another wrench in the system as well. The only 'issue,' if you could call it that, was with an Intense Tracer's brake line that would catch my leg slightly when the suspension was really compressed. That could have been a result of too much housing though...

    Current main ride is a Specialized Epic with all three cables under the downtube--first time I've had the routing like this. I'm finding (so far) like this set up a great deal. Keeps the top tube cleaner for shouldering/carrying the bike. I've also heard that a side benefit is the cables providing an extra layer of protection for the downtube from rocks/trail debris. I haven't experienced that yet, but its nice peace of mind for me. I think the bike has a bunch of extra cabling around the BB, and so one of these days I'm going to see if I can cut down some of the cables to make it more 'streamlined.'

  8. #8
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    As much as I do like the placement of the cables on the underside of the down tube on my Specialized Camber Elite, I don't really like cleaning the bits of mud and grit that accumulate there. I do agree that it is an added layer of protection from that same debris hitting the down tube though.

  9. #9
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    That could have been a result of too much housing though

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses. I had been seeing it listed as a con for lots of reviews, I just never thought it was an issue. I've definitely seen worse ways to route the cables too

  11. #11
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    Hydraulic Line Split in 2

    If your cables are routed there, protect them or learn the hard way. I, myself..PREVIOUSLY never had an issue until my brake line was cut in 2 by a rock rendering my rear brake useless, much to my surprise, while on a very fast & techy section of a DH course. I somehow managed to crash safely, but I highly doubt I could duplicate my luck.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Downtube cable routing, any issues?-20141119_214404.jpg  

    Last edited by cgolden6; 11-19-2014 at 07:50 PM. Reason: forgot to add photo

  12. #12
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    ^^Ouch. Isn't it great when lady luck is in a good mood?

    Not a fan of interrupted housing period, even worse on a DT, but not the end of the world.

  13. #13
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    I haven't had an issue with the downtube routing on my Stumpy. It's easy to clean if it gets muddy...remove the 3 cable guides and clean.

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