Inside job

 

Haled as a feature, it is instead a necessity of the carbon-fiber bicycle frame that brake and derailleur cables must course through the inside of the frame.

Infernal internal routing. No cable stops are brazed, bolted or buttoned on to the fragile strength of the epoxied fabric.

20161220_025307471_iOS.jpg

It’s a clean look. No unsightly strands of twisted cable running along the down tube, no housing disrupting the lines of the top tube. All cables and all housing run within the tubes of the frame save for the front and back 6 inches.

Only the simple matter of stringing cable and housing from points A to points B to connect the four levers with two brakes (front and rear) and two derailleurs (front and rear). And there’s the flub.

Park Tool makes an internal-frame cable-routing kit with long sheathed wires tipped by magnets or awls or rubber caps along with a strong magnet all designed to guide a twisted-strand cable unseen through the innards and out the back-side ports, small appertures leading to the derailleurs or brake.

It doesn’t work.

Here’s what works: Thread the cable through into the tube, jam it down and gently poke, poke, poke until the end emerges from the hole. Hope it’s the right hole. If not, pull back and poke yet again. Gently.

All needles got threaded. Pinch bolts are tightened down, limiting screws are set, adjusting barrels are turned. In the air, on the workstand, it shifts with accuracy and authority. It remains to be seen how it will perform under load in real life.

Let’s go for a ride to find out.

  • Frame:              1070 grams

  • Fork:               410

  • Seatpost:      304

  • Saddle:             540

  • Headset:       85

  • Stem:               155

  • Handlebars:         269

  • Levers:             350

  • Cables and housing: 354

  • Running total:      3537 grams, 7.79775 pounds