Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cables and wires, wires and cables...

I almost skipped over this bit in cyclingnews.com, but read on because of an interesting looking thumbnail photo. As I clicked through the photos in the gallery, I came across this shot of the head tube area on a CSC Cervelo bike. Okay, let me understand, the gist of this story is about the aero bikes and parts of the tour. These teams and frame and component sponsors spend buckets of money to get the best for their riders. Yet they continually use stock, out of the box, computers and still wrap the sensor wire up the front brake cable housing in what looks like a complete and total amateur job. I mean, the guy with the flappy Old Guys Guys Who Get Fat in Winter jersey, riding the beat up 5 year old Trek carbon with 105, whose rear wheel is out of true, brake calipers aren't centered, cable ends are frayed like Medusa's hair, has enough lube on his drivetrain to quiet the entire peleton, has holidays in his bar tape big enough to qualify for national holiday status (or get him a job assembling certain bikes for catalog photo shoots) - yeah, that guy. His sensor wire routing is as good as that of the CSC rider's bike in the photo.

For years, I've seen shots like that - a mass of wires spiraling out of control up the brake cable housing looking like Edward Scissorhands had a hand in the installation - and wondered why don't the computer companies, who are supplying these units, provide the teams with custom length wires to eliminate all that excess, wind grabbing, wire? It would be super easy. It would also be super easy for the teams themselves to shorten the wires themselves. All it takes is a pair of wire cutters, soldering iron, and some heat shrink tubing. Heck, you can get the heat shrink tubing in all sorts of colors to match your kit. It's not rocket science.

Check it out. This was done many years ago. Computer wire nicely routed down the brake cable with a piece of heat shrink tubing.
It's then routed through the fork crown and down the inside of the fork leg. Probably not recommended on a carbon roadie fork, though, but hopefully you get the idea.
And then out to the sensor. Very clean.
No mass of wires wrapped around a brake cable or fork leg. No mass of zip ties holding the wire in place. Just clean, simple, elegant.

That's it for wires, now on to cables. While it is clean and, I'm sure, aero, I would hate to have to route all that internal cabling on those new Felt roadie bikes. Felt must have had this frame waiting in the wings for the new Dura Ace under-the-bar tape-shift cable routing as I don't think this frame would work very well with the old Dura Ace cable routing - that would not be very aero. Check out how the cables exit the bar tape and enter the frame, exit the frame for the front derailer, and exit the frame for the rear derailer. As someone who's routed cables and casings through frame tubes, it's not fun.

And while I'm on a roll, this has got to be one of the ugliest stems.

(What's playing: Nothing. The sound of silence - or birds in the backyard and my laptop fan that seems to be consistently on high - probably a sign of bad things to come)

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