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Opinion | Internal cable routing has gone too far

Opinion | Internal cable routing has gone too far

Internal cable routing has gone too far. What started out as a smart, watt-saving, front-end tidying feature for racing bikes, appears to have turned into…

Tuesday, Oct 12

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Internal cable routing has gone too far.

What started out as a smart, watt-saving, front-end tidying feature for racing bikes, appears to have turned into a must-have for almost every road and gravel bike, at every price point, and I think that’s a problem.

We’ve talked about the positives and negatives of internal cable routing before , but this isn’t about that.

This is less about whether internal cable routing is a good idea full stop and more about where it should feature and what kind of bikes are – or, more specifically, aren’t – improved by it. How did we get here?

It all began so innocently, around the summer of 2015, when stock was plentiful and bike prices weren’t rising faster than London property values .

Mainstream brands such as Trek and Specialized released groundbreaking aero road bikes like the 2016 Madone and Venge Vias , both of which featured fully integrated cable routing at the front end (no doubt these weren’t the first bikes to do it, but the summer of 2015 was when mainstream brands started to jump on this particular trend).

Being cylindrical in shape, gear and brake cables , and hydraulic hoses, are not aerodynamically optimised. The wind doesn’t like round things, after all.A simple way to make a bike more slippery, then, is to tuck the cables away into the aero-optimised handlebar and frameset. Who could complain? Other than mechanics, of course, but when did that ever stop anyone.The market approved and other brands followed suit.At some […]

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