My bike is setup for cable routing under the downtube. I would like to route my rear brake, front derailleur, and rear derailleur cables along the top tube of a bike I plan to use for cyclocross to prevent the exposed cables from getting gunked up frequently with mud or snagged on things when I'm riding through brush in the woods (really bad in the spring / early summer). Reduced maintinance is my goal, I'm willing to take the weight penalty for that since I'm ultimately not ever standing on a podium.

I'd prefer not to use complete housing over the whole top tube, but I'll accept that I'll need to do that and use 6 cable clips (3 in front, and 3 in rear) if there are no better options.

So, I figure I need two things.
1) Something to keep cables on the top tube.
2) A clamp on cable stop to help terminate the brake cable on the seat tube for the front shifter (I've got a mountain derailleur which goes top or bottom pull)

I've seen a 2 cable clamp on solution for 2 cables, the problem solvers backstop, but that doesn't work for 3 cables. What are my options here?

  • Is your front derailleur bottom pull or top pull. If it's bottom pull it might be difficult to route the cable along the top tube and still have it pull from the bottom.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 21:12
  • it's a deore xt front derailleur, it can be used top or bottom pull.
    – Benzo
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


If you are going for less maintenance, you may just want to go with full housing. My exposed cables (on my top tube) get water, mud, grime and need to be replaced at the end of each season of cross racing. Extra maintenance during to keep them lubed up.

I would go full housing and use six of these: http://problemsolversbike.com/products/clamp_on_cable_guides

Other things to think about once past the top tube...

Front derailleur routing:

While not the best image (but best I could find of my older CX bike) you can see the routing of the front derailleur will need a cable stop near the top of the seat tube. Mine uses a pulley below the derailleur. You can use the backstop you put in the question.

Clamp on pulley: http://problemsolversbike.com/products/cross_clamps_pulleys

Rear derailleur routing:

Does your frame have stops for the rear derailleur on the seat stay or the chain stay? As the rear derailleur cable comes down the seat stay from the top tube, my cross bike goes to open cable and then back to housed cable for the curl to the derailleur. You'll need something here as well to either route the full cable down the seat stay or more clamp on cable stops.

Rear Brake routing:

If you are using Cantilever brakes (center pull), you will also need a cable stop for the brakes. You can get a seat post mounted clamp or even a seat tube clamp that has the center pull cable stop. Found one here.

  • The frame does have cable stops on the rear chainstays, I'm fine there... I wonder how I'd do that if I didn't.
    – Benzo
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 2:53
  • You need at least one cable stop on the seat stay as the cable will be coming from the seat and not the downtube. Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 4:29
  • oh yeah, good call. If I'm running full housing, that shouldn't be a big issue since the housing terminates at the derailleur. I'll just need to zip tie the cable to the seatstays to keep it steady.
    – Benzo
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 13:31
  • 1
    If I wasn't using mini v-brakes, then I would probably also need to add a cable stop off the seat clamp for canti brakes.
    – Benzo
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 13:57

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