I have this Holdsworth frame that I got repainted and am rebuilding with mostly modern parts - I recently realised that I'm not quite sure how to run the derailleur cables past the bottom bracket.

I have seen bikes from this era with brazed on above-BB cable guides, but this frame doesn't have them.

I then remembered my Btwin has a plastic under-BB guide, so I got one of those but realised the hole in the Holdsworth's BB cage looks too small to have any sort of screw in it, and looks more like a drainage hole.

bottom bracket cage underside

plastic cable guide

(Also, even though the guide says "screw on type", it looks quite different from the screw on one on my Btwin, which has a split plastic nub which wedges into the BB cage hole when the screw is tightened. I'm really not sure how this one I got is supposed to be fastened - I looked up some diagrams on Shimano's site but they didn't help)

Does anyone have any advice on how I should go about guiding the gear cables? Thank you!

  • 2
    What was on the bike originally? Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 14:21
  • @DanielRHicks I have no idea sadly, I bought it just as a bare frame!
    – Silver
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 15:20
  • 1
    Note that you can always drill and tap a hole (or two) in the BB, to allow the guide to be screwed in. Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 20:12
  • 1
    I would start by using hot-glue to locate the plastic part and then cable the bike up. The cables will hold the guide up, What I don't know is whether the cables sliding through will drag the guide across your nice paint.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 20:20
  • 3
    Do note that it may be that the bike originally used housed cables to run between shifters and derailers. Examining remaining cable lugs would be the clue needed. Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


The little hole looks a similar size to the one in my early 90's steel frame BB. Mine is threaded, perhaps yours is too. Maybe it didn't get masked off by the painter and the thread is under the paint. You could ask the painter if they remember taping it or not. You could check for threading and possibly tap the hole yourself if if isn't already.

You can also get cable guides which have a little solid plastic nub which goes into the hole and there is no screw, it is held in place by cable tension. I'll have a look for an image or something but might be a needle in a haystack. Chances are an LBS or framebuilder/painters will have some miscellaneous ones, you could ask around in person and see if you can find one to suit your frame, designs vary.

Other suggestions, from here include glue (!) and double sided tape to position the guide before cable tension takes over. I don't know how they would affect the paint long term.


I have Motobécane frame from the early eighties where a cable guide was mounted in such a hole. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture before I chipped it off. Here is a snippet of a photo where the cable guide is in the background:bottom bracket with blurry cable guide in background

It wasn't entirely clear how the guide was fixed: a bit of it protruded through the hole and was deformed so that it couldn't get out by itself.

There was no drain hole in the bottom bracket shell.


This might actually be from an earlier era, but there are clamp-on cable guides that mount on the down tube. Search Ebay for "Vintage Campagnolo Record Bottom Bracket Lower Cable Guide".

They are pricy, but not crazy campaganolo pricy.

enter image description here

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