I have a problem where I got a frame made I asked for internal cable routing and it has arrived but there is no provision for the cable to pass through the bottom bracket.

It is a titanium frame and I'm trying to pass the hydraulic cables through but there seems no way of doing so without going under the shell leaving the cable exposed.

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    Isn't that normal? The cable goes under the bottom bracket. Apr 29, 2020 at 7:51
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    I agree with Vladimir. There is probably no space within the frame around the bottom bracket. It’s normal to have the cable go over a plastic plug outside of the frame there. It’s quite protected by the chainrings and crank arm. Just keep it tight to the frame so it doesn’t snag on tree branches etc.
    – Michael
    Apr 29, 2020 at 8:03
  • Are you asking about gear cables or the hydraulic hose? You've mentioned both but more mentions of gear cable while showing the hose routing on the non-drive side. Also looks like an AXS chain, what groupset are you running, is it wireless?
    – Swifty
    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:05
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    Did you specify that the frame should have provision for gear cables, or no gear cable provision to suit eTap?
    – Swifty
    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:07
  • Hi, thanks for response. the groupset is etap axs(electronic gearing) Theres no need for gear cables sorry if my post was confusing. only cables I need to go through was the hydraulic brake cable. I asked for internal gear routing so thought this would be concealed in the frame but if theres no way I guess I can love with it just a bit disappointing after waiting months for it not be be 100% perfect.
    – jxel
    May 6, 2020 at 11:27

2 Answers 2


No doubt it's a little disappointing to have this hydraulic hose outside the BB shell if you were expecting fully concealed routing but what you have is the norm in a titanium frame. It looks like a lovely bike, I'm sure this small detail won't stop you enjoying the bike to the full!

Looks to me like SRAM Force AXS chainset, with a threaded bottom bracket shell. The crank spindle has a pretty large diameter and basically fills the whole of the bottom bracket shell. See below bottom bracket image, the plastic sleeve is nearly the same diameter as the threading. There isn't any room in the BB shell for hydraulic lines or gear cable routing. This is how metal frames are built, the down tube, seat tube and chain stays are attached to the cylindrical bb shell which is a very standardised dimension, while BB and crank standards have developed to make maximal use of the available space.

If there is room, perhaps in a larger spec shell like T47 or some other modification, the task is still difficult and would add cost to the build with no real benefit. Some builders do offer fully internal, but they are in the minority. The hose would be forced into a tight space with very tight bends which isn't ideal and the routing would make maintenance even more of a chore.

When you have bikes with cables and hoses which pass around the crank spindle inside the frame with plenty of room, these are carbon fibre bikes where the designers have the option to create space in the frame for the lines to pass through and even gear cable routing with removable covers.

SRAM DUB threaded bottom bracket

image sram.com

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    I don’t think threaded BB shells per se are the issue here, but that is a good observation about the shell size. Visually, it’s hard to be certain of the scale, but the shell does look like an English threaded shell, which is relatively small. The T47 threaded standard is much larger, and would allow internal hose routing if the builder chose to do that. The T47 is about the same internal dimensions as the PF30 press fit standard.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Apr 29, 2020 at 12:36
  • @WeiwenNg You're right, it is all a bit more nuanced, and some builders do some clever things, I have made some updates
    – Swifty
    Apr 30, 2020 at 8:10

Not all metal frames may be built with the hydraulic brake hose routing exiting the frame at the bottom bracket. In principle, with an oversize BB, e.g. a T47 threaded or a PF30 press-fit, there could be sufficient room to route the hose through the bottom bracket shell around a 29-30mm spindle.

Per this post on the Weightweenies forum, some titanium frame builders prefer to enclose the hoses in an internal sleeve as they go through the frame tube. Recall that metal frames are built from individual tubes that are welded together. It may be too difficult to pull off an internal sleeve that goes all the way from the down tube's entry port all the way to the exit port on the seat stay.

However, not all metal framebuilders appear to adhere to this philosophy. I have no insight into how much of a problem the hydraulic hose will pose if it's not run through an internal sleeve.

Last, as Swifty observed, your BB shell looks relatively small. If it's an English BB shell and you have a SRAM AXS crankset, then that 30mm spindle takes up almost all the space inside the BB shell. I suspect there would be no room to route a disc hose through the space in any case.

In theory, having that small section of externally routed cable should affect the frame's aerodynamics, but the effect is likely to be infinitesimal. The section that's exposed to the wind along the downtube appears extremely short. Further, it's around the crank, and the air there is already dirty from you pedaling. Aesthetically, because that area is around the cranks, it may be hard to notice the external hose in that section. It is true that most performance carbon frames have full internal routing. Nevertheless, there are both objective and subjective reasons that this is unlikely to be a big deal.

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