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I need to re-cable* and rewrap my bars anyway. I'd like to take the chance to improve the cable routing for a couple of specific things:

  • The gear cables catch on the dynamo light mounted on the fork crown in tight turns. This can cause the barrel adjusters to creep, losing my low gears (I've locked off the rear one as there's another, but can't do that for the front).
  • I sometimes use a bar bag. At the moment I have to fit the bag behind the cables (brake and gear), then pack it on the bike. The cables restrict what I can put in there. If I want to use the bungee net on the outside of the bag, I have to remove it and relace it over the top of the cables.

So I'd like to re-route the cables, but I'm not sure what my options are.

Here are front and side views, without the bar bag:

Front viewSide view

And a front view with the bag empty and roughly fitted for show Front view with bag

The light mounted on the bars, that clashes with the bag, is only there for testing, and isn't a concern.

If I extend the cables to give more clearance for the bag, they'll be even worse for hitting the dynamo light. Part of the problem is the cable stops with barrel adjusters on the headtube.

I suspect there are things I can do without more accessories, but there might be some small device that makes a big difference. Ideally the cables would route behind the bag, but they're not doing that with those cable stops. The rear brake cable (left hand as I'm in the UK) also doesn't work too well for this, but would be easier to deal with.


* I snapped a gear cable inner yesterday, and there was so much friction when I fitted the replacement at the roadside I couldn't shift at the back. For 200km until I got home. The outer seems to be the issue.

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  • Could you entirely remove the down tube barrel adjusters? You said you have one on the derailleur already, so there’s not really a purpose for that second one. – MaplePanda Sep 27 '20 at 17:18
  • @MaplePanda I need something from the front derailleur, and I need a cable stop for each. Are you thinking of clamp-on cable stops a bit further down the downtube? – Chris H Sep 27 '20 at 17:51
  • While my handlebar bag is nowhere as large as yours, it seems not to affect braking and shifting when I mount it in front my my cables. This is even though the bag impinges on the cables a bit. That said, my cable runs are shorter than yours, and my cable stops are further from the head tube. Seeing that you have aero bars, I do know that some bar bags (e.g. Apidura, Restrap) are designed to mount from the aero bars. This may help others in this situation; I realize you didn’t state a desire to consider a new bag. – Weiwen Ng Sep 27 '20 at 18:05
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    @MaplePanda that gives me an idea. I wonder if it would still work as a cable stop with the brass adjuster removed to gain nearly 1cmfor the cable to curve. I've already locked off the right hand (RD) one just by winding it in as far as it will go with pliers so I wouldn't need to epoxy anyway. And I might even have an inline adjuster – Chris H Sep 28 '20 at 7:53
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    My previous comment to @MaplePanda unfortunately doesn't help. The diameter of the female screw thread is just too small for the cable to sit in, even without an end cap – Chris H Oct 21 '20 at 11:02
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You want to get the housings situated closer to the frame so there's room to put your bag in front.

They curve pretty far into that space now. To get them as tucked as possible:

  • Don't zip tie them together like that.
  • If your STI model is one that has two routing options for the shift housings, use the one that puts them behind the bar.
  • You can route the brake housings (as well as the shift if the above option doesn't exist) so that under the tape they slope downward, and then exit around the 6 o'clock position on the bar, rather than in front like they do now.
  • Make them all as short as possible. They don't look like they are now. This is usually defined as the minimum length to still have some slack when the bars are turned as far as they're able in either direction.
  • Corroborate that you can't cross the shift cables under the downtube (usually not possible with this style and location of stops). If you can, doing it that way may make the housings protrude less.

The bag you have isn't made to work with a handlebar bag rack and decaleur, but eliminating this kind of problem is one of the things they do, along with the sorts of handlebar bags they're used with. They could also provide a better place to mount the light as well.

For the light, if the above doesn't get the housing out of the way, one avenue is switch to metal fenders, use a bracket to get the light all the way forward on them, and put an additional strut behind it for stability. A number of old and new rando bikes have this sort of thing. There's even now an off the shelf product that does it. Do not forego the additional stabilization of either a strut or a rack, and don't do it with plastic fenders.

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  • That's helpful - it challenges some of the ways it's set up now. With the current routing shorter cables would block the bag completely, so I was only thinking of longer - but if I can make them start further back as well that should get round it, by careful routing under the bar tape. Similarly the zip ties are currently helpful but I can see how they wouldn't be with better routing. I know I can't cross the cables under the downtube - 3rd bottle cage, plus the design of the plastic guide – Chris H Sep 28 '20 at 9:56
  • I actually have another bar bag that mounts further forwards on a bracket, and had the cables behind it. I had to relegate it to my hybrid it when I got the aero bars (that save my wrists on really long days) as it's completely incompatible - also one reason why I'm against buying a third. – Chris H Sep 28 '20 at 9:58
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    It's looking very hopeful - I've mocked up your suggestions to get the cables further back, and using the bar bag upside down so the headtube strap attaches to the aero bars there seems to be enough room and everything should be stable. – Chris H Sep 28 '20 at 11:35
  • Combined with my previous comment about moving the bag forwards a bit, shortening the cables was a big help (as was routing the back brake cable round the head tube, but the biggest difference came from your suggestion to route the cables under the bar. It's not as comfortable to hold, but I don't spend enough time on the tops for that to be an issue (and my poorly-chosen bar tape is likely to be part of the problem - I see another re-wrapping in my future). Downside is I don't think I could use the bag with the clip-ons any more – Chris H Oct 21 '20 at 11:01

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