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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I confess, I am not very familiar with early 9sp Shimano shifter cables as most of my experience has been with Campagnolo or Shimano cables taped to the bar.



This photo shows a Shimano 9sp cockpit. To me the shifter cable runs look to be too long as they even cross over and I would think the front brake cable should be outside of the shifter cables (but maybe not as the Ultegra caliper's cable receptor does point inboard). Please opine whether I am right or wrong about this. Everything is quite functional, but seems a rat's nest of cables to me.

Also, is my only solution to upgrade to 10sp or higher Shimano so as to get the hidden shift cables? Seems I would have to upgrade the entire drivetrain? 9sp shifters were never modified for internal cabling?

thx.
 

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This photo shows a Shimano 9sp cockpit. To me the shifter cable runs look to be too long
They do look long. What you need to do is turn the bars to the extreme left/right. You just need enough cable/housing to reach the limits.


Also, is my only solution to upgrade to 10sp or higher Shimano so as to get the hidden shift cables?
Yes. Hidden cables started with 10sp.
New drivetrain.
 

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The shift housing could be a tad shorter, but totally acceptable to me. Yes, the front brake cable should be on the other side of shift cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Learning a lot regarding an era when I was racing with Superbe Pro and/or Campagnolo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure, but if the shift cables were correctly shortened it looks as though the front brake cable should go between them, i.e. on the interior of the shift cables.

Pretty sure they need to be shortened. They are so long that they are crossing over each other. Their extra length cannot be good for shifting response.
 

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Not sure, but if the shift cables were correctly shortened it looks as though the front brake cable should go between them, i.e. on the interior of the shift cables.

Pretty sure they need to be shortened. They are so long that they are crossing over each other. Their extra length cannot be good for shifting response.
I wouldn't go to the trouble of shortening them, there will be no difference in shifting quality. The front brake housing goes OUTSIDE of the shift housing. What you show in your photo = shift housing good, brake housing on the wrong side of shift housing. That's it.
 

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Hidden 10 speed cables started with second generation 10 speed. 7900
7800 was still external.
 

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I wouldn't go to the trouble of shortening them, there will be no difference in shifting quality. The front brake housing goes OUTSIDE of the shift housing. What you show in your photo = shift housing good, brake housing on the wrong side of shift housing. That's it.
^This^ Making the shift housing an inch or so shorter isn't going to do anything to reduce the 'rats nest' of stuff going on. Other than the front brake housing it's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So back in the day of 9sp, you had shift cables overlapping each other in front of the head tube? Seems like much more than an inch.
 

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^This^ Making the shift housing an inch or so shorter isn't going to do anything to reduce the 'rats nest' of stuff going on. Other than the front brake housing it's fine.
tlg said it, you need to turn the bars to both extremes to determine minimum housing length needed.
But cutting an inch from the housings will reduce that rat’s nest, and I bet you can shorten further. It may eliminate the overlap of the shifter cables and make the fit of the brake cable between the two more graceful. Plus the view from the cockpit will slightly improve with less bulbous projections out of your shift levers. No real performance improvements but much better aesthetics. Too long housing is a major turnoff for me.
 

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Yes. Hidden cables started with 10sp.
New drivetrain.
To be specific, hidden cables starts with 2nd generation 10-speed. 5600/6600 is still external. 5700/6700 is hidden.

And to be clear, I would not change drivetrains to get hidden cables. When Shimano redesigned the shifters for under bar cables, the cable wrap inside the shifter became tighter which makes the shifter very prone to chewing cables. I have to change my rear shifter cable every 1500-2000 miles and the last cable was toast after only 800 miles. It's not just me, others I know have this problem with 5700/6700 and newer shifters as well.

Nothing wrong with external cable routing IMO. I also would not cut those housings any shorter than you have. They actually look on the short side to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I went back to Trek archival material and those shift cable housings are just too long. They should smoothly flow from 90d out of the shifters then stay on the same plane as the frame diamond into the cable stops. Both cable runs should stay on their side of the head tube.

Having said this, and maybe I am alone of that opinion, does anyone know what ends of the cable housings would be the best to shorten? Also it looks as if there are plastic ferrules. Do these come off and reinstall easily?
 

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I'm running 9 speed Shimano STI. My shifter cable housings are short enough that there's a 15mm gap between the housings at their closest point.

You want them long enough so the handlebars can rotate end to end without the housing becoming taut, which will be obvious by the angle changing drastically as they exit the shifter.

I believe the Shimano installation manual suggests which end of the housing to cut. Don't ask me why and I don't believe it matters. I now run Jagwire housings and cut whichever end I please without penalty.

The ferrules do pull off and are reusable. They can also come in colors! The plastic ones can crack but your local shop should have replacements. Bring a piece of housing with you because they can come in different I.D.s and may not fit some cables, usually 4mm vs. 5mm diameter housings.
 

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I'm running 9 speed Shimano STI. My shifter cable housings are short enough that there's a 15mm gap between the housings at their closest point.

You want them long enough so the handlebars can rotate end to end without the housing becoming taut, which will be obvious by the angle changing drastically as they exit the shifter.

I believe the Shimano installation manual suggests which end of the housing to cut. Don't ask me why and I don't believe it matters. I now run Jagwire housings and cut whichever end I please without penalty.

The ferrules do pull off and are reusable. They can also come in colors! The plastic ones can crack but your local shop should have replacements. Bring a piece of housing with you because they can come in different I.D.s and may not fit some cables, usually 4mm vs. 5mm diameter housings.
It does mention this. When new the housing pieces are lubed on the end w/ the logo. You cut the other end, and always insert the cable on the un-cut/lubricated end. Unless you're like me and you don't like grease in your housing.
The 'Trek Archives' mean squat when it comes to how long your housing should be. All the really matters is that you can turn the bars all the way...or as far as you're comfortable with. For me a little long is ok, even a little short is ok. It just doesn't matter that much. I run BIG loops from the chainstay to the rear derailleur on old style (cable goes in from the rear) derailleurs. Probably 45cm. I like to have 60-70mm of straight housing going into the barrel adjuster on the derailleur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Peter and CX.

The firsthand info is invaluable. As I have said before, mine is a Campagnolo shop, so going backwards towards 9 speed STI can be confusing.

Doesn't look like replacement hoods are even still available for these although I am not really sure if my 9 speed Ultegra is 6500 or 6600.
 

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Thanks Peter and CX.

The firsthand info is invaluable. As I have said before, mine is a Campagnolo shop, so going backwards towards 9 speed STI can be confusing.

Doesn't look like replacement hoods are even still available for these although I am not really sure if my 9 speed Ultegra is 6500 or 6600.
It says right on the lever body which model it is. There's a little square w/ model # info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks. I finally found it when I peeled back some bar tape. They are ST-6510 and my understanding is that those can no longer be sourced.

Maybe all I will be able to do is find a hood that is close.
 

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. They are ST-6510 and my understanding is that those can no longer be source.
True; finding 6500 Series hoods is almost impossible. First time I needed a pair, another forum member directed me to a Canadian shop or became the intermediary on the transaction. Since then, I tried finding them on ebay, etc. without luck.

You may have to buy a complete set of used levers just to obtain hoods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Of course I cannot find any labeling on either end of the shift cables. Maybe it wore off, but I doubt it. Shimano SLR labeling is intact on the brake cables, so go figure.

I am guessing that the label should be up by where it enters the shifter, but then I have a 50% chance of being right. In any event, I'm going to find it easier to shorten the cables at the end where they enter the cable stops.
 

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Of course I cannot find any labeling on either end of the shift cables. Maybe it wore off, but I doubt it. Shimano SLR labeling is intact on the brake cables, so go figure.

I am guessing that the label should be up by where it enters the shifter, but then I have a 50% chance of being right. In any event, I'm going to find it easier to shorten the cables at the end where they enter the cable stops.
Once a cable has been run through the housing (which is where you're at now) it doesn't matter. You only pay attention to that when you're dealing w/ brand new housing from a cable/housing kit. Not bulk housing, just from the kit. Like I said, you've already run a cable through yours so it doesn't matter where you cut it.
 
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