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Has anyone had any experience with routing the front brake cable through the stem, by means of drilling through it? If so how was the braking power, Also i was thinking about a rear cabel hanger up front connected to the face plate to save some Grams, which would be a better option?
 

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I have seen old stems with a similar set up but have never heard of anyone doing it DIY. Doesnt seem that hard though. I think you would need a stem that is pretty flat though, that way the cable doesnt rub on the exit port. My idea to do it would be to drill a large hole on the top so that all of the housing could fit in and then a smaller hole so that only the cable would exit. I may also JB Weld in a ferrule to keep the set up from moving around, though I dont know if it will in the first place. I dont see this affecting your braking power.
I also kind of like the face plate rear hanger thing but have never tried it.
My current set up has the cable going across over the stem before hitting the cable stop, a pretty direct link and it looks pretty cool. You could save weight here with the FSA cyclocross top cap
 

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Spin - I would not recommend drilling a hole in any part of a bike that take a lot of stress on a continued basis like a stem. If a manufacturer made one with a hole in it that would be fine. It would have been designed and tested not to fatigue or crack around the hole.

Have you looked at one of those "noodles" that generally come with a front cable hanger? I've not had any trouble with my setup using one of these, even with a minimal headstack.

- Thor
 

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seahuston said:
I think you would need a stem that is pretty flat though, that way the cable doesnt rub on the exit port.
Or You just need to clamp the bottom part of the mount of the stem to the drill press base (the 1 1/8" vertical bore) as oppose to drill using the tubular part of the stem as reference and then you will have a perpendicular hole (vertical, in line with the head tube) regardless of the angle of the stem.

On that topic, I have seen a few stems drill that way (I'm a little scare of stress riser on the surface of the tube) and they can be done really clean, specially if you drill and tap the hole so you can install a "dérailleur" cable tension adjuster on the top (The cable does form a really tall arch that way) to achieve super easy access and adjustment for the front brake.

Personally I prefer to run my brake cable under the stem using a "Noddle" since the routing of the cable is more direct, specially if you have "Top mount in line brake levers" or whatever you call those little levers, that usually run so close to the center of the bars.
 
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