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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My LBS built my new bike and crossed the shifter cables, I have always run straight. Pro vs Cons. Will this effect shifting? I should have said the cross is under the down tube, before the bb. This has the cables rubbing on each other every shift.
Thanks,
David
 

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pros and cons...

I used crossed cables when the cable stops are behind the head tube. If you don't, then some sort of protection will be required to prevent the cables from rubbing the paint off the the head tube. The downside is that the cables may touch the underside of the downtube and rub the paint off. I've done several frames where it was necessary to make a thumbnail sized, slightly curved "bumper" from thin stainless steel and silicon it to the frame to prevent this rub, near where the cables cross.

My latest frame has solved this problem with permanently mounted cables housing guides on the head tube.
 

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eminence grease
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A builder installed them crossed for me one time time and the sound of the cables slapping the bottom of the down tube drove me nuts. Given the choice between mitigating the noise with some sort of stick-on pad or re-routing, I went with the latter. Depending on the frame material, it might not be an issue. You gain protection on the headtube (assuming the cable stops are on the downtube) and that's about it. I don't know of any pros or cons beyond that. For me - traditional routing works.
 

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duh...
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terry b said:
A builder installed them crossed for me one time time and the sound of the cables slapping the bottom of the down tube drove me nuts. Given the choice between mitigating the noise with some sort of stick-on pad or re-routing, I went with the latter. Depending on the frame material, it might not be an issue. You gain protection on the headtube (assuming the cable stops are on the downtube) and that's about it. I don't know of any pros or cons beyond that. For me - traditional routing works.

a couple of those little rubber donuts woulda done the job too
 

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terry b said:
You're right, and I would've had to pull the cables to install them. And since the cables are pulled, why bother? May as well put them back the other way.

well if you wanted a simple job, you woulda just used "some sort of stick-on pad". But you only really needed to pull one cable- the one closest to the frame- and put a donut above and below the cross of the other cable... of course, "undoing" it often leads one to get all anal and trim the excess housing, cable, etc., so... why bother? Of course, my comment was really meant for your builder or anyone else considering the job but wary of being driven nuts by the faint ting ting of cables hitting their downtube, so there's no need to get all excited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. I did not explain the issue well enough. The question is the cables under the down tube, about 6 inches above the router on the bb. The cables are crossed. The question is why crossed and not traditionally straight? Will this effect cable wear, shifting speed? I am not concerned with cable slap, has never happened. I tried to upload pictures,but failed.

Thanks,
David
 

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eminence grease
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C-40 explained it.

Why - avoids cable rub on the headtube. Crossing below changes the routing at the head tube. When you turn the wheel, the housings do not rub the frame. The routing does not affect anything negatively. It's simply different. Cable slap can occur depending on the shape and material of the downtube. It drives me nuts, to others it's nothing. You asked pros and cons, C-40 articulated them.
 

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DavidGrip said:
Thanks for the replies. I did not explain the issue well enough. The question is the cables under the down tube, about 6 inches above the router on the bb. The cables are crossed. The question is why crossed and not traditionally straight? Will this effect cable wear, shifting speed? I am not concerned with cable slap, has never happened. I tried to upload pictures,but failed.

Thanks,
David
Sheldon Brown's site has a few sentences describing criss-cross cables here. I've run the cables both ways. I didn't notice any difference in performance.
 

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I've only crossed the cables on two bikes, both Jake the Snakes, one with Suntour thumbshifters and the other with Campy. The thumbshifters wound up very close to the stem, and the cable housings exiting the bar wrap also were too close to the stem to use "conventional" routing without serious bends that would have caused binding on the shifter cables. I just criss-crossed the housings in front of the head tube, and then re-crossed the cables ahead of the bottom bracket cable guide. If there was something wrong with this approach, I think I'da known by now....
 
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