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Routing FD cable
#1
I have just purchased a 2009 Specialized Tarmac Elite and in the process of changing all the cables. None poses a problem except the FD cable. It isn't routed around the bottom bracket. Instead, it enters a hole in the BB housing from below and exits a hole in the seat tube on the way to the FD. I'm apprehensive about pulling out the old cable because it seems to me that blindly threading a new cable through those two holes by feel, quite a distance apart, would require a miracle.

Is there a routing tube internally to guide the cable from the lower to the upper hole? Or is this done by feel? If anyone has faced this problem and has a solution, I'd very much appreciate any hints you may be able to offer.

Thank you very much.

Dan T
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#2
i cant see it well enough to come up with anything better, but i would find a way to attatch new to old before pulling the old one out, and pray the new one follows it right into place. oh, yeah, if you try this, make sure you dont put the new one in backwards. stranger things have happened! is the hole big enough to put a regular housing into? that would make life easier, and you can remove it when youre done.
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!
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#3
(12-12-2010, 11:34 PM)X-RAY Wrote:  i cant see it well enough to come up with anything better, but i would find a way to attatch new to old before pulling the old one out, and pray the new one follows it right into place. oh, yeah, if you try this, make sure you dont put the new one in backwards. stranger things have happened! is the hole big enough to put a regular housing into? that would make life easier, and you can remove it when youre done.
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#4
Thank you, X-Ray. I just added another photo, showing the cable entrance hole from the bottom of the bottom bracket. The hole is so small that I couldn't squeeze a .020" copper wire in along side the cable. I may try solder or super glue to attach the new and old cables for a pull-through (suggested by another person), but the hole is so small that may not be the answer either. The new cables won't be delivered until Wednesday, so I have a few days to figure out a plan.

Thanks again.[/size][/font]
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#5
maybe pull the bottom bracket out and you could reach in and guide it into place?
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!
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#6
I may wind up having to do just that. It's very hard for me to believe that designers would choose this routing method. It's strange, to say the least. Even though those holes are small, they're a way for water to get into the bottom bracket.

Thanks again, X-Ray. Appreciate your ideas.

Dan
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#7
when i worked at a car dealership, another mechanic and i decided that for one year, the designers should trade jobs with the mechanics.that would put an end to some of these ideas that arent so hot in the real world!
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!
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#8
I'm an old timer (79 next month)and was once an apprentice auto mechanic and later an aviation mechanic. With that background I can vouch for what you say 100%. It takes a special, thoughtful personality to design with the needs of maintenance in mind.
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#9
we probably woulda put ourselves outta work when nothing broke downSmile
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!
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#10
Everything breaks down. Murphy's Law. But it would be nice if design engineers thought more about maintenance access capability. Good mechanics will rarely want for work. . .good times or bad.
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#11
Ye that bottom hole is way to small to put a splice through. It either has a guide tube or as X said you need to work it through the BB.

I got the rear brake cable going through the top frame tube, no idea how I would replace that if it broke. PITA.

10-4 on bad engineering vs repair needs.You should try working on a BMW motorcycle sometime. :-)))

Good clear photos BTW.
Never Give Up!!!
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#12
"I got the rear brake cable going through the top frame tube, no idea how I would replace that if it broke. PITA."

If factory guys got the brake cable through, then there has to be a way. Try sending an email to the manufacturer now (before the problem arises), and see what they suggest. I've sent one to Specialized. An automated reply said they'd respond withing 48 hours.

My late brother-in-law rode Harleys then switched to BMW. I rode a Harley back in the early 1950s but had a Honda 750 Spirit most recently. Quit riding because of age though.

Thanks for the reply, George.
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#13
Wow strange design. Almost looks like it was custom by a previous owner. hard to believe a factory design would have a hole so small, I would think that would welcome friction on your cable and alter performance of a shift. I would remove the derailluer itself and use some kind of guide for the new cable. maybe a braid of the old cable attached to the new one. Good Luck.
GO RIDE...
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#14
It is strange, but it's a Specialized design and not that of the previous owner. Specialized did not respond by email within 48 business hours as promised. So I just finished calling their Customer Service number. I'm exactly where I was before the phone call. First the rep said that there was internal routing which guides the cable to the upper hole. I asked for assurance. Then he said there wasn't any internal channel to route the cable. He finally advised not to worry--that all would turn out well. . .but then added the following qualifier: You can always take it to a Specialized dealer in case it doesn't turn out well. That's really solid tech advice. I feel so much better now. :o)
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#15
why? so the dealer can talk you into a new bike? thats pretty poor advise. im really shocked they treated you like that. btw, nice honda.
Get on your bad pedalscooter and ride!
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#16
Contradictory advice from a supposed expert is terrible advice. But I'm not shocked. I'll still get on, and I'll write a letter to the company CEO when I feel moved to do so.

Thanks for your comment on the Honda. I modified it a great deal from the stock version. And it fit my shrinking body perfectly. :o)
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#17
I have a Huffy frame that uses something like that but goes all the way through the down tube into the bottom bracket. Do note the whole cable (housing and cable itself) is routed through that way is rather weird. I will try to take a coupe of pictures to show you. The bike is 1990's era I believe.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#18
"Dammit, Jim. I'm a doctor - not a bicycle mechanic!" I've always wanted to say that! ;-)

Guys - get real. Remember that thin plastic sheath that we used-to use to protect the finish from exposed cable-runs? I thought so! Unfortunately, it's super-hard to find as those little black donuts are the "new thing". Unless you have good LBS. They will either be old enough to still have a roll of it, or the good sense to save every 6" scrap of it that they find!

Dan - find a short piece of that, slide it over the cable between entry and exit holes (DON"T CUT IT TO FIT,,,, too rare!) and pull the cable out. Put the new cable through. Remove sheathing and store in foam-padded, cedar case in bottom of tool box. VIOLA!

Merry Christmas. Rob

Edit: I meant to add that there are three diameters of the sheathing. One thick-walled and two thin. The thin comes in a flavor for both brk and drlr. You want the small one. 50% chance on it being clear or black.

and...You can always take it to a Specialized dealer in case it doesn't turn out well. That's really solid tech advice. I feel so much better now.

Special ed.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#19
FYI:

The problem (actually, the suspected problem) doesn't exist. Tech reps insisted on talking about bike models other than the one I have, even after seeing the same photos as those below. In exasperation, I finally pulled out the old FD cable and, with a prayer, routed the new cable to the hole under the bottom bracket. There must be internal tubing to route the cable easily to the hole in the seat tube, for it went through without a hitch.

I hope this information may be of use to others. And thank you all very much for your responses.

Dan
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#20
Glad it went through great! Sorry I did not have time to get the huffy frame pictured.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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