New cables, housing, or hydraulic lines are an easy way to make your bike feel new again. The crisp shifting and dependable stopping power of new lines is a simple upgrade for any bike and right now is the perfect time to make these improvements. However, for many mechanics, routing cables and wires through a bike frame is one of the most dreaded tasks of all maintenance jobs. Threading these critical components from the front to the back of the bike frame has caused more than a few frustrated moments throughout bike shops.
Thanks to PRO’s new Internal Routing Tool, the task of routing hydraulic hoses, Di2 wires, and mechanical cables has been greatly simplified. And thanks to the tool’s durable aluminum construction, compact storage design, and included pouch you can keep everything organized and take the tool anywhere in case of unexpected maintenance needs.
Using the PRO Internal Routing Tool
1. Unfurl the PRO Internal Routing Tool’s nylon coated shifter cable, which is designed to prevent snagging while running it through your bike frame.
2. Using the tool’s powerful large magnet on the outside of the frame to direct the cable, thread the guide cable through the inside of your bike frame, following the path that you will later be routing cables, wires, or housing through.
3. Once you are close to the desired exit point, use the PRO Internal Routing Tool’s smaller magnet cable to find and attach to the cable inside the frame. Then pull the attached cables through the exit point.
4. Pick the appropriate fitting from the PRO Internal Routing Tool’s suite of options depending on if you’re routing a cable, wire, or housing. Attach this fitting to both the guide cable and to the Di2 wire, hydraulic hose, or mechanical cable that you want to route through the frame.
5. Now you are ready to internally route. Pull the guide cable through your frame while feeding your bike cable, wire, housing through as well. It’s really that simple.
Tips and Tricks Using the PRO Internal Routing Tool
Like any semi-complex bike maintenance project, there are a few tips and tricks to make this job easier. Sam Elenes, Shimano Multi-Service Lead Tech in North America, recommends that you start your routing project with the hydraulic lines if applicable.
“The reason is that they don’t have any metal in them, so once they are routed they won’t interfere with the other components,” Elenes explained. “So, if for instance you’re routing cables and housing on a 1x mechanical shifting mountain bike with hydraulic disc brakes and a cable actuated dropper post, do the hydro lines first, then the rear derailleur shifter cable, and then the dropper post.”
Elenes added that, “Sometimes dropping the fork so you can see into the head tube can be really helpful. It’s the same with opening up the bottom bracket.”
Elenes also says there can be a subtle art to the process. Where you use the PRO Internal Routing Tool’s strong magnet to help pull, also feed the cable into the bike with your other hand.
"It's amazing how much easier this tool makes this job,” he said. “It has all the bits and groms for various dimensions of cables, housing, and wires, so you can route anything and do it efficiently. And it takes the ‘I hope this works’ out of the equation. Now the job of internal routing is predictable and reliable and reproducible every time.”