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Integrated / invisible cables, the new trend for road bikes?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Integrated / invisible cables, the new trend for road bikes?

Old 06-19-20, 12:05 PM
  #26  
msu2001la
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
It's probably just me but I'm a bit confused as to what's being discussed or what it means to people, ie. "Integrated / invisible cables.."

We had another Emonda post above, but a quick look at Trek's site, here's an Emonda. Cables aren't invisible.. but in certain areas of the bike they seem to be inside the tubes:


Here's a Specialized carbon bike.. tarmac I think


Here's another big brand carbon bike Synapse Cannondale.
My understanding of terminology on this is:
"internal cable routing" = frames with cables/hoses running inside them, which is what you posted, and as far as I can tell would be every carbon frame available at the moment.
"integrated cockpit" takes it a step further and routes the cables through the handlebars, stem, and into the frame.

You can have internal cable routing without an integrated cockpit (most bikes, like the ones you posted), but you can't have an integrated cockpit without internal cable routing.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:09 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I don't think that electronic 105 is going to happen. Think about all of the confusion it would cause. I mean, is the mechanical Ultegra user supposed to sneer at the electronic 105 user or is it the other way around?
As opposed to the same between DA and Ultegra now? I think it’ll be that the new 12-speed DA has to arrive, then maybe when that extends to Ultegra then 105 will be eligible for electronification because it won’t threaten the Ultegra. Which means I still might not do it, since I won’t want to spend that much on the older speed system. Hrm.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:21 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
As opposed to the same between DA and Ultegra now?
Nobody puts Baby DA in a corner.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:27 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
What happens if/when those internal wires or brake hoses need to be replaced though?
I think all electronic shifting will soon be wireless anyway, so really it's just the hydro brake hoses left to deal with. Maybe we will have electronic braking... lol.
I don't think we'll ever have electronic braking (but I've been wrong before). With Di2, if you forget to charge the battery, or something else goes wrong, you have a single speed until you sort it out. With electronic brakes, you have a lot of broken ribs and missing teeth.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:32 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
It would not surprise me at all to see electronic shifting rolled out as an option for the 105 groupset soon.

Also, integrated cockpits aside, is there any carbon frame bike currently being sold with external cable routing?
​​​​​​Yes.

https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/grade-carbon-pro-1840

Look at the bottom of the downtube.

$4k for the complete bike.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:35 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I don't think that electronic 105 is going to happen. Think about all of the confusion it would cause. I mean, is the mechanical Ultegra user supposed to sneer at the electronic 105 user or is it the other way around?
Straying off topic a bit, but I wonder if we will see mechanical (and rim brake) versions of the top tier group-sets go away completely?
Seems like electronic shifting is must-have on top tier bikes now,and nearly every top-end bike from big manufactures is disc brake. I know some pros are still on rim brakes (and maybe some on mechanical shifting?), but I'd be curious to see recent consumer sales numbers on mechanical & rim brake versions of SRAM Red and Shimano DA.

The mechanical Ultegra groupset will become the nostalgia build.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:47 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Someone did, but that's not really a given. There are lots of examples to the contrary.
when I was going over options and such for my 2016 Madone 9 purchase, the mechanic told me that the bike was designed to function well with mechanical. It makes sense. A manufacturer narrows the frame to the high end market by having a frame that is not compatible with mechanical. It limits their ability to hit the lower price points.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:53 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
when I was going over options and such for my 2016 Madone 9 purchase, the mechanic told me that the bike was designed to function well with mechanical. It makes sense. A manufacturer narrows the frame to the high end market by having a frame that is not compatible with mechanical. It limits their ability to hit the lower price points.
Yup, especially when they're saving money by using the same molds for multiple tiers of frames. The new Emonda will probably go from ~$2500 to $10k+, all with the same frame mold, but with two levels of CF.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:57 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
when I was going over options and such for my 2016 Madone 9 purchase, the mechanic told me that the bike was designed to function well with mechanical. It makes sense. A manufacturer narrows the frame to the high end market by having a frame that is not compatible with mechanical. It limits their ability to hit the lower price points.
On the other hand, looking Specialized website right now. They have 14 road bikes above $4000, and every one of them comes with electronic shifting and disc brakes. The highest end mechanical shift road bike they sell is a $3600 Ultegra equipped Roubaix and/or $3500 Ultegra Tarmac. They also only have 3 road bikes with rim brakes, the most expensive being the $1350 Allez Elite with 105.

In a few years, it seems likely rim brakes will be gone completely, and electronic shifting will cover the majority of the range.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:59 PM
  #35  
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Old fart here. I think they mailed in in the early '80. Very clean cable runs. Full length rear housing run on top of the TT with brazed on guides. Trouble free and easy to inspect that replace. Easy on mechanics. Worked really, really well. (And running the cable housed and on top means that when you pick up the bike by the top tube, you don't scrape the paint.)

Yes, I know the speed freaks gotta have aero. And with carbon fiber, all that internal stuff can be don in mass production. But as one who has built ~50 fiberglass boats by hand, I shudder to think about riding a reinforced fiber laminate that is both complex and never seen with human eyes, especially critical ones like the QA.
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Old 06-19-20, 01:07 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Nobody puts Baby DA in a corner.
I did yesterday. AG went for a ride and when she came back I put her R9100 SystemSix in the corner.
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Old 06-19-20, 01:27 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Yes.

https://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/grade-carbon-pro-1840

Look at the bottom of the downtube.

$4k for the complete bike.
That is the rear brake hose? I don't get it. The bike is di2, and they even note "Internal Di2 routing and dropper post compatible with stealth routing." but then they strap the brake hoses to the outside, and especially on the bottom of the downtube where it'll get hit with rocks/gravel/mud?

Is this to stop rattling?
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Old 06-19-20, 01:42 PM
  #38  
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No idea. I had that frame in SRAM Force a couple years ago. Mine was a carbon frame and the hoses as well as the shift cables were both routed like that. My C3 is the first bike I've had with internal routing. I like. These new internal cockpit setups look nice and I'd love to have one, but not at the expense of not being able to use the bars I prefer. Also I'm too happy with what I have now to drop $$$ on a new one.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:03 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't think we'll ever have electronic braking (but I've been wrong before). With Di2, if you forget to charge the battery, or something else goes wrong, you have a single speed until you sort it out. With electronic brakes, you have a lot of broken ribs and missing teeth.
I don't know. The transportation industry did away with previous "mechanical systems" for electronic systems. The key is making those sensors feel and act like springs, cables, etc. Another person and I were having a discussion(in C &V of all places) about doing away with brake/shift levers and replacing them with pressure sensors located in the handlebars. Something like a pressure strip running the length of the bar on each side. Then he said we might as well go straight to helmets with HUD controls. Who knows what the future holds. As for me, I like the cabled look. It provides a way to add some color to all of those black frames and components.
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Old 06-19-20, 08:27 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Also, integrated cockpits aside, is there any carbon frame bike currently being sold with external cable routing?
I've got a brand new Ritchey that has external cable routing.
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Old 06-20-20, 06:06 PM
  #41  
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I would suppose, when SRAM worked on their eTap system for shifting, they also considered braking system, maybe not WIFI but electric wired one. They might still pull it out of the hat anytime soon. Then tons of problems with hiding cables would be history.

Of course, what first comes to mind is the fine control over braking that simply would not be there, but I imagine it could be made. Perhaps not WIFI but electric brakes should be sensitive enough to precisely follow the fine pressure on brake levers and without any noticeable lag. And wires can be hidden much more easily in the cockpit.

Last edited by vane171; 06-20-20 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 06-20-20, 06:37 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Iwe might as well go straight to helmets with HUD controls. Who knows what the future holds.
Not sure how this ties in with brakes & shifting but I had a dream the other day, after pondering cyclo-computers. In maybe 1950s SCIFI movies, not sure if that was just one series, like Star Trek something, you had these intro titles that started at the screen bottom and moved up in a fan shape, telling the story of the previous chapter happenings... Imagine some holographic or laser projection into the space in front of your cockpit (a kind of HUD), say one or two or even three feet forward of your handlebars and a foot wide, on which the data that you computer supplies and more would be projected. It would be transparent (and the data transparency could be set to suit you) so you would still see your front wheel through it.

Besides data about your ride, it would also show the traffic around you - in the future I speak about, every vehicle and every person would be chipped, autonomous cars then would not need optical systems, like laser beams scanning, because every car would know where other cars and people are in certain radius, no matter if hidden behind curves or objects/buildings or whatever, I believe autonomous cars will only be practical reality when everybody and everything will be chipped. BTW I am not a friend of chipping under the governments we have, but we can surely do better, sooner or later, and then this chipping would not be of any concern. The current antagonistic setup of people vs their governments is just a sign of primitive times we live in and will be a history in the future I have in mind.

In bike races, it would show other riders as colored dots, with your team mates being different color, so you would always know the position of all them in the peloton. In zoomed out view, you would see bigger area road map with rider dots on it, so you would see who fell a mile behind as well as who escaped the peloton, You might even specify before race which riders not on your team you want displayed in specific color, so you can track their position easily.

With all that said, I know about that discussion in pro racing concerning current walkie-talkies and the resistance to the trend, just saying what the future likely will bring, whether we like it or not. And maybe only the young ones might live it, it won't happen tomorrow but probably sooner enough than one might think.

Last edited by vane171; 06-20-20 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 06-24-20, 05:58 PM
  #43  
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As many have already clarified, I was talking about "integrated" cockpits, as opposed to just internally routed cables. My 2008 tri bike was internally cabled and it wasn't breaking new ground then, but my 2014 Scott CR1 has all external routing. With so many bikes now boasting both hydraulic disc brakes AND electronic shifting (wired or wireless), it seems like having a cockpit without any cables visible would be pretty straight forward (without worries about kinking or binding steel cables). The biggest challenge I assume would be the routing from the front brake lever down through the fork to the caliper. At least the routing for the rear brake would go through the frame as internal cables typically do.
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