STI ‘washing lines’

In the review of the Spa Cycles tourer in the April/May issue, Chris Juden says: ‘it puts gear cables in the way of a bar-bag but there are workarounds’. I’ve never found one. I don’t want to replace my old Shimano 105 gear levers, which work fine. It you could point me in the direction of the workarounds, I’d be most grateful.

Ken Kenyon

I mentioned one commonly recommended workaround, Nokon flexible casings, in a Q&A on ‘Chafing Gear Cables’ in the previous issue (p61 F/M ’14). And as a follow-up to that I received an even better suggestion (more readily available and much cheaper!) from John Kinahan in Belfast. He uses a pair of ‘noodle’ guide pipes intended for V-brakes, to impart sharp 90˚ bends on exit from the shifters, which as you can see in the photo keep his cables just clear of the bar bag. These pipes are sized for thicker cable, so could introduce some indexing slop, but over such a short length this does not seem to be a problem.

It’s interesting how these ideas get around. John saw this on a CTC tour in France, on the bike of Oxford member Eve Thornton, who got it from…?

I’ll add another suggestion: wider handlebars. Unless you care about tiny aerodynamic gains, there’s no such thing as a too-wide dropped handlebar. Even the widest available drops are narrow compared to other shapes of bar.

Chris Juden


This was first published in the June / July 2014 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.