Burning Question: Why Are So Many Bike Manufacturers Putting Cables Through the Headset?

Nov 4, 2022 at 10:31
by Seb Stott  
Scott Genius headset cable routing
Scott Genius


You may have noticed that a lot of recently released bikes have their cables routed through the upper headset bearing. Let's just say this move has proven a little controversial among Pinkbike commenters. One obvious downside is that replacing that upper bearing is going to involve detaching the brake hoses and the dropper and shifter cables.


So I got in touch with all the bike brands I can think of who have gone down this route to ask them why it makes sense for them. Most didn't reply. Here are the responses of those who did.





Merida

We are convinced of headset cable routing for several reasons:

First of all, cable routing is made easy because the opening on the head tube is much larger than a small opening on the side of the headtube/downtube. The cables on our headset cable routing can therefore simply be pushed upwards and no pick or magnet is needed. Especially with aluminum frames, where no liners can be used inside the frame, routing and replacing cables becomes much easier and faster. In addition, thanks to the large opening at the head tube, a foam tube can be pulled over the hoses on aluminum frames, which minimizes noise.
Merida Bike launch at The EX 2022 Please credit PaulBox
Photo: Merida/PaulBox

As the cable entry is very close to the rotation centre, the cables do not have to make a big loop. Instead, the cables move with the handlebar movement. This reduces the elongation of the cables and prevents them from rubbing against the head tube. Rattling when touching the various cables is also reduced.
The frame construction can also be optimized by headset cable routing, as the critical area around the headtube/downtube is not weakened by extra holes.

Of course, we are also aware of the disadvantages:

Replacing and re-greasing your bearings is a little bit more tricky than with a standard headset, because you need to manage your cables and the fork. When the headset is not well designed it can be frustrating during maintenance work, which we have had experience with in the past. That's why we worked with ACROS to develop a new headset based on their ICR system.

The durability did not cause any problems in our endurance tests either. Thanks to our Acros system with small entry holes in the cover and 3 additional seals, both bearings lasted longer as conventional headsets, even without special care. Some other brands want to save money when it comes to the details, especially when it comes to adding the additional sealing. But that was not our approach.

Of course our bearings also need to be re-greased or replaced from time to time. However, the upper bearing, through which the hoses run, is much less stressed than the lower bearing and therefore needs to be replaced less frequently.

But if it does it needs to be replaced every 2-3 years, we believe this happens as part of a major winter service and the 15 minutes of extra work to remove the fork and bleed the brake is acceptable.

Finally, of course, the clean look also matters for many consumers as well. Particularly in view of the brakes that might be introduced soon, which will route the cables much closer to the handlebars, we expect that headset cable routing will become more common among brands.





Scott

By not routing cables through the headtube, we’re able to make the frame structure lighter and more efficient by not needing to reinforce cable entry points on the frame. If we take a previous generation Spark, and the one we launched last year, we save nearly 60 grams through this – which for an XC World Cup level bike is substantial. There is a lot we are able to do with 60g of high modulus carbon fibre.

Once you’ve learned the process for cable routing with this system, we actually find it to be easier than with our previous approach. Fewer rubber bits and fewer individual cable routing parts throughout the frame make things relatively straightforward, especially with our large shock access door in the down tube.

We can also tuck cables in more nicely, they’re less exposed in the event of a crash. They have less room to waggle around, and help us have a system that is nice and quiet (this generation of bikes is by far the quietest we have ever engineered). Cables don’t have to be as long, saving further weight that we can then re-integrate into making a better frame. Frankly, it looks very good as well.

As for downsides, you have to re-learn in a sense the best way to work on the bike, so there is a bit of a learning curve. Once you’ve done that, though – you’re off and running.





Focus

Since that topic creates hot discussions all the time it's impossible for us to make a statement in 1 or 2 sentences.

The decision to go for integrated cable routing is nothing we at Focus decided from one day to the other. We see the parallels between other segments like road where external routing is not an option anymore and integrated routing is state of the art meanwhile.

We are doing the integrated routing because of the clean look, less cable rub and less cable rattling. The market feedback from our customers and dealer shows clearly that the clean look is super important and plays a huge role when the customer is deciding on a bike.
Focus takes things one step further by running the cables up the spacers and through their own stem, which I call the spaghetti monster.

Especially E-bikes with additional cables are looking significantly cleaner compared to traditional routing. We did some intense testing in real life as well as in our test facilities to avoid any cable rub and create the same reliability as regular cable routing. We also spec additional seals to increase the lifetime of the bearings. What we often hear as an argument: Frame makers get rid of the cable routing to save costs. Simply not true, the frame construction costs basically the same.

Changing a derailleur or dropper cable is, depending on the solution, the same effort as internal routing. Changing the upper bearing is more effort, but that's not something you do once a month. For FOCUS, Integrated routing is here to stay. One way or the other.





Unno

We decided to take that direction to tidy up the cockpit area a bit and avoid cables possibly rubbing on the frame. Also, no holes in the carbon over that area. In our case, we developed custom parts to make sure cables can enter quite straight and avoid damaging the hoses, as could happen with other systems out there. No hose damage, no need to replace them because of that.

We are moving to full-on AXS transmissions for Unno. This means one less cable to go through - the one that needs certain maintenance to keep transmission smooth and could be affected by a little extra work because of this.

If you make the frame ready for mechanical in case someone wants to go mechanical, then you need to leave an extra hole in the carbon - not very nice aesthetics when you don’t need it.

In the end, if nothing major happens like breaking your brake line in a crash and you need to replace it, we don’t see any work needed that will be affected by any extra work because of headset routing (with AXS transmission that is what our bikes come with stock).





Final Thoughts

It seems to me that headset cable routing isn't as bad an idea as it first appears. By moving the cable port close to the steering axis, it minimises the cable movement in front of the bars, which might reduce cable rattle, and allows for shorter cables. It may also allow brands to create a slightly lighter frame. When building a bike from scratch, there's actually a larger port to aim for with your cables, so it could make the initial setup easier. I've also noticed that when swapping a brake hose from the right to the left side there are no issues with the hose becoming the wrong length and bending awkwardly.

But it's clear that a major factor in deciding to route cables through the headset is that it looks neater. That's obviously subjective, but if everyone really cared about servicing over aesthetics, we wouldn't have any internal routing at all. Personally, that would suit me just fine, but if the hoses are going through the frame I don't see the route through the headset being all that much harder to live with - upper headset bearings usually last for years. I have seen concerns that the bearing might not last as long with this design due to water ingress, but the bearing is larger and the conventional ports are eliminated, so I'm not sure that's true (Merida claim the opposite).

As for the cables going through the spacers and the stem, that's a step too far in my book.



If you had a choice, what style of cable routing would you prefer?




612 Comments

  • 379 2
 YES! Now we riot.
  • 201 19
 Has anybody thought..oh why not just route everything outside ?? No fancy headsets, no complicated internal passages, less repair hassles. Just another excuse to stop people LEARNING how to work on their own equipment
  • 220 1
 @mininhi: deviate with a recessed top tube to hide the cables routed on the outside is the best solution I’ve seen, just as clean as internal with none of the downside
  • 5 0
 @mininhi:

The ghost of my El Salt weeps at your comment. Frown
  • 70 3
 I will fill up my sweat jar right now. Fuck Yeah! Punish the asshole marketeers that ever thought this was a good idea. Even the rationalizations in the above article are half-assed. Functionality and serviceability over fashion FFS!!! External For Life!
  • 25 1
 Wait till we get to the stage where the cables going through head tube start eating away at the steerer, then we will see things change. All we need is one person to maintain their bike, not route the cable properly or with a sheath and that steerer will be structurally weakened.
  • 49 0
 @toad321: similar to how raaw does it, recess in the downtube. Looks good, easy to work on, no noise. To me it’s perfect and one of the reasons I bought the bike
  • 30 1
 @sudochuckwalla: GT has a similar 'valley' in their downtube for routing. External/but away and neat.
  • 36 0
 "Burning Question"? YES! BURN IT TO THE GROUND!"
  • 19 1
 @mininhi: or just make a channel with a plastic cover over it so we can easily service them while hiding them.
  • 54 0
 The ONLY acceptable through the headset is for barspins
  • 15 0
 @mininhi: That will be the next innovation. Specialized will loudly proclaim it a new advancement, just like when they ditched proprietary standards that they had made up and also went back to threaded BB.
  • 31 28
 @mininhi:
I routed my internal cables on both my Banshee and my Giant at home with zero specialist tools, and neither of those is guided.
You should almost never need to replace a brake hose, and sure shift housing needs replacing but once you've got it in there, replacing is easy peasy. Good internal routing is great. Routing cables through handlebars, stems and headsets makes zero sense.

We have amazing looking bikes these days and I'm not willing to let a rats nest of external cabling make my bike look ugly - not to mention sharp zip ties cutting my gloves etc. I'm all for things that make sense, and internal cabling has come a long way to the point that it requires very little maintenance.

disclaimer: ON A WELL DESIGNED SYSTEM
  • 5 1
 @mininhi: back in the days of external routing, loads of brands ran cables underneath the bb... remember that? we had RIOTS!
  • 17 2
 @mininhi: I just purchased a new gravel bike, an Otso Warakin. 100 percent external cable routing, full length housing. I've never been so happy.

Sure, it may not be as aerodynamically efficient or as sleek to look at, but for the home mechanic like myself, I'm thrilled.
  • 6 9
 @toad321: except when the cables move around, it chips the shit out of the paint. Idea is good, execution not so much.
  • 6 12
flag vinay (Nov 4, 2022 at 14:39) (Below Threshold)
 @mininhi: "Has anybody thought..." Fully external is (as I write this) the most popular option in the poll, so yeah, definitely. I don't have experience with internal cable routing but don't most frame manufacturers give you the option with cable guides that double as cable ports? Otherwise there are also those guides you can glue to your frame to which you can strap the hose/outer with a zip-tie. The only challenge nowadays is for those who like to run a longer travel dropper posts as for some reason the longest travel ones only work with internal routing.

Either way, if you want external cable routing, you can have that. You're not dependent on the frame manufacturer. The other way around would be a bigger challenge.
  • 16 2
 @vinay:
Are you kidding me? You’d actually glue plastic cable guides to the outside of your frame?
  • 6 0
 @ACree: and they’ll sue all the people already doing it.
  • 7 6
 @notthatfast: I don't because my frame has proper external guides by default. But if you want external routing and the manufacturer didn't make the guides, this is what you can do. I recall Magura had them because they started with hydraulic bicycle brakes but not all frames had provisions for continuous hose routing. They had guides like these: www.xxcycle.com/marques/magura/images/large/4082.jpg and you can still buy them.
  • 9 1
 @nickfranko: Like Guerrilla Gravity.
  • 2 0
 Anal innit
  • 6 0
 @toad321: GT Zaskar"s groove tube did it in the 90"s too
  • 2 1
 Scare the bike manufacturers so hard they do a recall on all bikes with headset cables and make them external
  • 5 0
 @toad321: Raaw also has a nice down tube cavity within which cables are tucked, and sandwiches.
  • 5 0
 @toad321: I agree doing just more stealth external routing seems like a great idea and lets people continue to use their own choice of headset. IMO, many companies are still making terrible internal routing.
  • 2 0
 @toad321: I like that idea as well, top tube or downtube, either way they are pretty well protected and out of sight and still easy to work on.
  • 4 0
 @toad321: This. GT also had something decent at one point with the recess on the top side of the downtube (I think?) I also find Nicolai's routing to be superb. My favorite to work on.
  • 16 26
flag dylananderson (Nov 4, 2022 at 19:55) (Below Threshold)
 @mininhi: I learned how to route cables through fully internal road handlebars and stems before I graduated high school... if you can't learn do it yourself it might be time to consider a different sport. Really not rocket science
  • 20 2
 @dylananderson: that is great and all but what is the point of making things more difficult for 0 benefit other then vanity.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Even the alloy version's external cable routing is well managed
  • 2 0
 @toad321: This. External with hideaway (GT and Guerrilla Gravity have great examples)
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: your opinion isn’t popular but you aren’t wrong.
I clicked on full-external but my Trek with cables running through the downtube has been very low-maintenance, and fishing derailleur and dropper housing is… ok. If you like playing Operation for a few minutes, it’s doable.
  • 2 0
 @NoahJ: yesss!!
  • 4 0
 @mininhi: And no rattling sound comming from cables smacking around in the frame.
  • 13 1
 @mininhi: Every bike has external routing. Some just need few more zipties.
  • 2 1
 @st-lupo: do the marketers determine the bike design or is that the engineers and designers? Then the marketers are told to go try and sell it.
  • 1 0
 @NWBasser: yes, anything similar. It would let us easily service it without cut cables or annoying routing. Do it on the bottom of the frame and the plastic could act as a shield against rocks, too.
  • 1 0
 Nobody to blame but themselves fir alway complaining about cluttered cockpits and messy cable's...
  • 4 0
 @mininhi: As a bike machanic i would wish there where more external rooted bikes, it would safe us time, and with that money for the customer
  • 4 17
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 @f*cktektro69: dude if it’s really giving you that much trouble maybe you need to find a different career path. The learning curving isn’t that difficult.
  • 1 0
 @NoahJ: ya, totally makes sense for dirt jumpers, slopestyle or some crazy enduro rigs.
  • 1 14
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:18) (Below Threshold)
 @notthatfast: oh I get it now, you don’t care about aesthetics, but all the sudden when a solution is presented you don’t like it because it’d be ugly? Unparalleled logic.
  • 4 0
 it was a "mostly peaceful" comment section!
  • 1 1
 SRAM drivetrains gonna make this somewhat irrelevant next year. Need the price on the axs dropper to come (way) down next.
  • 4 1
 @ElDebarge: pretty sure it is the marketeers. As an engineer, I would not sign off on the thru headset routing. From a FUNCTIONAL perspective it doesn’t make sense: water ongress to the bearings, wear of the cables against the head tube, maintenance… on and on.
  • 3 0
 @st-lupo: re: water ingress; while this is an obvious concern, it's not like there is a headset system out there that is very good at keeping water out, even without cable holes in the top cap. I know, as I turned wrenches for a few years in the UK, and not a single system did an appreciable better job than any other. the real trick is buying really well sealed bearings, and just understand that where water wants to go, it does.....eventually.

even if a company can demonstrate through high quality o-rings and testing that they completely seal a headset, it doesn't transfer to real world use, as this is an area that sees tons of stress and flexing, thus opening even the best seal up to deformation and failure(if even temporary).
  • 1 0
 @mininhi: Devinci spartan allumium frame 2021 make external routing again, and i like it !
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: canyon spectrals have had this since 2018 and it works well
  • 1 0
 @mrift04: too late, already a problem on a bunch of road bikes, hasn’t stopped the trend.
  • 2 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Just searched the web regarding internal routing headset/steerer failure and couldn't see much if anything about that. I've seen Spesh had their recall (SL7) but it was because of the compression ring and wheel impacts. I've seen top bearing being seized and wearing away steerer but nothing on cable and steerer yet.

Regardless, I don't think this will catch on with members of the public and mechanics. I just did a brake swap on a friends new Mondraker Crafty RR SL and although it wasn't 100% shit, it certainly took another half as long as the normal time to do it. Now most of that time was doing the routing between rear calliper and past motor.. The headset routing/part was actually straight forward. That being said, I am a professional mechanic and have been in the trade for roughly 10 years, used his workshop and his specialist tools. Can't imagine the patience you'd need to do this any other way.
  • 2 4
 @mininhi: routing everything outside sucks it is so simple to just put it through ports in the frame works great and is simple and clean no zip ties necessary
  • 2 0
 @mininhi: Exactly. This statement from merida is absurd "Especially with aluminum frames, where no liners can be used inside the frame, routing and replacing cables becomes much easier and faster".

You know what's really easier and faster? Cables on the outside. The option to route externally will be a big factor in my next choice of bike.
  • 5 0
 What I'm seeing here are basically three groups of people commenting.
1. The home mechanic. Most of them (myself included) see no or little value in internal routing compared to the hassle it gives to do your maintenance.
2. The professional mechanic who doesn't like internal routing as it takes more time and effort.
3. The professional mechanic who just accepts it as it is and doesn't mind working on internal routing.

What I'm missing is the view of the customer who is not a home mechanic. Focus (in the article) likes to report what they (through their dealers) think their customers want, but that's a pretty long line to be reliable. So for those customers who don't work on their bikes (or at least don't work on forks, bearings and anything with a hose or cable), would you choose for internal routing and if so, why? Are you aware working on your bike takes more time and effort and are you willing to pay your mechanic more in change for the advantages you feel it gives you. This is the voice we're missing in this discussion and this kind of rider doesn't frequent a PB comment section then it may be nice if the PB reporters would hunt a few of them down and ask the questions that need answers.
  • 1 4
 @mininhi: all the way outside is ugly af and those bikes often had more shifting problems
  • 3 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: If there is a correlation between external routing and shifting problems and it is not related to the improvement of components through the years, isn't it because back in the days bikes often had an interrupted outer cable? My bike has external cable routing, works well and is pretty af.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: I rarely ever see issues with full-length or interrupted housing, if there are issues with shifting these days, they're almost always related to der. hanger. The argument that the headset routing is better for cables is bunk the reason everyone is going to AXS/Di2 is because of complex aero routing that makes cable shifting difficult/impossible. Most bikes with integrated-through headset routing end up with full-length housings in the frames, so the above argument that its the cause of greater issues, also bunk. As a shop mechanic, I can tell you that our shop charges more, (2x or 1.5x) for any through headset or internal routing and will charge T&M for bikes like TT bikes or anything that comes through the door and we can't easily predict how long the cable change will take. I don't enjoy working on excessively complex routing, like headset or internal without guide tubes, but I do it, without compliant, because that's what I'm paid to do, and so be it. The fact of the matter is, this type of routing takes more labor from the customers and pushes it to the shops, which, for most owners, (where I am) isn't that big of a problem since they have the disposable income. But in if you're shopping for a new bike and like to work on your own stuff, then likely you'll avoid this f*ckery.
As a long time bike mechanic, I avoid this stuff on my bikes since I don't want to deal with it at home. I likely wouldn't buy a bike with overly complex routing, that requires proprietary spacers/stem/top headset hardware, I hate being anywhere and not being able to get a part.
  • 2 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts:
Keep slinging those 'premium' cycling products, bud.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Thanks for the insight. My Cannondale Prophet does in fact have the rear shifter cable guided through the rear triangle but that's no big deal. Other than that, I don't have experience with internal routing other than the cable that runs between dynamo and rear light. This has been common for as long as I can remember and makes sense considering how vulnerable these thin electrical cables are. But I could never figure out how they'd do it. Loads of brands gradually shifted to battery-powered rear lights claiming they're less vulnerable. Which may be true, but it is only when you leave home in the dark that you realize that you should have charged your batteries and you always forget it when you arrive back home. The dynamo just goes. So internal routing great there, keeps the cable nice and protected. It is just that when I install a dynamo powered rear light (on a bike which had a battery powered one), I usually guide the cable through these electrical shrink wraps and tie it along the frame and carrier tubes. It may not look as tidy but I'm no professional workshop mechanic either. I wrench on my bike and that of friends a family. These day to day commuter bikes aren't necessarily meant to be pretty, they just need to be reliable and work when you need them.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I've done a bunch of dynamo wiring over the years, with those we'll typically enlarge frame drain holes and fish the wires through using stiff wire, like safety wire. If you have an external BB, you have enough room to skirt around the BB sleeve, if not, it can be tricky, but is still obviously doable. Forks work the same way, but since the light is usually mounted to the crown it's pretty simple.

SRAM makes a nifty little tool for pulling housing through the frame that is a turnbuckle you can attach two pieces of housing to, and it stays the same diameter, that thing is indispensable. Park makes a kit that uses magnets (how do they work!) to pull guide wires through the frame, It's about 50% reliable and 50% frustration. The best tools I have at my bench are cable liner tube, safety wire and an assortment of bent spokes that I can use as hooks or other implements to grab liner and cable sections to pull them through the frame.
  • 1 0
 @ElDebarge: It’s the latter. No marketer wants to have to sell something people either don’t like or that requires a complicated sales pitch or education effort. The ideal product from a marketer’s perspective is one that sells itself.
  • 2 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Oh yeah, it's being done at the factory so it sure must be doable. I think we both agree that the electric wire is really vulnerable so internal wiring there is the best solution. Luckily I don't have to do this often and pretty much never redo it, but otherwise the specialized tools would be worth it. What would be super nice is if there were some kind of adhesive tape with two copper strips in there. That would probably be the most convenient to do the wiring afterwards (for the home-mechanic like me).

Working on bikes and building something out of wood makes me happy. But working on electronics always frustrates me. I can do it and I'm happy when it works out, but there always seems like something is in the way. Be it my fingers, tools or just something in the product. As if the ones designing these don't take into account that there is someone who should actually work on it. Luckily bikes are largely free from this. But I can see there is more and more finicky stuff trickling in and I feel for you that you'll have to deal with this. But maybe there will also be more and more black-box stuff creeping in where you can't or aren't allowed to work on, like e-bike motors. As long as the customer knows and accepts (at the time of sale) that a repair implies sending the unit off to a service center, it is off your hands. Except that in case of a mid-motor, you'll have to store a big bike for weeks until the motor returns.
  • 256 3
 this is all dangerholm's fault. stupid sexy dangerholm.
  • 49 1
 Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all!
  • 15 0
 @Kobeefton88: …nothin at all…
  • 4 1
 Username checks out.
  • 195 5
 Last month I spent hours chasing down a front end creak, including dropping the fork twice, and replacing the upper headset bearing. Imagine tacking on a brake bleed to that process just for the bike to look 5% cleaner. I will not buy a bike with headset routing!
  • 19 0
 Soooo...was the upper headset bearing the source of the creak? I'm asking for a friend.
  • 14 1
 @bocomtb: not for me unfortunately, my steering is smoother but the creak persists. I think it's the CSU.
  • 133 5
 "But at least we saved you 60 grams!! Totally worth it!" - Scott Bikes

Lol... f*ck off @SCOTT-Sports
  • 9 1
 @islandforlife: obviously, you’re not a golfer.
  • 25 2
 @islandforlife: but they said it's a big deal to a World Cup racer, like us, the people they want to sell them to.
  • 20 1
 it is just a cost saving for the manufacturers, nothing more, nothing less.
  • 8 0
 @islandforlife: but that 60g comes back and then some with clunky stem/headset
  • 8 0
 Recently went thru the same issue after replacing my fork. Loud “pinging” noises when hitting bumps. Dropped the fork a couple times, re-greased everything, even re-installed the crown race. Not sure what fixed it but sure would have been a pain with headset routing.
Sadly the noise went away but then I promptly crashed and put the worst scratch on the top tube and down tube I’ve ever experienced.
  • 5 2
 @islandforlife: as a long time Scott user: I gave up on this company a few years ago, the moment I saw the new Gambler live I was dissappointed by how much this company changed, who they make bikes for and how easily they abandoned us who enjoy crafmanship in life without counting grams, seconds. Instead of leather they became plastic.
  • 7 0
 @islandforlife: what di you expect from the engineers who think a one piece stem / handlebar is a good thing
  • 2 23
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 @AndrewHornor buddy if you needed to replace the headset bearing, your brake probably needed a bleed anyways. Also dropping a fork is a pretty simple service procedure. Not sure why you’re acting like it’s difficult.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: probably your left pedal


or rear axle is not lubed/tight(this one is less a joke than you might think. I have chased all kinds of creaks around only to find out the through axle was dry. lol)
  • 12 1
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: did I say it was difficult? It's not - but when you add a brake line going through a bearing, that adds unnecessary time to the process.

Not sure why you're acting like brake bleeds and headset bearings should be on the same service interval.
  • 3 0
 @conoat: haha yes noise can travel like crazy on a bike!
But in this case I can clamp the front wheel between my knees, twist the bars and produce the sound.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewHornor: I’ve fixed a few creaky CSU’s with Tri-Flow. Doesn’t always work, but it’s easy and cheap to try.

Start with stanchion-crown joints because it’s easier. Flip bike upside down. Stick blocks under it until the fork is pointing totally vertical. Put a couple drops of tri-flow where the stanchions meets the crown. It should form a nice pool all the way around the joint. Firmly whack it a bunch with the handle of a screwdriver. Leave the bike like that for a day or two, screwdriver whacking and adding oil a couple times. Go for a ride and see if creak persists.

If that didn’t work repeat for the steerer joint. Take fork off. Take the crown race off. Repeat process for the upper steerer joint.

Hopefully works.
  • 2 0
 @Lylat: I fixed my 2015 pike by dabbing the gaps of the crown and steerer and stanchions with green loctite (the one for cylindrical joints, not for threads). Essentially gluing it up without disassembling it.
  • 2 0
 @Lylat: @Primoz: the loctite fix makes more sense to me because it seems like it could reduce movement instead of quieting it. I think I'll start with that one, keeping lube as a backup plan. Thank you to both of you!
  • 123 5
 Reading the comments and talking to mt bikers, I don't buy that a clean look is as important as manufacturers say it is. I've yet to encounter a mt biker who legitimately prioritizes that over ease of maintenance. "Easier initial set-up" is neat, but that happens once and then you're still stuck with a feature that makes upgrading and maintenance a pain in the ass.
  • 57 0
 I take pride in the rat nest on the front of my bike. Nothing a few zip ties cannot titty up
  • 68 2
 Because they're talking to a few customers who buy their top of the line, boutique, 10k+ bikes, and god knows those guys don't work on their own equipment.
  • 49 2
 Pinkbike commenters and the other enthusiast riders you talk to only buy 5-15% of these high end bikes. Most are wealthy 34-45 year olds who walk into a bike shop and get a new bike every 3-5 years without ever visiting a forum or bike news site. I think it's those folks who shop primarily on looks. What else is there to go on if you're not that familiar with the technical stuff?
  • 41 0
 @SATN-XC: I'll burn for this but I only upvoted for the titty Wink
  • 8 0
 @SATN-XC: If it's ratty enough it'll even fit a water bottle.
  • 3 0
 @st-lupo: lol, I just noticed that
  • 23 0
 This is the result of crappy product development and VOC. If you show an unknowing group of cyclists, shop owners, internet groups, whatever a picture of 2 bikes - one with cables everywhere and one with cables tucked in neatly, nobody even thinks about the implications. They just say they like the clean one best. It's an incomplete picture. BUT... consumer opinion is just a convenient scapegoat. It might be true to run this test and achieve these results but it's the last thing on the list. Far more important is cost of manufacture, less small parts support, component evolution, e-bike influence, and on and on. The brands that answered are full of BS and they know it.
  • 5 1
 @plustiresaintdead:
Yup, you’re right. The average consumer doesn’t give two monkeys about this issues.
  • 17 0
 @SATN-XC: I’m with you here. But, I have had a grouse fly up into my rats nest on a night ride and flap around for a few seconds before flying off (I think unharmed?). Truly a terrifying experience for both of us. I definitely screamed like a 7 year old child who knows too many swear words.

Temporarily terrifying, but not terrifying enough for me to want cables through my headset.
  • 100 1
 Y'all would be amazed. We very legitimately get customers spending more on Scotts than the Marin counterparts we have in stock. The Marin is a better value, hands down, as are a lot of other bikes we sell, but people gravitate to the Scotts, and the constantly cited reason is how attractive they look. People absolutely do buy bikes based off looks. It's painfully more common than any of you may think. Sales numbers drive these calls, and these calls are clearly adding money to the bank account. We can barely keep the new Sparks in stock. People walk past Rift Zones, Spurs, Tallboys, Heiheis, and go right to the Sparks, every time. Pinkbike posters make up such an infinitesimally small part of the market it amazes me how often we pretend to be the majority. Most riders are not nearly as serious nor utilitarian as PB posters.
  • 4 1
 Not everyone who buys a bike will also work on it. We Pinkbikers - where apparently many work on their own bikes - are probably just a tiny fraction of bike buyers. If you have no clue about bike maintenance, then I suppose just judging by looks the headset routing may take the win.
  • 3 0
 @weekendupdate: That sounds like a missed opportunity for a great dinner.
  • 13 2
 @sherbet: I think most Pinkers are entirely dishonest with themselves about how driven they are by aesthetics too. None of us know anyone who would choose between two bikes based on looks because who would admit it out loud? It's cool to not care.
  • 8 1
 @L0rdTom: We're also an echo chamber. I probably wouldn't even know this kind of cable routing was a thing or if I did, I probably wouldn't have much of an opinion on it unless it happened to be an option on a specific bike I was looking at, if not for pinkbike, but I now I know I hate it without ever even seeing it on a bike.
  • 16 0
 @sherbet: and yet the return of water bottle mounts.
Something which I would argue was very much driven by that tiny minority.
In the 21st, the majority could not give a crap about most things. Its the easily offended vocal minority that change things.
Personally I think headset routing looks crap and I would not buy it. “Just a quick bleed” ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. And what about the time and cost of going out to get fresh dot 5.1?!
If any of my mates buy into this crap and then expect me to mechanic their bike, they will be directed to the LBS to be robbed blind
I bought my last bike for simplicity.
  • 22 2
 Just so we're clear here, we're talking about Scott, right? The company that insists on adding a couple extra cables to the cockpit for suspension lockouts? Those f*cking bikes are the very definition of rats nest cables.

If they want to make their bikes look cleaner, ditch the stupid remote suspension locks.
  • 1 0
 @weekendupdate: Otherwise it would have been doing all that in your face.

See, it's a feature, not a drawback!
  • 4 7
 @toast2266: Idk, it seemed pointless to me at first but the Twinloc is great. I have it on my Genius and use it every ride now. Open for the rough or steep sections, limited for moderate trail with pedalling, locked out for the rail trails and the ride home. They don't include it on their DH bikes and such for obvious reasons, but on a trail/enduro/xc bike it makes total sense! And it's sure as hell a lot better than having to stop and reach down to flip the switch on your shock and fork separately each time (which nobody does because it's a pain in the ass).
  • 12 1
 @Austin-Sedz: or get a bike that pedals well without lock out.
  • 3 1
 The number of complaints in the comments on internet reviews of Scott bikes regarding the six or seven cables dangling out the front of the bikes suggests that internet mountain bikers cared deeply about how "messy" it was, for some reason. Except now Scott's cleaned it up and the internet is incensed!

But nobody I rode with while on a Scott ever gave those cables a second glance...
  • 6 0
 I actually do like fully internal routing, it just looks much cleaner. Routing on my gravel bike is that way, not a cable to be seen anywhere.

However, this is NOT, what we are talking about here. The cables obviously still run on the outside, only the point where they enter the frame is changed with headset routing, and imho optically for the worse. So it has all the disadvantages of having to bleed your brake (I use mechanical disks on the gravel bike, by the way), having to remove the cables to change the headset, having the cables rub the steerer tube, AND it looks like sh… why would I ever buy a bike that has this “feature”?
  • 11 0
 Important to people buying ebike they said. This is because of ebike.
  • 2 3
 @Austin-Sedz: If they had a good suspension design system that works, they would not need any of those idiotic lockouts. It only advertises that their suspension design is pants
  • 5 3
 @sherbet: Who is "we" and is your shop a proportional representative of what is happening in the whole mtb population? It could be just specific to where you live. Why are you so sure?
  • 2 2
 You're confusing mountain biker with people who ride mountain bikes... A mountain biker actually cares how his/her bike works and the maintenance involved - hence hating the cable routed headset. On the other hand, a generalized person wo rides a mountain bike (who should probably actually be riding a gravel bike or something else), doesn't maintain their own bike, payed way too much for their bike because they bought the cool aid, and is probably riding with their rear shock almost deflated because the last time it was pumped was the day it rolled off the showroom floor... and YES, aesthetics are more important to them than maintenance.

The real question is, which of these riders buys more bikes in the marketplace?
  • 7 0
 It's all about the money. If you read between the lines, they all say reinforcing the headtube area for individual cable ports is more expensive than making a big mouth to cram all the cables through.
  • 14 0
 @plustiresaintdead: I’m 66 and do all my own maintenance, and yes I can afford higher end bikes. I will NEVER buy a bike with this insane routing. Piss off all bike manufacturers trying to justify this!
  • 1 2
 @gooral: Given Scott is an international brand, and absolutely has done focus group testing as well as looking at statistics of sales, they likely know what they're doing here. Why are you so incredulous? Do you have any counterpoint aside from smugly asking me if I'm certain?

Sure, I only have anecdotes of my area, but they are very obvious examples that seem to be working worldwide; these bikes are nearly impossible to get and are always sold out at a distributor level. That's a international commerce, and does speak for how desirable these rides are.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: I chose my bike based on the looks. Even routed my shiting cable through the chainstay on my FR bike. That still doesn't mean I would buy anything based on "wow, this wasn't a thing in the 80's - so it must mean quallity" thing stupid customers of these stupid brands go for. There will always be frame makers for true bicycle lovers, let's give them money!
  • 3 7
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 @Poachninja: you are literally the problem, taking second and third hand anecdotes as fact. Most people in this comment section haven’t even worked on a bike with routing through the headset. It’s really pretty simple if you’re a moderately competent mechanic.
  • 3 6
 @chippps this might be a shocker but when people spend $4000+ on a product, presentation is actually a factor. Anyone who claims they don’t care how a bike looks is spewing BS.
  • 3 0
 @SATN-XC: titty is a great way to spell tidy IMO
  • 4 0
 Moreover I prioritize being able to adjust my head angle with anglesets, be them aftermarket like Cane Creek and Works or proprietary like the one on my Stumpjumper Evo. That feature on the Evo is more important than the SWAT Box to me. I suppose anglesets like the SJ Evo's could still work if you make the head tube big enough, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  • 1 0
 It's the same as weight. That small difference doesn't matter. But people buy based on it. So logically you can say what you are saying. But in reality doesn't work like that in how people buy bikes.
  • 122 7
 @SCOTT-Sports : This does NOT matter...>>"Once you’ve learned the process for cable routing with this system, we actually find it to be easier than with our previous approach.". It's isn't about setting up cables, could be easier or faster. It's about maintenance to headsets, spacers, stems and disassembly, reassembly....especially for MTB's For HS spacers specifically, many riders like to change out spacers and even stems for different heights and stem lengths depending on terrain and even just to try different approaches. Having to disconnect (and in many case bleed) brake, dropper and shifter cables to adjust something as critical and personal as HS spacers and stems is ridiculous. IF you can figure our /design a way cables route this way on the outside of the HS bearings, fine. Until then....STOP this!!! Only acceptable scenario for HS routing is for TT bikes. I will await my downvotes
  • 29 41
flag olafthemoose (Nov 4, 2022 at 12:58) (Below Threshold)
 You don’t have to do any of that. Jesus the people who think you need to disconnect ANY cables to change your spacers on one of these headsets probably shouldn’t be working on their bike. JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURES THATS NOT HOW IT WORKS (other than that Flying Spaghetti Monster stem, that’s stupid). This setup is no more difficult to work on than standard internal cable routing, unless you need to change your upper headset bearing. Which in reality you probably will never need to do unless you like power washing your headset or overtorquing your headset
  • 12 26
flag bman33 (Nov 4, 2022 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 @olafthemoose: touche. True on the spacers..... That said, your spastic sh*tbag immature response truly shows you must be a true joy to hang out with. Catch you at Heil one day. Big Grin
  • 20 4
 @SCOTT-Sports answer especially wreaks of marketing babble BS. ...treating us like we're children. Their encabulator video wasn't meant to be entertainment after all. It was a thinly veiled insult to all of us because they think we're stupid.
  • 6 2
 @olafthemoose:

Which photo are you looking at? I'm legitimately curious.

Because I see the headline photo for the article, the Scott Genus image, and the "spaghetti monster" image all definitely "appear"; to be routing behind/through the stem spacers.

The Meridia is "better" in this instance, as at least you can adjust your stem spacers without bleeding the brakes. Or without two piece stem spacers.

But they all share the problem of "oh crap, I need to replace/service the upper headset bearing", right?
  • 6 0
 @ocnlogan: two-piece spacers that do not require you to even remove the stem DO exist (Canyon uses them on integrated road bikes) so I’d put forth this is not necessarily a true stumbling block here.

But it’s still a bad idea, and brands should stop doing it on MTBs.
  • 4 1
 @ocnlogan: On the Scott the part of the stem the cable goes behind is a removable cover that snaps on and off. The stem spacers are a 2 piece design that connect together like a puzzle. You can remove and reinstall a different length stem or change spacer height below the stem without cutting, removing or bleeding any cables.
  • 2 0
 Do Scott's integrated Synchros bars even support spacers? You definitely can't change the stem only. I agree with your point but Scott has clearly gone all in on a 'clean' look.
  • 5 1
 @jepc: Yes, all the Scott bikes come with spacers below the stem, including the one piece bar stems Each of the new Genius and Sparks (and most Scott bikes that use a unique headset spacer shape) also ship with additional spacers in the box. You obviously can't change the stem only on a one piece bar stem combo (because its all one piece) but the entry and mid level bikes come with a two piece bar stem so changing it is pretty straight forward.
  • 6 0
 I hope scott will use better headset bearing than the crap they used in the past! As a bike mechanic you don't understand why a company uses a 3€ bearing on a € 7000 bike...
  • 1 0
 @bman33: turdman takin it deep like usual. Hows your kansas?
  • 5 6
 @ocnlogan: the Scott’s have 2 piece headset spacers. And seriously, if you need to change an upper headset bearing its time to bleed the brake. And if it isn’t, a quick lever bleed would be all it would take. Literally 5 minutes. With the frequency that you would have to change the headset bearing its really not an issue
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: yep. Life is groovy here. Riding more than I did when I was in Denver. My in-laws are in Brooklyn and Staten Island. What's the best bike park for me to check out late spring in that area? I can bring the Enduro or the DH bike
  • 3 12
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:16) (Below Threshold)
 @ocnlogan: it’s possible to just lift the bearing out of the race in the event that you just need to regrease it (so what if you can’t remove it from the brake line). If you actually need to replace it, it’s probably also time for a brake bleed. Which is apparently a blessing in disguise for all the home mechanics who evidently don’t bleed their brakes.
  • 18 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: most home mechanics are probably much like me. We bleed our brakes when our brakes need bleeding, not when our headset bearings need to be removed.
  • 5 2
 @thisdudenz exactly.
Regreasing headset bearings is a 5 minutes and barely 1 beer job. Bleeding brakes, that's a 30 minutes affair if you're dialed and lucky and I wouldn't even think of doing it just because I have dropped the fork to deal with a headset. How are two completely unrelated operations even mentioned in the same sentence? Do people rebuild their shocks whenever they replace a tire? Same idiotic logic...
  • 3 4
 @Boissal: you can regrease the bearing without disconnecting the line..
  • 4 0
 @olafthemoose:

You can, it’s true. Kind of anyway. But that’s not easy, or pleasant.

It’s kind of like trying to make a sandwich without taking the bread out of the bag though. Also possible, but… and also not particularly pleasant.
  • 1 0
 One of the arguments in favor of headset routing was that the hoses/cables won't have to make such a big loop around to allow for sufficient handlebar rotation. And that there would be less cable rub around the (outside) headtube area. I'm not sure how much rub there will be inside the frame because of the confined space and the tighter kinks the cables have to make, but I was thinking whether there could be some middle ground where you can have it all. What if you have a wide spacer above the headset cover that holds the cables and hoses just like a cable detangler for a BMX (just without the end-stops obviously) and maybe even guides them in circumferential direction (like a P-knuckle). This way you can keep the cables clear from the headtube, don't need the big loop and still they won't have to pass through the headset bearings. Such a spacer is a simple add-on for anyone with external routing and who obviously does have room for a spacer.
  • 106 0
 Read through the article, I think Focus gave us the real answer. They are looking at ebikes as the future and doing a lot of consumer testing, and they have noticed a real impact on purchasing decisions driven by "the clean look" of integrated cables. That has to be backed by focus groups and market research. So it makes perfect sense - mountain bikes are sort of legacy downstream supply chain for ebikes now, we will see a lot of ebike consumers getting in for the first time who have no idea what maintenance is or who's going to do it, and we are the vocal legacy consumers who complain a lot but don't drive profit margins.
  • 15 0
 Especially with about a half of their lineup being e-bikes.
  • 13 1
 Man if this is true that’s pretty sad

You can find road bikes have adopted this for aero reasons.(for a ling time) Also, they look friggin’ clean; almost like you’re riding a fixie bike.

Probably too many roadies taking decisions in these companies

Real ones who actually ride and do their own repairs won’t buy in to this shit.
  • 8 0
 For road bikes it makes sense; for mtb….just check out the comments
  • 15 3
 I will henceforth refer to Focus as F*ckus.
  • 20 1
 The real answer is, that it is cheaper to manufacture a frame without holes in the steering tube and without internal cable guides. A headset needs to be bought anyways. The fact that there are consumers stupid enough to like the looks of such hard to service bikes, cars, electronic devices, etc is a bonus.
  • 52 0
 I’m a behavioral economist and was hired by a company orders of magnitude larger than any bike brand to bring rigor to their research surrounding consumers and what they want. Generally, the lack of methodological rigor is appalling in consumer/behavioral research, even where there are large budgets to support it. Even when it is good, product managers may (and frequently do) choose to ignore it entirely based on their own priorities or their own anecdotal experience and “research”. When a bike company says they did something based on consumer feedback/testing, take that statement with a healthy amount of skepticism.
  • 12 0
 Easy for Focus to do some market reasearch with focus groups.
  • 6 0
 @Hayek: Agree 100%, see also "Who killed the electric car". But if you put together a focus group of first-time ebike buyers who've never lubed a chain and want a bike where they don't have to pedal, I bet they'd all pick the one without cables. In a very real supply chain sense, we're breathing their exhaust.
  • 3 0
 Worth mentioning Unno's comment: "We are moving to full-on AXS transmissions for Unno. This means one less cable to go through..."

I think you are going to see this happening more with High-end boutique brands which will eventually trickle down. Eventually they will push everyone to electronic drivetrains.
  • 5 0
 @mi-bike: theirs looks like Cthulhu
  • 4 1
 @housem8d: it doesnt make even sense for roadbikes!! You doesnt save 1watt...
  • 12 0
 @housem8d: I race both road and MTB.

I own one of those fully-integrated road bikes (Aeroad) where no cables/hoses are visible at all. I’ve had to bleed the brakes to do service in the headset area. It was a pain in the ass. I knew that was a tradeoff going in for cleaner looks and aero gains. I still accept this trade off.

Having said all that, I would not make the same tradeoff on a MTB, nor could you convince me that any of the reasons put forth above by these brands justify it at all. We do not want this, please stop doing it.
  • 7 0
 @Hamburgi: i think it saves a bit over the long run…
But i guess that its a decision based of looks alone

I rode a 2016 supersix evo with exposed cables and a 2021 ridley aeroad bike (forgot the name)
Not seeing the cables feels very satisfying. But maybe i’m too OCD.

On a mtb, never. Classic downtube port internal is as far as i’ll go.
  • 4 1
 Everything on ebikes should be wireless even the brakes, servo actuated pistons and shit.
  • 1 0
 Does Olly Wilkins still ride their stuff? Somehow I've got this feeling that they're not a perfect match.
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: ok. I'll bite. "what am I thinking right now?"
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: basically in the lunchroom.
  • 1 1
 @mi-bike: I believe you mean foci groups.
  • 5 0
 The amount of really nice focus e bikes, with long af travel, being piloted by old ladies on cycle trails that visit vinyards is just appaling.
  • 15 1
 I've already stated this in previous PB comments, but I'll say it again: bike prices have been hiking up since before the components starvation produced by the global pandemic crisis. The main reason was to subsidize the development of ebikes, and the second one was to make the latter more appealing. If you compare the prices of ebikes and bikes in the same equipment segment, you'll see they're basically giving you the motor and battery for free.

So we have been paying the bike companies to introduce ebikes even when we didn't want to, while justifying the gentrification of our sport in the process.
  • 3 0
 @Hayek: nice summary of RockShox hydraulic Reverb remote
  • 2 0
 @idecic:
I came here to say that.
It's the focus Chtulhu.
  • 2 0
 @housem8d: I don't think it's a "roadie" made decision. MTB is littered with bad designs driven by market demand. See-71/73 geometry, chainstay mounted U-Brakes, 35.0 bars, suspension lockouts. This is just a way to make bikes look "cleaner" to the gaper hordes.
  • 73 0
 "First of all, cable routing is made easy because the opening on the head tube is much larger than a small opening on the side of the headtube/downtube."

If only there was a way to route cables that didn't involve shoving them through a frame... Nah that would never work.
  • 24 0
 "like road where external routing is not an option anymore" uhhhh it is very much an option. in fact it is the better option. I will die on the hill that all mountain bikes should have external routing and threaded bbs. you are a lousy bike designer if you cant make that happen.
  • 4 0
 @adrennan: Have they actually done any genuine testing on the drag caused by external routing. Its got to be so negligible.
  • 61 1
 This helps with the decision paralysis and N+1 spreadsheet. three brand-models I no longer will need to consider
  • 4 0
 Haha - so true!
  • 6 0
 Ehh, price already ruled Scott out in my spreadsheet. Four years ago the Genius 940 was the highest spec alloy model available. Now it's the lowest and costs 50% more.
  • 55 0
 They have run out of innovations so need to didgdeep to convince folks their current bike sucks and needs to be replaced.
  • 15 1
 99 percent of us don't ride at the level where we can notice a 60g difference with a weight of the bike. You dollars are votse, don't like the technology don't buy it.
  • 15 0
 @femto505: your dollars are goatse
  • 18 0
 @owl-X: I say whatever floatse your boatse.
  • 2 0
 Nailed it.
  • 3 0
 That's hard to do when the new bike sucks even harder lmao
  • 1 1
 @femto505: The lack holes in a frame for cable routing usually make a frame stronger as well.
  • 3 0
 @Verg: simpler yes, lighter i say no. A composite guy can chime in but I think impact resistance means the layup is thick enough that holes are just that holes. They aren't really making the area around the hole thicker/stronger/heavier on mountain bikes.
  • 3 2
 @pink505: They %100 do reinforce around the holes with more fiber in atleast in some instances. Would you be willing do drill holes in your handle bar and continue to ride it, even if it had enough impact strength? Probably not.
  • 2 0
 @Verg: i will respectfully disagree and go drill a few holes in my carbon bars. The 4 holes i see on my stripped down Cannondale habit frame show no evidence of altered layup. 2 i can see from the inside from the head tube. I am not saying there aren't designs and locations that would require modified layups but more that they could make a handlebar at a similar weight and strength with holes if the vp sales decided this was a new standard for 2024. They aren't making the frame thinner in most cases is they got rid of the holes. In the sailing world we drill holes in carbon all the time, rarely do you need any reinforcement in the area. You avoid it if you can and take great care in where and how you make them but it does not compromise the structures.
  • 1 0
 @femto505: You have to buy it, they shove it down our throatse
  • 2 0
 @pink505: Visually inspecting the exterior surface (or interior) of a carbon tube will not tell you what happening beneath the surface. I have worked for multiple manufacturers and atleast 2 have reinforced the frames around the cable ports. I look forward to seeing your destructive testing results after drilling holes in your carbon bars and I hope you don’t get hurt.
  • 1 0
 @pink505: It doesn't compromise the structure because you "take great care in where" you make the hole, meaning you're probably making the holes in places where stress is far below the failure threshold.
  • 40 0
 Thanks for this article Seb, really appreciate it.

It serves well as a handy one stop shop for figuring out which bike brands I will no longer consider Big Grin .

I understand that there are some benefits to this (weight savings at the World Cup level athlete level). But personally, 60g of weight savings in the frame, and shorter cables is not worth the maintenance hassle for me.
  • 54 2
 There are lots of other brands doing headtube cable routing that didn't have the guts to talk about it...
  • 6 0
 @brianpark:

Those ellipsis make this sound ominous...
  • 12 0
 @brianpark:
You say they had the balls to talk about it, i say they saw a platform to sell their snake oil to dimwits.
Tomato Tomato
  • 8 0
 @brianpark: so... you're saying they're embarrassed?
  • 9 3
 @Loki87: He didn't say balls, he said guts. Pinkbike moved away from the habit of attributing courage to male genitals and cowardice to female genitals.
  • 9 0
 Also, how many grams do their remote lockout levers add? More than 60 I would guess.
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: Name and shame Big Grin
  • 32 0
 Funnily enough thinking about this last night.

My conclusion is it’s all about the money. It cheaper to put them Through the headset than it is to have frame built with multiple port holes.

Claims like weight savings are just bollocks, 60g weight saving. The majority of Scott buyers could probably benefit more from loosing weight from a different area, I’m definitely in that category.


Looks is subjective. I do like a nice looking bike, but I also like it to be practical. If something impacts upon the ease with which I can work on the bike I don’t want it.

Example of this. BB’s got a couple of bikes with pressfit and couple with external. Guess which is easier and quicker to change and it even at the stage where when searching for new bikes I’ll check what type of BB it has.
Press fit? Cross that bike off of the list.

Cables through head sets are now added to the ‘exclude a bike list’

P.s could you have been any more neutral with the ‘final thoughts’
  • 1 14
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 A bit daft to base your bike decision on a service procedure you’re only doing once, MAYBE twice a season innit?
  • 9 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: There's no shortage of good bikes without headset cable routing. Why buy a bike that turns basic services into a hassle when you can get a bike that doesn't do that? Not to mention the increased wear this type of routing has on shift housing.
  • 31 1
 I’d still prefer external routing, I wish manufacturers could choose to make aluminum frames as simple as possible and all of the “neatness” can go on the carbon frames I’ll never buy.
  • 23 0
 @wobblegoblin: Repeat after me: RAAW, RAAW, RAAW!
  • 5 0
 @st-lupo: Really liking the Jibb. Might just my next bike frame!
  • 3 0
 @upisdown: I just wish the STA was a tad steeper. Nothing crazy. Just a little
  • 2 0
 @upisdown: I got a Madonna this year and I'm absolutely loving it!
  • 7 0
 Only thing that should be internal is the dropper cable, and that can happen at the bottom of the seat tube.
  • 5 0
 @DylanH93: I was fine with external routed seatposts too!
  • 2 0
 Bird has all of their cables external
  • 1 0
 @Ghaytnd: I think privateer only runs the dropper cable internal.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: I have one myself and love it. But man, the derailleur cable routing really needs an update ..
  • 29 0
 My road bike has cables routed through the headset. This is the work of the Devil and should be exorcised from bicycles design by the UCI. Come on UCI you haven't banned anything recently.#makingUCIbansgreatagain
  • 2 13
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:28) (Below Threshold)
 Give me one reason it’s so terrible
  • 1 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: Get a job fixing these shitty bikes and come up with your own reasons
  • 26 1
 2018 - 2020 was peak bike design, things have jsut gotten more expensive and dont actually ride any better ever since, Aesthetics are nice, but can be easily overlooked when I can get a perfectly good 2018 bikes for like 3500$ with top of the line components.
  • 3 0
 Where the hell is it going now though, insaintity is on the way
  • 27 0
 I just replaced the brakes on my bike which reminded me how much I ABSOLUTELY HATE internal cable routing.
  • 24 1
 What I don't understand is the aesthetic argument. It's not like road bikes where you can route everything inside, with MTB you still have cables and hoses visibly exiting levers. That's the ugly bit, and frankly I think it looks worse having them gobbled up by some weird hole in the stem. That Focus is *hideous* for that. It's just a half done job, and annoying the shit out of everyone, for numerous reasons.

"Don't half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing"
  • 2 1
 The new sram brakes will have the cable come put right at the bar, so in theory you could even run them through the bar fairly easily. That's what Merida were talking about.

bikerumor.com/spotted-prototype-sram-level-brake-levers-give-lars-forsters-scott-spark-better-hose-angle
  • 3 1
 @mtb-thetown: But other than aesthetics, there is absolutely no need to do that on a MTB. Even road bikes, it's quite likely that external routing is actually more aero than internal. And none of that matter when there's a 200lb person sat upright on it.
  • 3 0
 @mtb-thetown: Just build the whole leaver into the bar with the piston inside it.
  • 1 2
 @TimMog: I agree that it's not worth the trouble. But it definitely is more aero to be fully internal, although it's only a few watts.

I also worry about in bar cable routing making it harder to adjust lever placement on the bars
  • 3 6
 @TimMog: sorry, are you a wind tunnel expert? What’s your basis that external might be more aero?
  • 4 3
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: I'm basing that on a comment from Mike Burrows, who I assume knew a fair bit about aero bikes
  • 2 0
 @TimMog: the general estimate is about a watt of aero loss at 45kph per 10cm of exposed housing. That can add up, although on mtb the speed you can descend is usually limited by terrain not drag, so it's not really worth the trouble.

www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2022/08/24/mike-burrows-was-much-more-just-legendary-bicycle-designer this article also quotes Mike Burrows saying "Why isn’t everything aerodynamic, like a wing, in the bicycle world?’ The nearest we got to aerodynamics was hiding brake cables away!" So he clearly understood the aero benefits of hiding cables.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-thetown: Yes, agreed, aero is so far down the pecking order of what makes a MTB fast.

It was a more recent quote than that, not many months before he passed away, something along the lines that actually external cables could help disrupt air along the surface of the frame, which makes sense when you think about how so many manufacturers use fairings and textured surfaces on clothes for aero gains.
  • 24 0
 Tell us you don’t barspin, without telling us you don’t barspin
  • 6 15
flag SixxerBikes (Nov 4, 2022 at 18:19) (Below Threshold)
 I hate this punk dickhead phraseology, cut the bullshit
  • 9 3
 @SixxerBikes: Tell us you're a miserable old fool, without telling us you're a miserable old fool.
  • 5 0
 Seriously. Not even x-up one footers with cables that short. First everything became 29ers, then came storage compartments to justify price doubling the next year and now time trial road bike bs. Looks nice though.
  • 20 0
 bring back external cables! honestly speaking I dont even like internal routing, but I can live with it. and highlighting ACROS as a quality manufacturer is a joke, their build quality is the worst, I had to replace the headset after one year of riding. I had to replace everything, because the bearings are pressed into the cups, worth design ever!
  • 2 3
 Acros is a marketing group; not an actual company offering anything useful.
  • 3 0
 Acros is every OEMs darling atm.
  • 4 0
 @JohSch: yeah, because they give away their stuff for free to bike companies, as a a customer I would never buy their stuff (I dont care replacing it)
  • 23 0
 Absolute bullshit will an Acros upper headset bearing last 3 years of regular use before replacemen.
  • 12 0
 My daughter is on her third Acros headset since May.
  • 3 0
 Maybe they just need ventilation ports
  • 3 0
 @locaroka: I hate Acros as much as anyone (they creak and are ugly) but 3 in 6 months seems crazy.

The one my YT Decoy lasted for 2 years/5000 miles before I replaced it with a Wolftooth angleset to add a degree of slack
  • 2 5
 @locaroka: lmao why do you keep buying them? Maybe try a different headset
  • 2 1
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: lmao? Are you 5? find an alternative headset that allows for cable routing through the bearing cover?
  • 1 5
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: what is the bike? I’m certain there’s an alternative
  • 3 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: It’s an Acros headset, likely ZS56 size, cables route through the topcap, I have a friend with a bike fitted with the exact same plastic compression ring.

Off you pop now and find the alternative, make sure it will accept internal routing.
  • 1 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: looks like nukeproof / token have recently released one. Will it be any better, who knows? Putting holes in a part that seals a bearing is a ridiculous idea.
  • 1 7
flag PremiumCyclingProducts (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:52) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: oh so you didn’t bother to give any useful specs? Are you 5?
  • 6 0
 @PremiumCyclingProducts: I gave you the specs you turd - ZS56 with internal cable routing, it’s pretty much the only internal routing size available in MTB / Ebikes and I am familiar with the compression ring design.

As I say, Nukeproof now offer one.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I give you props for calling someone a turd. Very clever use of non standard insults. bravo.
  • 21 0
 "For FOCUS, Integrated routing is here to stay. One way or the other." This is straight up saying "we don't care about consumer opinion buy our bikes or don't." I will pass thanks.
  • 11 1
 Focus is only sold by huge retailers to noobs here in Europe anyways
  • 2 10
flag olafthemoose (Nov 5, 2022 at 9:44) (Below Threshold)
 I’m personally glad manufacturers aren’t listening to pink bike comments from people who are bad at working on their bikes
  • 21 0
 Look at a Transition and tell me it doesn't looking fucking awesome with regular ports and external rear brake routing. Better aesthetics... B.S.
  • 3 0
 Depends which Transition. They've subscribed to this fuckery on their Repeater ebike.
  • 1 0
 @commental: And then they listened to consumer feedback and unsubscribed for the next model!
  • 21 0
 Durable Acros headset. Hahahaha
  • 6 0
 Hahahhahahhahahhah The worst
  • 16 0
 Come on like any brand is going to go ‘main reason is it’s cheaper to produce so we get more of your money’. Same score as pressfit BB there was no advantage to the consumer and now threaded BB’s are like a selling point!!
  • 15 0
 Scott: "As for downsides, you have to re-learn in a sense the best way to work on the bike." Way to bury the lead there Scott. Have fun cleaning those headset bearings
  • 10 1
 Lol Scott is a fucking joke
  • 15 0
 They claim it only takes an extra 15 minutes to bleed. First, thats bs. Second there is some mess involved in bleeding, so there is cleanup time.
  • 3 7
flag Verg (Nov 4, 2022 at 16:47) (Below Threshold)
 If you only disconnect the rear brake at the lever to remove the bearing it is less than 15 minutes to bleed as you don't have to rebreed the whole system, just get the bubble out from the end of the hose. It would be similar to shortening a line and shortening a line takes me all of about 5 minutes. For Shimano its as simple as attaching the bleed cup, filling it with fluid and pumping the brake a few times until the bubble that was introduced into the line rises into the cup. If its been more than a year since your last bleed its time anyways, as most manufacturers recommend you should bleed your brakes annually.
  • 16 0
 Yeah two hours later my fifteen minute job is done.
  • 2 0
 @Bree33: I believe it's called a Jamie Oliver 15 minutes.
  • 1 0
 @Verg: Formula's SpeedLock system?
  • 3 0
 @Verg: it doesn't take you 5 minutes. Maybe you could do it in 5 minutes if you're rushing. Its still alot of extra steps, and introducing using and cleaning up of brake fluid for a simple job that you shouldn't even get messy doing. Even if its only 15 minutes... mechanic rates are around $80/hr, and you will be billed for it.

Its also not that hard to remove a fender well to change a battery on a car, but having to jack up a car an take the wheel off (another 5 minute job) is annoying as hell.
  • 2 2
 @RonSauce: I have zero doubt @Verg knows exactly how long it takes to do each and every bike repair in the book. All the books. If he says he can do it in five minutes, then he can do it in five minutes. How dare you. And it’s gonna be ab so lutely freakin dialed!

I saw the mofo swap pretty much a whole DH bike to a new frame in like 45 minutes.

Miss you Verg!
  • 2 1
 @owl-X: not sure who you are but ‘14 Rampage was a blast.
  • 12 0
 Same reason why car manufacturers put headlight bulbs in a place that require removing the bumper, both front wheels, and the inside the of the wheel fenders to change them (don't believe me, look up the procedure for the C7 and C8 generation corvettes).... or starter motors INSIDE the transmission bell housing.... they want to sell proprietary parts to customers to make their bikes functional, and that involves going through a dealership for their brand usually.
  • 14 2
 'saved 60 grams' for f*cks sake...

XC or not thats just cringe. and if you actually are racing world cups you aint doing your own maintenance. and if you can actually afford 10k+ carbon xc bikes, you probly dont do your maintenance either... im sure the bike shop employees love working on this system all so a weekender can save 60 grams. lovely
  • 3 5
 60g off of a minimum-weight frame is a good accomplishment… now they can save this tech for maybe one specific model of all-out weight-focused XC bike and leave the extra 60g and straightforward maintenance ability for all their other bikes
  • 5 0
 60 grams (0.13 lbs for those of us in the US) can also be lost by taking a pee. Insane.
  • 2 2
 @Bree33: yeah you can take a dump and lose the entire weight of the frame too, what’s your point? You still gotta ride it
  • 12 0
 has anyone tried fitting a mtb with headset cabling into a bike bag for air travel? with so much less cable length, I am concerned that the handle bar just can't me moved down beside the frame as we do now for it fit in the bike bag.
  • 2 0
 You'd just have to remove the levers/shifter/remote from the bars. Extra ball ache though.
  • 7 1
 You wont be traveling anywhere shortly, uses all your carbon credits up. You will run headset routed cables and you will be happy.
  • 12 0
 They're not selling bikes to guys who route their own brakes. They're selling bikes to yuppies who want the latest and greatest, and damnit if I'm gonna fit in on my boulder lunch ride without the latest and greatest
  • 2 0
 Exactly; i see this attitude so often that i have become the most antisocial person ever lol
  • 3 0
 These brands are trying so hard to justify. They’re totally aiming at the“latest and greatest” demographic. Riders who work on their own stuff are not drinking the koolaid.
  • 12 0
 I really like the way guerilla gravity does it in the channel with a cover. Looks clean, cover keeps everything secure from rattling and is easy to access by just removing a couple screws.
  • 11 0
 Answer: Because bicycle mechanics were on the cusp of being bitter enough to drain their sweat into a can and sell it as a craft beer, there just needed to be one final push to give the brew that certain je ne sais quoi. Tastes like hatred, DOT 5, withheld remarks, and missed lunch brakes.
  • 2 0
 This is poetry!
  • 11 0
 I think, for reasons of balance, and in order not to come away with the impression that headset routing is not such a bad idea after all (it is!) it might have been good to interview a few companies that do not do it on their reasons…

Personally I like the take of Bird Cycleworks on the topic:
“No cables through the headset or bars, because we don’t hate you.“
  • 13 2
 I like integrated routing.... ON MY ROADBIKE, THAT I WANT AERODYNAMIC AND WHERE PARTS DON'T DIE ON ME EVERY 6 MONTHS. Please just make every trailbike fully external, please.
  • 15 1
 At least it’s only on bike brands that no one rides!
  • 7 0
 for now... did you catch the part about new brake levers being designed around this "standard?"

"Particularly in view of the brakes that might be introduced soon, which will route the cables much closer to the handlebars, we expect that headset cable routing will become more common among brands."

Soon there will be no choice.
  • 3 0
 @kbonesddeuce: Stocking up on popcorn for the ensuing PB comment nuclear explosion now.
  • 4 0
 @kbonesddeuce: que the aftermarket 45 degree fittings
  • 4 0
 @kbonesddeuce: I saw that too. Pretty sad.
  • 4 0
 @kbonesddeuce: Once you get past the nonsense about saving 60g of carbon (thanks Scott!!), I think that was the single biggest take away from the article.
Its like UDH - adopted left, right and centre (for fair & obvious reasons) its seems like that design was the gateway to SRAM’s new DM mech. So brands had to make sure their rear triangle was updated & compatible (and there’s been several minor model updates to that effect from a few companies now), as no one wants to be left behind when change on that front does come.
Another article today (the brakes from NZ) commented on how quiet SRAM & Shimano have been on the brake front over the last few years.
Perhaps theres a new standard (or design philosophy, whatever) on the way for brake levers too, one which benefits from this head tube routing. They seem to indicate as such…

Sigh.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: yes but the link you posted shows a bike with frame routing still.
  • 2 1
 @smaptyjohnson: you're missing the forest for the trees, friend
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: I mean, maybe there's a silver lining in all this that it'll inspire brake manufacturers to actually come up with a really good quick-release system between brake lines and levers. Naw, probably not because it would add 12 grams and $6
  • 12 0
 If I can't change the stem without paying a premium based on the bike companies monopoly on weird cable routing. Not interested!
  • 1 1
 In the case of the Scott you can get a bearing top cap from Acros then use whatever 1-1/8 stem you want or a compatible Syncros stem is about $80.
  • 11 0
 Responding to "not needing to reinforce cable entry points on the frame" with routing through a different place as opposed to simply ditching internal routing altogether is peak Scott
  • 15 4
 No to trunnion, no to internal brake routing, no to super boost, no to long seat tubes that prevent long droppers, and no to this.
  • 8 7
 Trunnion is actually good though. Longer stroke shock on the same frame = lower leverage ratios, which is good for many reasons.
  • 5 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: trunnion is good on paper, with horrible frame alignments seen in the real life trunnion shocks are actualy getting damaged more often due to increased stiffness
  • 4 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Noone of that matters when the frame destroys the shock tho...
  • 7 3
 @winko: that's an issue of piss poor manufacturing standards, not the trunnion mount. Mines been flawless for 3 years on a 'less premium' brand (merida). If a company can't get that right these days you should be questioning whether their 3-4kg aluminium/carbon contraption will support your 60-120kg weight, not whether your shock will die or not.
  • 3 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: academically it sounds good but look at what butter suspension and vorsprung have seen over thousands of shocks.
  • 3 0
 @cogsci: What have they seen?
  • 2 0
 @cogsci: didn't Vorsprung just recently mentioned that they're not seeing any relevant difference in issues between thrunion and others. Maybe I'm wrong, but I remember someone "high profile" saying that recently.

Anyway, thrunion also has advantages in bottom out situations
  • 1 0
 @cogsci: everything I've seen says it's piss poor tolerances that are the problem, not the trunnion directly, soooo...
  • 9 0
 It seems likely that this is mostly driven by future product that we don't know about yet. Wireless shifters, droppers, and suspensions control from everybody - leaving just the rear brake to matter anyway. At which point, I'm sure brands will come up with *better solutions than most of these shoddy ones.

If I were a manufacturer, I'd be pretty concerned about the liability of this type of setup though. It's going to cause rear brake line failures. And it's only a matter of time until one of those turns into a serious crash - maybe with permanent consequences. Any lawyer would have a field day with a design like this which is both careless in it's regard for likely eventual failure and also hidden from the user for reasonable pre-ride inspection.

This is a dumpster fire.

Most MFGs declined to answer because the real reason is ugly: New parts and industry cooperation will allow us all to simultaneously pursue cheaper manufacturing of our frames, which of course is a good thing for our bottom line. Case closed.
  • 4 0
 Not to mention cables sawing their way through steerer tubes.
  • 1 3
 The liability you're thinking of mainly exists in the US. Im pretty sure it doesn't realy exist in other countries the way it does in the US. I think it's more likely that a crash or other incident would cause damage to an external brake line than to an internal one. To my knowledge no manufactures have been sued because the external line was damaged because it was a design that left the line exposed to possible damage. I think internal lines are better protected from that type of incident.
  • 1 0
 @Verg: Crash Happens > causes damage > leads to failure > fault of user

Slow degradation of line due to rubbing on steer tube > leads to crash > leads to injury > fault of somebody other than user (according to plaintiff anyway)

External routing is the equivalent of the frame manufacturer doing nothing which, other than negligence, isn't really something you can logically sue for. Internal routing is doing something and if it's that very thing that leads to a failure....bingo bongo, you're in business. Lawyers gon' lawyer.

And correct - mostly a US thing where we sue people for everything because nothing can be the fault of the user or nobody's fault at all. In the US, somebody has to pay. Mostly because there's no financial burden for a failed lawsuit brought on by a lawyer working on contingency.
  • 9 0
 Since the very first internal Colnago and Klein bikes I worked on 28 years ago, INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING IS THE WORST THING in the bike game. It serves no purpose other than aesthetics. Yes, I have all the magnet do-hickies and string theories, but even with proper internal ports i.e. Santa Cruz sh!t can and will go south and cost needless amounts of time! Not to mention sometimes sh!t has to be worked on the trail or road. Screw the fashionista bitches that think they're a good idea. ( The only hold out for ANY legitimacy are Time Trial bikes, but even then, only the baddest athletes on the planet would benefit ). Rant over. :-)
  • 2 1
 you can chill now. It’s over.
  • 9 0
 I helped a friend upgrade his Trek Rail 5 that had terrible Tektro 4-piston brakes. I had him buy a Deore 4-piston. What supposedly would have taken only 15 minutes to remove and install the rear brake took f*cking 4 hours! Why? Because the cables were routed internally and because its an e-bike, the batter and motor was in the way. So we had to remove the battery mounts and the motor. We also needed tamper proof torx wrenches (the one's where its hollow in the middle). So shove your internal routed cables straight your ass. I don't want any of it. Period!
  • 9 0
 Work full time as a mechanic at a shop. I don't care what their reason is, no nope never, it's absolute dogshit. Some dude comes in for a simple job and it turns into restringing half the bike and doing a bleed. From our perspective, and on behalf of the customer, no. Fuck off. Or design a work around for it.
  • 2 0
 As also a mechanic, I get it. But we have surcharges for certain things that automatically have extra steps involved. Internal routing is one of those. See: Specialized Levo and that ridiculous cable guide removal/install after finally getting a new cable/housing pushed through.
  • 2 0
 @iammarkstewart: that’s the correct way to handle it.
  • 8 0
 This is as stupid as apple putting the charging port on the bottom of their mouse because Jobs was obsessed with clean lines... Which also meant you couldn't use the mouse while it was plugged in. So dumb. Function > fashion.
  • 10 0
 Scott bikes saved 60 grams, just to turn around and add 250g in extra cables and a massive triple lockout lever combo. Stonks.
  • 8 0
 With a proper tubes in tubes system like Santa Cruz has, routing brake hoses and derailleur housing is a breeze. I am a proponent of external brake hose routing, but I'm also ok with internal if it's properly done.
  • 7 0
 I must admit that the argument of not compromising the brake by drilling holes for aesthetic makes sense to me..
I hate this storage comportment trend, I pay extra for a fancy light carbon frame but the manufacturer proceeds by digging a big hole in the structure that he has to reinforce with more carbon. I'd rather have a lighter and/or stronger bike than store a rattling banana in the downtube. An elegant removable external bag would be as convenient and would not waste my money..
  • 8 0
 "The cables just went through there on their own"

Seriously though, my preference would be something like what Guerilla Gravity does.
  • 8 0
 as a former service manager and long time mechanic....fuck headset cable routing. fuck it right in the ass with a syphilitic dick.
  • 7 1
 This is why I'm getting to f*ck out the bike industry.

Absolutely sick of overpriced bikes, lower quality control, overly complicated I'll thought out design. I don't actually moan about "Standards" anymore as they've always sort of been a mess( I had 2005 boxxers with a specific brake mount and 20mm axle and a bigit with 26/24" wheels with a 135x10 axle)

I had a Cannondale System Six road bike that had a separate hole Infront of steerer tube for cables to run into. The actual steerer tube had another tube keeping it away from the hoses/cables meaning you can service the headset.

The new style of hoses through bearings is silly, compression rings having harsh corners that effectively cut the steerer tube. Stem and bar setups released too soon having to be recalled. I'd you have to undo brake hoses and pull through bars then the old olive needs cut off as the nut doesn't fit through the bars. Eventually the hose will be too short.
  • 6 0
 Bike mechanics have worked aero road and tri bikes for years that have cable routing thru handlebars, stems, downtubes, you name it. Anyone who has worked on trek speedconcept with the tiny steer tube knows what I'm on about. This level of integration on mtb's is stupid, absolutely, but experienced mechanics don't have to relearn anything.
  • 2 1
 I was certainly not the head tech in our shop but I have some experience with said bikes. I've been on here elsewhere extolling external routing...mostly because it's easy and great for home mechanics, and sometimes field repairable. A "well-designed" internal system can be really nice. My BMC roadbike is ok, I can do the spacers and we built it with max number so I'd have extra space to move the fork around if I want to check on either headset bearing. I can get at them to pop them off the seat, clean/wipe/lube the seat, and if needed could probably clean/re-lube the bearing if I had to. Properly maintained and cleaned road bikes typically don't see a lot of headset issues (except tri...I hate tri bike).

Though I love external, not going to happen in road anymore (along with rim brake, mostly), I really can't complain about the look of a well done internal bike, including headset routing. Even on mtb. My problem is always with the implementation. And from my shop experience, most people who buy these type of bikes (upper tier or not) do not do their own work...which is why shop techs may complain more than average and why PB commenter are among the most concentrated group of diy/home mechanics on the planet I guess.
  • 2 0
 @iammarkstewart: I am 100% in agreement with you on external routing. I wish everything was built with ease of service in mind.

However, this really isn't that difficult of a procedure for someone who is used to working on internally routed stuff. Bike shops stand to make a lot of money servicing these bicycles, because it seems intimidating to the average rider (who, like you said, will most likely not be working on their own stuff, whether internal or external lol). After you deal with it a time or two as an owner of one of these bikes you wont have too much difficuly either. If you have mineral oil brakes, take 3 minutes to funnel bleed after you reconnect the hose. If you have DOT brakes they're gonna need a bleed sooner or later anyway, probably more often than you need to mess with the upper headset bearing.

In conclusion, tri bikes (and most tri-athletes I've had the pleasure of dealing with) can f*ck right off
  • 9 0
 *The actual people representing these companies prefer to remain anonymous
  • 10 1
 I don't know when i had read so much BS like this.
  • 7 1
 Yeah,its Russian propaganda level
  • 9 0
 How long until I can get my chain internally routed as well?
  • 4 1
 This would actually be great though...
  • 3 0
 Millyard Racing DH bike
  • 9 0
 Because they're pricks. Next question.
  • 6 0
 Because you fools won't shut up about "clean" and "sleek" looks, and continually gloss over how much of a pain in the balls it is for the actual owners to maintain (reviewers don't do maintenance, and you know it).
  • 6 0
 "Once you’ve learned the process for cable routing with this system, we actually find it to be easier than with our previous approach. "...get the f out of here, this bs is hard to stomach.
  • 6 0
 Jesus. Just say no.

I just checked and I bled my brake for the first time after over 7,000 miles because it needed it. Having to do that just because you need to do something with your headset?! No.
  • 5 0
 Who exactly decided one day that external cables breech some mind-forged sense of bike-aesthetics, where hiding any snakelike cable is the ideal of pure bike beauty? I say 'hogwash!" I happen to like the look of cables all over a bike....reminds me of WW1 airplanes.
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Show some pride and competence by wrangling the cable rats nest into an orderly and black mini zip-tied bundle worthy of an AWS server farm. Takes some extra time but 2+2 cables going into or along the down tube looks good to me.
  • 5 0
 Through the headset is already super stupid since it means you would have to take the whole front of the bike apart if you had to replace one of the leaking Shimano Calipers (happens quite often with customers) or extend a breaking hose because someone wants to size up in handlebar width or rise. People don't only ride stock bikes, believe it or not. But even worse if they go through the stem! Good luck changing stem hight quickly.
These days we are able to change BB hight, HTA and chainstay length on the fly more or less but when it comes to to controlling area of the bike it gets more and more complicated to a point where we are forced to use on specific product when all of us have different anatomy and wants about our riding position.
In general the industry makes better and better bikes but no one is talking to the people who maintain their products.
Sure, a lot of mechanics are more conservative and boost was a bad thing to everyone as well but it only had an impact on how many so called standards you have to work with. This cable trend is easily doubling the time you need for a service and no customer is willing to pay that since "the bike was already as expensive as a car".
Please focus on thicker rotors, better brake systems (for example hard rail in the frame integrated for less servicing and better bitepoint), grease nipples and so on. Give people to run different handlebar width through systems like odi, niner and recently Newmen developed.
Please make them better suitable and more reliable instead of cleaner.
Btw...I haven't seen a split cone for the upper bearing so far. So everytime there is the need,what ever reason it might be, to fiddle the cables out, you need to cut the hose, redo the connectors and bleed the break.
At least get that one fixed!!!
  • 1 0
 @DorianKane Scott actually does use a split upper headset compression cone, in addition it has cut outs for the cables so you can remove the cone with cutting or removing cables. It allows for cleaning, greasing etc of the upper headset bearing without cutting or removing any in the cables. I’m addition you can change the head angle by 1.2 degrees by flipping the upper and lower up 180 degrees with just a T25 torx.

www.scott-sports.com/us/en/product/syncros-zs56-28-6-zs56-40-mtb-headset
  • 4 0
 The average person, the type of person who takes their bike to the shop for repairs will pay the price. Thinking now it will cost more to swap a headset or spacers, etc. due to the extra process of having to detach all the cables and brake lines.
  • 8 0
 Sweet! 4 manufacturers in one easy to see list that I will NEVER buy from.
  • 7 0
 I guess running cables externally under a guard is more expensive than going through the headset.
  • 5 0
 So many reasons this is the dumbest thing in a long time. The only reason the manufacturers are doing it is because it cuts production costs. Oh wait I forgot that MTB's need to be as aerodynamic as possible. Nevermind.
  • 8 1
 4 brands I would never buy who 100% don't represent the kind of riding I do. Gotcha.
  • 4 0
 Simply won't consider a bike with any of this nonsense.
Guerilla Gravity nailed it with their cable routing- best of all worlds!
And eBikes should never be the reason for this. Having a battery and a motor is all the more reason to keep the cables out of the frame. We should never have to remove a motor/battery to replace a cable/hose.
  • 4 0
 Per Merida “15 minutes to drop the fork and bleed the brake” does not take into account the hours of rummaging under the damn cabinets for that stupid retaining ring that rolled away, or account for the 2 beers of necessary intake.
  • 4 0
 Marketing…. Marketing…. Marketing…. Whilst they are at it why not make a 29.75 wheel and a 170x27mm super super boost hub spacing. Iscg 20234567 mount for chain devices and a 52mm diameter seat post, you must all buy all the above or you just won’t be able to ride your bike without feeling like it was made in 1991.
Next they will say V-brakes are the next big thing
  • 4 0
 are these idiots even listening to themselves? bike companies: let us say it's easier long enough until people agree with this absurd state. literally nothing about headset-routed cables is easier. Not a single one of them mentioned having to rebleed your damn brakes if you want to change stack height, headset bearings etc. you just tripled bike maintenance costs for the sake of some bs standard that you're going to market as some new 'technology' soon enough.

literally trying to claim that sliding foab tubes over your cables is a benefit to this design?!?! in-frame cable routing through tubes is excellent. It works flawlessly in the enduro. i could care less about 60grams.

the bike companies are literally just lying about this. they probably realized it saves them money by not designing the cable routing internally. i guarantee this is their reason for this obnoxious change that no one wants.
  • 7 0
 Dear bike manufacturers, Just don't. Thank you very much!
  • 7 0
 Racist - no barspins, no tailwhips...
  • 5 0
 I rented an ebike and noticed the internally routed cables were shredded at the point of entry and they were brake cables...just a matter of time before your brakes go out
  • 4 0
 One brand did it. The others then copy it. None stop to think if it's a good idea or not. Eventually one brand will wise up and stop doing it. The others will then follow and PB and other media will applaud them.
  • 7 0
 Because F-you, that's why.
  • 2 0
 that’s my though.
  • 3 0
 FOCUS FROG MOUTH FAIL. Changed my routing before the first ride to alter stem length, bar height, plus crazy bent cable kept jamming the dropper and had restrictive bump stops, presume to prevent cable twist damage. New stem, new spacers, cut, reattach and bleed rear brake - only possible because they’d left blanked out ports on the downtube. May be great marketing for the know nothing “touring” buyer, but crap engineering out of Germany (rest of the Sam2 is great) with the CIS and I won’t be buying another Focus with a spaghetti sucking stem.
  • 4 1
 They should route the cables through the end caps in the grips. I also want to have to take my grips off when working on my bike. If the cables could then come out of the frame and route through my coil shock, resulting in having to replace the cables every time the suspension was utilized that would be just great !!
  • 3 0
 Hum... Their points made me think fully external is the way to go... No more "weakening of the head tube" or alleged routing problems. Also I guess because I don't like being told what to do... I suddenly love fully external routing dearly...
  • 3 0
 Being someone who works in a bike shop that builds our bikes properly and then posts them out to our customers. Normally all the customer has to do is fit the handlebar and pedals. You try packing a bike with headset routing, into a box. It’s a bloody nightmare.
For me personally, I will only look to buy a bike with external routing and an external bottom bracket. I fix bikes all day, my bike needs to be quick and simply to work on because I want to ride.
  • 3 0
 It appears that the overwhelming majority of voters don't want their rear brake through the frame, big surprise. And still a winning contingent voting for fully external. Bike industry, take notice, it's not just dentists-that-can't-work-on-their-bikes commenting here, bike shop mechanics and privateer racers and average enthusiasts too all agree that internal needs to chill out
  • 8 1
 *grabs popcorn*
  • 3 0
 Beat me to it. Ha ha
  • 2 0
 @jsnfschr: you still deserve an upvote
  • 6 0
 Gotta drop these on a Friday so we can fight all weekend
  • 6 0
 “We do it for rich guys goddammit!”
  • 1 0
 it's sad how true this is
  • 7 1
 Those Europeans sure love their integrated cable routing.
  • 5 3
 I'm pretty fine with fully internal routing on an XC bike (including through the handlebar) as long as it's done cleanly and doesn't require a ton of proprietary parts. It looks clean as hell and there's probably some aero watts saved which is pretty neat. I'm willing to take the hit to serviceability for that sort of a bike.

Beyond that I'm on the full external crowd, attached with zip ties and easy to work on.
  • 2 0
 What a load of shite. I would rather buy a bike without the bollocks that this design is. If its that much better and someone genuinely wants it,... have it as an option. I literally will not buy a bike with it and use for myself. Pitiful, useless design. It's an mtb not an ornament. I am all for innovation but if this is the future norm the industry has sunk to a new low.
  • 2 0
 If I had my way, I'd go all the way back to segmented cable housing. That shit was so easy to clean and lube if you knew what you were doing you could make it go a long time. Less friction on the cables from the housing and less weight as well, probably close to 60 grams. . All cables produce friction eventually, with external, I could usually revive them in 10 min with some slick honey. Now with internal and full jacket, its a trip to the bike shop, extra housing expense, and all the work of swapping everything out. Change for the sake of change, or maybe to sell more housing. Either way, I miss the old style.
  • 2 0
 To me the whole headset cable routing thing is along the same line as, I farted, but really pooped. I would rather have farted (normal headset w/out cables) in my pants, than to have pooped in my pants (cables routed through the headset).
  • 2 0
 This is what I care about with brake routing:

1. I can remove the brakes without a bleed.
2. I can remove the stem without a bleed.
3. I can remove the bar without a bleed.
4. I can remove the brakes without cutting either brake line.

(2), (3), and (4) are bare requirements. I can't stand proprietary bars and stems and reject any system that requires cutting lines. (1) is a nice-to-have, but I'm not married to it. I don't change headset bearings often enough to care about running lines through them, provided the spacer isn't half-assed and doesn't abrade the hose or, again, require me to cut it.
  • 5 0
 Scott: "It's the quietest bike we've ever doodled!"
Every review I've read: "It's pretty rattly..."
  • 2 0
 I don't live in a particularly dusty nor muddy area, and yet I take my bike apart 2-3x a year as it's always creaking and squeaking. It's almost as if manufacturers think mtb's are road bikes that never see stresses from mother nature. Seems like such a shame to punish a potential buyer who likes to do preventative maintenance on their bikes. But biking has always been about price gouging. I'm not the biggest fan of my transition spire with the brake line routed externally, but it sure makes it easy to service and disassemble. I'd take that every day however vs headset routing.
  • 2 0
 I never had the chance to see/touch/work with it but I think the best cable management configuration is the one made by Canyon a while ago on bikes like the Torque 2018, with all brake lines sandwiched under a plastic down tube protector. It's brilliant for so many reasons, one of which is also having a full downtube protection that is easily replaceable. Sure it's not the stealthier solution but AFAIK there no cleaner solutions achievable.
  • 2 0
 I reckon it all stems from trying to save money at the factory.
If they can shave a few minutes off the build, they'll be saving massively.

Hiw long you reckon it takes to throw a whole bunch of cables down a headtube and out the bb compared to a production line of fiddling each cable through its own port.
Probably less than 1/4 the time. That margin increase is where the love is
  • 2 0
 Like press fit bottom brackets, this is another "innovation" that MTB didn't want or need.

The difficult part of routing internal cables is not the exit port at the top end, but getting it round the bottom bracket without taking it out. (Thanks again press fit)
How many people have lost countless hours doing that?

Canyon has this solved a few years ago with external cables inside a neat looking cover on the down tube that also served to protect your frame. Easy access and maintenance, that also looks good

The only argument for any internal cabling is a port for the dropper cable to enter on the seat tube.
  • 2 0
 I find the comments about people being lazy pretty funny. I'm definitely lazy. If I don't have to waste time doing dumb, pointless stuff, then I'd prefer not to. Internal cable routing is just stupid. Well-routed external cables work and look great (maybe I think they look great because I like how they work), and I love being able to just pull everything off one frame to put it on another one without having to adjust or bleed anything. So there.
  • 6 0
 I remain unconvinced.
  • 5 0
 Because the bike industry wants to make bicycle mechanics life hell.
  • 1 0
 Turning a DIY project into a 2 hour bike shop project helps the LBS right?
  • 8 2
 EXTERNAL ROUTING GANG
  • 3 0
 A trully GENIUS idea would be routing through handlebars and a fork steerer oc, so I could not see front brake hose either. Please do the "invisible cable" thing properly.
  • 2 0
 Why out through the bearing an not through the middle of the headtube?
Just looking at some trials bikes, the strength of head tubes are not the problem.
You can still add a bolt on seal / tidy up part / brand logo.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for making a short list of bike companies I will never buy from.
  • 3 2
 Internal cabling is a thing for the same reason that most bike companies did chainstay mounted U-Brakes in the late 1980's early 1990's-the stupidity of mountain bike buyers. Bike buyers tend to be obsessed with "sleekness" meaning having as few parts of a bicycle visible as possible. This leads to bike design with "sleekness" as a parameter trumping functionality. Look at the responses to every.....single.....bike on Pinkbike-bike buyers obsess over how a bike looks. A lot of this is fueled by ignorance-most bike buyers don't or shouldn't work on their own stuff. To these folks, a more streamlined looking bike seems to be better designed because all the parts they don't know how to work on are hidden from view. Some companies just engineer bikes to work well-RAAW would be a good example. All the features on a Madonna are focused on performance, none on "sleekness". Some companies balance design while maintaining hard engineering objectives. Ibis insists on low standover and straight seat tubes, but also does some design stuff. At the opposite end are Dangerholm builds or Scott's latest stuff (just some sanded off paint away from a Dangerholm build now). EVERYTHING is tucked, and a needless lockout is added (so crap Fit damper in the fork) all for the sake of design, not engineering. I wish bikes were designed to the standards of climbing gear. Priority one-utterly reliable. Priority two-purely functional design. Priorities 3 and 4, best balance of cost/weight possible while meeting priorities 1 and 2. Instead we get the moron hordes who care about looks-to the detriment of the bikes we ride.
  • 1 0
 Trading carbon detail work for the holes (saving weight?) for the work to make ported caps and extra seals and other custom parts (costing weight?)... What's the timeline for continuing to stock all those custom parts? Longer than Cane Creek or Acros or whoever stock normal round parts? Doubtful.
  • 1 0
 Current thoughts…
Do we have wireless drivetrains to blame for this?

After some consideration, I think routing through the stem and headset spacers is unforgivable, but going through the upper bearing isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. I still don’t love internal brake routing but it’s getting harder and harder to find brands that offer that option.

Are major component manufacturers about to release new brake designs that not only keep cable exits points closer to / inline with the bar, but also offer a quick disconnect hose that might not require a bleed (or just a quick lever bleed)? This could solve the hassle of internal brake lines, regardless of whether they pass through the upper headset bearing.

Can we just ship every bike using this system with a Chris King upper headset bearing? I just pulled a King headset out of a bike I built in 2016, and it feels brand new. Selling this design with a poor quality headset feels yucky, but with a top quality bearing it becomes a bit easier to swallow.
  • 1 0
 Santa Cruz bikes has good cable rotting,no magnets needed,maybe the dropper post could be better ,but it’s just easy to do ,but I’m ok with external too ,except that it can cut a frame in some places if it is not well protected in contact areas
  • 1 0
 I just ordered a (semi) custom frame, and I chose the specific manufacturer largely based on the fact that I could specify the cable routing, and I chose external. Please, please boycott brands that are internally routing cables!!!
  • 2 0
 I love how the (few) responses from the manufacturers criticize and point out the problems with existing internal routing in order to justify that this is somehow better.

Narrator: It's worse...
  • 1 0
 The reasoning is total bullshit. Its all about appearances and a way to get some rich guy to buy a new bike. You whos not doing this Specialized, say what you want but their bikes are developed by real riders and Internal cables are fashion.
  • 1 0
 Looks hard to work on, therefore to complicated for me in the the name of esthetics...I think bikes are good as they are now, although innovation is good so we should let this happen, laugh a little and then once somebody makes something that is ACTUALLY good, we'll celebrate by buying one!
  • 2 0
 I have a BMC with all this internal routing through the headset and I dread they day I need to replace or service something. Will likely need to take it to the dealer as there are so many small unique parts.
  • 1 0
 If you look up their assembly guide it's not quite as bad as you think. Just don't lose stuff during the job, cable covers and the tiny bolts are pain to re-source.
  • 1 0
 So people who refuse to even to the most basic of service to their bikes including swapping bars or stems will love the look of the headset routing. Perhaps people that do service their bikes who really care about not seeing cables. That just leaves the other 90% plus buying other brands?
  • 3 0
 15 mins of extra work! Hah! You've never worked on one, straight outta the marketing dept. So long Merida, Scott, Focus and Unno.
  • 1 0
 I heard somewhere that one of the big brands may have a patent on the internally routed port solution, making others to choose these less then ideal ways. Womder if that's true, but to me external routing is way more prefrred if there is no ported internal option. Headset routing should not be commonplace but I don't mid others suffering with such solution, as long I don't have to buy it.
  • 1 0
 Scott say “we managed to save 60g” but on other hand they added 1.5” upper headset bearing and heavy and bulky stem and spacers, plastic cover that can easily fall etc.
And who told you that the cables won’t rub against the steerer inside the head tube?
So yes, it’s a new futuristic thing and what industry headed. It calls integration and it has its own downsides.
  • 1 0
 For someone who loves tinkering with my bikes, almost as much as riding them, and also loves what Dangerholme is doing, I'm all for the clean look. However, I can't help but feel that the same look could be achieved just by going through the front of the headtube, rather than through the top of the headset.
  • 3 2
 “brakes that might be introduced soon, which will route the cables much closer to the handlebars”

I suspect this is the part the manufacturers know that we don’t. Soon the hoses will exit the levers right at bar level and then the hoses may even route inside the handlebars, or in a trough then through the stem into the frame like they do on a road bike.

With AXS you would then have a bike that appears to have no cables. At that point every other bike on the shop floor will instantly look antiquated to Jo Public.

This thing’s happening whether we like it or not Frown
  • 1 0
 As a Professional bike mechanic point of view it sucks specially when you have to tell your customer that he will pay a good amount of money just to replace a 10 dollar rear mech outter cable.
I think you have to judge if you need all of that on your MTB really. Theres nothing out there to prove the crazy prices of a good full suspension bikes and the industry needs to be carefull where all this "innovation" specs are going.
  • 2 0
 We learned in a presentation from Scott Sports a few years ago that this is an advantage for you as a dealer. You can charge your customers more. That's how this company is thinking, the more expensive the better, a customer is there to make money with, more is better...
  • 1 0
 Frames are waaaaay cheaper to produce, that’s all !
If only they had say « oh yes guys we had a great idea to make good bikes less expensive for everyone ! »
No, instead they have this bullshit argument : «  it’s technologically better, and the bikes look cleaner, pay for it! »
  • 3 0
 I've been riding bikes for 34 years. I've replaced a headset once. I hate rattly cables, so if this helps with that, I'm all for it.
  • 1 0
 IMO, through the stem or spacers is stupid. Through the bearing only, if the sealing is indeed good, is pretty comparable to regular internal routing for me. A good headset bearing will last a long time. Cable routing is not the first thing I look for in a bike. But if I was on the fence, I would pick the one with outside routing.
  • 1 0
 In the words of Chris Porter "The mtb industry is really a fashion industry"...this article proves he was right.

(source: blisterreview.com/podcasts/bikes-big-ideas/chris-porter-on-mullets-dual-crown-enduro-forks-more-ep-80)
  • 1 0
 Just got a new (to me) Bird Aether 9 (aluminum) with full external routing, including the dropper cable right up until it enters the seat tube to go up to the post.

It’s beautiful. And easy. And makes sense. And also doesn’t rattle around at all. AND it made things a little smoother for me since I run moto brakes.

Props to Bird for keeping it simple.
  • 1 0
 I think they overestimate just how aero-obsessed mountain bikers are. We're not roadies, bruh! If anything I would like less internal routing. The only cable that really benefits from internal routing is the dropper post cable. But the way things are going, dropper posts won't even have cables.
  • 2 0
 "By not routing cables through the headtube, we’re able to make the frame structure lighter and more efficient" by Scott

ok so they basically save money in the manufacturing process, same deal as with pressfit bb.
  • 1 0
 As an example, where i work we sell quite a few CUBE Bikes. Their Reaction Hybrid (HT e-Bike for those who don't know the model) now comes with the cables routed through the stem spacers and headset. Almost every single bike I've sold it was retro fitted with a dropper seat-post. This is where it gets really messy as the headset is greased all the cables are greasy. And to top it off it's all tight corners around the headset which can damage or affect the functionality of the shifter, brake and/or dropper. Just useless !!!
  • 1 0
 What a bunch of BS. Thank you bike industry for making products that make maintenance more difficult. I would never buy a bike with headset routing. I can tolerate frame routing, it looks cool, but headset routing is appalling.
  • 2 0
 all bikes with routing through the headset are pretty close to instantly crossed off my "would buy" list. I think the internal shift/dropper and external rear brake is about as integrated as I think is necessary.
  • 1 0
 Of course Scott wants to sell you on a cockpit that "looks cleaner." They're the brand still hooking a shitty superfluous three-cable remote to the front of every bike. On-bar lockout levers are the least-essential component in a year that is no longer 2003.
  • 1 0
 I'm open to innovation and am intrigued by the ability to have less cable flex/growth to the rear brake. Much less cable slap and a cleaner look overall. I think it'll be possible to devise systems which aren't hard to work on and offer these advantages. If not, I'll buy frames with more traditional routing. Combined with wireless shifting and seat posts, the future looks quite refined. I love having a clean, silent bike with no binding or friction. This could help with that. I'll keep tuned to the options and am excited to think of what bikes will be like in 10 years.
  • 1 0
 I have this craxy idea of a routing solution that does not rattle, no holes needed, avoids special headset solutions and makes working on the bike a cinch. WIRELESS EVERYTHING! Y'all thought it was external routing LOL....chumps!
  • 1 0
 I just rebuild my Trek Procaliber with fully guided internal routing. It was a breeze, cable goes in at on end and magically pops out at the other end, even for the dropper post. Cable routing is clean in my opinion, it is smart and super easy to work on. I'm happy to take a weight penalty for this. Having cables outside of the frame makes it much less easy to properly clean it. I have the impression that these headset routings were in the pipeline for a few years, and there was no turning back... Too long development times and now they just have to sell the damn bikes that have it...
  • 1 0
 To me it feels like a lot of these changes are happening for a sake of change, so they have something new and shiny to market to people. Otherwise they would have basically the same exact bike every year. Headset routing, pressfit bb, boost... none of it made the bikes any better than they were before.
  • 1 0
 They’re gonna shove this down our throats just like they did with all the hub standards, press fit BB, wheel sizes, etc. some things are an improvement. This isn’t one of them. There’s no way I’ll ever buy a bike with cable routing like that. I’ve got bikes in my garage that are old school with external cable routing and bikes from 2016-2021 with internal. I’ll pick my Orange Alpine 160 with external routing any day of the week.
  • 1 0
 I've always been super happy with how Guerilla Gravity and a couple other manufacturers do it with an external channel that makes servicing easy but also hides the cabling so it doesn't just hang out there to get bashed on a rock. Seems like a good, practical middle ground for trail bikes where saving 60g of high modulus carbon fiber isn't the be-all/end-all.
  • 1 0
 Strangely enough, I started reading the comments convinced I hated this trend as well. But now that I've read all the opinions and thought about it, I don' hate it anymore. I don't love it either, but still, I've come a long way.
  • 1 0
 By my math a hair over 6% voted in favor of headset/stem routing. So where are these bike manufacturers finding this mysterious data telling them that the market is overwhelmingly in favor of headset routing? Smells like bullshit to me.
  • 1 0
 6% of pink bike users. There are a ton of bike buyers that are not pink bike users. I still hate the idea, but the big thing that no one is admitting is that these companies are doing this so that they don't get left behind or look "antiquated" when every one jumps on the bandwagon.
  • 1 0
 The answer is: Cause Dangerholm thought it would be cool to try, and now everyone wants to emulate him in order to appear groundbreaking.

His builds are certainly very unique, but not suited to everyone especially the average mechanic. Simpler is better especially when you're dealing with corrosive fluids contained in those lines
  • 1 0
 I'm convinced the only reason through headset exists is so in 3 years brands can remove it and claim its a feature to have neat and tidy external routing again. Gotta keep product cycles going after geometry changes stagnate somehow.
  • 1 0
 So the only useful comment was from Scott, and that only applies to XC race bikes. Which probably run wireless shifters/droppers.

Now with the industry's feedback, we officially know this is pointless unless you are an XC racer that needs to save two ounces.

Case closed.
  • 4 0
 For Frank's sake please stop doing this.
  • 8 5
 Much like we fight the metric system we Americans will fight this invasion of cables through the headset! Freedom!!!
  • 20 1
 Not sure you really need to fight the metric system :-)
  • 12 1
 @EckNZ: you can just shoot it
  • 10 1
 Fits the American culture of fighting both things worth fighting, and fighting things the rest of the world considers logical and valuable. To be clear and to state the obvious, the rest of the world hates headset cable routing.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: My friend, they don't even teach logic to Americans in school. Just basic yeehaw principles and what brands to consume.
  • 3 0
 Im happy i got the 2022 Orbea Oiz because of this bullsh!t cable routing..i realæy hate this trend.
  • 2 2
 If bike companies and shops just had some pride in their work and could manage to route the cables together and at the same length so they can be taped/tied/etc cleanly, maybe we wouldn’t have this bull crap. All my bikes seem to be routed nicely and tied together and things are very appealing. This just looks like a hokey option and not all that clean whatsoever. Pros do outweigh the cons
  • 1 0
 Pros do not*
  • 4 0
 "It's better because we're a*sholes"
  • 2 0
 Just go single speed and brakeless... No cable issues with my bmx bike... Learning to ride like this is also a massive benefit if you ever want to join reality tv.
  • 3 0
 My current bike has external cable routing and it was one of the reason why I bought it.
  • 2 0
 I second that…..I’ve had externally routed bikes that are much much QUIETER that my current internally routed bikes…
  • 5 1
 because Germans cant leave well enough alone
  • 1 1
 WW3
  • 4 1
 Good thinking to write this article. Merida in particular had a well articulated answer.
  • 3 0
 and this is why mechanics hate engineers... most customers aren´t mechanics, so they care about looks
  • 2 0
 AXS shifting and seatpost. External routing rear brake line. Not what I run but If ease of maintenance is the most important factor I can't see how to beat it.
  • 3 0
 The simple reason is cost. Less holes in the frame mean it is cheaper and easier to produce
  • 3 0
 You have translated the marketing speak
  • 1 0
 Seems like external would be the way to go then?
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: you still need to put holes for mounting screws or cable tie downs for cable management for external mounts.
  • 1 0
 @mtbman1980: well on metal frames theyre tacked on the outside, so no issues theres. On carbon frames, cant they just be part of the mold?
  • 2 0
 @Torbo24: They can, and are on my Evil Following MB. External cable routing on a carbon frame (except for the dropper, which has a guided internal tube). Made moving the brakes from my hardtail to my Following a 5 min job, and no bleeding necessary.
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: every addition to the frame be it holes or welded on tabs cost money. If you have a pre made headset that is installed it doesn’t cost you extra from the factory.
  • 1 1
 @mtbman1980: if headset routing is a cost saving measure, why are we seeing it only on expensive bikes? Wouldnt we expect it on low spec bikes then, just like the 141qr rear ends?
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: give it a few years then it’s cool. Same reason press for started on the high end first.
  • 4 1
 Absolute no go for me. Brake bleed to swap a stem spacer when I tweak overall bar height? No thanks...
  • 1 0
 On a system like the one Scott uses, there are split spacers in place so you don't have to disconnect any of your hoses or cables/housings.
  • 1 0
 Just another way manufacturers make life harder when it comes time for maintenance and parts replacement. If it's gonna cost you now, it's gonna cost you even more to find replacement parts!
  • 1 0
 A dentist with pockets full of money walks into the bike shop. Sees a bike with external cables and sees a bike with this headset BS. They leave with this dumb bullshif every time. That's the only real reason.
  • 1 0
 it’s bollocks. manufacturers are doing it because it is cheaper for them, and a bit like 650b, they are all panicking that they’ll be left behind and no one will buy their bikes.
  • 1 0
 Best way to say no is with your wallet. Internally run rear brake hose is a non-starter for me. I don't mind having my dropper and rear derailleur run through the frame, though at some point both of those might be wireless?
  • 3 0
 As a bike mechanic, this really upsets me. Not only it’s a pain in the ass to service, it also does look shit.
  • 4 0
 coz they're c.nts thats why.
  • 3 0
 What do the brands have in common? Europe.

When north American brands go this route...I'll start to panic.
  • 4 0
 All of these companies can get fucked. Their reasons are bullshit
  • 1 0
 Speak with your wallet don’t buy into crap send emails to your favorite brand of bike that’s what I did speak your mind and tell them you don’t want your next bike rigged up that way
  • 2 0
 Well we mostly haven't asked for internal at first so if your solution brings another problem and you solve it by another shit, just stick it into your headset
  • 1 0
 I'm working on a quick release hydraulic cable hose to negate the maintenance issues, however it does add 61grams d'oh! I guess Scott could shed a few grams if they didn't have all those remotes in the cockpit!!
  • 2 0
 I hope my next bike has a shitset, I’m done with cables making noises at the bar because they are just sooo long, having to go all the way around my old analog headset.
  • 1 1
 Meridas answer contained the most marketing bullshit. It also contained this interesting little snippet... "Particularly in view of the brakes that might be introduced soon, which will route the cables much closer to the handlebars". Meridas PR guy completely missing the fact that any new brake lever design will be because of thru-headset routing, not the other way round.

Focus answer was by far the most honest. The sole reason this is happening is for the idiots who buy a bike based on fashion demands, not because they enjoy going really fast through heavy woodland on a bicycle.

For all the actual mountainbikers, don't worry, this big money period of the sport will pass in a few years, all the fashion kids will go follow some new trend, and we can quietly get to work fixing all the stupid problems they created.
  • 2 0
 Mostly "to Pi$$ off PB commenters" is the real reason, I suspect?

All this will become moot when SRAM releases AXS brakes next year!
  • 1 1
 I remember the glory days of all external routing. Cutting 2, sometimes 3 lengths of housing to fit between the stops, and catching the tip of the inner cable on one an peeling off just one strand that stabbed you that would never go back in place, then having to start over. Having the brake line run through the linkage in such a way that you had to disconnect it just like if it were internally routed. Exposed cable in plastic guides under the bottom bracket. I'll take modern full-length housing tube-in-tube routing any day.
  • 1 1
 pivots pioneered and developed the best cable management designs over the years. Just follow their lead. Also, for all the people that advocate for external, can you explain to me why? Are all your bikes XXL’s that require zero brake line shortening? Regardless of the application you’re still cutting lines. The pros for internal are a cleaner look, no cable rubbing all over the frame and protection for your brake lines. Also, I’ll take pushing a line through guided tubes over 20 zip ties any day.
  • 1 1
 Not sure how I feel about this headset routing - currently thinking it's a bit OTT. But I absolutely wouldn't buy a bike with fully external cables/hoses because of the way it looks (but I do all my own work on my bikes). External routing is just another place for dirt to get trapped under - I hate it. I just replaced an outer cable for a shifter on one of my bikes which required it to be routed through the frame. I had to take the fork out and remove the dropper lever and shifter from the bars. But I don't mind - it needs doing what, once every 5 years? And for the rest of the time the bike looks better and is easier to clean.
  • 1 0
 You forgot to add this as an option we could choose, routing the cables through the handlebars, stem, and headset like road bikes, with no cables exposed. I want that as an option.
  • 1 0
 if its not called boost or something, i dont think why i should like it. I, for one, will wait for SRAM to come up with the right branding, then complain about it and buy it anyway.
  • 1 0
 WTF? 60g for a cable hole on top are too much but they putting a big door in on the bottom???
Could you please try again Mister Scott marketing, there must be a better reason…
  • 6 7
 its not really much worse than regular internal routing. However, internal routing is unnecessary to begin with, so this is extra useless. A bike shop employee told me they love internal routing because they make a ton of money off bleeds and people not wanting to mess with it, who would otherwise be doing their own maintenance. To me, that tells me all i need to know. Its intentionally anti-user. Roadie ass bullshit that has no place in MTB.
  • 5 1
 Come on, it’s loads worse than regular internal routing when you need to remove the gear cable and re bleed your brake if you want to change your upper headset bearing.

As you say, great for shops though.
  • 13 0
 @justanotherusername: Actually its not great for shops, I'm a mech at a bike shop and I know its hard to believe we are not out to squeeze every dime out of the customer we can in repairs. We want our customers to have a good experience in all aspects of riding and not go into shock when we tell them that the shit ACROS headset that did not last a single PWN winter will now cost over $100 to replace in labor alone because we sold them a bike with a shitty, narrow minded design. We would rather sell upgrades and things to make riding better. This does not do that. Honestly I steer the people I know will actually ride their MTB away from the Scott bikes that have these headsets.
  • 3 0
 @nerds-on-dirt-mtb: As well as all the other proprietary crap on Scott bikes.
  • 3 0
 @nerds-on-dirt-mtb: @SCOTT-Sports needs to see your input. Look what you did, Scott.... you lost his business. I hope you're happy.
  • 2 0
 @nerds-on-dirt-mtb: yeah and i want to be clear that im not saying that most shops are trying to fleece their customers for labor. The point being that regardless of who is doing it, it takes unnecessary time and effort.
  • 1 0
 @nerds-on-dirt-mtb: Trouble is most shops sales staff don't care about the mechanics or the higher cost for the end user. They care about sales.
  • 2 0
 What’s this ‘major winter service’ Merida speak of? Ride till it breaks man.
  • 2 0
 Total no go for me I'm afraid, stops me using my purple Hope headset to match the rest of my ano bling.
  • 2 0
 If you've got hope cables you don't want to hide them.
  • 3 0
 Lame a million times lame.
  • 3 0
 These are all brands I have no interest in anyways.
  • 2 0
 GG for the win. Love my “external” cables. Wouldn’t trade the ease of maintenance for anything
  • 1 0
 More like www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPFsNtxH7FA

(we're The Gang, the bike industry is Frank)
  • 2 0
 Hmmm...60 grams... seems to me that 60g is going to be eaten by the new, more complex shape of the headset cap.
  • 1 0
 Because modern day product managers don't think about customers, they think about themselves, their egos and jumping from brand to brand.
  • 2 0
 Its cause marketing managers in a board room are designing bikes, not people who ride and/or work on them.
  • 2 0
 Because the engineers don't work on bikes so they don't know how bad this is.
  • 2 0
 So the manufacturers are solving problems THEY have rather than solving problems that WE have?
  • 2 0
 I recently built up a used frame with external routing. What a nice experience.
  • 2 0
 It's great when manufacturers create solutions for problems, that never existed.
  • 1 0
 If it's got a front and rear triangle and peddly parts then it's a bike, it's allowed to look like one. This headset routing doesn't look better, it looks lame.
  • 1 0
 Bike brand that did respond: oh shit.
Bike brand that didn't respond or don't give a POS: phew....someone else took the heat!
  • 1 0
 Ghost Riot Enduro got a super Nice solution. A plastic cover on the down tube which acts as both protection and hides brake/gear cables/hoses.
  • 1 0
 Yes id like to see more of this. External, but neat and tidy
  • 2 0
 Every time I’m out on a ride. Ive always pined for shorter cables. And here we are. What a time to be alive
  • 2 0
 Its a conspiracy. They are trying to get you to buy wireless electronic shifting and droppers.
  • 2 0
 Why am i reading this, my bike is 7 years old with the rear brake line duct taped to the frame.
  • 1 0
 I love it, narrows down our bike shopping experience. 1. I won't consider super boost 2. I won't consider idler pulley 3. I won't consider headset cables
  • 2 0
 It's because EU brands want mtb's to look like street bikes. That is the real answer.
  • 1 0
 I stink think a key factor here is acros. I bet they are pushing this to gain more market share and make it so you can’t remove their crap and install good headset.
  • 1 0
 We can, at any point, still run everything externally. A few zip ties and maybe a little 3M and you are off to the races. Don't let marketing dictate your choices.
  • 1 0
 Dear bike industry - i will NEVER buy a bike with such a gag inducing pain in the ass "feature".

Keep it simple and serviceable, ffs!!
  • 1 0
 Headset routing also provides a nice place for water ingress when you wash your bike. Mountain bikes get washed a lot more than road bikes.
  • 1 0
 All my cables and hoses are external, including the dropper IThomson Elite). People comment how nice my bike is all the time. It is a Nicolai Helius CC.
  • 1 0
 I always thought the downtube channel cover on the old Canyon Torque model worked really well, solved 2 problems with 1 stone. Why not bring that back?
  • 1 0
 Easy/accessible cable routing will be a point I take into consideration for my upcoming e-bike purchase. I have already ruled Canyon out ...
  • 1 0
 Scott- " We can do a lot with 60 grams" Like add a bunch of carbon fiber to hide your shock. Also do you like having more levers than you need? we have you covered as well!
  • 1 0
 thankfully I can't afford any of these frames. I will return to worrying about my spoke tension, wiper seals, chain lube, and tire tread wear xD
  • 2 0
 NorCalNomad has just left the building...
  • 3 0
 Lame.
  • 2 0
 Some people just want to watch the world burn.
  • 1 0
 Front brakes through steerer and a gyro on the rear. Then wireless on everything else. That's what we really want!
  • 4 2
 Next time you should ask why the internet doesn’t like change?
  • 2 1
 That's why I like AXS. Now, people in SRAM, please make a 200mm Reverb AXS and a supertiny Blipbox!!
  • 2 1
 It's actually cheaper cause u don't gotta make those holes n it should be lighter n it's cleaner I support
  • 3 1
 All of a sudden…I’m not as angry anymore. Thanks Pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Just buy a proper bike...like something from the UK made of steel
  • 2 0
 British Steel is a great album, not a great bike.
  • 1 1
 @wyorider: guess you haven't tried one..but whatever,you can keep your road/tt/tribike tech hype big brand spandex aero xc weenie pile of Chinese carbon popbike ,if that rocks your boat. I'm into heavy metal
  • 2 0
 EXTERNAL CABLES FOREVER CARALHO
  • 2 0
 Cable-duro Headset-country Slope-notgonnabuyone
  • 1 0
 I need an option for Potts Mod in the poll. Integrated cable routing since ‘84, suckas!
  • 1 0
 Through the bar ends would sick! Patent pending specialized... ill call the TX Hammer if you even think about it.
  • 3 0
 Yuck
  • 2 0
 Nicolai/Geometron's cable routing is the best!
  • 2 0
 I refuse to accept Focus' solution as 'clean looking'
  • 2 0
 Laughs in piss easy Santa Cruz internal cable routing.
  • 1 0
 Maybe the solution is to invent a split bearing. Umm... I bet SKF will get right on that one.
  • 1 0
 Just love the fact that Scott used to term “waggle” in their official reply
  • 1 3
 I like it , the design is much cleaner, who cares?

Modern bikes are expensive and tecnically sophisticated toys, really do you want to put your hand inside this?

Really everybody can unbuild a fork and rebuild... really?

I've build a complete bike many times, but modern bikes..no thanks

Same debate on motorbikes decades ago, everybody do their own maintenance, but old motorbikes have a lot of issues... modern motorbikes are more complicated and no one medium owner can look inside.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for the partial list of companies I will not be buying bikes from.
  • 1 0
 Almost 10000 votes in and we’re close to 95% of opinions opposed to headset routing. Read the room, bike manufacturers.
  • 1 0
 External front and rear breaks, internal rear and front derailleurs, internal dropper post. No headset fuzziness
  • 2 0
 My favorite is when you have to replace you headset bearing, so easy.
  • 1 0
 Can we also stop working with Acros headsets? They dont last, no matter how willing they are to work with bike brands
  • 1 0
 Asking Scott who only sells you non twin loc bike as a frame only and the the highest grade carbon is kinda funny
  • 1 0
 @LemonadeMoney: The Scott remote lockout lever (the older one with 2 levers) plus cable, housing, and noodle was 124g.
  • 1 0
 Thank you merida. My customers will now think that to do a headset service and a brake bleed i need 15 minutes...
  • 1 0
 Burning question about the burning question: Is "K.I.S." compatible with headset routing?
  • 12 10
 As lame as ebikes..
  • 1 0
 I’m bored with boring bikes.
  • 6 9
 I love my clean Scott bike. I change everything myself on my bikes when i was younger and had nothing better to do, than working on my bike for hours. Now i work a lot, love to spend my free time with my kids. Ride two to three times a wekk for two hours - and if there is a major problem i let my lbs earn some money by solving the problem for me. If i could not afford it, i would sure by a bile i can maintain myself. But i CAN afford to let the lbs do the service on bearings and stuff, that requires spezial tools anyway.
  • 6 5
 Just don't buy one if you don't like it.
  • 1 0
 Is there a decrease in upper headset bearing performance/ reliability?
  • 1 0
 Just replace it more often, its easy as.
  • 1 0
 Yep. I was looking buying a vitus e-sommet. Turns out it also has these shitsets and not only does the lower bearing rot and go nasty in no time but the cables also wear through the steerer tube.
  • 1 0
 It’s because you hate me Wink
  • 2 0
 Just say no!
  • 1 0
 only the front brake goes through there dummies then u can toss B's
  • 1 0
 Pick a cable routing and be a dick about it Big Grin
  • 1 0
 No. Just... stop. Pretty please?
  • 1 0
 Fly-by-wire everything! Even brakes!
  • 1 0
 I appreciate my '22 sentinel with external routing for the brake lines
  • 3 2
 Really? Fully external over internal through ports? Y’all are sick.
  • 2 1
 Fully external is the optimum solution. Internal is for the fashion queens.
  • 1 0
 Sounds more like cost saving in production to me.......
  • 1 0
 The Company that first integrate front brake cable is a WINNER!
  • 1 0
 Bike companies - We here you loud and clear, we just don’t care.
  • 1 0
 *hear
  • 1 0
 Everyone get your brooms, it's shenanigans!
  • 1 0
 Holy comments ! Pages on pages. Get em boys and girls !!
  • 1 0
 To make my day at work a f()(;:g ball ache
  • 1 0
 Yep, gonna give this a hard nope.
  • 1 0
 26" for life!!! (or something)
  • 1 0
 deleted
  • 1 0
 Disaster!
  • 1 1
 This will all be a moot point when we all have shimano's wireless brakes.
  • 6 0
 Let's be real, SRAM will be selling the wireless brakes in 10 years, mostly as an excuse to ditch their bad hydraulics, and Shimano will still be trying to get servowave right.
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: f*cked if ill be running manual brakes in 2035. Ill be running fly by wire e brakes that use a gps coordernate of the trail to brake for me in the perfect spots. Leavers are for peasants.
  • 2 0
 Let’s be honest here: it’ll be SRAM that releases wireless f*cking brakes.
  • 2 1
 I don't see that happening. What happens if the brakes loose power? Yes brake by wire exist in the automotive industry but it isn't like the brake pedal communicates with calipers via any sort of wither wire or wireless technology. There are still hydraulic brake lines running to the caliper and if the system fails, it fails in a way that the driver can stop the car. It will just be manual unpowered brakes.
  • 2 0
 @93EXCivic: It was just a joke about new standards being created. It seems that bikes are so awesome these days, there is nowhere else to improve.
  • 1 0
 @Juarez: Yep. And they'll use the consumer to develop them in the field too.
  • 1 0
 AXS brakes BAM solved
  • 1 0
 But if my battery dies, can I still axs my brakes?
  • 2 2
 its possible, race cars do it already (or at least electronically, which is almost the same).
  • 2 1
 @SonofBovril: No they absolutely do not! Some electric assist cars can use their motors for regen braking, which is computer controlled, but there is not a single mass manufcatured road car or any race car at all, that doesnt use a brake mechanically actuated by the driver. In all race cars, there is a physical connection between your brake pedal and the brake calipers. Anything else would not only be ridiculously dangerous, it would also be very hard to drive accurately.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Kind of but not exactly. The system I am most familiar with has a hydraulic force simulator with a pressure sensor in that cylinder. Under normal operation, when the driver presses the brake, a valve closes to cut of the flow of hydraulic fluid into that simulator. The pressure data is then sent an electronic unit that uses the pressure data from the simulator to calculate the correct amount of pressure to provide to the calipers. The important part to note about this is that if the electronic unit fails, the system fails wide open so that the driver can still stop the car. The brakes will just be fully manual with no assist but would still work. I don't know every system but I would be amazed if there was a single brake by wire system that did not work like this. If there was no hydraulic connection, you would have no brakes if the electrical power to the brakes failed that would never be acceptable from a safety point of view. The main reason for brake by wire is allow the regen braking and regular brakes work together seamlessly and naturally.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: check out Schaffler Space Drive. Full drive by wire. No mechanical connection and used in racing cars (dtm/gt3)
Admittedly its used for marketing reasons and research at this point and not performance gain but it seems to be kind of working.
There is also fully electronic brake systems out there. There’s some mayor advantages to these systems in the automotive industry primarily in safety and architectural freedom.
I don’t see any of these things on bikes.
  • 1 0
 @michibretz: Interesting. I'll admit I'm not fully up to speed on the newest racecar tech. And yes I have seen a few brake by wire systems in race use but always in tandem with a true hydraulic system and only on rear brakes. There may be niche sports where bbw fully replaces hydraulics, but not that I have come across.

As you and others have hinted at, as far as i can tell every bbw system currently in use is there to facilitate regen braking, rather than offer an advantage in braking performance. Saying that, I admit my original comment was not entirely accurate. I stick to the gist of it though, that being bbw offers no real performance advantage over traditional systems, and would offer no advantages at all to a performance mtb.

I'll admit some sort of antilock system would be kinda cool on my mums shopping bike. But anything like that on a high performance mtb I would immediately write off as a gimmick.
  • 1 0
 Turds
  • 1 0
 Because they are stupid
  • 1 0
 No….
  • 7 7
 Looks like a Session
  • 2 3
 Don't forget ....Norbs go robbed
  • 3 0
 Go Randy!!
  • 2 3
 YT ads are misogynistic!
  • 5 3
 @suspended-flesh: Not sure about the Misogynistic aspect here(probably right. . ) but I will say this about YT. I had a Jeffsy and it was one of the worst riding bikes I've owned. Pedaled like crap, it was slow. Then I find out the founder was a marketing guru who decided to start a bike company and voila, now I understand. Buy a bike from a company who prioritizes engineering, like Pivot over a company that prioritizes fancy advertising videos.
  • 2 0
 @thomast4: That's not surprising looking at yt's media. Though Pivot bikes seem to be too engineer-brained, imo, and have embraced pf bb, superboost, and conservative geometry. IMO, they are overly impressed with their own thinking. There's no disputing their quality but I think they need to step away from the excel spreadsheet.
  • 1 0
 @thomast4: It was a troll meme. Never rode a Jeffsy (not my kind of bike) but my 7 year old Capra is still getting the job done. I had a beer with Markus and yes he's a bit of a weightlifter. Almost every big bike mfg sucks in some way......enjoy the ride.
  • 1 0
 @thomast4: The Jeffsy was not made to climb well, it was made to descend well.
  • 2 2
 Love it!
  • 2 3
 I like it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come at me
  • 1 2
 So many lazy people on here.
  • 2 5
 #Ebike
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