Gear
Internal cable routing on reader Abdul's Boardman...

Technical FAQ: Internal cable routing and more

This week, Lennard Zinn addresses reader questions about routing cables, mixing drivetrain parts, and more

Routing cables

Dear Lennard,
I’ve been having serious issues with my Boardman Air Pro front mech cable replacement. I can’t feed the cable through whatsoever. I have the whole frame stripped down and the bottom bracket bearings out, thinking I may be able to see the cable getting stuck. I’ve had no luck. Here are some pics to clarify what I’m doing (above).

It feels almost impossible to route a cable through a 45-degree bend (top tube to down tube). I really need help from you, as I can’t rebuild my bike knowing I can’t feed a cable through.
— Abdul

Dear Abdul,
Yes, that looks like a tough challenge. I’ll bet you could do it with the Park IR-1 tool, though. You at least stand the best possible chance of getting your cable through if you use that tool.
― Lennard

Follow-up to a foot problem

Dear Lennard,
This article caught my eye immediately because the first photo looks just like what I see looking down. My right foot is also rotated 20 degrees out. I had knee pains starting a few months after I started riding. I was able to come up with a solution that’s worked for six years now, so I thought I’d share it just in case it could work for Colin.

I use Look Keo pedals with grey (4.5-degree) cleats on my circa 2009 Specialized shoes. My left foot is set up normally. My right foot has the cleat slid toward the crank to get my heel as far from the crank arm as possible. I have the cleat twisted where the 4.5-degree float has my shoe turned as much as it can without striking the crank arm while clipped in. This set up leaves my foot still twisted, but not as far out as standing natural (10 degrees). I rode my first few months like this, but as I got faster, I started to get knee pain. I noticed my foot would wobble through pedal strokes, because the outside of my foot has more pressure and the ball of the foot would actually lift up during the full crank revolution, then contact again on the down stroke. I used tape on the underside of the shoe insert. I layered it thicker under the ball of the foot and tapered it across with none on the outside (slowly adding a roll to my foot). I started conservative and then added more layers after rides until I felt no side-to-side rocking of my foot in my shoe. Once I eliminated the odd wobbling of my foot, my knee hasn’t experience pain since.

This solution worked out for me. I never tried to match the amount of twist of my foot, instead working with the max amount of twist I could have on the bike. If I were to stand with my feet crank-width apart and both pointed straight, my right foot feels like I’m going to roll my ankle over the outside of my foot. If I move my right foot to how I set it up on the bike, it is still rolled, but not nearly as much. My shoe shimming just accounts for this roll and keeps the loads on my knee more even (inside vs. outside).

I hope this might help him. I’m 32 now and still have no problems, and it served me well while collegiate racing in grad school four years ago. I didn’t know it was that uncommon of a condition. I’m planning on a full bike sitting session when I get a new bike and pair of shoes. I figured the fitter would have seen this loads of times and chuckled about my use of tape as shims.
— James

Dear James,
Thanks for that. I don’t think that much rotation is very common, but hopefully you will indeed go to a fitter who has experience in correcting for it.
― Lennard

Mixing parts

Dear Lennard,
I have a ’cross bike that I ran single ring in front and 11-speed rear with a SRAM 2014 CX1 RD and Force 22 shifters. The RD can handle an 11-32, but that is as wide as it goes.

I want to use the bike for gravel fondos with lots of climbing and road, so I want to run a double up front to widen my gear range.

I really like the security of the CX1 RD and am wondering if I can run that with a double up front and if not is there a SRAM MTB RD that has a clutch that will work with 11-speed shifters and cassette? (The cassette and chain are normal 11-speed SRAM — I filed the jockey wheel teeth down on the CX1 so they are no longer high/low).
— Dave

Dear Dave,
SRAM Road and Zipp PR content manager Daniel Lee says, “About the possibility of running two front rings with the Force CX1 / Force 1 1x rear derailleur, the short answer to this is a very definite no, the X Horizon RD will not work with any multi-ring setup. It simply won’t work.”

As for filing the jockey wheel teeth down, that was not necessary, and it would not have been necessary even if you could have used that rear derailleur on a multiple-chainring setup. Indeed, the front chainring teeth on a double would not work being fat-thin-fat, because the chain would be moving off of one ring and onto another and may not sync with the right space in the chain. But the chain never leaves the jockey wheels, so the fat-thin-fat teeth could not get out of sync with the chain, once they’ve been engaged correctly in the chain.
― Lennard