Friday, November 28, 2008
It's the stops
Here is a photo of the typical and inevitable destruction of cable housing on a bike with head tube stops and conventional drop bars.
The aero bars on the black bike did complicate the problem, but the basic flaw affects any cabling. The curve ends too abruptly, too close to the pivot point of the whole assembly. It would only work well if the cables went into a ball swivel that allowed the ferrule to rotate freely without turning the threaded adjuster or fraying the cable over a hard edge. That's why I hate them. They make life worse in a small way and better in no way. The only way to work around them would be to remove them entirely.
The salt and sugar bath poured over the black bike only made the cable adjusters corrode into the stops. That can't be cleaned off after the fact without disassembling the bike to some degree. Salty water seeps in along the cable and down the threads of the adjuster by capillary action. Well-greased adjuster threads will guard against the damage for a while. Eventually, everything needs to be taken apart, hosed out with spray lube and put back together with fresh grease.
I suggested to the triathlete whose bike inspired my rant that she get a beater bike to stick on her trainer. Sweat on a real ride blows away on the breeze. That confines the sugar water to the vicinity of the water bottle cages and wherever the rider drools a significant amount. Much of the lip-drip blows away like the sweat. If the beater isn't an option, rig a towel or buy one of the prepared sweat catchers you can stick on your bike to catch the briny swill before it soaks anything expensive and delicate.