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What I do on my bikes is take a glueless patch kit and apply a patch to the head tube where the cable is rubbing. If you have a dark bike its not even noticeable and even with a light colored frame(in my case I have a white frame) it doesn't look out of place. Give it a shot.


These work really well, there are also rubber frame protectors that slide on the cable, but dont really stop the frame protector from damaging the finish of the frame.


Most manufacturers put frame protecting pads in the box when the bike is shipped unassembled. Unfortunately, whoever assembled yours didn't put them on.


i found see thru electrical tape at my local dept. store, works great for these kind of things. i dont mind scratches either, but i also dont mind spending 30 seconds to prevent ones i know i can prevent...

if i have a new frameset that i am building up, ill use the see thru electrical tape for places like where the front deraileur clamps on, or top tube cable guide clamps, or clamp on down tube shifters/cable stops.


Sheldon Brown wrote an article that pretty much solved the issue for me, though the loop side velcro strips I placed on the frame in the rub zone years ago remain to this day.
"Criss-Cross" Cables
Most bicycles with handlebar-mounted shifters run the rear cable on the right, the front on the left. This causes some awkwardness in routing the length of housing from the shift lever to the frame stops. Due to the need to allow these housings to be long enough to permit the bars to be turned all the way back and forth, the housings often wind up making a reverse bend--for instance, the rear will go from the shifter, which is on the right, swing forward and cross over past the centerline of the bicycle, then back over to the right side of the headtube, before heading down the down tube. These extra bends increase friction, and the fairly forcible contact between the housing and the side of the headtube can damage the finish.

A neat solution to this is to run the cables "criss-cross" style: The rear runs from the lever, (on the right) around the headtube, and to the cable stop on the left side of the downtube! The front cable crosses over similarly from the left side of the handlebar to the right side of the down tube.

The bare cables then cross one another under the middle of the downtube, making an "X". The cables may touch where they cross, but they will do so very lightly, since they are both straight...the tiny bit of friction at this crossing is more than offset by the reduction in friction in the smoother-flowing cable housings.

This technique does not work with over-the-bottom-bracket cable routing, but is doable with most newer bikes that have under-the-bottom-bracket cable routing and cable stops mounted toward the bottom side of the down tube.



For solving this problem at my bike, i took a peace of plastic pipework, cutted it in the form i wanted to have it and glued it to the frame, you see it in this picture: https://plus.google.com/photos/105595303295348417626/albums/5672831559776878401/5799915850407291170?banner=pwa&pid=5799915850407291170&oid=105595303295348417626

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