Difficult cable routing for a vintage Serotta
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  1. #1
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    Difficult cable routing for a vintage Serotta

    I'm having a vexing problem with the cable routing on a Serotta Nove. This is a carbon/Ti frame with cable stops mounted low on the head tube. There doesn't appear to be able any way to mount a standard front brake without causing interference with the gear cables.



    This is a 6600 caliper. The brake cable port is higher than the cable stops and comes within an inch of both stops. It's not possible to steer the bike as pictured above, one or both housing segments binds severely.

    Things I've tried:

    * Plastic endcaps. More flexible, but still not enough. The housing pulls out of the stops if the wheel is turned more than 30D off-center.
    * Cross-routing the housing and adding more or less housing. Doesn't help, the brake still ends up too close.

    Things I'm considering:

    * Using V-brake noodles at the stops and securing both gear housings to the head tube. Puts a severe bend at the cable and ugly, but might work.
    * Using a bolt-on cable stop. Unfortunately none seem to match the diameter of the downtube on this frame.
    * Swapping in a caliper with a low-stack bolt like R8000. I don't think this alone would provide enough clearance.
    * Swapping in a caliper that angles the brake arm outward. If this exists.
    * Swapping in a bottom-pull caliper.
    * Using a fixing bolt extender to move the caliper further forward. Not even sure if this is a thing, I wonder about the additional leverage.

    Every Serotta picture I've found shows either the same interference, or a front brake that seems to extend further forward.

    How would you resolve this? Any thoughts appreciated, I'm at a loss with this one.
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  2. #2
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    The only thing I've seen that works is using Nokon or some other kind of segmented aluminum housing. Great frames...absolutely the worst and most stupid cable routing.
    #promechaniclife

  3. #3
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    How would you configure that? I'm really grasping for any solution at all, the bike is unrideable without a front brake. They sold hundreds of these bikes (and other variants with this configuration), they must have figured out some combination of parts or routing that worked.



    Do you recognize the brakes above? They don't have that high arm from Shimano's lineup, seems promising.
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  4. #4
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    From the picture you have yet to install the brake cable. When the cable is installed the caliper arm is pulled down away from the head tube giving you clearance.

    Just squeeze the caliper some to replicate operating condition with your hand to see what I mean.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Have you ran/tighten the brake cable to close up the caliper and see if this is still an issue?

  6. #6
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    I've held the caliper closed with brake housing inserted. The arm drops about a centimeter, but one or both housing segments still distort severely when the bike is steered left. The distance between the two housing exit points is less than an inch.

  7. #7
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    You should just make a new cable end out of threaded pipe, turn it up so that the cable is inside the pipe then exits vertically, a machine shop could make one easy. What you have is terrible.
    You can get premade ones somewhere, I have one on my Mbike for the FD end.
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  8. #8
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    The bike in the photo has Campy brakes. Old ones...10 speed-ish. Over 10 years old.
    #promechaniclife

  9. #9
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    I'm having a vexing problem with the cable routing on a Serotta Nove. This is a carbon/Ti frame with cable stops mounted low on the head tube. There doesn't appear to be able any way to mount a standard front brake without causing interference with the gear cables.

    This is a 6600 caliper. The brake cable port is higher than the cable stops and comes within an inch of both stops. It's not possible to steer the bike as pictured above, one or both housing segments binds severely.

    Things I've tried:

    * Plastic endcaps. More flexible, but still not enough. The housing pulls out of the stops if the wheel is turned more than 30D off-center.
    * Cross-routing the housing and adding more or less housing. Doesn't help, the brake still ends up too close.

    Things I'm considering:

    * Using V-brake noodles at the stops and securing both gear housings to the head tube. Puts a severe bend at the cable and ugly, but might work.
    * Using a bolt-on cable stop. Unfortunately none seem to match the diameter of the downtube on this frame.
    * Swapping in a caliper with a low-stack bolt like R8000. I don't think this alone would provide enough clearance.
    * Swapping in a caliper that angles the brake arm outward. If this exists.
    * Swapping in a bottom-pull caliper.
    * Using a fixing bolt extender to move the caliper further forward. Not even sure if this is a thing, I wonder about the additional leverage.

    Every Serotta picture I've found shows either the same interference, or a front brake that seems to extend further forward.

    How would you resolve this? Any thoughts appreciated, I'm at a loss with this one.
    2 things you can do. Iíve done both on my Serottas.

    First: as others have said, when the front brake cable is installed the arm is positioned further outboard so the shift housing is now on the inside of it.

    Second: swap the routing of the shift cable runs to the opposite receptacles on the head tube; front shift housing to the right and rear shifting to the left. Then cross the shift wires underneath the down tube so they locate to the correct positions at the BB cable guide. Doing this is pretty common in situations like this.
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  10. #10
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    My ultimate solve for this one was strapping the shift housing to the head tube. It was a lot cheaper than scouring the planet for the last remaining eTap 11 group.



    Nothing rubs or binds. Shifting wasn't affected at all. The zip ties are ugly, but for this proof of concept, they work. If Serotta doesn't like their logo covered, they can send me some better stops and a welding torch.

    Incidentally, the bike rides really well. Surprisingly well. I was expecting something brittle with those 23s, but it's not far removed from my carbon Sirrus on 35 GK slicks. Fairly racy, responsive geometry too, despite that tall head tube.

    I appreciate the comments, I thought I had to have been missing something obvious. Just goofy design.
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  11. #11
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    Appreciate the thoughts, Dave. Unfortunately neither worked for this frame with this particular brake. They might have worked with the older Campy groups common to this model and the Ottrott.

  12. #12
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    I'm a little late to the party buy my suggestion would be to add 1 or two spacers say, 5mm thick, just in front of the front fork to move the brake forward. It would require a longer brake mounting bolt on the backside of the fork, but they are available in a variety of lengths anyway so that's not a problem.

    You could use the convex/concave pair of washers which come with many V-brake style brake pads. I wouldn't be surprised if 5mm is all you need. Many bike shops have them lying around and would probably give them to you. But pay of the longer brake mounting bolt.

    My guess is, the frame was designed around an older design brake arm.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    I'm a little late to the party buy my suggestion would be to add 1 or two spacers say, 5mm thick, just in front of the front fork to move the brake forward. It would require a longer brake mounting bolt on the backside of the fork, but they are available in a variety of lengths anyway so that's not a problem.

    You could use the convex/concave pair of washers which come with many V-brake style brake pads. I wouldn't be surprised if 5mm is all you need. Many bike shops have them lying around and would probably give them to you. But pay of the longer brake mounting bolt.

    My guess is, the frame was designed around an older design brake arm.
    The tricky thing with this approach is that Serotta doesn't use a standard 8mm OD recessed mounting nut. Their nut is 7.6mm and titanium. I didn't have one, so I spent an hour grinding down a spare. If I add spacers, it won't be long enough. Potentially a good solution though.

  14. #14
    What the what???
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Second: swap the routing of the shift cable runs to the opposite receptacles on the head tube; front shift housing to the right and rear shifting to the left. Then cross the shift wires underneath the down tube so they locate to the correct positions at the BB cable guide. Doing this is pretty common in situations like this.
    Iíd try this to see if you can get better approach angles for the cables.


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  15. #15
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    hack job pains me

    that's one of the finicky thing about Serrotta, but ugh, you got some ugly routing, but it doesn't need to be, if you're willing to buy new brake caliper. Here's my Serrotta Ottrot with Shimano Ultegra 8000 caliper, but you could get the cheaper Shimano 7000 caliper.



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  16. #16
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    Appreciate the photos, I might try doing exactly that routing with a different caliper. If not R8000, then potentially a set of 'Zero Gravity' brakes. They're very low and wide. Mixed reviews though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    Appreciate the photos, I might try doing exactly that routing with a different caliper. If not R8000, then potentially a set of 'Zero Gravity' brakes. They're very low and wide. Mixed reviews though.
    if you examine my pics, you'll notice I run the front brake housing behind al other housings. And before I cut and secure all housings, I played with handlebar by turning it 90deg right and left to make sure all housing cables are cleared to turn. Only then do I secure everything. As as you can imagine, I had to make a few cut on the brake housing in mini steps before I settle down on a perfect length. Lots of playing around and routing housing. Takes some patience and tinkering, but all possible and clean afterward as you can see.

  18. #18
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Zero Gravity brakes absolutely suck.
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  19. #19
    Los Barriles, BCS, Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    Appreciate the thoughts, Dave. Unfortunately neither worked for this frame with this particular brake. They might have worked with the older Campy groups common to this model and the Ottrott.
    Hereís a pic of a frame I built replicating the general Serotta features. It has the same issue as the Serotta with regards to the routing of the shift housing and the front brake caliper. You can see by routing the front shift housing to the right head tube cable stop and the rear shift housing to the left cable stop, then crossing the shift wires underneath the downtube, it completely and elegantly eliminates any interference between the housing and brake caliper arm. Iíve this on a handful of my Serottas with the same results.

    Doing this you can use your existing brake caliper. You can see mine is a 6600 Ultegra.
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    Last edited by DaveT; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:38 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Hereís a pic of a frame I built replicating the general Serotta features. It has the same issue as the Serotta with regards to the routing of the shift housing and the front brake caliper. You can see by routing the front shift housing to the right head tube cable stop and the rear shift housing to the left cable stop, then crossing the shift wires underneath the downtube, it completely and elegantly eliminates any interference between the housing and brake caliper arm. Iíve this on a handful of my Serottas with the same results.

    Doing this you can use your existing brake caliper. You can see mine is a 6600 Ultegra.
    I've thought about doing this too if my cabling didn't work out too nicely.

    Alexdi,
    you might need to go DaveT's route. I notice that my Serotta has the bosses welded higher on the headtube then yours, which is probably a generation older.

  21. #21
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    Here's an example of how Litespeed do their stops:
    IMG_20200825_130731777.jpg
    IMG_20200825_130800962.jpg

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Hereís a pic of a frame I built replicating the general Serotta features. It has the same issue as the Serotta with regards to the routing of the shift housing and the front brake caliper. You can see by routing the front shift housing to the right head tube cable stop and the rear shift housing to the left cable stop, then crossing the shift wires underneath the downtube, it completely and elegantly eliminates any interference between the housing and brake caliper arm. Iíve this on a handful of my Serottas with the same results.

    Doing this you can use your existing brake caliper. You can see mine is a 6600 Ultegra.
    It's how I have mine done with a Lynskey that has head tube cable stops just like the Serotta. Works fine.

  23. #23
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    An update: swapping to a set of FSA SL-K brakes solved this. R8000 would probably have worked just as well. There's a typical degree of cable rub with 40D+ steering inputs, but nothing like the binding I was experiencing with Ultegra 6600. No goofy cable routing or head-tube bindings required, just a little extra housing.

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