If you were to design your dream clean-front-end cable-routing system from the ground up, what would it look like?

There seem to be a lot of these systems popping up, with varying degrees of aesthetic appeal, ease of construction, presence/absence of proprietary parts, and difficulty of maintenance. I’m curious, for those of you who have a bit of an engineering bent, how would you design such a system if you didn’t have to worry about cost or difficulty of construction.

I’m actually more in favor of cables that enter the bike on the headtube or on the downtube.

Anyway, what my requirements would be for a completely internal system:

  • not limit steering in any way
  • not pass through the headset/fork, or, if that is impossible, have brake hose disconnects
  • allow for mechanical drivetrain cables (so no tight turns)
  • easy changing of cables (e.g. when you change groupset and switch from DOT to mineral oil and cannot reuse hoses)
  • allow a separate stem and handlebar
  • have enough cable/hose slack for changing spacers
  • have enough cable/hose slack to take off the stem without having to take of the handlebar first
  • no cable/hose rattling

The only time I’ll have a fully integrated set up with no visible cables/hoses is when they perfect a brake by wire system.

I imagine this won’t be for a while despite them having been in cars for a while now.


I’d add “Must allow the rider to use a traditional bar and stem”. Separate bar and stem is necessary, but that includes stuff like the Cervelo S5, which I think is HAWT, but uses a proprietary bar and stem.

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The specialized Venge / Tarmac has is simple system that works well and fulfills most of those requirements.

The old Cervelo P5 is the worst setup I’ve come across, but I’ve learned that as long as you aren’t under time pressure it’s OK.

Compared with changing the cam belt on F355 or building a 3d printer, bikes are not bad at all.


My garage is too full of bikes, yet every time I see a DeSalvo I want to order another one.

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The sooner you get on his production schedule, the sooner you can start saving for the complete build.

Fwiw there is an option for a conventional bar and stem with the Cervelo S5.

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I am shocked. Do you have a picture or reference? You might have just seen an S3?

Wow this is wonky. I tried replying to you and CT didn’t mark it as a reply. Here’s a second attempt.

EDIT: from the CT review: “It is possible to fit a standard stem, too, although this would obviously cancel out much of the aero gains that the proprietary bar-and-stem combo offer.”

EDIT again: I looked at a build video. Pretty sure there’s no way a standard stem is fitting without a proprietary adapter. Here it is: Cervelo Stem Adaptor for S5 2019 to fit convention – Rouleur Cycles
But I think this is a bit of a stretch.

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If you fancy as much internal as possible, yet still workable, I find the system from Aurum bikes clean: