Among the endless rows of exotic and fantastically expensive bikes at Interbike, we chanced upon a really great inexpensive product, one that could literally save the sanity of the home mechanic. With most bikes now running internal cabling, anyone who has faced the dreaded task of replacing cables will have certainly started full of confidence, but after 20 minutes of fruitless poking and prodding would undoubtebly ended up a red faced, angry mess, unleashing a torrent of A-Grade swearwords while contemplating getting out the hacksaw
Legendary blue handled bike tool giant, Park Tools, has come up with a great solution to just this problem with their IR-1 kit. The IR-1 speeds the internal frame routing of electric wires, shift cable/housing, brake cable/housing, and hydraulic tubing on carbon fiber, Ti, and aluminum frames. The kit includes three plastic coated 250cm cables with attached magnets and unique fittings, plus an external guide magnet to speed operation. Opposite polarity magnets on cables seek and attach inside frame tubes, making it easy to route through frame entrances and exits.
Having changed more than my fair share of internal cables, I was blown away with the demonstration of this kit. Of course every frame manufacturer is different and some will still be harder than others, but being able to quickly draw the guide cable through the frame with the external magnet was brilliant. If you have internally routed steel frame you will be back to puffing and swearing, but luckily they are few and far between. The kit will sell for about $30 and comes with fittings for cables, gear outer and hydraulic brake hoses.
For more information, check out the Park Tools website.
Words and photos: Trev Worsey
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