"Why do my cables cross under the downtube?"

We're showing our age here. This was a custom feature that most high-end bike builders did back in the 1970's and 1980's on bikes with bar-end style shifters. The reason for it was to protect the paint job. If the shift cables are routed to the opposite side of the bike than they are mounted (ie. the left shifter cable routed to the right side of the bike and visa versa) then the cable housing does not rub on the head tube. The cables need to cross back over underneath the down tube in order to be attached to the appropriate derailleur. We see bikes all the time with the paint rubbed off where the cables have been rubbing on the frame as the handle bars are turned.

This practice of crossing the cables was carried through to some of the models we make with the new Ergo and STI integrated shifters as they have the same problem of the housing rubbing off the paint. Our local customers never ask about it as we explain those type of things as they are looking at bikes on the shop floor. It wasn't until we started shipping a lot of bikes to out of state customers that we realized some folks may think we crossed the cables by accident. I've even had young mechanics at other shops tell Rodriguez customers that we messed up on their cable routing (that really surprises me as it was customary at every high-end bike shop I've ever been in).

Well, now you know that there is a method to our madness, and if your cables are crossed, it was done intentionally. It protects the paint job and makes your shifting even smoother since the cable routing has less tight bends in it. Not every model we make gets the cable crossed, so don't worry if your cables are not crossed. On travel bikes, and a few other models we make, the 'cross trick' doesn't work as well so we don't use it.

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