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How to Avoid Brake Cables with Bike Frame Bags

how to avoid brake cables with bike frame bags

Bike frame bags can be an excellent way to maximize storage space in a bike to accommodate all the necessities needed in the bike ride. In fact, there are a lot of designs and styles that a biker can choose to satisfy his space requirements and be comfortable on the road. However, every bike does not have the most suited geometry to lead to the bike frame bag crossing over the brake cables. This situation can affect the quality of the brake performance and the comfort of the biker.

But how to avoid brake cables with bike frame bags? To answer this question is essential, especially to new bikers wanting to add additional bike accessories such as the bike frame bag into their bike. There will be moments that you will encounter this issue where some exposed brake cables in the bike will be affected by the mounting of a bike frame bag. But do not worry, this article will show different ways to solve this issue with various tips and tricks we use on our bikes.

Bike Frame Bags and Exposed Brake Cables: How to Avoid?

Most bikers fear that the installation of a bike frame bag might lead to crossing over the exposed brake cable of the bike. Most of the time, the weight of the bike frame bag will be pulling down the fixed cable and might affect the brake’s performance. Sometimes, the material of the bag and the Velcro straps might be too thick to run the cables over it. If the biker does mount the bag over the exposed cable, it might result in fouling the brake. But what are the ways to avoid this situation and prevent any issues withthe bike brake?

Use Cable Cover or Housing

A straightforward solution is to let the straps of your bag go under the cables on top and on the bottom of the bag to let it naturally hang away from the cable. If you are not satisfied with this simple solution, the next best thing is to use some cable cover or plastic tubing to cover the cable between the stops. If you are not familiar with this process, you can ask for some help and possible information from bike shops near you.

Another way is to install some shifter cable housing on the exposed section of the cable that runs between the stops on your bike’s top tube. However, the downside of doing this method is it might add some drag into the braking. However, it will protect the bike once you run the strap over the tube without buffing it into the exposed cable.

The lost option is to do full-length housing on the brake cables can be a good idea. The bike frame bag will serve as the massive cable guide, but this process can also have some issues as well. It might work fine at first, especially when putting it under the bag, but it can affect the paint of your bike frame.

bike frame bags and exposed brake cables

By Using a Cable Housing Liner

Another option is to use a cable housing liner instead of cable housing. This stuff is a little thinner and offers more flexibility compared to the cable housing. So, instead of exposing the cable to the top tube, you can use the housing liner by cutting to the desired length to cover the cable’s exposed area and protect it from rubbing into the bike bag.

The biker also can run long lengths of housing and use zip ties to attach it into the bike frame. Today, most of the bikes come with modern cables that are way better than the older style. Doing longer runs should not create many problems if the biker undergoes this method.

Saddle Bag Over a Frame Bag

If you do not like doing a lot of stuff, one way to get around this problem is to ditch the use of the bike frame bag and focus on other bike bag accessories. If you are into this solution, I suggest using a saddlebag instead of the frame bag and avoid dealing with all the exposed brake cables on the top tube of your bike. A large seat pack may be preferable to the large seat bag but always remember that each bag has different issues.

Internal Cable Routing: Anyone?

The most complicated way to avoid your brake cables from rubbing over your bike frame bag is to do internal cable routing. But this process is more complicated than you think and will require more reasons to do it apart from avoiding the exposed brake cable into the bike frame bag. There are reasons and benefits in doing internal cable routing other than this simple issue. Nevertheless, doing this process is a clever way to prevent the problem of the bike frame bag and the brake cable.

Routing the cables internally can also reduce the reliance on cable housing. Meaning, it can significantly reduce the weight of the bike when doing so. Another advantage of this way is removing the not-so-good brake and shifter cable lump below the bike’s handlebar tape along with the curve of cable housing projecting the front of the bike. But, doing internal cable routing requires more reasons from the biker than just avoiding the bike frame bags and the brake cables.


When using bike frame bags on your bike, it offers excellent storage for your bike essentials. However, mounting it on the bike is not that easy as you think. Sometimes, the bike frame bags can cross over the exposed brake cables and might affect your ride’s brake performance and quality. For this reason, it is essential to learn how to avoid brake cables with a bike frame bag to protect the brake and the bike frame from further damage.

There are many ways to get around this issue, but the most popular is using cable housing and cable housing liner. Another way to rectify the problem is to avoid using the bike frame and instead use a bike saddle bag or other bike bag accessories. Internal cable routing is also a solution, but doing this process requires more reasons from the biker to do this upgrade than just avoiding the brake cables from the bike frame bags.

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