File this under Things that Make You Go Hmmmm…
Bike Radar recently posted some pictures of the 2013 Ridley X-Fire Disc cross bike. With recent changes in race rules permitting disc brakes on cross bikes, more manufacturers are starting to gear up with new bike options that are disc friendly. The X-Fire Disc is a disc-brake only frame…No canti mounts available.
Pretty bike. It’s available Ultegra or Di2, and comes built with routing for Di2 wiring. It also features semi-integrated routing for shift and brake cables for traditional builds (here, using Hayes mechanical disc brakes).
Beefy fork with a 1.5″ bearing in the bottom. Should be mighty rigid.
Very beefy carbon mounts for the front caliper, and aluminum dropouts for the front wheel.
It apparently uses continuous housing for brake and shift cables…all the way through the frame to the components. Should make it nice to shoulder.
Rear brake is seat stay mounted and nicely integrated.
I’m loving the black Velocity wheels with no shiny brake track. Beautiful!
Routing for the rear derailleur and rear brake comes out of the top tube, through continuous housing down to the components. Nice little cable tabs on the seat stay.
And then there’s this little routing detail for the front derailleur. At first, I was intrigued and even excited about this routing…no more cables under the BB…no more exposed cable pull to the front derailleur that gets all grimy and dirty…and then I saw this picture:
So the front derailleur housing ends on the bottom of the seat tube, right in front of the rear wheel, pointing up towards the front derailleur. That means that every bit of crud that the rear tire throws up goes right on the exposed cable…and every drop of water drips down into the housing…so that little loop just below the end of the housing can fill up with crap and make the bike reluctant to shift.
It looked like a really good idea at first, but the more I look at it, the more I wonder why you’d want the end of the housing pointing up, where it cannot drain, in a location that will undoubtedly be sprayed with mud and water. I just can’t figure that part out. Maybe they could make a little shield to deflect some crud? Or use sealed housing?
Or just be professional riders who have mechanics to worry about things like that. Overall, it looks like a very, very nice bike–and I’m guessing it is really rigid. But that one detail–it really bugs me…and seeing what the Vaytanium has gone through in terms of mud, water and crud splashed up in that area, it’s a deal-killer for me.