Hidden cables and bike bags

More and more, the latest bikes are being released with really well integrated cables and clean front ends. There’s a lot of hidden cables under bars and running through headtubes than ever before.

Personally, I’m a fan of smaller bike bags (a la Post Transfer Case, or Orucase Ninja) that allow for more nimble movement through the airport and much easier to get in/out of rental cars, airport shuttles, etc. Removing my stem/bars is quick and easy and having the flexibility to do so really allows for a more compact bike bag setup. That being, even some of the more standard sized bike bags/boxes require the removal of handlebars and/or stem to get it all to fit.

As much as I would love to invest in newer bike models, part of me really can’t imagine what the nightmare (or impossibility even) that the integrated cabling might bring when wanting to disassemble/assemble your bike for travel.

I have no direct experience and I’m curious to hear others’ thoughts and experiences.

  • Have you traveled a new model with integrated cables?
  • What bag solution have you had experience with? Did you need a new bag due to the new bike?
  • Did you have any fit issues in the bag as a result of limited cable range for positioning the handlebars/stem?

I don’t have any direct experience so I’m keen to hear what others have to say. My expectation would be that the main complication would be traveling with Di2 because of the constraints that will place on seatpost removal and storage. SRAM eTap removes that issue altogether.

Some of the newer cockpits are more integrated than others - I’d expect the Specialized (Venge and new Tarmac) and Trek Emonda type of cockpit aren’t overly complicated to handle, but ones like on the new Scott Addict RC would be tougher to manage.

My experience is that you don’t want hidden cables at the front end if you’re travelling with your bike. It just leads to much much more hassle.

I have a Madone SLR which I can’t fit in a big bike box because of its hidden cables. It restricts things a lot.

I solved the problem through n+1. Getting a 2019 Tarmac frame with direct mount rim brakes. For me, that’s perfect for flying away to the mountains as it’s so much simpler.

I agree with you - but think about how limiting that becomes when/if a new bike is being considered.

Perhaps traveling is not super common with one’s bike. But it’s an gamechanger for me, personally.