Switching a bike with exposed shift cables to shielded?

This question is probably a bit old tech for most on the forum.
My hardtail MTB has two sections of exposed shift cable under the seatstay and under the top-tube.

I assume you can run a fully shielded all the way from the RD to the shfiter as many bikes especially with internal cables would do just that.
Can you switch a bike to run a full shielded setup and are there any major pros and cons?

I’m guessing it would just be a case of drilling the guides on the frame to allow the outer to pass through all the way.

There should be no issue to run full length housing instead of split - the shifter and derailleur will be your new cable stops Just make sure to use a really good housing like Jagwire MTB Sealed Shift.

However, for bikes with full length housing run outsides the frame, the shift cable / brake hoses are usually fit to the frame with cable ties. Maybe that can be a solution for your bike as well in order to avoid ruining the existing cable stops in case you have 2nd thoughts.


I wouldn’t go drilling anything, just bypass the existing. There are plenty of solutions such as these:


I guess people just normally leave them exposed and replace shift cables a bit more often?

Seems odd that I can’t really find much info on this.

First just clean your Cables and spray with WD40 or GT85 to stop from rusting. That way you do not need to do anything.

No need to remove cables, just the exposed bits. In fact never ever lub the cables that are inside cable sheaths this will result in shifting issues fairly quickly.

Regular maintenance … WHAT, yes, a wipe with a cloth is all it will take sometimes. My winter bike ridden 5 days a week over winter commuting to work and back, 25 years old now, cables and outers replaced twice in that time… god knows how much GT85 sprayed, but i keep lots of it.

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Transfil do sealed cable kits although my mechanic set it all up. Looks like they run all the way through the out cable housing front to back.

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yep. these work pretty well and are generally pretty easy to install.