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Ortlieb bar bag and brake cable routing

jim_marshall-2jim_marshall-2 Posts: 4
edited January 2018 in Workshop
Hi guys

I'm setting up my new tourer, a Surly Long Haul Trucker with Tektro cantilever brakes. It's a 2016 model I got on a deal (khakipants paint job), rather than the latest ones which are in shops with v-brakes. The stock brake cable routing is under the bar tape, emerging from the end of tape close to the stem. The front brake cable hanger is mounted on the stem, and the setup seems to work ok.

This isn't my bike, but it's the same model:

I generally tour with two rear panniers, but I've also picked up an Ortlieb Ultimate 6M (i.e. medium size) Plus handlebar bag for quick access to camera, money, energy food etc. on the road.

Offering up the Ortlieb mount to the handlebar showed that fitting it as it stands would mean forcing the brake cables through a tight 90 degree bend as they emerge from the bar tape to clear the mounting block, which I don't want to do. Has anyone successfully mounted an Ortlieb (or Rixen and Kaul which looks pretty similar, a few details apart) bar mount on a Surly?

Pic of an Ortlieb mount:

Options I'm considering are:
• Unwrap the bar tape and let the cable emerge a few inches from the end, the re-wrap the tape (the gear cables come mounted this way from the factory), but I still think I may end with some awkward angles routing to the front brake hanger in particular
• Do the above in conjunction with a fork mounted hanger for the front brake such as the Tektro 1277A, the objective here being to lower the hanger and allow a smoother cable curve. This might mean a new front brake cable (and longer bar tape re-wrap) to get the right length of outer cable.

Thoughts and advice greatly appreciated....




  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    Using a fork mounted hanger would be the best fix. But I think you may be able to get a reasonable brake cable line with your existing set-up by partly unwinding the bar tape and re-routing the cable to the underneath of the bar for the last section. This may enable it to go backwards slightly and avoid the bar bag mounting block. I have done this on my tourer which has a much tighter turn than on the Surly pictured as my bars are lower and my hanger sticks out horizontally from the headset locknut rather than dropping down like the one on the Surly.

    I would try it and see. My brakes work fine with the tight turn and have done for many years.
  • You could try bringing the brake cables over the top of the bars rather than underneath. I did it here to get a better cable run to the cable hanger for the front brake rather than for fitting a handlebar bag mount, but it should give more space for the mount, and I don't see why you couldn't run both cables like that.

  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,391
    Nick’s suggestion looks good to me. It may require longer outer cable.
  • Thanks guys, and apologies for the late response. I've unwrapped the bar tape and re-routed the brake cables underneath the bars which has given sufficient clearance to fit the bar bag mount with a reasonably smooth cable routing. Should this prove problematic once I've put some more miles on it I'll probably go for the fork mount hanger.
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