Downtube cable-stops…

I have officially removed front derailleurs from (not all of) my bikes, and been blissfully riding 1×10 drivetrains on my road and gravel bikes for over a year. Yes, I have stuck with 10 speed because it is what I have on (almost) all my bikes, and it keeps things simple.

Converting a light-weight ’90s Columbus steel road bike to a 1x drivetrain leaves a disused cable stop on one side of the downtube or—if you take that off—a sharp and unsightly boss. The only commercial solution I am aware of is Problem Solvers’ dummy cover which is pretty decent in theory, but it is not an exact cosmetic match to the Shimano cable stops and—most importantly—it weighs enough that I cannot justify putting it on my bike.

Today I am in the process of building my new gravel bike: a Surly Midnight Special. This is a decent but not light-weight double butted chromoly NATCH steel frame: it’s a Surly, and Surly has never known for their featherweight frames.

This is what I recommend you do (in picture form):

I used a hacksaw and two files to shape it, then moved to 240 grit sandpaper, then green Scotch-Brite followed by some polishing compound (the stuff you use to polish the surface of a car’s paint) on a scrap of denim.

As you can see, the Problem Solvers stop weighs a terrifying 15.3g (0.5oz in American), whereas my modified stop comes in at a pleasing 3.5g (0.1oz), and both stops together weigh less than one of the commercial solution to the problem.

You may think that this kind of Weight Weenus behaviour is completely unnecessary, but I think you will find that many of us will fight to save a few grams here and there so that we can justify carrying a flask or riding a Brooks saddle.

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