Just a reminder to pay attention to the details, via Bikeworks Albuquerque:

…In news of the not-awesome, the above photo shows the surprisingly damaging results of a little inattentiveness. What you are looking at is the bottom bracket and lower linkage on a full suspension Felt. The front derailleur cable was accidentally routed through a cutout in the linkage, rather than around it. It looks like this was done when the bike was bought new, about 3 years ago (not from us). As a result, every time the suspension moved, the shift cable acted like a little saw blade and slowly cut a deep groove, almost completely severing that section of the rocker.

Pretty amazing how the seemingly smooth shift cable can cut through the aluminum rocker, without any visible damage to the cable itself…


  1. I would assume the cable is stainless steel and should easily cut through the softer aluminum.

    I agree with bart, the owner should have noticed shifting issues.

  2. I don’t see any obvious way to route the cable around the linkage. Maybe there is a way, but it’s hard to tell from this photo. If there isn’t though, it’s a poor design and that can be blamed on Felt. Hey, I ride hardtails, but wouldn’t a top pull derailleur be the obvious solution?

  3. I advise the guy to keep on riding until it completely severs, if possible running the bike into a tree when it does, and then take it back to the shop he bought it at. It would probably take another 10 years to get through that thick section though. Even better, newer replacement bike.

  4. I believe the cable is supposed to route through the triangle at the front of the link, which would be the lowest opening in this photo. The cable sticks tight to the BB, I believe.

  5. Was that done by an inattentive shop mechanic or was it done at the factory before the bike was boxed for shipment?
    It’s possible it came from the factory like that and nobody at the store noticed the error.


  7. I agree with Brandon. It should go through the triangular opening. If he rides it for a few more years, it’ll get there on its own.

  8. This is not the first time that I’ve seen issues like this. I agree that it doesn’t look like the cable was thought through in the design. I’ve had to actually make brake noodles bend and form a route for a derailleur cable to keep things working. This is a good example to look at where your cables go when replacing them. Just like not cutting chains to the length they were on the bike, don’t assume anything!

  9. Poor cable routing from the manufacturer is nothing new. I can’t tell you the number of road bikes I’ve assembled the last few years with Dura Ace 7900 and Ultegra 6700 that have the cables routed incorrectly coming out of the levers. Shimano acknowledges that although you CAN run the cables two different ways you SHOULD run it around the back of the bar to improve shifting…… so, what do the manufacturers do? Guess……..

  10. Who doesn’t replace their derailleur cables within 3 years? And how did it go this far before the rider notice shifting problems? Even if Felt or the shop accidentally routed the cable wrong, there is definitely bike neglect going on here regardless.

  11. I find it surprising that anyone would find it surprising that a derailleur cable would saw into and through a piece of aluminum. I’m also surprised that the owner rode the same shift cables for three years.

  12. Having worked at a shop, it is amazing what the “home mechanic” can do wrong to their bike without noticing it. Not a Felt issue, just a rookie move changing a cable.

  13. The cable did go through the triangle opening closer to the bb shell. You can’t tell on the photo, but that routing worked okay. I agree though, the entire bike’s cable routing seemed poorly thought out.
    The customer said he never noticed shifting issues. Surprising, considering you could watch the front derailleur move around as you pushed through the travel of the rear suspension.
    It’s not surprising that stainless stell can cut through aluminum, it’s just surprising when we actually found the problem, that it had gone unnoticed for so long, and that after 15 years in the bike shop it was something we hadn’t seen before.
    Lastly, here in the desert, 3 years on cables and housing isn’t unheard of. They were certainly past due for replacing, but it wasn’t unreasonable.

  14. my point being felt should’ve used a different routing for the FD cable instead of under the BB. what are the chances of this happening? probably there’s someone out there who has a similar problem.

  15. Mel,

    To be fair: I’ve made some mistakes (everyone does), but have never been anywhere near the bike pictured… Dan at Bikeworks discovered the issue and blogged it- it was just posted as a reminder to make sure that we all pay attention to the little things when it comes to bike setup. That’s all…


  16. Something tells me that it wouldn’t take 3 years for a stainless steel line to cut through aluminum… If the bike looked brand new then, yeah, maybe a factory job but really… 3 years?… I’d give it two months to do that.

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