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Shovel Research’s Beautiful FMBCH Might Just Make You Nostalgic for Cantis

Shovel Research FMBCH hero(Photo/Shovel Research)
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Looking for well-thought-out cable hanging solutions for your touring, cyclocross, or any of your other bikes using cantilever brakes? I think Portland, Oregon’s genius tinkerer, Shovel Research has a pretty neat and clean solution for you. The FMBCH (Fork Mounted Brake Cable Hanger) is so appealing, that if you don’t have a bike to use this on, you may be compelled to get one.

Shovel Research FMBCH drawing
(Photo/Shovel Research)

Sal started Shovel Research around this time back in 2022, saying that it’s a long way to say “dig”…as in yeah, I dig it. And I “dig” what they’re doing there. The Project is a “night n’ weekends, owner-operated business, that focuses on making, skill acquisition, and sharing joy”. See, what’s there not to dig?

Shovel Research’s FMBCH

Shovel Research FMBCH gold, silver and black

This fork-mounted cable hanger is not like others on the market. It has enough height to properly set up wide profile cantis, like say for a cyclo-cross or touring bike. If there is a substantial distance from the headset to the cable carrier, the FMBCH will offer a much more rigid hanger solution.

Bikes with shorter headtubes could benefit from using the FMBCH to simplify the cable routing eliminating that tight turn at the headtube. Sal says “For everyone, the FMBCH minimizes cable rub when you are using a front bag” And, I say “If you aren’t using a front bag, what’s wrong with you?”

Sal has drilled “speed holes” for you, as well as a “slot for lightness”. These are CNC’d by Sal, up in the good ol’ PNW… Portland, Oregon.

Shovel Research FMBCH logo underneath
Laser-etched Shovel Research logo underneath

FMBCH Features and Retail

Retail: $69 (includes: brass adjuster and stainless spring, 3ea. M6 bolts (40, 50, and 60mm) M6 nylok nut. Some applications may require a recessed nut, which you can get here.

Colors: Black, Silver, and Gold

  • Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Weight: 23g (28g with brass adjuster)
  • Finish: anodized (black, silver, or gold)
  • Logo lasered on the underside

There are a lot of really neat solutions provided by Shovel Research, so hop over to the website (link below) to take a gander.

ShovelResearch.com

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16 Comments
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carbonfodder
carbonfodder
7 months ago

<pedantry>
“anno” is a latin term meaning “year”.
“Ano” is a short-form colloquialism for ‘anodized’.

Please use the proper terms. Grammar skills do matter.
</pedantry>

Tim
Tim
7 months ago

I fixed a lot of bikes with cantis and cable hangers BITD. Four problems with those old cable hangers of yore:

  1. They were flexy, and the flex resulted in less braking power. (The FMBCH claims to have solved this, hope it’s true.)
  2. They were often out of plane with the brake by a few degrees, again resulting in lost power. (Would be great if the FMBCH shipped with some tall shims that match the back plate’s shape to maintain rigidity if you do end up needing to use them.)
  3. The hole for the cable to go through was often too small, so the cable dragged on it resulting in drag and, you guessed it, less braking power.
  4. The cable routing involved a hard bend which caused drag and reduced braking power.
ZigaK
ZigaK
7 months ago

Very nice machining and surface treatment.
I’am a little bit skeptical the single bolt friction will support the side loads from the cable? I’m guessing it could rotate.
There should be a slit in the adjuster and in the hanger so the mounting of the cable is much, much easier.

Greg
Greg
7 months ago
Reply to  ZigaK

There are other similar mounts available now. I see what you mean, but it’s never been an issue. As long as you line it up with the brake cable, there should be no side forces, and any slight misalignment would apply very small (but greatly increasing with angle) side loads. Some come supplied with a star washer intended for road caliper brakes. I’ve seen others with a couple set screws with sharp points that ideally sit right below the crown to keep it from tilting.

Yurp
Yurp
7 months ago
Reply to  ZigaK

Usually the rear face is concave to match a fork crown and resist rotation but so few bikes use steel forks now (their loss!)

mud
mud
7 months ago

Don’t quit your day job, Sal.

Tim
Tim
7 months ago
Reply to  mud

Can you name something concrete you don’t like about this cable hanger?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim

It costs a lot when you’ve been able to get cheaper less bling versions for decades.

The design is solid, but this isn’t a novel thing, it’s just an expensive CNC bling version of a product that has been around for quite a while.

Dockboy
Dockboy
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

There’s no claim it’s novel, but many people prefer a MUSA version of a part, and if you’re running Paul brakes or other premium cantis, it makes sense to match the quality. Plus those brass barrel adjusters are nice looking and do spin smoother than aluminum.

KK1118
KK1118
7 months ago
Reply to  Dockboy

You mean the H Pipe Cannondale did 30 years ago?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  Dockboy

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bling thing on your bike, but when the lede is:

“Looking for well-thought-out cable hanging solutions for your touring, cyclocross, or any of your other bikes using cantilever brakes?”

The answer is the $15 version of this, not this.

If the lede were:

“Looking for MUSA CNC bling cable hanger upgrade for your Paul, Chris King and White Industries equipped custom bike?”

then pointing out it isn’t novel and just a MUSA CNC bling copy of a much cheaper product wouldn’t be noteworthy

Josh C
Josh C
7 months ago
Reply to  Dockboy

But have already had issues with them stripping out partially as the founder himself said there may be an issue with using something so soft with forces loading on it in the vertical plane. I’d prefer a titanium adjustor or stainless to match with maybe some sort of locking interface like you find on road caliper quick adjusters.

Anatoly
Anatoly
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh C

There is no issue with the Tektro version of this and it’s a fraction of the cost. It’s not this thing has been developed in Solidworks and subject to testing or even FEA simulations.

Yurp
Yurp
7 months ago
Reply to  mud

Perfection is the enemy of progress… iterative refinement is everything. Keep at it Sal.

Mitch
Mitch
7 months ago

I wish Sal was making these 15 years ago. Hopefully his regular job isn’t in cartography. Silly jab aside, these are awesome!

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