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Sixpack Racing Millenium Stem Cleans Up Internal Routing

sixpack racing millennium ICR stem with internal hidden cable routing
24 Comments

While we’re almost certainly moving to stealthy, fully internally routed cables on our mountain bikes, one of the holdups to every brand adopting it is that holes in the upper headset cover allow water, dirt, dust, etc., to get into the frame. Considering the cables are then wiggling and twisting around in a potential slurry of contaminants, it’s no wonder some folks are weary of it.

The other approach, which is far more common on road/gravel bikes, is to run everything into the handlebar, then directly into the stem and through the steerer tube. While clean, it gets more complicated when you’re dealing with an alloy steerer tube on a suspension fork.

sixpack racing millennium ICR stem with internal hidden cable routing

The new Sixpack Millenium ICR (Internal Cable Routing) stem takes a different approach, routing cables into a sleeve underneath the stem, with the entry point sealed off with rubber cable ports to block dust, dirt, and water from entering. It still lets you run cables (mostly brake hoses, these days) close to the bar and stem, so it works with the latest SRAM Stealth brakes .

It’s designed specifically for use with the Acros ZS56 ICR Headsets or Acros Angle-Headsets with an additional aftermarket compression ring (11.52.106R2-AM).

sixpack racing millennium ICR stem with internal hidden cable routing

Other than the lower portion that hides the cables, there’s nothing proprietary or fully integrated. It’s available in 35mm and 50mm lengths, both with 35mm clamp diameter. Included split-spacers allow easy height adjustment of your cockpit, even after the ICR system is mounted. Just loosen the stem, pull it up, and add or remove the split spacers around the steerer tube. You could even just use the stem like normal on any bike, too, without using the cable ports and extra parts.

sixpack racing millennium ICR stem with internal hidden cable routing shown on a bike

Included in the box are:

  • 1x CNC-milled stem, designed specifically to optimize the HS cable routing experience
  • 1x top cover
  • 1x horizontal rubber cable router seal with 4 cable ports
  • 2x split spacers for easy height adjustment of the stem (each 5 mm height)
  • 1x head tube cover with seal, compatible with Acros ZS56 ICR Headsets or Acros Angle-Headsets with additional aftermarket compression ring (11.52.106R2-AM)
  • 1x stem adapter for use with regular headsets

The stem is CNC’-mille’d from AL 7075 in Germany and comes in Midnight Black and Raw. The cable routing parts are made of glass-fiber reinforced PA (Polyamide) in cooperation with Acros.

Sixpack-Racing.com

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24 Comments
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Jacob
Jacob
9 months ago

See I just can’t see myself using someone like that. All that hassel, just to make sure my cables don’t go in through the frame…. Just doesn’t seem worth it. The frame still has holes that are just going to then be empty.

FrictionDi2
FrictionDi2
9 months ago

We could also just make internal cable routing die. There is no bike mechanic that likes working bikes with it. Internal cable routing is the bike industry cheaping out. It is cheaper to make a hole than to braze on a cable stop.

threeringcircus
threeringcircus
9 months ago
Reply to  FrictionDi2

Amen.

Dylan Sutton
Dylan Sutton
9 months ago
Reply to  FrictionDi2

“Braze”? OK grandpa 🙂
FWIW, gluing on cable or hose guides on a carbon frame would be dirt cheap, but the market spoke and external routing went away long before headset routing came about. If you really want to run external cables, you can get stick-on guides dirt cheap, and they work well – I have some of these on my retro grave bike 10Pcs Stick on Cable Guide Bicycle Shift Brake Housing Line Tubing Buckle Tube Clip Aluminum Bike Oil Tube Fixed Clamp Adapter| | – AliExpress.
Headset routing is happening mainly from the further pursuit of aesthetics, but also because it’s cheaper _not_ to make an extra hole, and just use the big one that’s already there.
Personally I’m not a fan of headset cable routing, but it’s not something I would die in a ditch over either. Even on my MTB I hardly ever need to replace gear cable housing, and in over 20 years of riding bikes with hydraulic brakes I’ve never damaged a hose. I haven’t had to replace a headset bearing, despite riding in all weather and hosing my bike down with a pressure washer afterwards. But even if I did have to replace a bearing, disconnecting the brake hoses then re-bleeding wouldn’t be a big deal, it’s a 10 minute job.

Rich Mahogany
Rich Mahogany
9 months ago
Reply to  FrictionDi2

Internal routing is driven by consumer demand – people like the way it looks. If a bike shop has two bikes on the floor side by side, one with internal routing and one with external at the same price customers are choosing internal because it looks clean. They are not thinking about what a pain it is to replace cables because almost no one does that themselves so it doesn’t factor in to the decision. It isn’t any less expensive, if anything it adds to the tooling cost of a carbon frame to include channels inside the frame. It is cheaper to rivet on a cable stop. I am not a fan of internal routing myself (I do wrench on my own bikes), but it won’t go away if people keep buying them.

Grillis
Grillis
9 months ago
Reply to  Rich Mahogany

What the shop isn’t explaining to them is the cost of certain maintenance and repairs goes up 3x because of that useless aesthetic feature. Then they’ll care.

Mechanic
Mechanic
9 months ago
Reply to  FrictionDi2

I’ve been a bike mechanic for 25 years. I completely disagree. I draw the line at headset routing though for non TT/Aero road bikes. I deal primarily with mountain bikes in a very fast paced shop environment (Moab) and the amount of rear brakes I have to swap out on any given weekend is unfathomable to most mechanics, dropping a fork/realignment of a stem are things I don’t want to have to take the time for, or worry about making a mistake being rushed when my client will likely literally be riding next to a 300ft cliff. I love a clean looking bike, hell I ride bmx brakeless mostly for the simplicity of it, but the new sram levers are ugly, don’t match the routing of even their own shifters and revers remote. Holes in handlebars are even worse ideas…

Will
Will
9 months ago
Reply to  FrictionDi2

I actually really like working on bikes routing through the headset. It’s the fun new frontier of compatibility to experiment with. If would be cool to be able to route the front hose through the fork also.

P M
P M
9 months ago

This whole idea is so stupid from the beginning….

satanas
satanas
9 months ago

BR should stop trying to force this stuff down our throats; the audience isn’t composed entirely of fashion victims.

Jason DW
Jason DW
9 months ago
Reply to  satanas

The industry should stop. Nobody wants this crap.

Cheese
Cheese
9 months ago

The word you’re looking for is wary, Tyler, not weary.

Technician
Technician
9 months ago

BuT yOu GeT cLeAn LiNeS, uNcLuTtErEd CoCkPiT, yAy!

But
But
9 months ago

The fork needs a redesign/standard to hide the front brake cables /s

Craig
Craig
9 months ago

This is very clever with keeping the cable entry area sealed.

TheStansMonster
TheStansMonster
9 months ago

You know what really makes cables, housing, and hoses perform at their best and last as long as possible? 90 degree bends.

Oliver
Oliver
9 months ago

But why use Acros bearings … they’re absolutely horrible.

Greg Matyas
9 months ago

This is the fake eyelashes of the bike industry.

Jason DW
Jason DW
9 months ago

To Hell with headset cable routing!!!

Dann
Dann
9 months ago

it’s no wonder some folks are weary of it.”

“Weary”, or “wary”?

Doc Sarvis
Doc Sarvis
9 months ago

Stupid is as stupid does.

Grillis
Grillis
9 months ago

Moving forward I will 100% not buy a mountain bike with fully internal cable routing. My current RM Altitude is internal in the downtube only, that’s fine. This nonsense through the headset is a no go.

Yo eddy 20009
Yo eddy 20009
9 months ago

Everything that comes along for bikes people complain about and say how horrible it is- the first Rock shox, the first spds, v-brakes, aheadsets, carbon frames, superboost, dropper posts, carbon wheels. etc, etc. bikes won’t stay the same, people are trying new things and new ideas to hopefully push things forward in the right direction. Some fail, some help us out.

A Square
A Square
9 months ago
Reply to  Yo eddy 20009

Yes, you’re right. This happens whenever anything new is introduced. It was said about steamships, airplanes, jet engines, turbochargers, etc. Innovation is good, as long as things are fully researched and engineered correctly.

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