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These Fibrax Spiral Frame Protectors – you get six in a packet, not one – fit around cable outers or hydraulic hoses to stop them rubbing away paint... or metal... or carbon. For the money, they do a decent job.
The don't completely eliminate rubbing. Your bike's cables or hoses still connect, but encased in these soft silicone spirals they don't saw back and forth in the same way. I fitted a couple to the gear cable outers of one of my road bikes, just where they pass the head tube. They're much neater than the short foam tubes that were fitted to these cable outers before, and there's been no visible paintwork damage since.
The front of the bike is where these protectors will probably find most use, because turning the handlebar moves cables/hoses back and forth and there has to be a fair amount of slack here, but the spirals will fit anywhere there's a couple of inches of cable outer. They go on really easily: you just wrap them around from the side, bit by bit, with no need to disconnect the cable/hose.
The alternative to covering the cables like this is to protect the frame from them with helicopter tape. I prefer Fibrax's solution because it deals with the problem at source. You don't have to work out where the cables could connect the frame and then cut out and fit a sticky see-through polygon to match that; you just need to cover the cable wherever it might connect.
Before investing in these, it's worth checking if you can route your bike's cables/hoses in such a way that they can't rub; cable-ties might help. If that's not feasible, these little protectors are a good answer. They can also be used to reduce the noise of a cable outer knocking against a frame or other cable outer.
They're available in black, white, or red. I reckon black spirals on black outers looks best, but barber's pole contrasts are an option if that's your thing.
A simple and cheap way to reduce frame rub from cables and hoses
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Make and model: FIBRAX Spiral Frame Protector
Size tested: White, 6 pack
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Our spiral frame protectors have been developed for use on any cable – Gear, Brake & Hose.
Simply wrap around the casing where it touches the frame and the job is done.
(Will also dampen vibrational noise)
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
They're made of silicone. They come in black, red or white.
The silicone isn't particularly tough, but that's sort of the point.
They weigh basically nothing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does what Fibrax claims.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to fit. Noise reduction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Simple, light, cheap, and they do a good job.
Age: 46 Height: 1.78m Weight: 65kg
I usually ride: Ridgeback Solo World fixed wheel My best bike is: Planet X Pro Carbon Track.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking