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The KranX Internal Cable Routing Tool is a useful kit to have when you need to internally route cables in a frame. It covers off most scenarios, catering for cable or hydraulic housings or Di2 cables, but there's no attachment for regular inner cables – though the included Magnet Guide Tool will do the job.
There are some successful hacks that work when you're routing cables internally in a frame, but if you'd rather not go down that route, then there are plenty of internal cable routing tools or kits that will do the job – some better, or at least more completely, than others.
The KranX Internal Cable Routing Tool is definitely a good place to start when you're looking. It comes with two lengthy 2.5m installation cables, along with four tips – two of these are Di2 tips for routing electronic cables, and two of the tips are for routing cable or brake housing. You also get a Magnet Guide Tool for routing the installation cables (or gear cables) through a frame, as well as a short length of cable for stowing spare tips when they're not in use. Everything is stored inside a clear plastic box.
The kit works with carbon, aluminium and titanium frames, but sadly not steel frames – for this you'll still need a hack.
Having two installation cables means you can either outfit them both with one of each type of tip, presumably for when you're routing a frame from scratch with gear and brake housings, and you want to route them at the same time to get a better flow of cables.
When you need to swap tips it's very easy – just screw or unscrew them in a matter of seconds. Both types of tip fit snugly in their respective housing – whether it's cable or hydraulic housing, or Di2 cable. Each tip is very slim, as is the installation cable, so you'll have no problem routing in and out of a frame, even when the hole is particularly small.
Though routing cables is pretty straightforward, there's definitely a knack to it – and judging by some of the videos out there I'm not alone in looking for them (even one of the ParkTool demo videos seemed to show some difficulty in routing). That's not necessarily a fault of the kit, but just a part of routing cables in frames where there's either a difficult junction to navigate, or something inside the frame is slightly blocking the routing.
The KranX relies solely on the Magnet Guide Tool for passing hoses or any type of cable through a frame. You just start passing your chosen housing or cable through and use the magnet to pull it towards the outer hole. The Magnet Guide Tool is a decent size and has knurled bands around the shaft for good grip.
As I said, routing this way isn't always easy, and often results in losing attraction from positive to negative magnets. The trick is to feed the cable in slowly, and if there appears to be a blockage that's breaking the connection, you have to pull the cable back out slightly and feed it back in again until the way is clear.
In testing, I found this easier to do when using the installation cable. When it came to routing a mechanical cable – brake or gear – it was trickier because the cable is less flexible around bends and obstructions than the installation cable, and the magnetic attraction didn't seem quite as powerful to me.
Though I've not seen this mentioned in any other reviews of internal cable routing kits, if you are trying to route inner cables that have an outer coating – in my case either Dura-Ace Teflon or Shimano's Optislick cable – then the magnet won't connect properly, as the coating creates a barrier between the cable and the magnet, weakening its ability to attract.
The ParkTool IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit one-ups the KranX kit, since it comes with a second option for routing cables: a positive and negative polarity cable, allowing you to combine the two to meet each other in the middle of a frame. I think this makes for easier routing, especially if you're struggling to guide a housing or inner cable by just using the guide magnet in a particularly tricky frame.
Another thing I believe the KranX lacks is an attachment that enables you to connect an inner brake or gear cable to the installation cable, which would allow you to pull it through the frame more easily than you would with the Magnet Guide Tool. Not all kits come with this option – the ParkTool IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit doesn't, for instance, though I found a dirt-cheap kit on Amazon that could do this.
KranX's Internal Cable Routing Tool is much cheaper than either of the kits we've reviewed before, both the £69.99 ParkTool IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit that Liam really liked, and the PRO Internal Routing Tool that was £49.99 when Liam reviewed it but is now £59.99, though you can find it for a good deal less.
The ParkTool kit aces the KranX by having both positive and negative installation cables, which results in easier routing. This, to me, seems a no-brainer, but the ParkTool kit is the only kit that seems to offer this – and I'm not sure it's worth paying an extra £42 for the privilege, though you do also get more options for routing all manner of cables.
The PRO kit has the advantage of being easy to stow, with everything integrated into the tool, and it comes with a storage bag. But when it comes to functionality, it doesn't appear to do anything better. In fact, the 1.26m installation cable length seems a bit measly compared with the KranX's 2x 2.5m installation cables.
A cheaper, almost identical option if you had your heart set on the PRO style of kit, would be the LifeLine Internal Cable Routing Tool, which costs just £21.99.
The KranX works well and covers off most internal routing scenarios. It could do with an attachment for easier routing of brake or gear inner cables, just to make it even more useful.
A reasonably priced internal cable routing kit that works well for most internal routing jobs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: KranX Internal Cable Routing Tool
Size tested: One Size
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?
An internal cable routing kit which is designed to make it easier to route cables through frames – it's aimed at anyone who is comfortable working on their bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Magnetic guide tool & adaptor tips
2 x 2.5m installation cables with magnetic ends
Cable housing tapers & Di2 tips
Nothing flashy, but everything seems nicely built.
Pretty good as far as routing goes, though it could do with an attachment for making inner cable routing that bit easier in tricky instances.
No issues here.
You get a decent amount of kit for your money, with everything you need to deal with most internal cable routing scenarios.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Cable routing was easy enough – probably as easy as any other similar kit, though an inner cable attachment would complete the kit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lengthy installation cable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No attachment for inner cable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's by far one of the cheaper kits we've tested, coming in at much less than the RRP of both the ParkTool IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit and the PRO Internal Routing Tool, which are £69.99 and £59.99 respectively – although you can find the PRO kit on sale for less.
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 overall score
A decent solution for routing cables internally in a frame without too much issue. There are a couple of ways I would easily improve on the KranX kit, though at the price you can't complain too much.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,