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Verdict: 
Easy to use and saves hours of frustration
Weight: 
87g

Pro's Internal Routing Tool is easy to use, compact, well made, and covers all the internal routing jobs on my road and cyclo-cross bikes.

  • Pros: Very compact; strong magnets; packs away tidily; a bit cheaper than Park's IR-1.2
  • Cons: Changing bits is a tad fiddly; extreme situations will need more cable

This is the second internal cable routing tool that I've used in a short space of time, and having it to help re-cable my race bike has been a blessing. The compact design is easy to get on with, especially if you're working out of a small toolkit. Everything is easy enough to access, and for the occasional user I'd say that this is a brilliant option.

> Buy this online here

If you read my Park Tool IR-1.2 review then you'll have heard me moan about internal cable routing there. I'll save you a repeat of my gripes, but I will say that a tool like this would have saved me hours in the past.

The tool is housed in a little pouch with a Velcro closure which should keep it clean and prevent it from getting knocked in your toolbox. On the aluminium frame, there are hard plastic holders for the bits, which screw off and attach to the 1.26m cable.

PRO Internal routing tool - case.jpg

Included bits are a barb for hydraulic housing, a barb that will do brake and gear outers, a Di2 bit, magnet and also a small piece of wire with an additional magnet. That'll cover everything that I'm going to be routing through my frame. Getting the bit you want off the holder is a little fiddly, as it can be hard to move the plastic holders independently of each other.

The connection that the bits provide is secure and I didn't suffer any lost cables inside my frame. The magnet at the end of the cable is pretty strong too. It got a good hold on my rear brake cable inner, helping to guide it out of the small exit hole on my Cannondale Supersix.

The main magnet is fixed to the tool, which is fine for everything but the tightest of spots. I found the Park Tool magnet a little easier to use as the size makes it easy to hold using just the thumb and forefinger.

PRO Internal routing tool - detail 1.jpg

While the 1.26m cable length has been fine for my Supersix, you might run into length issues on more modern bikes that have the cables routing inside from the shifter. For these bikes and long bikes like tandems, I'd recommend the Park Tool IR-1.2 as it comes with an extension cable.

Like the IR-1.2, Pro's tool is easy to clean. This is mainly limited to the wire and bits that sometimes pass a greasy area. The cable wipes down easily thanks to the plastic coating.

If you're not keen on forking out the £59.99 for the Park Tool version, then at £49.99 this is a bit cheaper and probably more suitable for the occasional internal routing job. That said, you can still spend less. The X-Tools Internal Cable Routing Tool is £19.99 (in fact, currently £17.99).

> Beginner's guide to bike tools

In conclusion, this is another very clever and easy to use internal cable routing tool. It will suit the home mechanic perfectly and should last years with occasional use because of the good build quality. With secure holds from the bits and good magnets, it's a tool you'll be happy with.

Verdict

Easy to use and saves hours of frustration

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: PRO Internal Routing Tool

Size tested: n/a

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?

From Pro:

Ultimate tool for internal cable routing

For hydraulic, Di2 and mechanical cables and hoses

Durable aluminium construction

Compact storage design

Comes with a pouch

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Bits included:

Hydraulic hose barb

Cable housing barb

Di2

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Still more expensive than the cheap X-Tools option but a bit more affordable than Park Tool's IR-1.2.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well. It holds cables, wires and housing securely, helping to guide them through tricky frames.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The compact design makes this ideal for a small toolkit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The access to the bits would annoy me in frequent use.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? For me, the Park Tool IR-1.2 is worth the extra cash.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A very useful tool that will be great for occasional use. More frequent users might find the fiddly access to the bits slightly annoying.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

8 comments

Avatar
Gkam84 [9144 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Whatever you do, don't get ripped off by buying this "Pro" logoed tool, especially when X-Tools have exactly the same thing https://www.wiggle.co.uk/x-tools-internal-cable-routing-tool/#.XZZNMtOiEXk

I have them both having been sent them for free, they are identical apart from the logo on the outside. That are also companies doing coloured versions like Super B

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [1147 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

Good magnet & an allen key are all you need to internally thread cables.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [198 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:

Good magnet & an allen key are all you need to internally thread cables.

If only that worked for those pesky Di2 cables.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [198 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
Gkam84 wrote:

Whatever you do, don't get ripped off by buying this "Pro" logoed tool, especially when X-Tools have exactly the same thing https://www.wiggle.co.uk/x-tools-internal-cable-routing-tool/#.XZZNMtOiEXk

I have them both having been sent them for free, they are identical apart from the logo on the outside. That are also companies doing coloured versions like Super B

They're not exactly the same. X-Tools version looks slightly narrower. Having not used the X-Tools version, I'd be keen to get my hands on one.
If it is the same functionally, it'd be brilliant value.

Avatar
Kendalred [382 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

That ebay link isn't for the tool that is being reviewed, by the way.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [198 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

That widget auto-generates links. Best to go through the link at the top of the review. 

Avatar
matthewn5 [1416 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Did all of my internally routed bikes with just a bent paper clip. Am I missing something?
Didn't seem that much of a faff to be honest. Both were Bianchis. Maybe some bikes are easier than others?

Avatar
captain_slog [476 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
matthewn5 wrote:

Did all of my internally routed bikes with just a bent paper clip. Am I missing something?

Dunno. When did you last see the paper clip?