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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Easy to use and saves hours of frustration
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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?
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?
Hydraulic hose barb
Cable housing barb
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.
About the tester
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.