I've come-up with an OK solution to the cables-rubbing-the-paint-off-the-head-tube problem, which does not involve having to dress the head tube or cables in any way. It's very simple...
What you do is use a couple wraps of hemp twine around the cable and the fork crown, and pull it tight such that the cable passes just below the lower extremity of the headtube, just under the lower headset cup. You have to make sure that the twine is pulled tight enough, and also dab a little glue on the knot, otherwise it's sure to come un-tied.
This method DOES put the cables through yet another radical bend, but I have not noticed any performance problems because of it. I imagine there might be some folks who don't care for the aestehtics of it, but to my mind it is no worse than having to mediate the articulation of the cable to the head tube with all sorts of extra tubing and what-not.
I like my solution because it actually gets rid of the cause of the problem. In addition, it also acts as a steering limiter.
Pete Imandt writes:
> With respect to the metal housing paint problems,
> Tom Adams wrote:
>> ...beware of the steel housings rubbing paint on head tubes. My Raliegh Pro
>> bears the marks of the steel bar con housings eroding the paint away.
> Bill Boston responded:
>> I have found that a small length of "heat shrink" tubing slid over the cable
>> housing before installation does a good job of preventing this.
> For a cleaner, and less obtrusive installation, I've used short segments of
> clear plastic tubing on the bar con and rear changer housings. Fish tank air
> line and med gas tubing seem to work equally well. Push the tubing, don't
> pull on the housing, or you may uncurl it. Give the tubing a hot water bath
> to ease the installation. Also, the tubing is more resilient than the
> shrunk-on electrical insulation.
> Pete (no eroded paint) Imandt
> Ramona, CA