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Why Should I Replace my Rubber Brake Hoses to Steel Braided Hoses?

Why Should I Replace my Rubber Brake Hoses to Steel Braided Hoses?

Brake hoses are the arteries of your brake system. Their job is to carry the brake fluid that needs to be compressed in order for the brakes to work. How else would that fluid be carried after all, right?

But do you know that rubber brake hoses need to be replaced every four years, regardless of their condition?

The hoses need to resist large amounts of pressure as the brake fluid has little compressibility. This means the hoses may weaken and start to expand everytime braking pressure is applied. Consequently, the brake feels wooden or just lose efficiency. Another problem may arise is that the hoses may start to leak at the microscopic level, allowing air and moisture into the system. The brake will feel spongy when that happens. At the extreme end, the lever will come to the bar, but the bike couldn’t stop.

There are also cases where the rubber brake hoses start to chaff and crack. Cracking on the outside is obvious, but cracks on the inside could lead to blocked passages resulting in loss of brakes.

So, what shall we replace to? The best solution is steel braided hoses.

Why steel braided hoses are better?

There are several benefits of using steel braided hoses:

  • Better brake feel as they will not expand even a tiny bit under hard braking like rubber lines can.
  • If you’re a dedicated off-road or adventure rider, it’s worth noting a braided steel line is much less likely to be torn open by rocks or other fun obstacles.
  • They’re way prettier. Yeah, don’t tell me you don’t care about that part. You can even get them in colors to match your bike.

Contrary to popular belief, steel braided hoses don’t provide more stopping power. Instead, as they provide better feel, there is more confidence for the rider to squeeze the lever harder.

The downside is cost. Steel braided lines are more expensive than their rubber counterparts, but the former last longer.

High-end bikes are usually fitted with steel braided hoses from the factory for a reason.


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