When last did you replace the brake cable on your bike? Just like the brake pads in your car, your bike cable needs to be replaced every so often. Not doing so could cause your breaks to fail completely and you don’t want that to happen when you’re flying down a hill at great speed.
Choosing the right cable is important but how do you know which to pick? Let us make it simpler for you by narrowing down the choices to my top three brake cable picks.
- 1 Shimano Dura-Ace R9000 Mountain Bike Brake Cable Set
- 2 Jagwire Universal Sport MTB Brake Cable Kit
- 3 Shimano MTB Stainless Brake Cable Set
- 4 SRAM Slickwire Cable & Housing Kits
- 5 Shimano Brake Cable and Housing Set (Universal)
- 6 Zicome 2m Long Bicycle Bike Replaceable Brake Cable
- 7 Schwinn Brake and Derailleur Cable Repair Set
- 8 When and Why Change Brake Cables and Housing
- 9 Conclusion
The legendary cable set is back! Shimano’s top-notch quality is well-known among professionals, so you can be well assured of its high quality. Equipped with Shimano’s revolutionary Sil-Tec Coating on inner cables, this cable set will provide long-lasting brake actuation for most braking power. The accompanying housing is very lightweight but stiff enough. This allows you to divert the braking power away from the cable itself. Featuring a special Sil-Tec Coating technology, this cable set fits most road bikes.
- Low cost and affordable
- High quality and better brake feel compared to stock cables
- Easy to install
- Cable coating is easily damaged in the installation process so do be cautious
Also known as Jagwire Hyper cables, this cable set comes with a housing kit. It’s perfect for those with a tight budget, as it offers the best value on the market at the moment. Efficient and easy to install, the kit offers high-quality cables at very reasonable prices.
The kit also includes performance-enhancing technology such as L3 liner housing to ensure you get the best protection out of its value. It has all you need for 2 brakes and has slick doubled-ended cables.
- Durable and long lasting
- Low cost and great value for money
- Easy to install
- Design is quite attractive
- A little heavy in weight
This is a great option is for those who want to enjoy Shimano’s legendary durability without having to pay a lot. These stainless steel double-ended brake cables won’t be a heavy investment for you. It has a highly durable and tough construction, so you don’t have to have it replaced very often. With its high-quality housing, easy installation and superb quality, you won’t be disappointed with this brake cable set. Overall, it’s a good product for starters.
- Easy to install
- High-quality stainless steel brake
- Very low cost. Suitable for beginners
- The kit is missing some non-essential components
This kit is a great choice if you are looking to add a personalized touch to your bike. It comes in 4 colors: red, white, blue, and black, so you don’t have to stick with plain black cables anymore.
The kit features stainless steel inner cables and lubricated housing to prevent rust buildups on the cable. It is available in two variants: for road bicycles or for mountain bikes, making it super convenient if you own two bikes. With its durable Dupont Tefzel coating, Aramid braid reinforced housing and aluminium ferrules, this is a quality product that will last a while.
- Customizable colors so you don’t have to choose black
- Can fit two kinds of bikes: road bikes and mountain bikes
- High-quality build
- Priced a little higher than the rest
Shimano Brake Cable and Housing Set (Universal)
- Universal Set: Fits either mountain bikes or road bikes
- Stainless steel inner wires provide smooth movement and higher corrosion resistance
- 1 x Black Cable Housing with Ø 5 mm (2200 mm long)
- 2 x Steel cables with Ø 1,6 mm (1 x 1000 mm long) & (1 x 2050 mm long)
- 4 x Ferrule’s & 2 x Cable tips
Shimano is a well-trusted name in the cycling world and offers a range of good quality products at very reasonable prices. This set is no exception.
• The cable features both road and MTB ends
• Comes with the housing
• Also, comes with the end caps and ferrules
Those who have tried this set loved the quality of this set and felt that it would stand up to wear and tear quite well.
The inclusion of different the different ends makes these more versatile, but it also means that you have to pay more attention to what you are doing, or you might cut off the wrong end. There is an easy fix, though, place a sticker on both of the housings that you are going to cut off before you start to install the cable and you should be fine.
• Simple to use
• Good price point
• Can be used for either road bikes or mountain bikes
• Comes with the ferrule, etc. that you need
• It’s easy to cut the wrong end off of the cable when installing
• You might need to get more ferules, depending on the configuration you are using when you place these.
Zicome 2m Long Bicycle Bike Replaceable Brake Cable
- Front & rear brake cable
- Front & rear derailleur cable
- Cable ferrules and cable ends included
This set of 10 cables is excellent value for money.
• 10 cables included
• 20 end tips
• Soldered ends
• Longer length to make customization easier
Users found that this was a good value product and that it came clean and ready to use.
The only negative that I could see was that it doesn’t come with the housing. However, considering the lower price per cable, having to buy the housing separately is not a problem.
• Finished nicely
• Excellent price point
• Lots of cables included
• Housing is not included
Schwinn Brake and Derailleur Cable Repair Set
- Package includes 10 x bike replaceable brake cables and 20 x alloy cable caps end tips.
- Length : 2m; Well packaged with a HAZOULEN plastic bag
- Stainless steel strong slick cable for more braking power and smooth operation
- Long enough to custom the shift cables length
- Practical and durable cable end tips fits for bicycle brake cable, nylon rope, shoelace
Schwinn is another company that has a good reputation, and that offers good products at a reasonable price.
• Both front and back cables
• With housing
• Cable-ends and ferrules included
Users were impressed by the strength of the cables as a whole, with a few suggesting that you get a very good set of wire clippers to make it easier to cut.
Depending on your bike, you may need extra crimps, and these would have to be bought separately. These are, however, inexpensive and easy to come by so it’s not the end of the world. Replacing the brake cables on your bike is something that can be easily done, and cheaply done at home. There is no need to pay a lot to get this done by a professional.
MTB Brake Cables: How They Works
Bike brake works by using bike brake cables and a level which controls the braking force. A brake is composed of a brake lever, a brake caliper, and brake cables to connect the two components.
There is also a brake motor attached to the hub of each wheel, the outer layer of which is connected to the caliper. This surface will be the main braking point.
The braking mechanism is actually quite simple. Inside the caliper are several pistons, and attached at the end of these pistons are breaking pads. When you apply a force onto the lever, the cables will transmit that force to the pistons.
As a result, the pistons will move inwards toward the motor, and the braking pads will make contact with the motor’s surface. The ensuing friction will slow down the spinning rotor, and you will decelerate.
When and Why Change Brake Cables and Housing
Given brake cables’ role in the braking process, it is easy to see why it’s important to maintain your brake cables. If your brake cables break, there is nothing that can transmit the force you apply to the brake caliper, and you will not be able to use the brake anymore. Imagine your brake not working while going downhill -- that’s a definite disaster!
Furthermore, even if the cables won’t give way for a while, you should still consider changing them if they come into too much contact with the housing. The housing’s lubricant will dry up after a while, and the cables themselves will rust.
If either of these cases happens, your braking power will be significantly reduced, and your brake will not work effectively. Hence, don’t wait until they’re in dire need of changing. You should still replace the cables for your own safety. Afterall, prevention is better than cure.
The brake cables and housing should be replaced at the same time to ensure that they are always functional. However, modern housings are rather durable, and they can withstand a lot of wear and tear, so you could get away with saving them for later.
The most important thing is to replace your cables immediately if there are signs of fraying or breakage. You should also change them periodically every two years.
How to Change the Brake Cables on Your Mountain Bike
The key to an enjoyable mountain bike trip is safety. The safer you are, the more you will be able to enjoy the trip with better peace of mind. Ensure that your bike is ready for anything by checking the brake. Especially the brake cables as they are often the most vulnerable section of the brake.
If there are signs of defects, you should try to buy a replacement as soon as possible to make sure that the brake functions properly all the time. With all these preparations, a nice cycling trip is just a step away!