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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    To braid or not to braid?

    Hi all,

    So I've recently bought a s/h XTR set here in Perth and am eagerly installing away!

    Now I'm at the point of the hydro breaks and have realised that I have no hydro cables! So, before I purchase a set I thought I'd get the collective wisdom of the group on braided vs non-braided tubes...

    Are braided significantly better? (The price here in Western Australia is about the same for both).

    Thanks in advance - Scott

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: millertm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    +1 on braided. If the cost is the same go for it. I'm not sure if they are heaver or not then the stock ones though.

    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    I had braided (Goodridge) hoses on my old Hope mini's and they are definitely heavier than regular hoses.
    I just switched the Hopes out (after >10years) for XTR's and when I did I asked the shop about going with Goodridge again.
    Their response was that the Shimano hoses were lighter and rigid enough that the pros all use them. So I went with the Shimano hoses for the time being and have to say the whole XTR brake set-up works very well indeed.
    So the hose choice comes down to weight, cost and personal preference. I'm not sure you'll be able to distinguish a difference in performance?? Regular hoses are plenty good enough for me.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley6148 View Post
    Are braided significantly better?
    I'm not sure what "better" means in the context of brake hoses. So I can't directly answer your question.

    Some observations on Goodridge braided versus Shimano poly:

    The Shimano hoses use an olive/barb connection so any time you have to resize lines, you need to buy/use a new pair. The Goodridge hardware is resusable so you can resize any number of times.

    The Goodridge hose is advertised as kink free and can really bend into tight radii. I have no evidence, but I suspect the Shimano might kink if you force it (like if your bars spun around in a crash - depending on routing, etc). That's probably a pretty minor threat in reality.

    I don't have the numbers, but the Shimano has to be lighter - it's all poly while braided has stainless steel. Also, the Goodridge is larger in diameter so there is more material.

    My Goodridge hoses were 6mm thick which means they were too thick to use the re-usable snap-on plastic line holders on my frame and fork. I had to resort to using zip ties which are less convenient (when shipping the bike or doing a brake bleed with the calipers off the bike). The Shimano hoses are a typical outside diameter of around 5mm.

    The main reason I went with the Goodridge was reliability. At the time I bought my brakes, I kept reading about people having leaks around the banjo crimp at the caliper end on the Shimano hoses. Shimano was giving out warranty hoses that people reported were also leaking. Some leaked right away, some went months before leaking, and others have [yet] to report any leaks. I'm not so lucky in life so I went with the one with the golden track record.

    I'm not sure if there's any detectable difference between the way they feel or operate the same brake - if that's what you meant by "better".

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