I bought and installed a set of pre-bled hydraulic brakes onto my bike to replace the mechanical discs that came with it. My future plan is to buy a new bike, transfer the brakes to my wife's bike and replace the old discs onto my bike and sell it.

In the meantime I have a very long rear line, about 30cm extra, that I'm struggling to manage. I've looped it and cable tied it on both sides of the loop, once back on itself and again to the front brake line. Unfortunately this solution slips a lot so I'm looking for a better one. At this stage performance of the brakes seems ok with this method.

Does anyone know of a better solution or is getting them shortened by my LBS the way to go?

  • 2 words - Duck Tape. If you are already using cable ties, tape will hold things from slipping.
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 11, 2013 at 9:44

3 Answers 3


Shortening the hoses isn't much more than a 10 minute job on most models. You'll need either a bike shop, or some nice cutters and a new olive and insert which will cost a dollar/pound or two.

Although, as these are moving to a new bike, I'd leave them be and do a more thorough job of looping them until you can measure them on the new bike. What are you using, my first stop would be zip ties and if that slips still, duct/duck tape. When you move them, a little alcohol will lift any sticky mess that's left.

You wont hurt the performance of the brakes unless you kink the hose. Don't do that. They'll want replacing if you do.


As the other answer says, if this brake system is going to be transferred to another bike, it is better left with complete length hoses and shorten them when put in the new bike.

What i suggest is to find a better way or a better spot to tie them looped. Cable ties should work fine enough, but if the hose is too stubborn or slippery, you might add a loop of duct tape around the hose in two points that once looped will get in touch. This will create friction between the hose itself and the cable tie.

AS for the spot to tie them, For the rear brake I sugest tie it in a loop as big as possible in a side of the front triangle (i.e. between and tied to at least two os the following: seat tube, topt tube, down tube). With two attachment points against the frame it is almost sure it wont move. Three points would be even better. For example, if the normal cabling route goes

For the front brake I sugest to route the hose towards the middle of the handlebar and tie it near the stem-handlebar joint. Loop it down and back to the stem-handlebar joint. Use two ties, one for the hose coming from the lever and other for the hose going out of the loop. When you look it from the front it will appear lika an "O" hanging from the stem. Add a tie at 3 O'clock (or 9 O'clock) where the hose separates from the loop. That will keep the "O" shape a little neater.

Further tips:

  • If the hose keeps slipping out, use bigger size of ties. The small ones stretch easily.

  • Use some protection on the frame to avoid friction damage to the finishing. There are comercially available frame protectors, but you may be able to fashion them out of old inner tube, foamy or cloth, warped around tubes and held up with the same ties.

  • Tie the hoses in such way that normal steering, pedaling and suspension movement (if applicable) is not interferred and it does not push against / pull from the tie points.


For the rear brake line, how about spiraling it around the downtube or top tube?

A loop could stick out, and invite snagging on a branch with disastrous results.

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