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I am looking to buy some (approx 30 meter) hydraulic brake hose for general use (fixing brakes) and would like to know what size (inner diameter/outer diameter) would be most suitable for the bigger brands of brakes (Shimano, Magura, Tektro etc.)

I couldn't find a definitive answer regarding the compatibility of hoses between brands.

I've found the following sized for different brands: (ID=inner diameter, OD=outer diameter)

  • Shimano (BH90) + Avid + Formula + Sram:
    • ID: 2.1mm , OD: 5mm
  • Shimano (BH59) + Magura MT:
    • ID: 2.3mm , OD: 5mm
  • Tektro/Hayes/Promax:
    • ID: 2.5mm, OD: 5.4-5.5mm

Are these dimensions (ID/OD) correct? If not please correct my list of sizes

On this forum (see link at end of paragraph) it is suggested that Shimano's BH59 and BH90 hoses are compatible with each other, which confuses me since I thought the inner diameter was different, perhaps it could work when using the correct insert (the one that matches the brake hose being used), could someone please confirm? Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/bikewrench/comments/7r26uy/hydraulic_brake_hose_diameters_and/ (see answer by user "beyondfar")

  • Do different product lines/products within the same brand use different diameter hoses? (other than the differences I've listed between Shimano BH90 and BH59)
  • Which ID/OD hose would be the best to get for 'general use' (using the appropriate olives/inserts for each brand)?
  • Does anyone know any 'hacks' to get a normally incompatible hose to work with a different brand (for example Shimano BH90 hose with Hayes brakes) ? If so please explain
  • Do the other lines of magura (for example HS) use the same brake hose as the MT series?
  • Are there other hose standards which i have not included in my list? If so please add them

Thank you!

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    I'll 100% confirm that BH59 and BH90 hoses are NOT interchangable. You might get away with using one over the other but not the other way around (can't remember which way it is). And you can't insert the BH59 insert into the BH90 hose.
    – abdnChap
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:31
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    Also, the diameters for BH59 and BH90 hoses are correct but I don't know about the Tektro/Haynes.
    – abdnChap
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:32
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    At least I've successfully used BH-59 in place of BH-90, but to my understanding that would be the unsafe combination. I used it for a couple years before replacing with the intended hose, but never did I have issues with it.
    – Wsal
    Feb 7, 2020 at 19:40
  • @WaltoSalonen i'm assuming you did use the olive/insert intended for the BH-59 hose..is that correct? Feb 7, 2020 at 19:41
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    @Maarten-Monicaforpresident indeed I did. Using the wrong insert would certainly cause issues.
    – Wsal
    Feb 8, 2020 at 15:40

2 Answers 2

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There is only one reasonable way to do what you're talking about, and it's buy into a system that's specifically designed to use the same hose for many different brands of brakes and levers by way of different adapter kits. Jagwire makes a product line that does this and there may be others.

Banjo fittings are typically integral to the hose and have to be specific to the brake. The Jagwire product uses special brake-specific adaptor kits to circumvent this, which makes it one of the only ways to have the same hose apply to lots of different brakes.

For the most part it's best to keep it simple and have hose and fittings for each brand. The Jagwire thing works and lets you do fancy colors, but the adaptor kits add up in cost.

You should only ever put a fluid through a hose that's intended for it.

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I'm running a bh90 hose with bh59 inserts for my rear. The bh90 has a smaller diameter (high pressure/low volume). My rear lever goes through too much travel for me so I'm going back to bh59 for my rear. Definitely using bh90 for the front for the increased modulation.

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  • Hi, welcome to bicycles! This doesn't seem to answer what the question is asking. OP is aware that BH90 has a smaller diameter, the question is which is more suitable for this use.
    – DavidW
    Jan 21, 2023 at 22:45

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