I am shopping for disc brakes and looking at cable-actuated ones. What would "pre-bled" mean in that context?

  • If they are truly cable-actuated the term is meaningless. Dec 24, 2020 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


It means the brake caliper/housing/lever are supplied connected and ready to fit to your bike. Additionally, the brake fluid is installed, and all the air bubbles have been removed.

So if you install without shortening the hose or running the hose internally through your frame, then its a mess-free task.

If you need to shorten a hose or run inside your frame for any distance, then there's a chance of introducing air bubbles inside the line which decreases brake effectiveness, and needs bleeding to get the air out. Not a big deal, but its a process with steps plus you'll need some additional fluid and tools.

Your cable-actuated hydraulics are just hydraulic brakes with some additional cable between the lever and the cylinder. So the pre-bled bit is the hydraulic part, however small the hose and fluid section might be, it comes filled with fluid and without bubbles inside.

  • 3
    Actually, I think cable actuated hydraulic brakes have cables all the way from the shifter to the brake caliper. The master cylinder is on the caliper. There shouldn’t be any hose. The exception might be Giant’s Conduct system, which runs cables to a hydraulic conversion box on the stem. But is that really a cable actuated hydraulic brake, or is that hydraulic brakes with a converter thingy? An ontological question.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 24, 2020 at 22:49
  • 1
    @WeiwenNg fair point about the hose- the hydraulic fluid could be a few teaspoons in the caliper only To rephrase "pre-bled brakes have fluid already installed with the air bubbles removed, prior to sale"
    – Criggie
    Dec 24, 2020 at 22:59

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