Brake cables

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Brake Cables

In bikes with cable-pull brakes, brake cables are the main components that transmit the effect from the lever to the braking mechanism. Cables are made of two main parts – the outer cable housing and the inner cable made of braided stainless-steel wires. They both work together using a combination of compression on the outer housing and tension on the inner cable to transmit the desired force.

Types of Brake Cables

Brake cables from Velomio are not only interchangeable but can also be used for bicycles that have cable-activated brakes. These include non-hydraulic disc brakes and rim brakes. Some examples include:

  • Cantilever brakes – These types of cables are used in this type of braking system. This can either be the center-pull cantis on Cyclo-X bikes or the side-pull v-brakes that are common on many MTB bikes.
  • Cable-activated disc brakes – These include popular standards such as the Avid BB5. They are used on many entry-to-mid-level MTB bicycles, road bikes, and the rapidly rising Cyclo-X.
  • Caliper brake systems – If you have a road bike that has this type of system, they use brake cables to actuate your bike’s braking system.

Differences in Bike Cables

Although gear and brake inner cables are technically similar, their housings are functionally different. 

A brake cable housing is conventionally helical consisting of a tightly wound steel helix. It is then lined on the outside and inside using a plastic coating. On the other hand, the outer casing of gear cables cannot be compressed since the effective cable length is not affected to change gears. Additionally, brake cable housings are stronger to accommodate tension.

BMX Brake Cables

The BMX brake cable system is quite straightforward since most of these bikes use a standard rear U-brake. This translates to a standard full-length outer casing and a 1.5mm inner stainless-steel wire. However, most BMX riders tend to opt for linear brake cables instead of helical cables. 

Linear cable housings are slightly similar to gear cable housings but a bit stronger to accommodate the forces involved during braking. Experienced riders say that these reinforced outer casings not only have greater resistance to kinking and abrasions, but they also generate more force to the brakes.

Brake Cable Spares

Inevitably, your bike’s brake cables will need replacing or maintenance. You will have to consider spares such as ferrules, end caps, v-brake system boots, and replacement pipes, just to name a few.

Have a look at our collection of brake cables at Velomio and make an informed decision.

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