Replace Your Bike's Brake Cables

Replace Your Bike's Brake Cables

2 minute read.

Your bicycle's brake cables are a vital component of your bike's braking system, responsible for transmitting the force from your brake levers to your brake calipers so you can STOP or slow down. Over time, brake cables can become stretched, frayed, or corroded, leading to reduced braking power or even complete failure. Sometimes that just means an adjustment, but it can mean it's time for a new set of cables. Replacing your brake cables at the appropriate time is essential for maintaining safe and effective braking performance. In this blog post, we'll discuss when and how to replace your bicycle's brake cables.


Upclose photo of brake cable in drop bar

When to Replace Your Brake Cables

The lifespan of your brake cables can vary depending on factors such as how often you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how well you maintain your bike. However, as a general rule, you should consider replacing your brake cables if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Stiff or sticky brakes: If your brake levers feel stiff or require more force than usual to engage your brakes, it may be a sign that your cables have become worn and need replacing.

  • Reduced braking power: If your brakes feel less responsive than usual or take longer to slow you down, it may be a sign that your cables are stretched or corroded.

  • Frayed or damaged cables: If you can see visible damage to your cables, such as frayed or kinked sections, it's a clear sign that they need replacing.

  • Wear and tear: As a general rule, it's a good idea to replace your brake cables every 1-2 years, even if you haven't noticed any specific issues. Over time, cables can become worn and stretched, which can reduce their effectiveness and compromise your safety.

How to Replace Your Brake Cables

Replacing your brake cables is a relatively straightforward task that most cyclists can tackle at home with a few basic tools. Here are the step by step guides for mountain bikes and road bikes:

Mountain Bikes with Upright Bars



Bikes with Drop Bars



Replacing your brake cables is an essential task that should be performed regularly to maintain safe and effective braking performance. By keeping an eye out for the signs of wear and tear and knowing how to replace your cables yourself, you can keep your brakes in top condition and ensure a FUN, safe and enjoyable ride every time. Protect your investment and keep your bike rolling with regular maintenance. There are lots of different brake types and configurations, so please get professional help if you have questions.  

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