With hydraulic brakes poised to explode on the road bike scene, both as OEM and aftermarket, the number of bicycles with internally routed designs can be a real source of headaches. Ever one for simplified solutions, this gem of a problem solver from Dave Bethea at The Bike Shop/Extreme Cycles in Ormond Beach, FL, did the trick for our SRAM Red Hydro-RD install.
All you need is a spare brake cable, cable end crimp, a hose block to hold the hose tight, adjustable pliers, cable cutters and a small hammer. You’ll want the smaller, thinner end crimps since the inside diameter of most hydraulic brake hoses are pretty small. Here’s how it’s done:
First, run the brake cable through the frame in the reverse direction you want to pull the brake hose through, so the unfinished/cut end of the cable is at your starting point. So, if you’ve disconnected the hose from the caliper, you’ll want the end of the cable run from the back of the bike to the front so when you pull the hose through, it’s ending at the caliper. Be sure to also run the cable through any internally routed handlebars, too.
Next, cut the pre-installed barb and hardware off the brake hose. With a freshly cut brake hose end, clasp the hose inside the clamp and hold it securely with the pliers (or a vice). Simply press the closed end of cable end crimp into the end of the hose, tapping it with a hammer as necessary to get at least half way into the hose.
Double check that the cable is run through the frame properly and that there are no loops in the hose that’ll get stuck as you pull it through. Slide the cable into the end crimp and crimp it down using the cable cutters. Check the security with a slight tug. If it holds securely, slowly pull the cable out from the opposite end while feeding the hose through the frame. Once it’s all the way through, cut the end of the hose off just below the end crimp’s insertion and reinstall appropriate hardware.
Followup with a full bleed of the brake line to ensure safe, solid braking performance.
Huge thanks to Dave for the tip!