Steel Brake Lines – What Makes Them Better?
Your motorcycle needs to be durable and reliable in order for it to serve you for a long time. All parts should perform excellently to make sure that your life and the lives of the people who you will meet on the road will be safe. Regardless of how you use your motorcycle, be it as a racing vehicle or used for everyday transportation, it is highly important that all parts are of good condition.
Perhaps the most important part of the motorcycle is the brake. Every tiny little thing on the brakes should be working as it should because if not, lives may be in jeopardy. And this is where the argument of whether to use steel brake lines or rubber brake lines comes in place. Most experts claim that while rubber brake lines are less expensive, the stainless steel variant is a must.
Why Choose Stainless Over Rubber?
Rubber lines are the perfect solution for non-performance oriented drivers. For people looking for a little more from their brake system, stainless lines are the better choice. Factory rubber lines are not reinforced like stainless lines, therefore when pressure builds in them, they will expand outward. That expansion results in a spongy or squishy pedal feel. By upgrading to a set of stainless steel lines over the factory rubber lines, you will reduce the outward expansion of the line. This in turn will reduce the spongy feel in your brake pedal and give you a more accurate pedal feel. An accurate pedal feel will allow for more sensitive braking adjustments and will also increase pedal feedback into the system.
Benefits to Stainless Lines
- Its component is better. Stainless steel brake lines have Teflon inner hose which allows passage of brake fluid. On the other hand, the rubber hoses’ ends are stopped with fasteners which also stop the flow of the fluid.
- Stainless steel brake lines not easily succumb to ‘wear and tear’. Rubber lines easily deteriorate, unlike stainless steel lines because they do not fade from heat build-up. They are corrosion resistant thus you save some money on repair or replacement.
- Stainless steel brake lines do not swell. The rubber variant expands when pressure is applied, which is often because brakes are always used. Because of this, the rubber hose extends and stretch over time that they can no longer perform the way it used to. Stainless steel brake lines do not have this problem which contributes to its longevity.
- They also feel more consistent. Because stainless steel brake lines do not swell, you will not feel that the lever is soft while you’re using it.
- Some say they even look better. The colour of stainless looks more expensive than the rubber ones, and they come in multiple colours so you can match your bike or style if you’d like.
Downsides to Stainless Lines
With the increase in strength associated with stainless steel lines, also comes a little more maintenance. The braided mesh covering can allow small dust and dirt particles to get between the braiding and hydraulic line. Over time, these dirt particles will wear away at the inner lining and will eventually cause a leak. Most stainless steel brake lines will come with a PVC (or other similar covering) on them to prevent dirt intrusion, but it is important to know the specifics of your lines. Even if you do have a PVC covering on your stainless braided lines, it is still a good idea to check them periodically for leaks.
Should I Get Stainless Lines?
If you do any sort of spirited or performance driving, stainless steel lines are a must have. The increased pedal feel makes braking more accurate and consistent, while giving the driver a newfound trust in the braking system. Upgrading to stainless steel lines with a set of more aggressive brake pads will make your Mustang stop quicker and more confidently than rubber factory lines. If you make sure to get a set of stainless lines with a coating on the stainless, they will last a very long time as well! Stainless steel brake lines make the perfect upgrade if you need to replace worn factory lines, or you are just looking for a firmer pedal feel.
Cover Image Credit: Chicane Motorsport