Steel-braided hoses for brakes - worth it?

I will be purchasing a brake for my coker (I already have hydraulic brake mounts on my frame) and I was wondering if anyone had any input as to wether or not getting steel-braided hoses were worth the extra cost.

Here is the product on

I have maguras both ways, and I like the steel braided better
but thats just me

The steel braid is there, obviously, to protect the hose. Unless you’re doing Coker muni or rolling trials, you probably won’t be banging the brake hose against anything. This being the case, you may not see any benefit to upgrading the hose… the hose can handle the occasional bump and scuff when you’re loading your uni into your trunk, but it won’t handle impacts with rocks & etc.

I don’t think braided is necessary on a Coker. I have braided on my Muni and had plastic on my Coker. (I don’t run a brake on my Coker anymore. I ride for fitness and the brake lessens the workout.) The other benefit of non-braided is that you can pick one up pretty cheap on ebay.

Im in exactly that same predicament, ive just got some brakes but the hoses need extending so im considering going for the braided conversion, i have seen the cross pipe of a magura setup ripped off before in a muni crash, but i think in a coker crash with the nimbus frame the pipe would be protected pretty well.

Braided hose is sometimes used on bikes as it withstands the pressure of the fluid inside better than normal hoses, giving a more direct feel to the brake rather than having a slight “squidge” as the hose expands slightly under heavy braking. This is more important on a long hose such as the back brake of a bike; I would have thought the tiny length of hose required on a coker would make any difference unnoticeable. Additionally braking forces on a unicycle are orders of magnitude smaller than on a bike, so hose distortion is much less of a problem anyway.

Snagging or any damage-inducing impacts is much more likely to pull the hose out of the caliper or lever rather than rupture the hose itself, and braided hose is just as susceptible as normal hose to this.


You’re supposed to ride the Uni to where you want to ride :roll_eyes:

I haven’t looked at the construction of a braided hose, but I’d imagine the braid would be attached to the nut as a sort of strain relief at the lever / caliper. Is this not the case?

The two times I’ve seen hoses damaged have been breaks in the middle of the hose when it got pinched between the hose and a rock. A steel braid would have mitigated the impact, although I can’t say it would completely have eliminated the damage to the underlying hose.

Um, yeah, but we’re talking about your uni surviving the ride without bleeding hydraulic fluid all over the place. Don’t roll your eyes at me, young man!

Braided hose isn’t really needed on a Coker.

The main problem with the plastic hose on a Muni is the crossover hose that goes over the tire. That hose is vulnerable to sticks and rocks that get stuck in the lugs of the tire compounded by the standard crossover hose not being long enough when used with a 3" muni tire. So the crossover often gets pulled out or snapped.

Plastic hose is also more vulnerable to kinks and is not as flexible.

But those problems aren’t much of a factor on a Coker. You’re not going to have to worry about the crossover hose much on the Coker. Kinking won’t be a problem if you carefully consider hose length and hose routing.

The big PITA is going to be the need to cut the hose to fit the Coker. It’s going to need to be shorter. So you’re going to have to fiddle with the hose anyways to cut it shorter and then bleed the brake.

I took my brake to a local DH (freeride) bike shop and had them custom cut some no-name (not Magura) braided hose with custom fittings. Much much less than the Magura brand hose (but not as flexible). The hose had to be shortened anyways so why not upgrade to a braided hose?

If you shorten the plastic Magura hose yourself you are going to need new fittings and new compression olives. You can’t reuse the old (used) fittings.

ya a braided hose is more for a unicycle that takes more of a beating. Unless you’re doing some crazy things with your coker I wouldn’t suggest it. says that the steel braided line is usefull because there is…
“No cutting, no bleeding, no mess.”

but you are saying that either way I am going to have to cut the hose no matter which one I get? One of the advantages that was drawing me to the steel braided hose was that it seemed to require less work to set up than the plastic hose…but now I am wondering if this is actually the case?

NO, you dont need to cut the braided hoses they arealready set up length wise for a unicycle, even a coker

Plastic hoses on a Muni won’t last a week unless you ride on sand or forest paths–and even on the rocks, the main thing isn’t so much the hoses but the hose connections (which ARE stronger on the steel-braided models). I’ve had my Maguras rebuilt (twice) by the factory and it’s always the connections that get banged up (and loosened–frequently use an 8mm wrench to tighten) from my repeated crashes. The tech guy back at Magura said they are designing a new hose configuration for Munis that should be stronger, available soon. But for my money, all of this is overkill per Cokering. Like Maestro said (I think), go for the chapo plastic models and buy them off Ebay.


I’m not sure how UDC handles the brake upgrades with the braided hose. If they are made to order and custom lengths then that would be the way to go for convenience.

From looking at munis that have the UDC braided hose option it doesn’t look like the lengths are custom for the rider. The main hose is too long and the 1 foot cross over hose is longer than necessary (and looks odd and out of place). Maybe it’s just that those people didn’t specify a custom length or maybe the specified a length that was longer than necessary just to be safe.

The brake I have on my Coker came from eBay. It already had an after market braided crossover. I just needed to shorten the main hose and had the main hose converted to a braided line. The crossover is 9" long. That’s more than long enough to fit over the Coker wheel.

Dave Stockton (U-Turn) would be another source for custom brake hose lengths. He does custom brake setups as part of his custom Coker and muni unicycles. I assume you’d be able to get just a custom brake from him.

This, with the current Magura design, is not really the case. The braided hose / fitting connection is poorly designed. My opinion is that I should be able to dive headlong and save my 36" uni from going over the cliff by grabbing the brake line with no adverse effects to the brake. The current design is difficult to implement in such a way that that is true, though I think I come as close as possible with the current design. It takes a lot of care and even some broken parts to get that close.

Well, the extra fittings can be expensive, and the labor is more because the installation of a braided kit is more involved. Moreover, the result is harder to maintain since many bike shops may not have seen a braided kit.

This is great news if it is a fitting/hose redesign and individual parts will be available directly from Magura. The only way that unicycle brakes will be able to evolve well is for it to be possible for highly tailored, experimental setups to be easy to implement and maintain, independent of stock setups.

This is quite true (thanks John), though currently things are moving slowly (more than usual :roll_eyes: ). LiveWire also refurbs, repairs, and bleeds Maguras, and offers spare parts such as brake shoes. Please email or PM me to discuss the possibility and issues involved.

Thanks, I will try contacting about whether or not they custom size the steel braided brakes.