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How often should flexible brake hoses be replaced?

What is a reasonable point at which to replace flexible brake hoses? I have a low mileage 1998 MGF in excellent condition and with a well documented service history. While it has had brake fluid changes there is no record of hoses being changed.
The hoses look ok but, at 21 years old, are they past their best?

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If they're rubber hoses, then they'll need replacing when they start to perish and crack, balloon or leak, or when you start to experience problems with braking that could be caused by collapsed hoses (such as spongy brakes). If they're stainless steel they tend to last a while longer.
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