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Old 08-15-05, 03:56 PM   #1
erhan
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I got the brakes a week ago. I had used only Hayes mechanical, and Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes before, so my thoughts will be quite limited, and will be based on the comparison of these brakes. Here is how it goes:

First I installed the calipers and levers. Before tightening them, I measured the length of the hoses and cut them to the length I needed. That was very easy, only a few minutes. Just, remove the hose from the levers, cut it, put new sleeve nuts and olives, and tighten it back. On the manual, it doesn't say that the system has to be bled after cutting the hoses, but I wanted to bleed the system just to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Bleeding was super easy. That was my first ever hydraulic brake bleeding, and I found it much easier than I thought it would be. It was even quicker than trying to align my old BB7 brakes.

After the bleeding was completed, I installed the new Hope 2-piece rotors, and then installed the wheels. Aligning the front caliper took only a few seconds, as it is the manitou post mount version. I squeezed the brake lever while tightening the caliper bolts, and it was perfectly centered. No drag or anything. The alignment of the rear caliper was a little harder. It comes with 0.2 mm spacers, and these have to be used in order to make it drag free. I used 2 spacers for each bolt, but I had to remove and reinstall the caliper 4 or 5 times before I found the best setup.

Yes! The installation is complete and let's go for a ride First, I went for a 75 km road ride, and by the end of the ride the brakes were already broken in. Next day, I went to a mountain where I do most of my training. 1.5 km long, and 150m elevation change, some straights to speed up to 50-60 km/h, and some sharp hairpin turns that can be taken at 10-15 km/h at most. So lots of braking power required. My Avid brakes used to overheat, and lose lots of power by the end of the decent, but Martas didn't have that power loss (Hope rotors may be helping here too). They were very strong all the way down, and they felt more powerful than the Avids.

OK, road test is complete, time to hit the trails . On the trail, these brakes rock. The feeling is awesome, and the modulation is better than the Avids. With Avids, I had to use 2 fingers in order to get the best control, because the more I squeezed the lever, the more power (from the fingers) it required. But with Martas, even with one finger I can get the most control with less input power (I hope I'm making sense here). So now, I can keep my fingers more relaxed, and concentrate more on the trail.

To conclude, it's been only a week but so far I think these brakes totally worth the money. They offer all the control that I would want from a brake system. I haven't seen any weaknesses except the installation of the rear caliper. But since it is a 'one time only' thing, it's not a big deal.

Here are some pictures:
Rear brake with uncut hose


Front brake with uncut hose














Last edited by erhan; 08-15-05 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 08-15-05, 08:28 PM   #2
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Those look awesome.

Doesn't Magura make brakes for BMW motorbikes as well? That really does say something about what they can do and just how good they are.

Happy riding.
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Old 08-16-05, 12:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by valbowski1980
Those look awesome.

Doesn't Magura make brakes for BMW motorbikes as well? That really does say something about what they can do and just how good they are.

Happy riding.
They even make Hydraulic clutch levers for dirtbikes
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Old 08-16-05, 05:56 AM   #4
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Congrats on the new brakes. I have been very happy with both sets of my Magura brakes. I have been using the Marta SL's for about 2 1/2 - 3 years now. I bought a set of the regular Magura's a couple of months ago and have been very happy with them as well.

BTW, our weights are pretty similar. My front weighed 222 grams and my rear weighed the exact same as yours, 236 grams.
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Old 08-16-05, 01:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by valbowski1980
Those look awesome.

Doesn't Magura make brakes for BMW motorbikes as well? That really does say something about what they can do and just how good they are.

Happy riding.
Thanks.

I knew they make brakes for motorbikes but I didn't know about BMW. I'm no German but I've always admired German engineering
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Old 08-16-05, 01:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Congrats on the new brakes. I have been very happy with both sets of my Magura brakes. I have been using the Marta SL's for about 2 1/2 - 3 years now. I bought a set of the regular Magura's a couple of months ago and have been very happy with them as well.

BTW, our weights are pretty similar. My front weighed 222 grams and my rear weighed the exact same as yours, 236 grams.

Yes, the weights are very similar. The little difference is may be because of the different mounts.

Did you have any problems with your SLs in 3 years, leaks or anything?
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Old 08-16-05, 01:35 PM   #7
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Only problem is that sometimes the lever sticks a little and I have to manually push the lever back out to get it all the way out. Does not affect braking, the pads don't actualyl stick or anything. Sometimes grit just gets in the lever and you have to spray some type of lube in there and work the levers a little. The levers will never spring out as quick as other brands do though.
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Old 08-16-05, 01:53 PM   #8
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Oops....double post.
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Old 08-16-05, 06:28 PM   #9
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Avids have a slow lever return too. You get used to it. The superiour power and modulation make up for it
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Old 08-16-05, 11:20 PM   #10
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Those brakes are pretty awesome. How much was the total cost for the set of brakes and those rotors?
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Old 08-17-05, 12:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by valbowski1980
Those look awesome.

Doesn't Magura make brakes for BMW motorbikes as well? That really does say something about what they can do and just how good they are.
All the BMW bikes I've owned use Brembo brakes...

My KTM, however, uses a Magura hydraulic clutch, and they sell aftermarket Magura hydraulic clutch kits for most current generation dirt bikes...
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Old 08-17-05, 06:32 PM   #12
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Those brakes are pretty awesome. How much was the total cost for the set of brakes and those rotors?
$360 for the Martas from beyondbikes, and $100 for the Hope rotors from Jensonusa. Sold my old brakes and levers for $220, so the total cost was actually $240.
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Old 08-18-05, 03:45 AM   #13
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erhan - why did you go with the hope rotors? Just kind of curious. I have been using the Marta rotors since I bought mine and have had no problems with them.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:49 AM   #14
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Personally, I like the design and the look of the Hope rotors a lot. There is also a very little weight difference which is actually negligible (but now the bike weight is finally down to 4 figures in grams ). Well, these reasons don't really justify the $100 difference.

The biggest reason was the cooling efficiency. I read some reviews saying that Martas loose power when they heat up. That was a problem with the my Avid BB7 brakes as well. I do very long descents and overheating becomes kind of annoying after a while.

Just from the design, I thought that Hope rotors have to be cooling faster than one piece steel designs. Aluminum heats up, and cools down much faster than steel, and dissipates heat more efficiently. Like a CPU heat sink. So, I thought these rotors should help with the overheating problems. So far, I did the longest descents, and haven't realized any loss in the power. May be the rotors are really helping, may be it's because the brakes are new, or may be Martas just don't overheat. Whatever it is, I'm very happy with the performance . It's just my little theory anyway
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Old 08-18-05, 12:22 PM   #15
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Sounds like a good theory but if you ever bend one of the hopes give the Magura rotors a shot. I doubt you will have any problems with them either. We have some pretty long descents around here as well (WV) and I have never had a problem. I have also used them at Pisgah (NC) and at Moab with zero problems.
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Old 08-18-05, 01:39 PM   #16
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Very nice brakes...Those things look sweet! I really like the integrated reservoir of those brakes.
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