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Magura Hydraulic Rim Brakes

Old 04-09-05, 07:38 AM
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wpflem
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Magura Hydraulic Rim Brakes

"The gold standard for European trekking and touring bikes, Magura rim brakes are light, brutally efficient, and virtually maintenance free. Instead of using a cable to activate the brakes, these Magura's use zero maintenance hydraulic brake fluid for super smooth braking and modulation."

Are these hydraulic rim brakes really virtually maintenance free?
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Old 04-09-05, 07:50 AM
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Pretty much. Once youset them up all you need to do is change the pads when they wear out. I would also flush the system every now and then, not really a big deal as the Maguras use mineral oil and it does not draw moisture.
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Old 04-09-05, 07:57 AM
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I've got a set on my mountain bike and I think they're great. The bike (Porsche FS) came with them set up perfectly and I haven't felt the need to touch them since. The only reason that I didn't install a set on my last tandem was that I had to choose between Maguras and STI. In the end, I decided that the only thing that brakes do is slow you down so I went for the more convenient shifting.
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Old 04-09-05, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Pretty much. Once youset them up all you need to do is change the pads when they wear out. I would also flush the system every now and then, not really a big deal as the Maguras use mineral oil and it does not draw moisture.
Thanks. What are the drawbacks over other hydraulic systems?
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Old 04-09-05, 04:57 PM
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I think Magura is the only one making hydraulic rim brakes right now. I had a set of IBC hydraulic rim brakes, but they did not have the power I needed for a trials bike. So I stored them for a bunch of years and finally sold them on Ebay. The company is still around but I think they quit doing the brakes.

The other option is for hydraulic is disc brakes, if you have a frame that has the mounts. Of those I prefer the makes that use mineral oil, like Shimano, Avid and Magura, over those that use DOT brake fluid. The fluid is hard on paint and also atracts moisture.

My favorite is the Avid mechanical for its adjustability and feel.
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Old 04-10-05, 07:00 AM
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Yep set em up and forget about it. I have been running them now for 3 years, no complaints stop anytime. However light they are not.
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Old 04-11-05, 10:07 AM
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Yeah, deffinately heavier than Vs (and other rim brakes). I'm not sure about discs though? Yeah, they are virtually maintenance free, but tricky to get right initially. You'll have to adjust them for pad wear (possibly just with the TPA adjuster on the levers), and if your wheel buckles.
They also fit to V mounts, but won't work on BMX style U brake bosses without an adaptor plate. I'd check before you buy them.
Deffinately recommended though, they are great brakes when set up right.
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Old 11-25-19, 10:47 AM
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Hello,

I have a couple of questions about Magura rim brakes:
  1. Can you identify those in the pictures? Are they HS11?
  2. Although the bike is new, the brake levers are a bit soft, ie. you really have to pull them almost to the handles to brake. Before I bother bringing it back to the shop, what's the procedure to have stronger braking power?
Thank you.


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Old 11-25-19, 11:44 AM
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Yeah, deffinately heavier than Vs (and other rim brakes). I'm not sure about discs though?
Disks are almost always heavier than V-brakes, but compared to Maguras -- difficult to know. How much weight was added to the frame+fork to reinforce them for disks?

[Hey, I'm just trying to fit in with the usual respondents in this forum and their responses to zombies and all that.]
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Old 11-25-19, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Hello,

I have a couple of questions about Magura rim brakes:
  1. Can you identify those in the pictures? Are they HS11?
  2. Although the bike is new, the brake levers are a bit soft, ie. you really have to pull them almost to the handles to brake. Before I bother bringing it back to the shop, what's the procedure to have stronger braking power?
Thank you.

The photos would suggest HS-11's the only real difference to HS-33's at the caliper end is an additional booster brace on the front, and there is no real reason why you couldn't retrofit it to HS-33's.

The brakes in your photo have the QR is half undone, you aren't riding them like this!!

For them being soft, there should be an adjuster screw at the brake lever, there is a how too here https://newwheel.net/questions/displ...Rim+Brake+Pads

The adjustment process looks like you need to do when stopped, and you will need a long-ish handled T25 wrench, one advantage of HS-33's is you can adjust while riding with the dial (this dial location varies between generations for the HS-33)
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Old 11-25-19, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for the tips !
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Old 11-27-19, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
The photos would suggest HS-11's the only real difference to HS-33's at the caliper end is an additional booster brace on the front, and there is no real reason why you couldn't retrofit it to HS-33's.

The brakes in your photo have the QR is half undone, you aren't riding them like this!!

For them being soft, there should be an adjuster screw at the brake lever, there is a how too here https://newwheel.net/questions/displ...Rim+Brake+Pads

The adjustment process looks like you need to do when stopped, and you will need a long-ish handled T25 wrench, one advantage of HS-33's is you can adjust while riding with the dial (this dial location varies between generations for the HS-33)
spectator here, interesting as I noticed this lever also--I presume this is to back out the pads when removing a wheel so that the tire will get through?
25 years ago on a bike touring trip, I met a German fellow touring and we spent a few weeks riding together. His bike had these and were pretty darn snazzy at the time, I had never seen hydro rim brakes before. Interesting that theyve been around that long.

Have always read that combined with those special coated rims, the rims last forever, the gold standard for long distance touring in gritty conditions before discs became commonplace.

So, in the end, did you need simply to put that lever back in its proper place to bring the pads to their proper position?
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Old 11-27-19, 08:22 AM
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Does anyone else find it odd that fietsbob is not active in this thread? Has anyone checked on him lately? I am concerned for his well-being.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Does anyone else find it odd that fietsbob is not active in this thread? Has anyone checked on him lately? I am concerned for his well-being.
Alive and active elsewhere on the internet
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Old 11-27-19, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
spectator here, interesting as I noticed this lever also--I presume this is to back out the pads when removing a wheel so that the tire will get through?
25 years ago on a bike touring trip, I met a German fellow touring and we spent a few weeks riding together. His bike had these and were pretty darn snazzy at the time, I had never seen hydro rim brakes before. Interesting that theyve been around that long.

Have always read that combined with those special coated rims, the rims last forever, the gold standard for long distance touring in gritty conditions before discs became commonplace.

So, in the end, did you need simply to put that lever back in its proper place to bring the pads to their proper position?
I hope he has put he lever in its correct orientation, up for closed (down is open, as pictured, half way, it will be loose, but won't come off)

For Magura brakes, they first came out in 1987, I've been using them since about 2002, so they have been around for a while!

For the 'special' coated rims, these are ceramic rims, not very common now discs are becoming standard, you can still get them from Ryde/Rigida, with their coating called CSS, the key thing with this is you need special pads (as you mentioned), and getting them is a limiting factor nowdays, with very few options, and what there is, is expensive, with a few options from Swissstop and Koolstop, research is the key if you ever look at these.
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Old 11-27-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
I hope he has put he lever in its correct orientation, up for closed (down is open, as pictured, half way, it will be loose, but won't come off)

For Magura brakes, they first came out in 1987, I've been using them since about 2002, so they have been around for a while!

For the 'special' coated rims, these are ceramic rims, not very common now discs are becoming standard, you can still get them from Ryde/Rigida, with their coating called CSS, the key thing with this is you need special pads (as you mentioned), and getting them is a limiting factor nowdays, with very few options, and what there is, is expensive, with a few options from Swissstop and Koolstop, research is the key if you ever look at these.
Do any of those manufacturers make pads to fit the Magura? They have a proprietary design that standard pads do not fit.
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Old 11-27-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Does anyone else find it odd that fietsbob is not active in this thread? Has anyone checked on him lately? I am concerned for his well-being.
I am concerned for the well-being of this forum (alas, futilely).
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Old 11-27-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
I hope he has put he lever in its correct orientation, up for closed (down is open, as pictured, half way, it will be loose, but won't come off)

For Magura brakes, they first came out in 1987, I've been using them since about 2002, so they have been around for a while!

For the 'special' coated rims, these are ceramic rims, not very common now discs are becoming standard, you can still get them from Ryde/Rigida, with their coating called CSS, the key thing with this is you need special pads (as you mentioned), and getting them is a limiting factor nowdays, with very few options, and what there is, is expensive, with a few options from Swissstop and Koolstop, research is the key if you ever look at these.
didnt know they went that far back. And yes, now I remember that CSS coating name. Seems to me folks would put 20,000kms on them and they'd still be in good shape--I piped in more out of curiosity about that lever, and having owned and ridden a mech disc touring bike now for a few years, I'm squarely in the disc camp. I'm even happy enough with my rather old technology BB7's. Understand them fairly well now, working on them wise, and pads last a good long time for me.

thanks for the info though
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Old 11-28-19, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Hello,

I have a couple of questions about Magura rim brakes:
  1. Can you identify those in the pictures? Are they HS11?
  2. Although the bike is new, the brake levers are a bit soft, ie. you really have to pull them almost to the handles to brake. Before I bother bringing it back to the shop, what's the procedure to have stronger braking power?
Thank you.


They can be either HS11 or HS33. The only difference between them is on the lever side. First of all, based on the picures, they're not correctly mounted. The silver lever should be in the locked position (vertical). If you can't move it because it's too hard, you'll need to loosen a bit the screw that holds the caliper to the frame. You should also make sure that both sides of the caliper are positioned correctly, leaving an even and not too big gap on both sides. That lever, BTW, is a quick release, so you can unlock de caliper and remove the wheel "quickly", otherwise, the tire may not fit between the pads. If you have to remove or fit the tire, do it with the tire deflated anyway, as it's way easier.

If you notice that you pull the lever and when the pads hit the rim you can keep pulling with a soft feeling: there's air in the lines. If the lever reaches the bar before the pads reach the rim, the pads ar too far from the rim. When the pads are new you should adust the calipers to leave the correct gap. When the pads start wearing you have to compensate the wear using the adjuster on the lever instead.

If everything is ok, when the pads hit the rim you should have a firm lever at a comfortable position.

I have these brakes and they're easy to bleed and have excellent braking performance (for a rim brake), but they are maintenance intensive. I had them since 2014 in my Dahon folding bike and don't regret buying them. Just make sure you are willing to do the maintenance.

They tend to get air bubbles from time to time on the lines (solved by bleeding). In these 5 years, twtice they leaked some oil through the lever piston (solved by dissassembling the lever, cleaning the piston and cyclinder, reassembling and bleeding). They also tend to have sticky pistons when the wear adjuster is at a medium to high wear setting (you'll notice it because only one pad retracts and the other sticks to the rim). This is the worst issue to fix, you have to clean the pistons on the calipers, and sometimes force the stuck piston to work by holding the working one with your fingers. I've notice that if the bike is parked on the sun, the piston most exposed to the heat tends to stick.

They're really easy to bleed compared to hydro disks and also easy to work with (you just need a syringe, and mineral oil, and an adapter to bleed the caliper). Problem is that they're far from maintenance free and need frequent tweaking.

They're great brakes in my opinion, but I wouldn't buy them if I wasn't willing and able to maintain them. I'd also prefer a hydro disk if I had a choice.
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Old 11-28-19, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
They also tend to have sticky pistons when the wear adjuster is at a medium to high wear setting (you'll notice it because only one pad retracts and the other sticks to the rim). This is the worst issue to fix, you have to clean the pistons on the calipers, and sometimes force the stuck piston to work by holding the working one with your fingers. I've notice that if the bike is parked on the sun, the piston most exposed to the heat tends to stick.
.
I have an HS33 in the shop right now with exactly this issue. The right side piston was stuck. I was able to free it up by clamping the left pad and allowing the pressure to force the right pad to move. Through many repeated cycles of applying and forcing the piston back, I was finally able to free it up so it now retracts freely.
The bike it is off of is stored in a highly corrosive environment in a basement parking garage right beside the lake. I don't know if that is a factor.
The owner had me replace it with a cable actuated V brake because he figured it was toast. He was overjoyed when I told him I got the Magura working because it was so superior when it was working.
This is the bike. He needs all the braking power he can get.

Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 11-28-19 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 11-28-19, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
I have an HS33 in the shop right now with exactly this issue. The right side piston was stuck. I was able to free it up by clamping the left pad and allowing the pressure to force the right pad to move. Through many repeated cycles of applying and forcing the piston back, I was finally able to free it up so it now retracts freely.

The bike it is off of is stored in a highly corrosive environment in a basement parking garage right beside the lake. I don't know if that is a factor.

The owner had me replace it with a cable actuated V brake because he figured it was toast. He was overjoyed when I told him I got the Magura working because it was so superior when it was working.

This is the bike. He needs all the braking power he can get.


What you did is the correct procedure. You hold the unstuck piston a cycle the stuck one a few times until it moves freely. Sometimes it helps putting a dab of mineral oil on the stuck piston, although you have to be careful because this may facilitate dirt to stick there and seize the piston again, so I recommend cleaning it throughly once it's working again.


Based on what you describe, I'm pretty sure the environment had something to do with it. In my experience they're quite sensitive to the external conditons, and problems tend to occur not when in use, but when stored. The more time they have sit unusued, the more probable it is to find some "surprise".


Anyway, most issues, as you found out, are easy to solve, although they tend to have too many issues in my opinion, and I only tolerate it because, to put it simply, there's no other rim brake that can compare to them in braking power.
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Old 11-28-19, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
They can be either HS11 or HS33. The only difference between them is on the lever side. […] If the lever reaches the bar before the pads reach the rim, the pads ar too far from the rim. When the pads are new you should adust the calipers to leave the correct gap. When the pads start wearing you have to compensate the wear using the adjuster on the lever instead.
Thanks for the infos.

Since the bike is new, I assume there's no air in the system yet, and it might just need a bit of tightening at the lever, or possibly adjusting the caliper

Do both HS11 and HS33 use a torx 25?

Does Magura provide the same kind of funnel sold by Shimano to burp the system when a bleeding isn't necessary?
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/wor...o-disc-brakes/
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Old 11-28-19, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Thanks for the infos.

Since the bike is new, I assume there's no air in the system yet, and it might just need a bit of tightening at the lever, or possibly adjusting the caliper

Do both HS11 and HS33 use a torx 25?

Does Magura provide the same kind of funnel sold by Shimano to burp the system when a bleeding isn't necessary?
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/wor...o-disc-brakes/
Don't assume there's no air in the lines because they're new. I doubt they're perfect bled from the factory (both of mine had air when new).

You don't need a funnel. Just find a syringe that fits tightly on the lever bleed port, half-fill it with mineral brake fluid (I use finish line), and put it there. Then start by pushing the oil inside, and then pull slightly creating a vaccuum. You will see bubbles coming out. Repeat until no bubbles come out. Put oil inside until the circuit is completely filled without any pressure. Remove the syringe and close the port

If there are bubbles lower in the line, tap it with your fingers while pumping the brake (with the bleed port closed) until they reach the lever.

You bleed the caliper with a similar procedure, altough you need a screw adapter with a bit of tube to attach to the syringe. I really doubt you'll need to bleed the calipers though. Air almost always accumulates either on the lever (it's the highest part of the system), or halfway through the line.

BTW, if you have the Carbotecture "plastic" lever body, the bleed port has to be opened by partially unscrewing the metal part to which the line is attached from the lever body, and to close it you screw it again (be gentle. You don't want to strip the threads). It's easier to do if you remove the lever from the handlebar and turn the lever. Otherwise you'll have to disassemble the whole brake to avoid twisting the line.

Hope it helps. It's way easier to do than to explain.
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Old 11-28-19, 07:33 AM
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Thanks very much.
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Old 11-28-19, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
They tend to get air bubbles from time to time on the lines (solved by bleeding). In these 5 years, twtice they leaked some oil through the lever piston (solved by dissassembling the lever, cleaning the piston and cyclinder, reassembling and bleeding). They also tend to have sticky pistons when the wear adjuster is at a medium to high wear setting (you'll notice it because only one pad retracts and the other sticks to the rim). This is the worst issue to fix, you have to clean the pistons on the calipers, and sometimes force the stuck piston to work by holding the working one with your fingers. I've notice that if the bike is parked on the sun, the piston most exposed to the heat tends to stick.

They're really easy to bleed compared to hydro disks and also easy to work with (you just need a syringe, and mineral oil, and an adapter to bleed the caliper). Problem is that they're far from maintenance free and need frequent tweaking.

They're great brakes in my opinion, but I wouldn't buy them if I wasn't willing and able to maintain them. I'd also prefer a hydro disk if I had a choice.
They have a 5 year warranty for being leak-proof, as with anything that has a warranty, use, and would avoid doing anything to void it.

For maintenance, my experience has been totally different to this, I have HS-33's from 3 generations on different bikes, and have never had any issues with air bubbles/needing to bleed them, the only time I bled them was when shortening a hose, which you would probably have to do for any hose change/adjustment, and the process is very easy, for fluids, Royal Blood (Magura own fluid) would be preferable to use, other alternates include Shimano mineral oil, and Citroen LHM fluid
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