Am interested in the opinions you all have on Magura products. I am particularly interested in the Louise BAT series. These will be on a 140mm travel bike. I have really only ever used Hayes, so will buying Magura be an improvement.
Opinions on Magura Disc Brakes
I have the Louise BAT Carbons. They are lightweight, look great, have decent power, but probably wouldn't buy them again.
Reason being that they are an absolute PITA to bleed without getting covered in mineral oil – everywhere, simply due to the design. I also found the bite point adjusted to be pointless as I always have it wound right in anyway and it's still quite a fair lever throw. You will need long fingers to get on well with the levers.
I have also got to send them back due to warranty issue with the seals – although they do have a 5 year warranty as long as you use their pads, but it's still extra hassle.
I reckon I will probably be looking at Shimano next time as I'm not 100% convinced.
Hope that helps.
All my bikes have got Magura brakes on them, though they are very old now!
MY wifes bike has the original single piston Louise brakes from 98, and they're still going strong, I've had new cylinders fitted with new hoses and bled and they are still great brakes.
My set are Original Martas, and again I've had hoses replaced and one caliper was replaced under warranty, but apart from that they've just kep going and not been any trouble.
I also run a set of Magura Menjas, which to begin with I could not get on with at all, the importers took them back twice and have fettled them, ending up with Laurin internals in the one side all done under their customer service. They are now GREAT, lovely forks plush but with a great platform damping system to stop them diving too much.
I'll be buying Magura products in the future, good reliability and fantastic customer service, can you ask for anything more?
I've got 3 sets of Louises on different bikes of different vintages, and 3 of my mates have them too. I reckon they're pretty good as an all round brake. They only need bleeding once in a blue moon, use mineral oil rather than DOT which is nastyish stuff. If you're careful with what you do, you don't need to end up with fluid everywhere. Only problem any of us have had is the occasional sticky piston, which is easy to fix. You need to bed the pads in, but after that they are well sharp.
Louise Bats and Carbons here, after nearly ten years of various Hope's i think they are fantastic, bleeding on the newer ones is a doddle(using the bleed kit)!
gamo, can you come over and do mine for me please?
I've been very impressed with the louise FR's on my bike - had them for 2 years now and they've not needed bleeding yet - no squealing either!
Got Louise BAT's on the tandem.
They've worked well so far.
I bought a 2nd hand pair of Louise FRs a couple of years ago and have ran them on three bikes, not bled them once (though they need it now)
nothing special, but strong, solid, reliable, fit and forget brakes
I have a set of Louise BAT which are OK - as someone else said not great for small hands and the lever throw seems longer than it needs to be - also think I prefer Shimano lever shape - but pretty effective brakes otherwise
I have really only ever used Hayes, so will buying Magura be an improvement.
Yes, isn't everything
140mm trail bike would suit the Louise well. I actually run Louise BAT's on my DH bike as I felt that Gustavs were just too powerful and I wanted to keep weight down.
I've run pretty much every brake in the line up and can't really fault any.
Any issues would be skinny level blades on the 08 Louise BAT's (thats changed for 09) and my 08 Marta's tend to unwind on the reach screw.. although no doubt you are used to that with hayes.
I reckon once a month I adjust the reach allen screw so not enough to make me want to get any loctite blue on the threads.. compared to having to get the allen key out mid ride, every ride with my old hfx's and hayes mags's its a non-issue really.
Bleeding is easy and clean with the kit.. although you shouldn't need to bleed them often. I've only needed to bled with caliper swaps or if I've screwed up when removing hoses, any other issues and taking the top cap off and topping up the master cylinder has been enough.
Don't discount pre 09 Martas either, 140mm bike with 180fr will be a good setup, then 160 or 180 rear depending on where you ride. Great lever shape, light, good power and modulation and probably available at decent price points too.
If budget is an issue, look at the new Julie HP, the old Julie outperformed my hfx's IMO
got given a set of old julies, as the orginal owner couldn't make em work neither could I...
so previously I wouldn't rush to buy them...BUT got a bike this weekend with Louise FR & 160mm disc's - I cannot believe how powerful they are, I have Haye 9 with 6" rotors on another bike and there not this powerful.
Time to rethink my position on brakes...
The Soul demo bike I rode had Julies, I was surprised they'd put £50 brakes on a demo, but they did work well. Bit unsubtle, I'm a bit of a comfort braker and they didn't really excel at that, but they were strong and had a lot of feel. Good at the price
Been running 06 Louise FRs for a couple of years with 180mm discs, super powerful. Just swapped in a 203mm front disc - stoppie-city....
Got (different) Louise on all three of my bikes.
All very good and when I have had problems service from Magura UK (1 bloke called Dave in an industrial unit in Ashby de la Zouch!) has been excellent!
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