Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Kooka Hydra Lever Brake Lever

2.65/5 (17 Reviews)

Product Description

Kooka Hydra Lever

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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by life speed a Downhiller from Santa Rosa, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2001

Strengths:    good feel, strength, modulation

Weaknesses:    sealing, mechanical design integrity, ease of service

Bottom Line:   
Not a reliable design that will survive over time. Stupid, fragile, custom pivot bolt arrangement for lever. No locking mechanism for adjusters. Piston would not retract fully when lever was released, sticky. Leaked a little.

The feel was great, but the other problems are too annoying.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Annadel

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   used

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt Wild a Weekend Warrior from Grande prairie

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2000

Strengths:    The color kicks, I love the way they feel, amazing lever strenght for wieght ratio.

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
This product rules

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Paradise mine (To the top of the Mountain or top of the world

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   xt and lx levers

Bike Setup:   Schwinn factory team
beatiful full Kooka/xt/xtr/truvativ

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Michael a Cross-Country Rider from Mainz / Germany

Date Reviewed: June 8, 1999

light weight
looks great
1-2 finger brake-lever

Due to its wheigt this part is no hardcore brake lever. Everyone who buys it should be aware of that. But for XC it works excellent.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding those Kooka'a for almost 2 years now, without big trouble. One Lever (from an older series) showed a little leaking at the beginning but after setting it up once again it finally stopped. The other one is from a newer series and is stiffer than the other and there was no leaking at all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
local trails

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Bike Setup:   
Brodie Expresso
RS Judy

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Kim a cross-country rider from IL

Date Reviewed: February 28, 1999

Bottom Line:   

I've had the Kooka Hydrolevers for a few years now and they have delivered flawless performance. My bike gets ridden pretty hard and has suffered some pretty intense crashes. I did manage to brake one during a crash (the handlebars spun around and the lever hit the top tube)I thought surely I fractured my pelvis it hurt so bad, but I took my bike to the shop I bought it from, they sent the lever back to be rebuilt, and two weeks later it was back, good as new. Considering the intensity of the crash, I was happy, and impressed with the design of the levers, which allowed for them to be rebuilt at no charge. They have not leaked ever, have provided flawless service, and are quite adjustable( since I have smaller hands, I can bring the lever a little closer to the bar for easy one finger modulation). I'm afraid I cannot agree with any of the negative things posted here about them or their Customer Service, and they look kick ass.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Kevin a racer from San Diego

Date Reviewed: August 31, 1998

Bottom Line:   

My friend's dad had these. Loved them. Then he was on a ride and the pivot flew out. He endoed. Broke his wrist. Stuck a twig in and finished the ride (applause). Then didn't ride for six months. Beware. They're real light, and look cool, but you might not look so cool with a cast on.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by flurry a weekend warrior from cali

Date Reviewed: August 8, 1998

Bottom Line:   

sounds to me like you crybabies are your own worst enemies dont work on your bikes if you cant change a lightbulb!ive had mine two years ,hard riding,no problems,easy to install,bleed;and look great!i hate to imagine what would happen to to you all if you try to install braided stainless crossover lines from magura,by the way they look cool too!

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Clarke Clingenpeel a racer from Raleigh, NC

Date Reviewed: June 3, 1998

Bottom Line:   

I bought these trying to lighten up the brakes, however, the stopping power was terrible. They were mushy & the seals leaked. They were lighter, but they defeated the whole purpose of hydraluic brakes. I also thought the foam type wrap around the lever arms was cheap looking. I did prefer the smaller levers to the stock magura's, but who cares if they don't stop you. I returned them.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Pelle Hedstrom a cross-country rider from stockholm, Sweden

Date Reviewed: May 21, 1998

Bottom Line:   

I used the levers at work (being a bike-messenger). They lasted for about 2-3 weeks. Both levers snapped apart in the clamp during some pretty hard braking. I think they suck. If you want a lighter bike, try to save the weight anywhere but the brakes. Currently i´m using my Magura stock-levers and they work perfectly well after 3 years of use, 120 km each workday.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by John Pentecost a cross-country rider from Portland, Maine

Date Reviewed: September 30, 1997

Bottom Line:   

I'd just like to update my review that I wrote directly below. I too have finally started experiencing the leaking problems that all the others are talking about. During a nasty downhill ride recently, the master cylindar on my rear brake cracked and squirted oil all over me and my bike, leaving me with no rear brakes while flying down a steep hill. Bottom Line: DON'T BUY THESE LEVERS!!! They're really poorly constructed and do not stand up to everyday riding. Altec makes a similar replacement lever for Maguras, and these seem to be your best bet.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by John Pentecost a cross-country rider from Portland, Maine

Date Reviewed: August 11, 1997

Bottom Line:   

These things are cool looking and light, but they aren't very well built. The pivot pins strip easily (I've already stripped two which were promptly replaced by Kooka which seems to have excellent customer service) and the actual levers don't fit well onto the part that contains the master cylinder so they rattle around when you're riding over rough terrain (which is pretty damn often). There's no way to tighten the lever down because the pivot pin is only threaded on the top and will therefore not cinch the lever in there if tightened. I'm only a 150lb. rider, and I'm normally extremely light on my bikes (meaning that I rarely if ever break things on them) but I've already broken the front brake lever by simply pulling on it too hard.
I haven't yet had the leaking problems that I've red about in other posts, but only time will tell on that stuff.
I guess the bottom line is that this seems to be a company that is trying hard but not succeeding in making a light replacement lever for Magura.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by keith a cross-country rider from reno nv

Date Reviewed: May 6, 1997

Bottom Line:   

They look cool. They feel good.But they leak.I had about ten rides on them when they started leaking,I sent them back a month ago and have not heard a word sence.For the money they should send me new ones. I wish I would have known about mtbr review before I spent the money.

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Bouke M a weekend warrior from the Netherlands

Date Reviewed: February 21, 1997

Bottom Line:   

For refill I screwed a hard plastic tube in the bleeding hole, so no oil
was spilled.Be a little inventive here ! So far (I have theme 2 months)
no complaints, and the please my eyes better than the original.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Torpedo from cross-country rider

Date Reviewed: November 18, 1996

Bottom Line:   

This is a follow on to my initial comments.. I have had them since February/March time frame.
The durability is in question here. Also there is MANY design flaws. First is the Tiny Bleed screw that fits nothing and is impossible to capture the bleeded fluid. Thus it just comes out and at best you capture it with a rag, then you wipe down the lever when your done. Why couldnt they put the same size of bolt on it like the Magura to facilitate the bleed line.
Also the bolt that hold the actual lever to the body (piston) is poorly designed also. The top part is threaded and the bottom isnt. After extensive use the lever develops play because the upper and lower sinch plates start to spread apart. And since the top sinch plate is the one that is threaded you cant re-tighten it up (so your screwed).
Kooka's answer to this is, mail it back to us we will REBUILD it.. yeah right at $150 bucks for the pair I want a new one NOW! Its not ready for prime time, maybe wall art but thats about it.Also Special Note: Kooka's idea of a warentee department is this guy that has no customer service sense or common sense for that matter. STAY AWAY from Kooka. Buy TWP or some other brand.. It is not a matter of IF it will break, it is just a matter of WHEN. and at $150 bucks I was hoping they were not disposable levers. Well, they are.. And Kooka is not willing to stand behind them..
KOOKA is all Hype. Dont believe the Hype.. Go check out the reviews on their Cranks.. Nothing they make is worth a shit.

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Jay Yuelling a weekend warrior from Corning NY

Date Reviewed: October 12, 1996

Bottom Line:   

Great levers, much better then stock maguras. I am having a problem with the right lever sticking and the adjustment screws keep loosening up and would like to know how to get them fixed or replaced. Please email me. Over all I love the levers. Recomended them to alot of friends.

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by Jonathan Sainsbury a cross-country rider from Boston, MA USA

Date Reviewed: August 27, 1996

Bottom Line:   

I hate these levers. Yeah, they look great - that's it. When installing,
I accidentally stripped the bleed valve screw. Kooka said this was common
and sent me a new pair. I had my LBS install them the next time. Half way
through my ride, the right/rear lever started to leak. On a downhill, I
needed both brakes and had only one working. I over-compensated with the
front and endo'd. The lever snapped apart. Then I had no brakes and still
had 3 miles of trail and 6 miles of road to go get home. Short story, I
crashed hard on pavement. Kooka's warranty is really great. They replaced
them again. At this point, I didn't trust them any longer, and went back
to my stock levers.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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