a Cross Country Rider
from Hohenfels, Germany
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2009
Strengths: Front brake is excellent, very predictable one finger braking
Weaknesses: Rear brake has air bubble since new (2 weeks) that the dealer is having difficulty fixing. The best is only half rear braking in spite of rebleeding multiple times over 1 1/2 weeks. I rode for 2 days and bike lost all rear brake and was too dangerous to ride.
Hope the problem is solved soon, 1745.00 Euro bike ($2565 U.S.) and this is the only flaw found so far.
Similar Products Used: First set of Hydraulic brakes, in the past XT V brakes
Bike Setup: 2008 Steppenwolf Taiga FS Elite
a Weekend Warrior
from the hammer
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2008
Strengths: set it and forget it!
should read set it correctly the first time and forget it.
Weaknesses: none, really. they might benefit from some more stopping power but i suspect this is from a bad rotor (rear) or dirty pads.
the only issue i had with these is that i didn't have another set for a commuter i'm building, so i just bought some more. The rear is a bit squeaky and lacks power but i mentioned this above(tectro rotor). Front is 8" with an Avid rotor - tonnes of power, good modulation, i haven't had to change anything. bought them used and have metallic pads in them (by magura). Get lots of spacers for proper setup.
Buy it if you like stopping.
note: don't ride a 30lb singlespeed.
Similar Products Used: BB5's, older Louise, HS 33, lots of V's.
Bike Setup: Manik, 66rc, single speed, it's a wheelie machine!
a Weekend Warrior
from north vancouver
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2008
Weaknesses: Haven't found any so far...
I used to think Shimano brakes were the best, most reliable I'd ever used until I got the Magura Louise brakes. Now I think Shimano are the second best. Interesting that the two systems I like the best use mineral oil not DOT fluid that every other hydraulic brake uses. And oh by the way, aircraft use mineral oil for their hydraulic systems which has got to tell you something.
Similar Products Used: Shimano/Grimeca/Hayes/Hope/Formula/Avid etc.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Heckler XT/XTR, Hope hubs, Marzocchi Z1 Freeride fork, 5th element rear shock etc.
from Los Angeles, CA
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2007
Strengths: Good modulation. Durable and robust. Relatively trouble-free.
Weaknesses: Sticky piston. Difficult to find replacement pads at LBS.
I've been riding with these brakes for a little over two years now mainly in dry, dusty southern California conditions. I'm running a 210mm rotor up front and a 190mm rotor on the rear brake. My bike weighs between 34-38 lbs, depending on the setup. I weigh between 180-195 lbs, plus gear and I guess I would describe my riding style as aggressive "all-mountain."
I've found that the brakes are very easy to modulate and have decent power, but there are times when I wish I had just a little bit more raw stopping power. I do prefer one-finger braking, so YMMV. I have never been one to baby my bike or equipment, and I've been pleased with the durability of the brake levers. They're pretty much as good as new despite several crashes (although I can't say the same thing about my SRAM X-9 trigger shifters).
Although I have had a relatively good experience with the Louise FRs, I did run into a problem with sticky pistons on both front and rear brakes. I E-mailed Magura's tech support, which did send a prompt reply, but their remedy of pumping the pistons did not work perfectly. I tried and re-tried their method several times, and while there was improvement, I find that they will still stick from time to time. The other frustrating bit is that none of our LBS's carry replacement pads for the Louise FRs or for any of Magura's brakes. I ended up finding some on-line, but I would have preferred to buy from one of our LBS's.
One final criticism is the finish of the levers. I find that the smooth finish of the levers make it feel slippery and less positive than I would like. I would love to see some machining or etching of the levers to increase friction where our fingers touch the levers.
Overall I have had a positive experience with my Louise FR's. I think they're a great set of brakes for people that want decent braking power, good modulation, and reliability in a no-frills package.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2007
Strengths: Good modulation, decent pad wear, quiet
Weaknesses: ugly levers, rubbing rear rotor, lack sheer stopping power
Good but not great brakes. This is my first set of hydraulic brakes, after many years and many bikes with the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. When I first built my X-5, I went with BB7s, but found that even switching out to the 185mm rotor in front, I didn't have enough sheer stopping power. After riding a friend's bike with Avid Juicy 7's, I thought switching to hydros on my Ventana would up the braking power. However, I'd heard bad things about the Juicys, so I went with the Louise FR instead (wanted the Hope M4, but didn't want to spend that much $$$.) Set up with 180mm rotors front and rear. Bottom line is that these brakes have great feel and modulation, but those positives are balanced out by the lack of sheer stopping power, which unfortunately is about on par with the Avid BB7 with 185mm rotors. Never had to bleed them yet, which is good, and am going on to my 3rd set of pads in 1.5 years. Levers are ugly, but the lever reach adjustment works fine. The biggest problem I've had is what another reviewer said - the "automatic centering" on my rear brake isn't working. The piston on one side refuses to retract all the way, leaving me with some serious rotor rub. Wondering if new pads and a good bleeding will fix this? Otherwise, these are OK brakes. Good, but not great.
a Weekend Warrior
from chicago, illinois (USA)
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2007
Strengths: Feels like a quality automotive piece, amazing power yet great modulation, quiet, quiet, quiet, nice looking, everything feels just right
These brakes kick arse. Smooth, reliable, good looks, amazing power but with great modulation, easy to maintain, mineral oil versus dot fluid is so much nicer to work with. One note: I had better lever feel after topping off with fluid than how they felt right out of the box. They were fine originally, I'm just bored and a perfectionest, so I played around with topping off the fluid (partial bleed) and now they are just perfect. I ride in cold and wet conditions and they are superior to the competition and relatively inexpensive. Maintenance is easy if you just follow directions exactly. I will no longer consider another brand of hydraulic brake.
Similar Products Used: Hayes and Avid mechanical and hydraulics
Bike Setup: Ventana El Saltamontes custom 6" rockers, fox dhx-c shock, marzocchi all-mountain 1 fork, king headset, FSA carbon bars and cranks, sram shifters/derraillers, xtr cassete, magura louise brakes, xt/321 wheelset, wtb saddle and motoraptor tires, time atac pedals, etc.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2007
Strengths: best modulation i've experienced with a brake, silent, good stopping power and easy to maintain.
awesome brake system. you need to ride it to feel the difference. the new 2007 model handle, look much better then the older model. and above all very reliable system. don't think twise, if you have the money get this system, for every riding type from XC to FR/DH/
Similar Products Used: shimano deore, avid juicy 5
Bike Setup: santa cruz heckler
from Kodiak, Alaska
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2007
Strengths: Consistent. So deliciously consistent. Wet, dry, hot, cold, doesn't matter- these things just work. I live in a very wet place, and we often ride in snow. Most disc brakes squeal until your ears bleed. Not the Louises (with stock pads). They are nearly dead silent all the time, and always perform. Mineral oil. Wavy rotors. A very understated look. Radial master cylinder. Very easy to remove lever blade assebly. Wide adjustment range in the lever reach. I can get almost a year out of a set of pads even in our local nasty, wet conditions.
Weaknesses: The levers are not the most ergonomic in the world. I think the Juicys feel better. Until the BAT system, they also did not have an engagement point ajustment. This was not usually an issue as I think the stock lever travel was just fine. Bleeds tend to get a little messy, but the mineral oil is super easy to clean up. Shimming calipers can be a pain, but the brakes never move again. The stock brake lines can get kinked if you reeeeally tweak them. Not as powerful as some other brakes in a given rotor size. The clamp bolt protrudes far enough below the bars that you cannot run any of the older trigger shifters between the brake and the grip. The X.0 and new X.9s do work a bit better in that position though. NO SPLIT BAR CLAMP!
These brakes are the ones to have if you live and ride in a wet place. Their damp conditions performance is flawless and SILENT!!!! I liked my Avid Mechs a lot, and the Juicys too, but riding in the cold rain or especially in slush was a real test of patience with all the noise the brakes put out. I got my first set of Louises on a Turner demo bike I bought back in '05, and was amazed at the silence in every condition. Desert dust and hot sun all the way to goopy sloppy slush. Silent perfection. Sooooo nice.
I have Dangerboy Levers on one set. They're ok. I have a set of Marta SLs. I like the Louises considerably better. I also have a set of the new Louise BATs with the reach adjustment. They are also wonderful brakes but the range of lever reach adjust has been reduced considerably, perhaps as a result of adding the adjustable engagement point (BAT).
There really isn't much I would change about these. Maybe a more inspired lever shape, but the stock ones aren't bad. It seems like every Magura brake uses a different shaped pad, which is a bit annoying. The new 07 Louise pads are different than the older ones. I would also love to see a lower profile bar clamp bolt setup, and a split clamp so that you could take the brakes off without pulling the grips and such.
Bleeding is a little messy because you need to let the oil purge out from under the reservoir membrane at the end of the process, but the final bleed results are always good in my experience.
All in all a stupendous product. I own 6 sets of Maggie disc brakes now (plus two sets of the hydro rim brakes) and I am not even remotely tempted by anything else on the market. If I lived in a dry place, maybe I would have a harder time picking my next brake. As it is, the decision is easy. :)
Similar Products Used: Juicy Sevens (owned for two years), Avid Mechs (many years) and I have demoed almost every other brake on the planet at some point.
Bike Setup: I have Louise brakes on 4 Turners, a Pugsley, a 'round-town singlespeed, and have some extras laying around just in case. I have the Louises in every shape and size from 160 to 203mm on singlespeeds to FR bikes.
a Weekend Warrior
from Tel Aviv, Israel
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2006
Strengths: Power, modulation, silent!!
Weaknesses: Non so far
I have the 2006 model. Awesome brakes. Best I have seen. These brakes makes me go so much faster downhill.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dunakeszi, Hungary
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006
Strengths: Great modulation. Despite the fact that I have been using Magura Louise for only 1 month, it can be said that this brake has awesome stoping power compared to my previous one, Magura HS 33(rim br.) This is what one might dream of! Easy to install and to shorten the hose. The manual describes everything quite undertandably. Mineral oil is much less harmful than those DOT oils. It is not needed to change oil in the system very often.
Weaknesses: In the cold weather it squeeks rarely. However, it's not a big problem.
I would highly recommend this product both for cross country riders and downhillers! They are around 400g/brake unit (with disc) altogether. 5 year guarantee makes it an absolute winner. Although I've been using it for only 1 month, I am really satisfied with it. Of course, I will submit an other review next year after gaining more experinece with these babies.
I need to stock up on more pads for my multi-sets of Louise FR's and I noticed Bikefridge's regular pads were well liked (from threads several years old). He has another compound - Kevlar - that I haven't been able to find any feedback on. Has anyone used these and can speak to how they perform?Read More »
Installing a set of older Louise FRs for the first time, and having some issues with the front. Horizontal alignment is perfect, but only contacting 4mm on the outer edge of the rotor (did a sharpie test).
Mounting an IS caliper to a post mount fork (sherman), using adapter #3 and a 180mm rotor, ... Read More »
Magura's 2011 lineup features the new Marta FR and the Louise Carbon. I don't know, these seem very similar. I am a bigger guy that likes to go downhill fast and need powerful brakes. I also despise brake fade, and DOT fluid. Anyone have experience with either or both of these?Read More »
Louise FR caliper with SL rotor... Can it be done? The "wave" is the standard rotor that the FR came with. Holding them up together, the wave SL has far less surface material/contact than the wave.
[FONT=Verdana]Anyhow, I have both in the parts bin so I thought I'd give it a t ... Read More »
Hi, I just bought these for my bike :
Does anyone know more about these ?
Compatibility with current Louise parts ?
Thanks !!!Read More »