Magura Clara Older Disc Brakes

3/5 (39 Reviews)


Product Description

Fully hydraulic disc brake system with a single piston, fixed brake caliper featuring direct manual pad wear adjustment. Slotted stainless steel 160mm diameter rotors for both front and rear. Composite brake lever assembly (master cylinder) with expansion chamber and grippy 2-finger cold forged aluminium lever blade.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Danny Robertson a Weekend Warrior from Townsville, Australia

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2002

Strengths:    Great power, good in the wet

Weaknesses:    not indestructible

Bottom Line:   
In their intended role these brakes are fine. Sure they don't have the power of an eight inch rotor but they are more powerful than any v that I have tested. They do need careful setting up and a take a fair bit of bedding in but once they do they are great. I mostly use them for urban and trail/ dirtjumping so I guess I don't test them on extended downhills but they are perfectly capable of throwing me over the bars with one finger. A top brake at a price that makes them unbeatable for the trail rider.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Top brand

Similar Products Used:   Hayes hydro, avid mechanical(tested only)

Bike Setup:   Trek bruiser one stock except discs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tad from Greenville

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2002

Strengths:    EASE of set-up

Weaknesses:    all the bad reviews

Bottom Line:   
I really can't wait to begin having problems with these as I have not had a single issue yet. It took less than 10 minutes to install and have worked perfectly since.
They may give me problems later but I have been thrashing the heck out of them and cannot wait to ditch my rear V's. My main delima is if I should have the bosses welded onto my seat stays or part with the frame I love....The brake therapy things freaks me out for some reason.
I cannto give full on chilli's since I have not redden that long but I will be back for an update in time!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $79.00

Purchased At:   Cambria

Similar Products Used:   canti's and V's

Bike Setup:   X-Fly, XT, hard tail

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Richard Hall a Cross Country Rider from Manchester, UK

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2002

Strengths:    Stopping power even when wet, no rim wear.

Weaknesses:    Flimsy handle design, slight flexing in the housing under heavy breaking

Bottom Line:   
Everyone moans about these brakes but from my experience very few seem to have spent the time to set up the brakes correctly. I ride in the Peak District in Derbyshire UK and this is well known for the coarse grit stone that chews bike components to pieces. I have destroyed brakes by all the major manufacturers both plastic and metal. After 18 months I have to date had only one handle failure. Better the lever than whole unit breaking (as has been my experience with metal units when the alloy lever doesn't deform but the reservoir does!), don't people carry spares anymore? True, they feel a bit mushy and this leads people to over adjust the lever setting to try to get a firmer feel which means that when they pull the levers hard they snap! This is also why the housing warps slightly. Get used to the slightly spongy feel though and they work effectively at hauling you up comfortably. I know of no brake system that at the end of 35 miles and 2000 feet of climbing and downhill through grit stone that works as effectively as at the start of a ride. So I always carry a trusty hex key! Those people who believe there is a v brake that works better than any disk need their head examining as pads are always going to be cheaper than rims. A reasonable effort especially at the prices I have seen quoted. Aimed at people who have only used v brakes before and are on a budget but be prepared to spend time with the book getting them set up correctly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Doctors Gate

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Leisure Lakes

Similar Products Used:   Hayes, Hope and XT

Bike Setup:   Cannondale F700sx with lefty front fork
Killer V 3000 Hayes Unit equiped and modified

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Bracbridge

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2002

Strengths:    Modulate well, powerfull

Weaknesses:    Never work properly...for very long!

Bottom Line:   
Garbage. These brakes have been sent back to Magura 3 times, and have been either replaced with new Claras or fixed. I have never used them for more than a month without having to have them bled.
They work okay, but are completely unreliable.
Magura should not be allowed to sell such crap.

These brakes don't even deserve 1 chili!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Radical

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Cyclepath

Similar Products Used:   Hayes, Avid

Bike Setup:   Jekyll 2000 stock with a few upgrades

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Doug a Cross Country Rider from Fernie BC

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2002

Strengths:    Easy to set up. Pretty good braking power.

Weaknesses:    Handles weak, break easily

Bottom Line:   
A good bang for the buck. Nice easy lever pull, sufficient braking power for the kind of riding I do. Very easy to set up. I don't know why all these guys are saying they have to dick with them every time they ride, probably because they never set them up properly in the first place. I'll admit they don't have the braking power of Hayes, but they're also about a third of the price. The handles bite, the first decent crash I had I broke one.

If your the type who rides the chairlift all day and only rides downhill you'ld be better off with Hayes. But if you ride up as much as down I think you'll find the Magura to be pretty decent.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Too many to list

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   200.00 cdn

Similar Products Used:   Magura Julie, Hayes Hydraulic

Bike Setup:   mounted on Kona Stinky

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris K a Weekend Warrior from College Station, TX

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2002

Strengths:    Great power, unmatched modulation, great wet performance.

Weaknesses:    Plastic- doesn't belong on any brake system.


Bottom Line:   
These brakes are awesome so far. The rear rotor occasionally rubs making a hum, but only when i am walking with the bike. The crappy thing is BE VERY CAREFUL BLEEDING THESE BRAKES. TAKE THE PADS OUT BEFORE YOU DO!!! Use a piece of wine cork to keep the pistons from squeezing in when bleeding. Like a dumbass I got oil on my front pads and am still waiting for new ones in the mail. So basically I am using only a rear brake right now and I still have more power than my old bike with XTR V's. Good brakes, but I don't like the plastic housings. Also to all those who say they have to 'pump' the levers to make them work, you still have air in your lines. Bleed them properly or get your LBS to do it for you. It only took me ~10min per caliper to get them bled perfectly.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   came on bike

Similar Products Used:   XTR V-brakes for 2 years

Bike Setup:   `01 Bianchi Superbee - stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Fluffy a Cross Country Rider from Belgium

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2002

Strengths:    Cheap!!!
Works great!


Weaknesses:    Plastic...

Bottom Line:   
These are good brakes for the money. The plastic doesn't look like it would survive a crash, but I don't crash that often. I wouldn't use them on a DH bike for this reason. The stopping power is good, modulation is okay...
I have them on 2 of my bikes, which means I'm happy with them. There are better brakes out there, but not at this price!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $175.00

Purchased At:   Van Eyck

Similar Products Used:   Lot's of V's and Cantis
Coda Expert discs (crap)



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Doug D. a Cross Country Rider from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2002

Strengths:    Better than any V-brake that I have ever used.

Weaknesses:    Where do I start. Need constant adjustments. Pads are always rubbing the rotor. Rotors were slightly bent when I bought them. Have broken two levers on very minor wipe-outs. Squeal like hell.

Bottom Line:   
Don't get these brakes!! I constantly have to bleed the lines to get air out. Have to adjust them before every ride (often during a ride as well). Pads are always rubbing because the pistons do not retract enough, or evenly after applying the brake. At times, these even squeal when I am not applying the brakes because they are rubbing. I get constant brake fade on downhills, and I live in Ontario, I would hate to use these brake in the Rockies - better have an anchor to throw out. I have tried friend's bikes with Shimano XT or Hayes hydra disks and they work much better than my Claras. Plus, they are not adjusting every day like I am.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bruce Trail, any single track

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Only other V-brakes. I will be switching to a new hydra disk system. Probably Shimano XT or Hayes.

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Instinct. Clara brakes came on the bike.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jack a Weekend Warrior from London, England

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2002

Strengths:    The Fact that its a Disc, modulation, 5 year leak proof waranty (you need it). Only $85 each, thats about half the price of any other hydraulic disc.

Weaknesses:    Power, dependability, adjustement.

Bottom Line:   
If you can get it set up perfectly it will work extremely well. However, this is not possibe a) because all the rotors are bent out the box, and thats come from a magura employee and b) because of the rapid pad wear. You do genuinly have to stop and set it up again at the bottom of every hill if you want it working perfectly and certainly after every wet ride. They leak. I've had them leak from where the tubing enters the lever, the master cyclender itself, and the caliper. I've just got a new caliper and its completely warped to you have to use twice as many spacers at the top than at the bottom to make the rotor go in straight. Having said that, I have em front and rear and its only the front that has had these problems, the rear works faultlessly.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $85.00

Purchased At:   Chain Reaction

Similar Products Used:   Hope

Bike Setup:   A motley crew of parts. Cove Handjob, SPDs, MXC airs, 321 DH wheelset, single front ring with bashguard and chain decvice, DMR jumping stuff + raceface prodigy, shimano, all the usuall mid range suspects.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Slayer a Downhiller from Levittown, PA

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2001

Strengths:    Work well in normal XC conditions. Small and light. Use mineral oil.

Weaknesses:    Plastic parts suck. I ripped one lever body off my bar in a wreck. The next time I ripped the housing out of the lever body. Both times you have to replace the whole thing, which is about $70 for the part alone. No reach adjustment or pad adjustment.

Bottom Line:   
I'm getting rid of these and getting Gustavs. The power of them is OK, but not enough for me. I can't afford having such cheap ones either...well, because they're not cheap to maintain. Just think about what you want them for and if they're going to take any abuse...I'd stay away from these. The do work OK though, and are an OK upgrade from V brakes...just hate that plastic. Just like SRAM.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lamb's Gap in PA

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Came on bike...

Similar Products Used:   Hayes

Bike Setup:   2001 RM Slayer

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Birdman a Weekend Warrior from MA

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2001

Strengths:    Nothing I would call a strenght. They seem adequate. Power is about par with the vee's I had but modulation is better and face it they work better in bad conditions and with a warped rim

Weaknesses:    Cheap Cheap Cheap plastic. My last bike went through hell and back and the levers never broke. The rear brake housing (master cyclinder and attachement to handlebar part) snapped (not the lever). Cheap Cheap Cheap.

Bottom Line:   
They are adequate stoppers. Maybe I fault RM for putting such flimsy brakes on a bike that is made for more than an xc jaunt. As many of you know it is no fun when a back brake snaps. Cheap I say. Give me the extra few grams and some strength and I'll gladly lose a little weight to make up the difference.

Magura will warranty and I paid to upgrade to Louise which are at least aluminim. Just annoys me that I have to buy a bleed kit, tear off my grips and then fix something that shouldn't have broken so easily. A hard crash and I would understand but that's not the case. I liked the brakes they just can't handle normal abuse. I'll put the LOUISE cyclinders on and post a review in the future if they prove to be better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lynn Woods

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Came on bike

Similar Products Used:   None - only vee brakes

Bike Setup:   RM Slayer

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jon Smith from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2001

Strengths:    I don't really see any strengths, these breaks suck ass.

Weaknesses:    -Pads wear quickly
-Pads are dumb expensive
-I've broken 5 levers since i've owned them
-I had to bleed them daily so they would feel good.
-They made me not want to ride my bike anymore with those breaks.
-Breaks constently faided.
-I fixed the problem by buying some Hayes.


Bottom Line:   
Magura did a good job making a break that felt wicked during a test ride and then stoped working when i got it home. These things don't even classify as breaks, someone will get hurt from this crap.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Hayes, and I like Hayes way more.

Bike Setup:   Came stock on my 2001 Devinci Kingpin

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Guillaume a Cross Country Rider from Canada

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2001

Strengths:    worked for 2 months

Weaknesses:    Yells all the time, no brake after 3 months, brake lever is leaking.

Bottom Line:   
Magura clara disk brake system is far away from avid Killing cable system.

At least, the germans did replace my leaking lever, but wouldn't change pads and calipers (destroyed by curved disk).

Avid is powerful, priceless, and LEAKLESSS.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   avid cable disk brake system

Bike Setup:   spec. Rockhopper Pro

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave a Downhiller from Pittsburgh, PA

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2001

Strengths:    Worked great for about 2 months, relatively inexpensive.

Weaknesses:    Really weak lever, frequent adjustments, no reach adjustment.

Bottom Line:   
These were great to begin with. Then I ran into a tree, this broke the lever where it meets the handlebar. It's now duct tapes together and hasn't worked quite right since. I'm trying to get a replacement lever, the metal one. I would recommend getting the louise for freeriding etc.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hartwood acres

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   mtbr marketplace

Similar Products Used:   None, just v-brakes.

Bike Setup:   Barracuda frame, Z-1's, On-one 3 piece cranks and single chainring, xt rear derailleur, magura front disc.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by KitKat a Cross Country Rider from Sydney, Australia

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2001

Strengths:    - Stops when it wants to
- Adequate stopping power
- Looks good


Weaknesses:    Everything else basically . . . specifically:

- Price of replacement pads
- Fast wear of pads
- Constant tinkering needed - adjustment is time-consuming
- Brakes wear down too quickly in the wet - you need to stop & get multi-tool out & adjust almost all the time
- THAT annoying screeching noise in the wet
- Can't get ANY spare parts due to incompetent Australian distributor
- Rotor is easily run out of true
- Stopping power not great
- Flimsy brake lever
- Needs bleeding too often
- Didn't last long


Bottom Line:   

For the price this brake simply does not live up to standard. Sure, when it works the brakes are pretty good- can pull you up quickly enough, but the stopping power isn't spectacular. Yes, there's good modulation, but none that isn't available in a good v-brake.

Wet riding is impossible because the screeching will drive you crazy, and the fact that the brake pads are too expensive to waste in the wet, and that you have to stop every so often and adjust the damn thing so you can stop!!!

The plastic lever is flimsy and doesn't have anywhere near the feel of a good lever.

It also needed to be adjusted often, & it's a time-consuming process. Bleeding is also needed far too often too. Replacement brake pads are about twice what you pay for v-brake pads, and last not quite as long as v-brake pads anyway.

In 18 months of ownership I've already had 2 bent rear disc rotors - when I haven't whacked anything it's strange to happen. & of course they're f***ing expensive to replace.

And the front brake is already dead after 18 months - something is clearly wrong with the system (don't know where) and I can't even get a replacement in Australia (the local distributor doesn't have any, and doesn't care). And so I'm not going to even bother with these any more, on goes a set of good v-brakes. Not quite so good as discs, but at least they are reliable. Bye bye hydraulics.

It'll be a while before I buy from Magura again.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   none - though the Clara is making way for a v-brake

Bike Setup:   Cannondale 2000 F700 - Maggies came standard

Reviews 1 - 15 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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