Magura Clara Older Disc Brakes

Clara

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.

User Reviews (39)

Showing 1-10 of 39  
Doug D.   Cross Country Rider [Mar 14, 2002]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Only other V-brakes. I will be switching to a new hydra disk system. Probably Shimano XT or Hayes.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Jack   Weekend Warrior [Feb 03, 2002]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

Power, dependability, adjustement.

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.

Similar Products Used: Hope
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Richard Hall   Cross Country Rider [Jul 17, 2002]
Strength:

Stopping power even when wet, no rim wear.

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Hayes, Hope and XT
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Slayer   Downhiller [Oct 24, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Hayes
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Birdman   Weekend Warrior [Sep 25, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: None - only vee brakes
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Jon Smith   [Sep 18, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

-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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Hayes, and I like Hayes way more.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
KitKat   Cross Country Rider [Aug 01, 2001]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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


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.

Similar Products Used: none - though the Clara is making way for a v-brake
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Michiel van Dorsser   Racer [Sep 13, 2000]
Strength:

Very good brake power. Nice feel to it.
modulates very good.
A lot off brake for the buck.

Weakness:

It needs adjustments almost every time you go riding if you want the optimum brake set-up. Otherwise you just have to set-up the brakes a bit lose to prevent it from making contact between the disk and the brake pads all the time.
But this means the brake handels wil feel very soft and will actually tough the handle bars when braking hard.
(To bad you cant adjust the main cylinders)
It also makes the sreeching sound when you ride trough some water or mud.

These are by far the best brakes I have ever had on any of my bikes.
Massive stopping power. The rear locks up with just one finger on the brakehandle. And that works with all fingers.
Even the little thingy all the way opposid of the thumb.
(pink) And on every terrain. (asfalt, cobble, rock, sand,mud,etc,etc,etc) The rear tire comes off the pavement with just a brisk/firm pull of an index finger on the front brake. Even when I stay put on the saddle. impressive

Downside is still that it does require some special care and maintaince.

If you like mud maybe you shoud try something else because it makes a lot of noise when it gets mud on the disks.
In the dry its perfect. rain and water is ok.

Similar Products Used: previously I used magura hydrolic block brakes.
V-brakes and standard shimano cantilivers
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Trail Boss   Weekend Warrior [Jun 30, 2001]
Strength:

They are hydraulic and Disc. Nuff said.

Weakness:

No adjustments.

DRAG - DRAG - DRAG!!! After using these brakes for just a few weeks one side piston started dragging. So for every 3 miles of riding, it was like riding 5 miles by the end of the day. I tried every adjustment I could think of. Bike shop rebuilt the first one and then ordered another. Wrong color came in (sigh). New one did the same. Problem is they just do not center properly. One piston always backs off less than the other which means contact, Drag, and NOISE.

Mushy stopping power on the front brake!!!

I love the idea of disc's but I think I will try cable and pray.

Similar Products Used: V Brakes
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Mike T.   Racer [May 31, 2001]
Strength:

Simple effective brake at a good price.

Weakness:

Lack of lever blade reach adjustment. 4-bolt reservoir. Special wrench for reservoir cap bolts.

An excellent product from Magura. This brake does what it's supposed to do for a good price. Out of the box it was dead quiet (noooo squeal) and was powerful after a short break-in period.

It's a totally drag free brake too - those who have any drag just don't have the slave cylinders shimmed properly. Can't you see equal gaps down each side of the pads?? How the #ell can you have drag if you have daylight showing?

The power and modulation are great - this brake bugs my eyes out on a full-out stop from 43mph dirt road downhill. *I* decide when and if the wheels lock.

I need lever blade reach adjustment and I assume it was left off these brakes to keep costs down. Minus one flamin' chili for this omission.

Great brake for the money.

Similar Products Used: 1999 and 2001 Magura Louise. 2001 Magura Julie.
Magura HS-33
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 39  

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