Magura HS33

Having just dismantled by touring bike into a hundred or so pieces for cleaning/maintenance I was considering changing the V brakes for Magura Hydraulics

  • anybody have any experience with these on a touring bike
  • do they get too hot going down long decents with fully loaded bike
  • any problems with transporting by air
  • on the road maintenance
  • etc etc


Über Member
Are you asking about the flat bar version or the rare drop bar ones?
I used the flat bar HS11s on a Raven Tour for a while before changing to carbide rim.
They're a pain to set up but once on easy to adjust, they self centre and you adjust the clearance from the lever.
The pipework is strong and the fittings secure, I suppose it is possible they could get damaged in transit, but so could any part of the bike. I don't fly but can't see why they would cause a problem. Magura guarantee against leaks for 5 years.
They shouldn't require any on the road maintenance, a short bit of pipe, a couple of fittings and 25ml of fluid would be worth carrying if you're off somewhere exotic. The parts would be harder to find if you had a complete failure, you could always put a V brake back on. They have a reputation for fragile levers, I didn't have a problem.
Never used them on an Alpine decent, they shouldn't be any more of a problem than other rim brakes. In the dry they're only marginally better than well set up Vs, just require less effort. In the wet they're considerably better, they still need to clear the water of the rims, but do this quicker.
If you can, use the brake booster, especially on the front, not only does it improve braking, it'll stop you being frightened by the amount your forks flex.
When I had them on I wore out the front rim in record time. This may be a coincidence, I'd changed my commute and it was a wet summer. It was a good excuse to try a carbide rim which gives better braking with normal V's.


Über Member
psmiffy said:
It was the flat bar sort - Merci Beucoup
In that case you may as well get the cheaper HS11s. The only major difference is on-the-fly adjustment which you shouldn't need on a touring bike.


Bury St. Edmunds
We have been using the Magura HS11's on our touring bikes for 7 years now and wouldn't be without them and would highly recommend them for a touring bike. Had some initial problems with them but that was down to bad assembly when they were fitted by Giant. I can concur with P.H. that initially they can be a bit fiddly to setup but once set they need very little maintenance apart from adjusting the gap as they wear down. Brake blocks are easy to change, pull them off and clip a new ones in, simple as that.

I have carried spare tubes and fluid on tour, but have never needed to do any maintenance en route. We have flown with them several times with no problems.

We have used them many times on long steep downhill descents in Norway and found them brilliant as you need far less effort to keep them on. Many times before on steep descents with normal V brakes we have had to stop several times on the descent just to give our fingers a rest! Haven't noticed any over heating problems, but then I always pump the brakes gently on descents to reduce heat build up.

Haven't had the problems of rims wearing out any more than I would expect from a V brake system.
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