I grew up using Magura’s HS33 raceline. They where raced by my MTB hero’s Bart Brentjens and John Tomac. They looked cool and ad that time where the strongest brakes you could get. Now 17 years later I still use them, there timeless. Oke you now have disc-brakes, and I can see the advantages of using them. But I don’t have the money right know to switch to disc brakes.
One of the negative sides of using Magura’s HS33 is the weight penalty. And since I’m a weight wheenie and I design for a living, I gave myself the challenge to make the lightest Magura HS33 brakes.
Most Magura rim brake sets weigh around 750/800 grams. Which is a lot. I came to the conclusion that there were lots of places where weight can be dropped. So lets get started.
On way of losing lots of weight was at the clamping area. The clamps are designed to be bolted on the V-Brake studs of MTB frames. There are 2 disadvantages,
- The cylinders are mounted pretty far from the frame. You lose the direct braking power.
- These studs weight around 8/9 grams each. So when these can be left out you save 36 grams.
An advantage of doing leaving the V-Brake studs is that I can mill all the extra material of the clamps you don’t need. And per clamp this is some serious weight loss. The standard clamps weigh 44 grams and you need 1 set for every cylinder. So that’s 176 grams. I milled it down to 22 grams per set.
I bolt the clamps down with a M8 bolt directly on the frame. It’s now tighter and I can feel I can brake a little more direct now. Especially on the rear. I polished the clamps and spray painted the cilinders in my frames colour.
I made a though decision to leave out the Quick release. These weigh a lot (30 grams) and I really do not use it since I mostly never have a flat tyre. And If I have a flat tyre, the Latex or a plug will solve the problem. And of course the wheel can be taken out very easy if I have to. Just a little more work than normal but I take that for granted.
Most boosters from magura are made of steel (weight 50 grams). So again here’s a nice weight improvement to be made. I made some carbon fiber ones weighing 10 grams each. And they are as strong as the steel ones.
Here is where I really went crazy/out of the box. I love clean looking handlebars. Now days with all the accessories you can put on your bars, it can look like spaghetti. Brake levers, shifters, dropper seat post lever and lock-out for your fork or rear-shok. Since I have a very simple setup (1x9speed) I only ride with one shifter and my lockout is on my Headshok itself.
So to reduce the weight of my levers, and make them look clean and cool (at least that what I think) I made the choice to remove the clamp which goes around the bars. I made the handle shorter and shaped it to my liking. The piston tensioning plate was made out of metal. So I made one of carbon. I don’t like the big red knob on top of the lever so I left it off and milled the nut down. Lastly I polished the cylinder and piston pushers. The lever was spray paint in the same colour as my bike. Originally the levers weigh around 95 grams, mine now weigh 65grams.
Then came the fun part, I glued them on my handlebar, using very strong epoxy 2 components glue. And to reinforce the brake levers I drilled a hole through the handlebar and bolted them straight on it. Solid as a rock. Then refinished the bolts and used epoxy to flatten the surface. And last but not least a fresh coat of paint + clear coat.
And here is the end result. What do you think?
Here’s a list of the weight differences before and after.
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So that’s ±272 grams saved on just the brake set. So my Cannondale MTB is know at 9kg exactly.