We first tried Magura rim brakes back in '99 as an experiment and I liked
them but they seemed problematic and required a custom booster to fit over a
3" tire. Now the Magura HS33 seems to solve those problems. I've been riding
it now for 6 weeks and love it. It does feel like cheating sometimes, and
yes you could probably ride just about everything without, but it is truly
great when doing big descents. A year ago, I rode most of a 6000' descent in
Mexico without brakes and it killed my legs. Sore for 3 days. I could barely
walk the next morning - many of you know the feeling. Kris used his brake
that descent and was fine (except his ears were ringing for a while :-).
Training for that trip I had done a 4600' up & down ride and the downhill
was really a pain for the legs and knees. Very sore afterwards. A couple of
weeks ago I did the same ride with the brake and didn't feel a thing during
or after!! And my time went from 4:50 to 4:20. That is a huge difference and
is very worth carrying 0.76 extra pounds.
Offhand, I don't really think your idea of a drag brake will work well, but
I've never tried it. I think that once you feel the fine modulation control
that the Magura hydraulics give you, you won't want anything else. It takes
a little practice to use the brake on steep bumpy terrain, but it isn't all
that hard (not that I'm an expert at it yet). I have been experimenting a
little with riding 1-footed down much steeper slopes than otherwise possible
by using the brake. Maybe it could help with gliding too - save your soles?
Here is a picture of the brake parts we are using: http://SportToday.org/
Here is what the whole thing assembled looks like: http://SportToday.org/
I have to thank Geoff Faraghan for a ton of work experimenting several years
ago and Bronson Silva for becoming an expert at the HS33 setup and finding
all the parts. Also Kris for discovering that the HS33 can be used on a
unicycle, at least I think it was Kris who pioneered that.
> I am having a 24" Muni custom made for me and I'd like to have it
> equipped with brakes. My thoughts were to use a modified Magura
> hydraulic brake setup to fit around the tyre. However the bike
> builder suggested trying a different design of brake - one similar to
> those on kids' scooters. The idea is to have a *** covered arm
> that pivots just under the fork crown. The *** covered arm will
> drag on the tyre when the brake lever is squeezed. This should slow
> the wheel down. It may also result in increased tyre wear! Has anyone
> tried anything like this before?
> While on the subject of brakes on Municycles:
> How useful are brakes on Muni anyway? How easy is it to regulate your
> speed when riding down steep, rocky terrain?
> From a purist's point of view can you do everything on a brakeless
> Muni that you can do on a Muni with brakes? Or could you if you had
> the right skills or technique?
> Any thoughts or comments much appreciated!
> Tony Melton
> .......coastin' on