Magura Gustav Brakes-Long Term Beating!!

Sep 14, 2005
by Tyler Maine  
Product: Magura Gustav Disc Brakes
Rotor size: 210 front, 190 rear
Duration of test: 2 Years
Location: Nelson BC,
Test Pilot: Derek Chambers

So two years ago when I first set up my Gustav’s on my DH bike, I was recommended to get a deep cup headset. “Why?” I asked. Well I was told that these brakes are so strong that there is a good chance that I may ovalize my head tube if I didn’t. Well I didn’t quite believe him, but I went with the headset upgrade anyways, just to be safe.So two years later, I'm on the same set of brakes. I haven’t broken anything, I haven’t changed a line and haven’t had to bleed them, just change the pads every couple of months and she’s good to go. Oh ya did I mention that they feel exactly the same as the day I put them on my bike… well there you go. These are the best brakes on the market. I like to describe them as the best kept secret in the bike industry.

Magura uses mineral oil, instead of Dot fluid that many other brake companies use. This is a very large benefit to the rider and the brake. When dot fluid is heated over and over again, it eventually burns and breaks down, and will needs to be replaced to make your brakes function the way they should again. Mineral oil does not burn and break down the same, it will heat up and expand a little, just like Dot, but not break down. I have been told from Magura that if you don’t have any break line issues, then you can go up to 10 years before a set of Gustav’s need to have there fluid changed. So far within my 6 years as a bike mechanic, I have never been told that from any other brake manufacturer.

Magura uses their own unique floating calliper design. What that is, is a calliper that is always floating on two rails side to side. When any disc is over heated, it will actually go slightly “wavy” until it cooled down again. On conventional disc brakes, when the disc get heated to this point, they end up heating up more and more, even without braking, because they are rubbing hard against the pads. Gustav’s floating calliper allows the brake to cool down again because of the floating calliper. This also eliminates “brake pulls” that some brakes get.

Having brakes that are too strong, in my opinion is a very good thing. These brakes do need some time to get use to, but once you realize that you never need to grab a handful of brakes, you will ride with a lot more confidence and a much more relaxed grip, reducing arm pump and making the ride a lot more enjoyable. These brakes may be a little bit more expensive then the conventional and more common disc brakes like Hayes or Avid, but in my professional opinion, the extra money is well worth it. Strength, Comfort and reliability are reason enough. So my secret is out, now go get some Gustav’s!


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