How Magura Tailor-Made Brakes For Loic Bruni

Jun 20, 2018
Loic Bruni s desired shape compared to MAGURA s HC1 lever shape.

Words: Magura

No one’s hands are the same – so why should all brakes have the same lever?

DH World Champion Loic Bruni and MAGURA went in search of the perfect lever ergonomics – and failed. Instead gaining the knowledge that ergonomics is a completely individual matter. With the product program #customizeyourbrake MAGURA offers end customers the possibility to adapt their lever ergonomics to their own preference.

Loic Bruni riding his titanium levers c Seb Schieck
Loic Bruni rides MAGURA MT7 with customized titanium levers

Professional riders like Danny MacAskill and Loic Bruni give valuable insights into the needs of accomplished athletes. The resulting ideas often lead to production-ready products. One good example for this is the HC3 1-finger brake lever for the MAGURA MT7: it was developed together with Danny MacAskill and is now one of the most sought-after retrofit parts for ambitious bikers.

MAGURA customizeyourbrake lever options in detail
No one´s hands are identical.
Loic Bruni comparing levers

Tailor-made for the world champion

From the start of 2018 MAGURA has officially sponsored the Specialized XC and Gravity Team. After the first test camp, in particular, world champ Loic Bruni had his own, very precise ideas about braking performance - especially about ergonomics. In a first sketch Loic drew the shape of his desired lever on paper. To better understand his needs and to enable practical testing MAGURA’s development department developed a prototype as a basis for testing.

New levers in the making.

Loic-O-Mat prototype downhill levers
MAGURA´s Loic-O-Mat prototype with changeable ergonomics shapes

The “Loic-O-Mat”, as it was called with a wink, is a combination of an aluminium base lever and 13 variations of 3D-printed lever shapes that could be installed and replaced quickly and easily. Loic tried out all the different shapes and lever ratios under real-life conditions and ultimately found his perfect lever form. On this basis, MAGURA produced a perfectly tuned lever for Loic which was used at the world cup race in Fort William for the first time.

Loic Bruni s customized titanium lever - 3D printed
Loic Bruni´s final 3D printed titanium lever

bigquotesLoic’s requirements were quite extreme. He wanted the bite point far away from the handlebars but with an extreme leverage-ratio for full on/off braking power. All or nothing. The short shape of the lever is more flat and straight. At the bite point, the lever is almost parallel to the handlebars, so his finger won’t slip in this position. Loic can move his finger on the wide grip area and take the pressure off it.Reiner Künstle - engineer at MAGURA

The final prototype of Loics lever is made of 3D printed titanium. Through rapid prototyping the development team was able to realize very short production times without compromising the strength or weight of the lever.

Danny MacAskill and his HC3 lever
Danny MacAskill and MAGURA engineer Reiner Künstle

Danny MacAskill´s ergonomics

The collaboration with Danny MacAskill produced a completely different lever than Loic Bruni’s choice.

Danny prefers a short brake lever with a minimum reach to keep a firm grip on the handlebars when he jumps from heights and during hard landings.

bigquotesDanny wanted a completely different feel in his brakes than Loic. As well as having the lever close, he wanted a clear position for his finger. To achieve this, the HC3 lever has almost a recessed grip with a high tip. It’s nothing like Loic’s flat lever.Reiner Künstle - engineer at MAGURA

Sketch Danny MacAskill lever shape.
Danny MacAskill´s lever shape
Loic-O-Mat for Danny MacAskill

The edges of his lever are rounded and flat to prevents his fingers from being cut. Thanks to the adjustable transmission ratio of this lever he can change the brake power and modulation. This enables him to stay in control, even in wet conditions. There’s no room for compromise if you have to land on an area the size of a 1 Euro coin from a height of 2 metres.

bigquotesThe requirements of our athletes differ enormously. We offer them and our customers different lever options to provide the best individual ergonomics and control.Heiko Böhle - Head of Product Management at MAGURA

In order to utilize the knowledge obtained by the close cooperation with pro-athletes, MAGURA already can offer a wide range of levers for model year 2019: five levers made of aluminium and carbon and with different ergonomics are available as retrofit parts for end customers. The new range includes Danny MacAskill’s HC3 lever and a new 1-finger lever produced using the carbon-textile embroidery process.

The Loic Bruni lever prototype is currently in its intensive trial phase, during which other athletes test it and give us their optimisation suggestions.

 customizeyourbrake MAGURA


Author Info:
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Member since Mar 5, 2018
18 articles

  • 70 1
 "Loic’s requirements were quite extreme. He wanted the bite point far away from the handlebars but with an extreme leverage-ratio for full on/off braking power. All or nothing." Basically, he wanted some Shimano brakes.
  • 13 1
 They should gave him Saint's with some neon spray on it
  • 4 0
 idk, for a fat ass like myself the Saints have plenty of modulation
  • 2 0
 @StiT25: I'm with you mate, except I'm only 68kg and I still think they have plenty of modulation.
  • 1 1
 The only difference is that these are much stronger then the shimano's...
  • 55 5
 Sometimes you get better performance with a straight one, but sometimes a bit of a curve is a better feel...... Thats what she said!
  • 7 0
 Talked with a Magura rep the other day, said the thing that's keeping Magura from good sells is the standard lever : looks and feels like a moped clutch lever. Once you install the HC shimano-style levers you get a outstanding brake
  • 14 1
 Apparently they are building their business model around selling lever upgrades. Now they even issued this advertorial glorifying the development process to reach in their third attempt what had to be done when the brakes were first released.
  • 6 0
 So.... why don't they just make the improved lever design the standard lever?
  • 3 2
 Not a fan of that deep hook for one finger braking.
  • 3 0
 I have the MT5 and I love the standard level. As they say, it's a "love or hate" thing.
  • 2 0
 @cool3: Same, though I did use lighter weight mineral oil and switched to 4x single piston pads instead of the connected pads that come in the MT5 as OE. Best brakes I've ever used, personally, in and out of working in shops, etc etc.
  • 1 0
 @Etolier: Did you see any difference between the monopads and two-piece pads?
  • 3 0
 @cool3: Yes, massive difference in initial bite.
  • 1 0
 @Etolier: Thanks, will try those.
  • 8 2
 Great brakes (maybe the best I've ever used) when they work
  • 4 2
 A Bitch to bleed (my mt5s anyway)
  • 6 0
 @wobbem: Really? I found mine the easiest brake to bleed yet
  • 1 0
 @wobbem: Did you watch the videos online?
  • 4 2
 @wobbem: magura are easy to bleed but that stupid plastic screw is why I'll never buy another set. For the premium price they are you'd think they could make a screw that doesn't brake so easily.
  • 1 0
 @wobbem: just do a cup bleed from the lever and if you have to replace the fluid do a gravity bleed
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: cup bleed works super well on the MT5 - a Shimano cup is easy to adapt with the right fitting. Shimano mineral oil is lighter than the Magura "Blood" and helps to lighten up the action too. Pentosin CHF is lightweight too.
  • 1 0
 @wobbem: for me they where super easy
  • 1 1
 @crbeveri: well you could also have read that it requires a 0.5 nm torque, it's not maguras fault that you can't read, or don't have the idea of going and finding what the torque is for brakes, you can't break them if you don't overtighten them...
  • 4 0
 I'm a bit confused here: "Thanks to the adjustable transmission ratio of this lever he can change the brake power and modulation."

Transmission ratio of a brake lever?
  • 8 0
 ÜBERSETZUNGSVERHÄLTNIS in german, in case you were wondering Smile
  • 2 0
 On the HC3 lever you can chane the geometry of the lever :
  • 2 0
 The lever transmits pressure/power through the line. The lever doesn't move in the same curve as the piston - the elevation is not linear. It has a leverage curve/ratio.
  • 1 0
 Relation, not elevation.
  • 1 0
 @FLATLlNE: This ∆
  • 4 1
 He literally shaped the lever like Sram’s Guide/Code. After coming from Sram I don’t blame him for wanting the feel changed. Those big Magura levers look fugly and can’t be comfortable
  • 2 0
 My complaint with them is that the lever is so long that it feels like you’re pulling the brake a lot even with a solid bleed
  • 1 0
 He shaped it like srams but since the master cylinder sticks out farther it still has a much higher reach, also the leverage ratio on maguras in general give insane amounts of power, the only downside is that even a slight air bubble in the system is quite noticeable
  • 3 0
 Shimano lever blades are by far the most comfortable, I wish Hope would do a replica for theirs.
  • 1 0
 *they're by far the most comfortable FOR YOU not everyone likes them, that's literally the point of the magura customization program
  • 1 1
 @Bikerdude137: 2 years ago!
  • 1 0
 I noticed a lot of people put their brakes inboard a long ways from their grips. They probably know more about it than me, but I thought it sucked when I tried it. Never going to please everyone.
  • 5 0

I think people do this to align their index finger with the hook at the end of the lever. Gives the most powerful position for single finger breaking with your index.

Certainly why I space my levers in from the grips.
  • 1 2
 My Mt7s are the best brakes ever, when they work. Unfortunately they are inconsistent, new pads take weeks to settle, most shops can’t servoce them, and when they fail they totally fail. But when they work, oh man! Best brakes on the planet. Every time I ride I have an internal struggle, do I keep running these terrible brakes? Or do I keep the best brakes ever? 3 seasons later, I still am conflicted.
  • 1 0
 i had a mt7 and change to saint because of what you say and have no regrets.
  • 1 0
 Mine where 10 times more consistent then shimano and i didn't even do a great bleed...
  • 2 0
 Certainly would be fun to play with the adjustable levers, hard to justify the price though.
  • 2 2
 For a second there I thought a golf club company was jumping in on the action. The last thing I want to hear while riding is a loud “PING” coming from my bike.
  • 1 0
 Full ON/OFF?
So who complain about Saint should take note from Loic.
  • 2 3
 Looks like a Code lever.

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