The Passion People - Magura Factory Visit

Aug 21, 2015
by Nathan Hughes  




THE PASSION PEOPLE

MAGURA FACTORY VISIT



Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT


Ever wondered what your German company name might sound like? Take the beginning of your family name and combine it with the first letters of your business's birthplace. It's a traditional name generator in the 'Mutterland' and exactly the way 'Magura' was born - brainchild of Gustav 'Magenwirth' who called the historic spa town of 'Bad Urach' home in the late 1800s. Six distinctive-sounding letters is pretty neat for a country that calls a speed limit 'geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung'... luckily a word you'll never need on the Autobahn. Anyway, it was here, nestled in between Stuttgart and the Schwabian Alps in Reutlingen, Southern Germany, that the self-proclaimed 'Passion People' set up shop over 120 years ago. After all those years, a Pinkbike visit was beginning to sound overdue and finally this summer we made the trip to find out what it is that keeps this homemade brand firing on all cylinders and why the words 'made in Germany' are set in stone... and a good deal of carbon fiber composite.



Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  There's not much to dislike about Magura's hometown of Bad Urach with it's quintessential German market square, surrounded by 14th century, wood-frame housing and a 60 'C thermal spring.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT

bigquotesWhat is Magura all about? Magura is about the passion to create high-performance products of the utmost reliability, succeeding as pioneers in our business. Armed with decades of know-how, we are always looking to offer solution-oriented products to be winners alongside our customers. We are also a family-determined, economically independent organisation that is proud to Schwabian. In the years to come we hope to remain just as innovative, inventive, rooted in the soil, all whilst maintaining the best face-to-face relations with those who invest in our equipment - Fabian Auch - Magura CEO


Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Fabian and Gustav together outside the Magura HQ, now in it's fourth generation of family ownership.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Worldwide, the Magura crew of today runs 500 people deep and has important bases in Asia and the USA.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  A blast from the past, but also a key to the future; Magura's iconic Hydro-stop rims brakes were a 90's must-have for any hard tail and today sell in huge numbers for city bikes. Meanwhile the Gustav M discs were the flagship big-bike brake, ridden by greats like Shaun Palmer at the pre-millennium World Cups.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Magura's distinctive, double-arch, 'DLO' fork line greets you at the door of their busy design department. With exciting and unique innovations like the eLECT system already on the market there's also much more to come. Keep an eye out at Eurobike when further high-tech wizardry is set for release.


Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  A short drive out of town we find Magura's production facility, home of cutting-edge injection-molding techniques.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  The raw material is predominantly carbon-infused plastic. Purchased at costs of up to 80euros per kilo, it carefully finds it's way to the machinery through an extensive mass of pipework.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  A supplier of components to BMW motorcycles for some 90 years, Magura recently achieved the beautifully rare feat to reverse the flow of technology back upstream from the bicycle industry to that of the mighty motorcycle. The product that made the leap - their injection-molded, carbon-reinforced, 'Carbotecture' master cylinders with only fraction of the weight, but with superior strength and the perfect degree of flex.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Molds for Magura's product line are stored in a huge, computer-operated, racking system, while rooms surrounding the main factory area are allocated to humidity monitoring of the materials and rigorous quality control of the products. Safety has always been the brand's best selling asset.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  A key motivation for Magura to continue to produce in Germany is their immense technical know-how. For some of the machines where photos are not even permitted, to keep them under watchful eye at home in Europe is the best way to keep a secret safe. Techniques for carbon-fiber alignment and material thickness alteration to achieve optimum reinforcement are closely guarded.


Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Product Manager, Stefan Pahl and Key Account Manager, Christian Brauner showed us a few highlights of the very extensive local trail network to lighten the mood on a Thursday afternoon. The sweltering depths of a deep, dark factory are surely no place to hang around on a summers day after-all...

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  The view from the top of Hohen Neuffen Castle is a good one...

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Never forget, when the locals don't put knee-guards on; be afraid. It means they don't shuttle and you're about to take a good thrashing. Apparently 25km is only a quick one in these parts.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  With the Magura offices backing onto steep woods that lead you all the way into the heart of the Schwabian Alps, good times on two wheels are never far away for these guys. And it's very important for product testing... We meant to say that first.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Back in the aftercare and warranty department, our host and head of marketing, Gotz Braun, sets me up with some of Magura's flagship 4 piston brakes to try on my downhill bike and after today I look forward, teary-eyed, to my next chairlift assisted descent.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  The MT7 with it's original Magura 'Raceline' colorway and lightweight 'Carbotecture' master cylinder is one good-looking piece of equipment. First rides in big mountains have already given me a good idea of their excellent modulation, impressive power and markedly reduced arm-pump.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Having witnessed the ins and outs of the molding process and the local trail scene, it was time to explore Magura's high-tech assembly plant a few kilometers away at Hengen.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Welcome to the supermarket. Component parts are shelved up to the ceiling ready to be picked for assembly.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Patrick Gruber oversees proceedings at the ultra-clean facility that uses a higher than normal air-pressure to remove atmospheric dust.


Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  Levers and calipers are build up at workstations by hand operated machinery.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  A row of full-carbon MT8 brakes await their hoses and bleeding - a robotized process it's not possible to photograph due to more technical know-how that needs to be kept secret.

Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
Images from the MAGURA FACTORY VISIT
  You've got to love it when a plan comes together. Magura's MT8, born and raised 100% in Germany.


MENTIONS: @Magura / @natedh9




55 Comments

  • 55 1
 Magura has the best customer service I've ever had to deal with in the bike industry. Was having problems with my mt6 brakes and they sent me a set of newer generation mt6's with absolutely no trouble. Thanks for backing your customers!
  • 14 3
 Hope technology have done similar me too!!
  • 2 1
 For me even...
  • 2 1
 here in Mexico they still have a long ways to go, terrible customer service unfortunately
  • 3 0
 Dunno about Magura's service, but Hope has not even replied to me, when i had troubles with my almost brand new Tech M4 brakes. I wrote them twice(!!). The dot has licked from under the piston seal. Rebuilding the caliper didn't help me as well. I have bought (and then rebuilt it with) a brand new piston seals kit all around. That helped. Still love how they works, what can not say the same about their serviceā€¦ Just from my personal experience
  • 2 0
 A lot of people are afraid to ride with Magura... don t know why
  • 2 0
 Great quality poor after sales support. I am very happy for the performance of 2011 marta and 2007 wotan but there was no after sales and service support for my country so i had to send the fork for the annual service of 2013 to Germany. I also asked them if i could purchase only two wires for the remote controls. By mistake they charge and ship the controls without letting me know, the cost was 80e!!. They admit their mistake but they couldn't refund and proposed a free service. I sent an email few days ago, no reply yet.
  • 4 0
 It's german, what were you expecting instead? Wink Just jokin...
  • 2 0
 Magura has been great for warranty more than once and love their brakes. I bought a used bike with Martha SL - best brake I had - and when it came time to swap to a newer carbon bike, I kept the martha on them as they were much better than the 2 others I tried. 5 years later I started having some air/bleeding issues (and yeah I did crash twice when that happened), called Magura USA and they promptly replaced the calipers with new MT8 (silver version) including a bleed kit (even though I had one and extra olives). They didn't have to since I wasn't the original owner and it was past their 5y period. Bravo!
Year+ later I had a weird piece of membrane show during a bleeding - which freaked me out (didn't want to ride it) so I called them and again they took care of me. I now have the MT5 which I can't wait to try.

Have been using the louise BAT on my DH bike (they have so much power not sure I need quad piston) and have been flawless for 3 seasons.

I use Shimano ice Tech rotors which I know a thinner, but like the cooling idea better. You just need a bit more fluid in the MT for them...Occasionally I run out and get air when they pads get to the metal. Also the plastic bleed screes on MT can strip so easily (bad design). Only down sides.
  • 33 1
 Seems like you guys really build up and make a story out of the article and right when it gets really techy and interesting, it ends. Say bye bye to my engineering boner.
  • 1 1
 Yeah, just how many pics of part bins and factory exteriors can a guy stand?!
  • 13 4
 for some reason the word Magura sounds really tasty... I just wanna eat it because I bet if Magura was a food it'd be a nice food sorry but I like food and im a teenager so Magura sounds like tasty food for sure Fox wouldnt be tasty though I might be a hungry teenager but im certainly not a hillbilly roadkill ravaging fox eating fox eater sorry guys
  • 20 0
 Go get something to eat.
  • 11 0
 Hydraulic rim brakes ftw (for trials anyway!)
  • 6 0
 LONG LIVE MAGURA !!!!! long time customer from the Gustavs to julies to marthas, to MT7's NOTHING compares !!!!!! stop wasting your time with other brakes and just go with the best.. still have Gustav's and they still work / perform like the day they were put on.. Customer service is best
  • 4 0
 Just sold my bike with Gustav M's on it.

They were the most reliable piece of equipment that i've ever had and with nearly 100kg of meat attached to my bike i could still accidentaly lock the front wheel with one finger anytime.

With good brakepads i reckon they are still the most powerful brakes on the market avaliable/
  • 3 0
 Yeah! those things were & still are savage! So much power & they looked cool too!
  • 1 0
 some modulation or binary brake like old avid?
  • 3 0
 Well, I see modulation as built into your fingers or hands - you see, you can ride any brake the same, it just takes practice to navigate the bite point. So people saying one brake is better than another I beeline isn't exactly true, unless it's an elixir or formula RX which are like stop buttons. But the Gustavs had power enough to stop a train, but you could be gentle still, meaning a reduction in arm pump as less effort is used. Just needs you to get used to them I suppose! Hope that helps!!! :-)
  • 5 0
 I'm still running 2004 Gustavs. They have a few problems, but the braking performance compensates for it - even with shorter levers and hard pads. Sometimes I'm scared that my fork arch will snap under the braking force.
  • 3 0
 dude get the mt7 a very big difference. especially in the front, everything is enhanced. You will not be disappointed .. at High speed and longer decents these things feel so great no pummping up , so much easier to bleed... JOIN THE OWL CLUB.. HOOTY HOOOO
  • 2 0
 I respect opinions from anyone who owns a Race Link. The snapped floating brake rod speaks for the power of MT7s. Or maybe your Gustavs already weakened it? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 the thing i noticed the most was the front. i ride an inverted and the modulation at speed in the front is unreal grabbing so much brake diving threw the fork feels natural and comfortable.. with the gustav in the front this was challenging, but now it seems like second nature.. I have a ti floater and should have put it on that would have probably saved the frame.
  • 3 0
 Remember the time, when 33's broke my old Monty 221 frame, i was a kid and didn't know that they can produce so much force to put seatstays apart... Remember to use good booster when you want to use Magura's hydraulic rim brakes. So powerful.
  • 6 0
 Those MT7 Brakes really do look amazing.
  • 4 1
 ...and is currently the best Brake what you can buy
  • 5 5
 The bleed port at the lever will strip of you blink at it... All the ones I've dealt with have lots of rubbing on the rotors (no matter what you do) and their rotors are atrocious quality.

Save yourself the hassle and buy Shimano or Avid... You'll be glad you did.
  • 4 0
 It's not the brakes, if you can't get them rub free. We've got 5 guys that I know of around here running MT brakes on multiple bike with Magura rotors. Not one of them rubs, I have 3 bike myself all rub free.

If you're stripping bleed port plugs too, I'm voting "user error" not the brakes..................
  • 1 0
 If I had the money, I wouldn't know what to buy between Hope tech M4, Saints, and MT7 brakes !
  • 1 2
 Too much plastic, not enough metal. Sure, after a bunch of messing about they will work. The MT7's are savagely powerful, but the overall quality is below that of what you can get from Shimano. I've warrantied countless rotors that are so noisy that customers will not use their bikes... This is just a 14 year mechanic's outlook, but what would I know. This is all I do.
  • 3 0
 o wow. Veri veri cool. i louv magrua
  • 2 0
 Avid? Must be trolling.
  • 4 0
 I miss my old Magura hydro rim brakes - good to know they're still being sold for when I finally get around to building up another copy of my first race bike...
  • 2 0
 Been riding 2 sets of MT7 for 6 months now, finally a brake that has the power, modulation and fade-resistance of the good ole GustavM sans 150g a brake! MT5 can be had here in Europe for 210 euro for complete kit f/r incl. rotors/adapters... no brainer!
German MTB-Mag recently dyno'ed DH-brakes (Saint,Zee,MT5/7,Guide,Formula....) they threw a set of GustavM in the mix for grins and they were on par with all the new brakes in all respects but weighing in +150g a brake... they definitely were way ahead of their time back in the day.
  • 4 0
 still riding every week end with my Gustav M ! Not ready to make the change even if I wouldn't mind trying the new MT7
  • 3 0
 Exactly, their biggest "disadvantage" is that there is absolutely no reason to upgrade Big Grin
  • 1 0
 dude get the mt7 a very big difference. especially in the front, everything is enhanced. You will not be disappointed .. at High speed and longer decents these things feel so great no pummping up , so much easier to bleed... JOIN THE OWL CLUB.. HOOTY HOOOO
  • 1 0
 I don't know about the new generation, but I had a pair of Mt6 from 2012 on my bike, and although the feel was amazing, reliability was far from it. The best thing I did was switching to a pair of xt's when the mt6 front brake started to leak from the cylinder, zero problems yet! Really hope that Magura solved those reliability issues.
  • 2 0
 Never really thought of using a Magura product to be honest, but after this article they look a seriously slick and professional company. Those carbon brake levers look divine!
  • 1 0
 i still, like the guys rocking gustavs, see no reason to upgrade my hardtail from my HS-33's. sure i'm running discs (non-asian made hopes) on my pivots and turner, but there's nothing at all wrong with my rim brakes. biggest disadvantage is if i bend a rim in a ride. enough power. great modulation/feel, reliable. only thing that'll make me upgrade will be the fork dying, at which point i'm screwed, and will a need a new frame, wheels, brakes, fork............

i'm also running a magura fork on my mach 5. great fork, just did a full service on it 2 weeks ago, and was done in less than 20minutes.

i havn't needed to use the customer service since thorsten left 15 years ago. but when i did, superb. i know a friend did have issues with his MT-8's that have since been sorted.
  • 1 0
 I'm willing to break into the factory just to get factory new set of Gustav M. I wanted one for years but never get the chance to have it Frown

For me Gustav is one of the most iconic products in MTB history and I would be delighted to hang on the wall and stare at it in the winter.
  • 1 0
 They may be high tech but their customer service SUCKS! I had an older pair of brakes from them and one of the bleed ports got striped so the pin wouldnt stay in anymore. When I called the first time they said they would send me a full set of brakes because they liked that I had stuck with them for so long and then they only sent me the levers. After calling them back they said they would sent me the calipers too. One week later I get a package with hose's' and fittings but no calipers. So after another call and another week later they sent me the calipers I was suppose to get three weeks ago only to find out that the hose's and fittings they send me didnt work. After another call they sent me the right hose and when I went to put them on the fricking screw to attach the banjo fitting to the caliper wasnt even long enough! So now here I am at the end of a summer of riding with one brake and still dont have the damn parts I need to get a full set of working brakes. I have nothing bad to say about their products but they really need to get their shit together in customer service. Ive talked to the same person almost every time I called and they still cant get it right!
  • 3 0
 I bet those Gustavs still feel amazing. Stoked to get a set of the MT5'S, heard nothing but great reviews so far.
  • 3 0
 Great brakes, I had them on my old bike. Never been a fan of their looong levers though
  • 2 0
 The older Julie lever Blades fit the last generstion of Gustav M if you ever want to run a shorter 2 finger set-up. It's even listed by part No in the manual for the spares. I did it years ago and loved it. Still got em in a box somewhere, running XTR trails now. But wont never get rid of my Gustav M's
  • 1 0
 Got MT5 on my bike now but have had loads of problems with the front brake needing bleeding continually. In warranty now so hopefully will be sorted. Insanely powerful though. Hopefully will be sorted and rocking.
  • 1 0
 Magura is a great company , i had a grassroots deal from them back in 99 or 2000 , they set me up with a ROND BIG EGO fork and GUSTAV DH brakes , lots of spare parts and tools to work on the fork .
  • 1 1
 Magura brakes are inferior to the other two major brands (Shimano and Avid/SRAM).

Even Cannondale had dropped Magura from most of their bikes. I have warrantied more Magura brakes than any other brand.

Come on Magura, get on the quality control!
  • 3 0
 That Trek looks like a Norco at first.
  • 2 0
 Seeing a roadsign of my tiny hometown on Pinkbike is pretty cool!
  • 1 0
 Man, my first Santa Cruz Bullit had Louise FR brakes. I loved those brakes, such good bang for the buck. Never let me down.
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