Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Magura Louise BAT's

Although I love the bling offered by my Hope's Mono M4's, they've consistently proved to be a royal pain in the butt cheeks. I've been hammerin' these puppy's for almost two years now and a second winter has finally driven me to look for alternatives. From the start they've needed accurate alignment to overcome squeal and every few months there after, more tlc to overcome drag (lazy pistons). The worst of it has been the lack of bite when it turns damp, particularly out back. It's not all been bad though 'cos when they're on form they give a lovely lever feel with oodles of modulation.

But where should I look for a replacement ?
  • Help was on hand sooner than expected as the Magura Louise stoppers on Chipmunk's recent test ride supplied some mighty stopping power for minimal effort which confirmed my thoughts that I ought to look for some replacements. Plenty of good reviews have been written about these long evolved units and fellow Turner riders even praise 'em in the near constant gloop of Alaska.
  • Being a fan of SRAM and Rockshox I initially thought that the svelt Avid Juicy's would be suitable but some research suggested that they were noisy in the wet :( They are however fitted to lots of bikes, get good review, look the business and are light so I wasn't ruling them out.
  • Hope have recently revamped their entire range from levers right through to calliper's , which tells me something. Although they're British and still "look" trick I'm very reluctant to drop any hard earned their way.
  • Shimano haulers often get praised amongst the posse. They come in numerous flavours providing plenty of choice but...they're not SRAM ;-)
  • Hayes get reliable reviews and although I've only tried 'em once they were more than adequate. A little heavy perhaps, but at this stage I'd take a few extra g's over hours of fiddlin.
A couple of emails to our pals in Montana, who like Mag's, convinced me that the German stoppers would be a good choice. Oh and their brilliant prices helped clinch a deal ;-) A couple of weeks later and Chipmunk collected Chad's package on the last leg of it's long journey.

I've spent the evening swapping Hope's for Magura's and;
  • the two piston callipers are a sinch to align, with no more fussin' around freeing up different sized pistons, bliss.
  • the VentiRotors are meaty beasts in comparison to their Hope counterparts (checkout the 3d centers) which has gotta bode well for keeping 'em straight and true - which they are (unlike others I could mention).

  • the teeny domed Torx rotor bolts aren't "cheese-like".
  • the master cylinders still look quirky but I don't care if they work.
  • although the adaptors aren't the most aesthetically appealing, their post mounts make tweaking quick and easy. Manitou has used this system for years and I'm glad to say that setting up the rear is now as easy as the front.
  • both hoses were the same length (read "loooong") which means the front has loads-a-surplus until I get around to choppin' it down. However, it does mean that I can ride without having to shorten/lengthen 'em. Not to mention testing 'em "unmolested" - as per factory set-up.
  • as I lifted 'em out of their box I suddenly remembered that our Yankie pals ride with their levers opposite to ours :O Fortunately, the long hoses mean that I can fit 'em UK style without needing to swap ends.
  • the levers don't employ a split clamp mount which means wrestling off the grips again :X
  • the calliper banjo's probably need switching at some point to get better cable runs. This shouldn't be a major headache as both hoses need "processing" - front shortening and the rear still needs running through the 5Spot "taco" (minus calliper).
  • oh yeah, the carbon bits look trick :-D

I'll report back after a couple of rides, bedding 'em in and the like before I bleet about their performance. In the meantime I suggest you browse the Magura website 'cos they even list stopping distances, something I've not seen any other manufacturer do.

So here's hoping that that BAT's don't follow in the wheel tracks of my M4's and squeal their way up any Welsh hillsides causing fellow riders to yell obscenities from several hundred feet above ;)


Rob said...

Nice Bling....!

Farqui said...

Well that was a odd ride with plenty of stop, start action. However, the BAT's are starting to bed in nicely and without any noises too :B

The bike pitches much more than before so it looks like I'll have to up the compression damping a little to compensate :rolleyes

I checked the alignment after an hours blat and the bling VentiRotor's are still dead center. Dead straight and with zero pad rub :thumbu

The levers move a little more than I'm used to, but if that's the price of no rub/drag then so be it.

Hmmm, I wonder how long my knobblies will last with these ;-)

Farqui said...

The BAT's got their first off road test last night, around Woburn. I'm pleased to report that they've a good consistent feel, regardless of the conditions. Now that wasn't too much to ask was it.

Oh and they stayed uber quiet :thumbu

I suppose they still need testing during a thorough drenching to be 100% sure of their ability. Does anyone fancy an trip back to Cannock ?! ;-) Hehe, that'll be a good test of pad longevity too :rolleyes

Once I've cleaned my "retired" M4's, I'll see if the service kits don't resurrect 'em.

Poor Rob had to re-shimming his M4's before yesterdays blat but he's sticking with 'em - at least for now...

Farqui said...

Blimey, the other night I bent two good quality allen keys just getting the pads out ! Not something you want to wrestle with at the trailside.

I've now swapped over the hoses, so the surplus coiled up front will no longer snag pedestrians ;-)

Chipmunk helped me bleed both brakes, the process of which forces fluid up from the caliper and back, up and back, repeat. It's a bit of a fiddle and definitely a two person task but seems to work well.

Oh yeah, if you try this then you'll need an impossibly small torx drive (t7?) to remove master cylinder cap(s). After a panic rummage, I managed to locate such a gizmo - phew.