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Thread: Magura Claras

  1. #1
    ballbuster
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    Magura Claras

    At the swap meet today, I bought a set of Magura Claras for like a nickel. One lever was busted off, but I'm looking into replacing that.

    Are these things really as bad as the reviews say? I just got them cause I wanted to check out something that weighs less than my Avids and uses hydraulics. For the price, I could not pass them up. They are pretty dang light.

    The revies complain about needing regular bleeding, and lack of stopping power, but other reviews say they rock. This sounds like those who are not happy are having setup issues.

    What do y'all think?

  2. #2
    Bodhisattva
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    I've never used clara so I really can't help you much in terms of performance.

    But as far the bleeding thing goes...bleed it once correctly and you won't need to do it again for a very long time. The vast majority of problems come from improper setup and not mechanical malfunction.

    Contact Magura directly about that broken lever. I bet they hook you up with a new one for a good price.

    lonnie@magurausa.com
    Life....the original terminal illness

  3. #3
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    Wrong, those brakes are not worth a nickel

    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    I've never used clara so I really can't help you much in terms of performance.

    But as far the bleeding thing goes...bleed it once correctly and you won't need to do it again for a very long time. The vast majority of problems come from improper setup and not mechanical malfunction.

    Contact Magura directly about that broken lever. I bet they hook you up with a new one for a good price.

    lonnie@magurausa.com
    Also, you can bleed these brakes daily and still have many problems. Claras were speced to meet a price point. After my experience with 2000 claras, I have not thought about buying another product from Magura. The 2004 Maguras would be on my list of new discs.

    The lever and master cylinder constantly gave me problems. Way too much flex in the levers. The compression fitting let loose ,so the lever hits the bar, could be dangerous. No way to keep them bled. Work one day, the next ,lever pulls to the bar. You will spend alot of time on these brakes.In 2000 ,Codas were better than the Claras, that should tell you something.I suppose if you were super light, the brakes may work for you. I finally brought the brakes back to the shop, and they gave me a good deal on some hayes. For free, go for it, if you have some time to spare. Rich

  4. #4
    ballbuster
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    Dang!

    I just mounted the rear only. Once I did 5 power stops, the power really kicked in... dang! Monster power along with killer modulation. My Avid Mechs have always been moster power, but not great in the modulation department. It seemed like when babying through downhill switchbacks, they would be either on or off.

    so far, so good.

  5. #5
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    Wow, keep us updated

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I just mounted the rear only. Once I did 5 power stops, the power really kicked in... dang! Monster power along with killer modulation. My Avid Mechs have always been moster power, but not great in the modulation department. It seemed like when babying through downhill switchbacks, they would be either on or off.

    so far, so good.
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

  6. #6
    We get titles?
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    Yes, I agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by jedoaks
    Also, you can bleed these brakes daily and still have many problems. Claras were speced to meet a price point. After my experience with 2000 claras, I have not thought about buying another product from Magura.
    I figured I was doing the world a favor when I threw away my 2000 clara's (instead of selling them to somebody).

  7. #7
    ballbuster
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    2000's are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I just mounted the rear only. Once I did 5 power stops, the power really kicked in... dang! Monster power along with killer modulation. My Avid Mechs have always been moster power, but not great in the modulation department. It seemed like when babying through downhill switchbacks, they would be either on or off.

    so far, so good.
    The 2001 and later Claras are different than earlier ones. The 2001s added a second piston. They were discoed after the 2003 model year because they were basically Louise without the reach adjuster for a lot less dough.

    Anyway, I took them out the other day on some super steep stuff to see if I could cook them.... and I did, but I also cooked my Avid in the process. It held up pretty well. I'm pretty happy with the rear brake so far.

    I found an OBS that is selling the later dual piston ones for $54, so I got a set to replace the one I got with a busted lever. I can't wait till it shows up. I figure I can sell them for what I got into them pretty easily, or put them on a less important bike, like my SS.

    I also put them on the scale to compare with the Avids. The Avid system I took off (lever, cable, caliper and hardware) came to about 15 oz, where the Clara came to 10.5 oz. Dang, Imonna shave over half a pound with these brakes.

  8. #8
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    Slightly over 1/4 pound saved, not over 1/2

    For what that is worth but split that between two wheels and the 1/8 pound saved might not be worth the money or any potential aggrevation.

    I just switched from Avid Mechs to Louise simply because I like the feel of hydros better. I could not justify the switch as a weight savings nor could I say one really has more stopping power than the other since they both have six inch rotors and stopping power is a product of rotor size more than anything else.

    So, its down to "feel" and nothing more.

  9. #9
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    Claras were cheaper versions of the Louise. The main difference was the plastic master cylinder. Early version (black master) had lots of sticky master piston problems, which was solved when they went to a different plastic (Silver masters). Other than that, they have always worked as well as the Louise for me, which was good.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  10. #10
    Do It Yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    For what that is worth but split that between two wheels and the 1/8 pound saved might not be worth the money or any potential aggrevation.

    I just switched from Avid Mechs to Louise simply because I like the feel of hydros better. I could not justify the switch as a weight savings nor could I say one really has more stopping power than the other since they both have six inch rotors and stopping power is a product of rotor size more than anything else.

    So, its down to "feel" and nothing more.
    He saved 4.5oz with the one brake. Both brakes would presumably be close to double that, equating to over half a pound. Avids_are cheap and easy but freakin' heavy too.
    Long Live Long Rides

  11. #11
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    My mistake. I thought "system" was everything

    I must have saved a similiar amount when I switched from Avids to Louise two weeks ago. Bike doesn't seem any lighter though.

  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    Finally got a ride in

    First impression, I dig them, but the rear occasionally started to drag a bit, then it would go away.

    No biggie. I really dig the controll, tho. Dang, I was nailing downhill switchbacks pretty effortlessly. My avid would have grabbed, and I would have pulsed it on and off on the low speed sneaker kinda stuff. Side note, I mounted my Avid to my bud's bike, and it exploded 1/3 the way into the ride. I guess the nut worked loose that holds the actuator arm on. I got a note into Avid on it.

    For the dough, I can deal with an occaional intermittent brake drag, and the added bonus of better control along with shaving half a pound.

    Let's see how they do in the long term.

  13. #13
    ballbuster
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    I did Downieville on them this weekend...

    dang, they worked great. I never overheated them. I did have rubbing issues every now and again. I woder if when you squeeze the brakes when the hubs flex out of line, that throws them off. While tweaking my bike in camp, I had to push the pisons back in a few times. My brakes have the Magura Blood in them, and I hear the newer Royal Blood brake fluid helps the seal sliding issue, which knocks the pads closer to the rotor, causing the rub.

    Anywho:

    Pros:

    Great stopping power
    lightweight
    great feel/modulation
    cheap

    Cons:

    Tend to get out of line easily
    no lever reach adjuster
    plastic lever bodies can get cracked easily.

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