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  1. #1
    Clueless genius
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    Magura Louise vs. Shimano SLX M665

    I'm contemplating switching to hydraulic brakes sometimes in the near future, and after a few hours of reading reviews and bargain hunting I've narrowed it down to two candidates; the 2011 Magura Louise and the Shimano SLX M665. For both I'd be running 180mm front and 160mm rear.

    The price difference is only a few bucks, both have very positive reviews, weight is fairly close, and I can't pick between them.

    I currently have 2006-07 era BB7's with 160 rotors. How much of a change in braking performance can I expect with the hydraulics? Or would it be better to just slap on some larger rotors and keep the BB7's? (It'd certainly be cheaper)

    Bike is a 2007 Cannondale Prophet 5 (140mm travel full-sus)
    I weigh around 150 pounds
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
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    I have both brands the Shimano XT and Magura(s) louise, marta sl. I'd go with Magura.

  3. #3
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    Spykr

    You are about to experience falling in love again. The hydros give you so much more feel and modulation. You had plenty of power with the BB7's but now you will get to experience one of the real reasons behind hydros.
    Both of your choices mentioned are excellent but I would pick the Maguras in this case. ( not just because I work for them) haha.
    Thanks for your recommendation mimi1885
    Jude

  4. #4
    Wēk Ss
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    What makes the Louise better than the SLX or XT? What about the new SLX or XT?

  5. #5
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    Not sure about the new SLX and XT, I hear good things about them.

    I do know the Louise are not only have great power and modulation but also the pads run quiet typically and they are easy to deal with, bleed, set-up etc.
    They also use a 2 mm thick rotor vs an 1.8 mm Shimano rotor and therefore are more durable and heat stable.
    Both options are quality components.
    Jude

  6. #6
    T.W.O.
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    Bite point, looks, and Jude in no particular.

    I own many set of brakes Magura(s), Shimano, Formula, Hope, and Avid. I'd give overall performance to Magura Louise Carbon the new one is super easy to bleed and install.

    The Louie Carbon looks good, great blend between form and function.

    I love the woody feel of the lever, it' linear and very predictable and offer great feedback. I've paired it up with 160,185, and 203 the feel was almost identical. Power delivery was immediate but not hurried like my Formula the one(which can be shocking).

    Shimano Servo Wave is a very nice system but you'd need to get used to the feel of the bite point as it increase significantly after a certain point of the lever making some finesse move like going down steep/slippery descend or feathering rear brake while doing manual/wheelie more difficult if you are not used to it.

    Finally, Jude is the man. I've had great experience with many cycling component companies before but Jude is definitely exceptional and my encounter with Jude was not brake related but the Wotan fork and I was very impressed with the level of knowledge and customer service.

    I'm a bike junkie and would continue to try out as many bikes/components as I could afford but on my go-to rig(s) they are Magura's equipped.

    Off-topic, sorry Jude for putting you on the spot. Gotta question for you. Whatever happen to the Wotan. I was hoping to see a 170+mm version.

  7. #7
    Clueless genius
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    Thanks for everyone's input! I will be going for the Magura Louise's as soon as I get the money for them.

    One quick question though: Would the IS-Mount adapter from the rear BB7 work on the Magura? I know they both have a 74mm bolt width on them, so I'd assume it would, but I don't know for sure.
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  8. #8
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    Thanks for flying the flag nice and high mimi1885! Thanks for the props!

    The Wotan was good and light even for its intro but never got developed further, which it needed. Had a great stiff chassis but the air chamber needed tweaking with fluid to reduce the size for better spring curve. The valving could have used evolution also but we had to spend out money where we were having success at the time (which was XC then.)

    I still have a couple.

    AS for Spykr's question, The Avid adapter will work but you will have to shim the caliper to clear the rotor. They use the conical washer scenario so you will need to use about 5-10 mm of spacers. I don't recommend using the avid spacers however.

    Let me know if you can't find what you need, Here is a link that may help.
    Adapters - Brakes - Magura
    Jude

  9. #9
    Clueless genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by judemonica View Post

    AS for Spykr's question, The Avid adapter will work but you will have to shim the caliper to clear the rotor. They use the conical washer scenario so you will need to use about 5-10 mm of spacers. I don't recommend using the avid spacers however.

    Let me know if you can't find what you need, Here is a link that may help.
    Adapters - Brakes - Magura
    I can find the adapters just fine on pricepoint (where I will be ordering the brakes from) I was just hoping that I'd be able to save 10 bucks and use the adapter that I already had! But if it means lots of fiddling, searching for the right spacers and whatnot, it's not gonna be worth it.

    I've also read that the Louise's have a very large braking surface and as such many rotors (avid roundragons, any shimano rotor, alligator windcutters) won't work well and the pads will rub on the spider arms. Is this true?
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  10. #10
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    You would be fine using the Avid adapter if you are competent with the wrenches and can sort out the spacing as its not complicated.
    As for the rotors, We officially say no due to thinner rotors from the competition, (we are at 2.0 mm thick) but you will be just fine with the others. Don't let your pads get too worn as the heat from the lack of rotor thickness will fade the pads but the fitment is just fine. Don't even worry about what you mention because that is "by design" on many systems. The pads can "sweep" into the "veins" or "spider arms" of the rotor with zero negative effect on braking and the components.
    Remember though that an Avid 185 mm rotor is unusual and all other companies use a 5 mm smaller rotor, a 180. (this could cause a need for more spacing if used)

    Enjoy and thanks for choosing Magura!
    Jude

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Spyker, you made the right choice here! My original LouiseFRs are still going strong after 5 years, and I dug them so much I spec'd another set early this year for a new build.

    Yeah, and Jude @ support is OK too - he even supported my pinch flat last night. Thanks bud, I owe you one!

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