Gustav vs. Louise FR- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gustav vs. Louise FR

    Hi folks,

    I'm putting together a VP-Free and can't seem to decide which brakes to get. I have Martas on my Spot and love them, so I'm definitely going with Maguras.

    I'm 6'1" 225 and live in Tahoe. I like the more technical trails in the area like Xmas Valley and Toads, but also love going to Downieville and Moab (LPS/UPS/Porcy & Amasa) for their long fast descents. I mainly bought this bike so I could step it up a bit on drops and rail over techy terrain. I will be climbing on it too.

    I've had a couple of people tell me the Louise FRs will treat me well, but the allure of the Gustavs is giving me gear envy. Being new to big bikes, I'm a bit worried that the Gustavs might be too much for me. But I just want to make sure the Louises will do the trick with my "large stature."

  2. #2
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    well i dont have any real experience using Louise, besides squeezing a lever on random bikes that come through the shop, but i did run Gustav's for 4 seasons, and they are still fine and insanely powerful brakes, only reason their not on my bike now is my buddy's brakes died and i've been running gustav's forever so i thought i'd try something different for the hell of it since i work at shop and tried out some Juicy 7 carbons.

    anyways... Gustav's have extreme amount of power, are definately a heavy brake, the floating calipers have to be set up dead perfect or your doomed to have very mild brake drag. Gustav's are unmatched for power vs any other brake, i have / had / used the vast majority of the high end brake systems and gustav's pound out every one of them with ease. I currently have M4's on my hardtail, and Juicy 7's on my Yeti the gustav's have more brute force power than either by far. i weigh 190ish and am 6"3 and can lock the front wheel *of course you'd never actually wanna do that :P * with yer pinky finger if ya want to.

  3. #3
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    The Gustavs are an amazing brake. You will not regret either of these fine systems, but if you already have the gear envy for the Gustavs you have pretty much sealed the deal right there. Life is too short to compromise.


    As stated previously, the Gustavs will have a minimal amount of drag. Not enough to notice when you are riding. They are heavier. But to say they are too much, nah, no such thing.

  4. #4
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    OMG - Where to start?????!!!!!

    OK - having ridden pretty much every version of the Gustav since about 1997 (or was it 1996 when they had the aluminum rotors) and also every version of the Louise FR (since the original Louise brake in 1998), I could spew on for hours about these brakes...

    Now, I'm a little biased since Knolly Bikes sells Magura OEM, but since this is only a comparison between Magura products, that shouldn't be a problem.

    At 225 lbs, just suck up the extra 400 grams and get the Gustavs. Super duper powerfull, excellent modulation (they may feel like they're locking up at first, but that's just because you're used to squeezing every other brake 5 times as hard before you get the Gustavs), great pad life and very, very high reliability.

    I personally think they are the easiest brake in the world to set up. The floating caliper means that you only have to be "approxiately" close - as long as the rotor spins within the slot in the adapter, you're good to go.

    I find the drag very minimal. However, definitely ensure that the disc tabs on your fork and frame are parallel to the frame, otherwise, you will not be able to align the brakes correctly because their long pads.

    As others have said: they are expensive and somewhat heavy. However, you will almost NEVER need more than your index finger on the front brake lever (I've needed two fingers only a few times in over 6 seasons of running them) and once you get used to their power, they are also extremely easy to control.

    Don't get me wrong - the Louise FR is a great brake - especially for the price. But at your weight and for what you want to ride, the Gustav is the clear choice.

    Cheers!
    Noel Buckley
    ------------------
    www.knollybikes.com

    Instead of PMs, please contact me here.

  5. #5
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    Get The Gusses !!!

    Were about equal in size .
    Ive been on Gustavs since 2001 , 190F + 160R , no problems stopping my fat ass , and
    havent touched the brakes cept for pad changes and change of frame/fork.
    Cheers

  6. #6
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    And here I was thinking I would get advice to save money.

    Thanks everyone!

  7. #7
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    Maguras

    Just put Maguras on my Vp Free. No complaints, but I've only used them a few times thus far.
    "If you give up your dream, you die."
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  8. #8
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    I agree, go with the Gustav's. They are the most powerful brakes i have ever owned. When you pull them out of the box they look like moto brakes. Here is a pic of mine.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    I've got limited time on my Gustavs' but they are surprisingly easy to control, don't get me wrong they have masses of power but they give good feedback. They are absolutely silent with no squeal or weird scraping noises (avid). You get the feeling that they could stop a car. The main reason i bought mine is so that i won't suffer brake fade on trips to the Alps, but it's gonna be a couple of months untill i get there yet, but i have been reliably advised that they will lap it up. They are heavy, with very slight disc rub but if you are mainly going down then no problem. The only other thing of note is that i found the lever reach a bit long and so stripped it down and Dremelled the nub off the lever so that it sits nearer the bars. This is only a ten minute job which you may find unnecessary anyway. Oh and make sure you'll be staying with your forks because to change from I.S. to Postmount will cost you 70 (is that approx.$140?) for a new adaptor- forkin rip-off if you ask me. Anyway, THE best brake without doubt.
    You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey, but you can make a fast donkey.

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