Best Stock DH rim for a Brake?

I just put an hs-33 on my muni, and after three rides all the little scratches in the tim have been smeared into long depositions of dust, etc. At first the rim was silent, smooth, and excellent, but now when I brake I can feel the brake pads chattering and it is starting to do the characteristic squeak. ON top of all of this, the wear ont he rim from the brakes has revealed the spots where I dented it. I never knew how much I’ve damaged this rim.

So what is the best stock DH rim for maguras? I don’t really care about width, so long as it’s not thinner than the DX-32, which is about as skinny as I like for a 3.0 tire.


If you didnt change out the pads that I had on the maggie when I sent it to you it will probably always make that noise. I had trails break pads not stock ones as I got it from an old front wheel of a trials bike. I dont think a few small dents are too big of an issue, you may be able to fix some of them by pulling them out with pliers. If you are looking for a quieter brake try swapping out the pads.

The DX is a good rim for downhill and the braking surface on it isnt bad. If you find you need more stopping power out of your current rim you can always try tar (dry riding only) or scuffing it up with a course sanding attachment on a drill.

Hey, thanks Mike.

I noticed you had the Kool-stop pads. I think i’ll stick with them, since from what I hear they give much better stopping power. As of now the brake has enough stoppin power for me, being as I can lock up the wheel on ~50% grades.

I like the DX-32 aswell, I just wasn’t sure if there was a better rim for brake usage. I don’t mind the dents, except it’s a reminder of all the crap that I’ve put this rim through. THe biggest problem on its braking suface is it’s very gouged and scratched, so the scratches hold fine dust which the brake smears across the rim. It’s a pretty concistent braking action right now though, so I guess I’ll stick with it.

My brake seems to work fine on a Halo Combat rim without a braking surface, especially after wearing the pads and the rim in (there’s no paint left on the rim where the brakes ryb anymore.) Probably the least ideal braking set up possible, but when I pull the lever the wheel stops turning. I’ll change something when it breaks.*


*pun fully intended

Bevan, check out the Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads. Apparently they stop all the squeaking and junk you speak of.


I have the same brake and rim…stock pads though. Every once in a while, I go over the braking surface with a small file to smooth out the gouges and scratches. This makes the braking action much smoother. I also figure the smoother surface saves pad wear. I wouldn’t file too aggressively so as not to thin out the rim unduly, but taking off the raised and rough edges from scratches shouldn’t hurt anything…I’m not talking dents here, just the roughness that derives from rock scrapes.

Also, rim trueness counts a lot more with a brake. Untrueness will create variation in braking that might throw you (well, maybe not you…) especially on more technical sections (although that’s not really where I tend to brake much).

Hope this helps some.


Thanks y’all. I checked out those salmon pads, they looked good. Mine look quite similar, too. I couldn’t find any pads on there that would fit a magura brake, however.

Jerry, that’s a good idea to go voer the rim with a file. I was thinking about how those burrs would act like little knives to cut pieces of the pad off, the file is a good solution to that.

Completely by conincedence, my rim is about as true as I’ve ever had it, and on top of that the spokes are well tensioned. I haven’t really noticed inconsistent braking, except for the chatter that arises occasionally.

I’m considering either sandblasting the anodizing off the rim wall or doing a light file job on it, however at this point the rim’s been through enough that I’ll probably just get a new one if I need to do anything to it.

On the chatter, you might try a little toe-in on the pads. Align the pads so that the leading end contacts the rim just ever so slightly before the rest of the pad. That cuts out squealing and chatter. By “leading” end, I mean the end towards the front of the uni. If the pad hits flat or with the trailing end first, that sets up the chatter, whereas the other way 'round, it lets the pad settle gently onto the rim as the pressure increases.


You can be fairly agressive with rims, have you seen the trials guys who grind their rims? I’ve known people that would grind their rim every month just so they had a better braking surface on them and have rims last for 2 years+

Another thing the louder the brakes are on a uni the cooler, people dont expect to see you with a brake on your uni so when they hear some brake squeal coming down the trail and then see you comming you always get a reaction out of mtn bike guys.

You can try webcyclery for the black all purpose pads or try out the grey for anodized and cermaic rims, a set runs $20usd

Magura rim brakes don’t need toe-in. They should be flat to the rim.

Here’s what the Magura Cult FAQ says for squeaking rim brakes:

Q - You guys keep bragging that Magura brakes don’t squeal. I just fitted new ones and they squeal a bit. Why are you guys lying?

A. Noooooo, we’re not lying. Well, maybe a little. My HS-33’s squealed somewhat when brand new until the pads wore in a bit. I’d suggest taking sandpaper to them - put the sand paper on a flat surface and rub the pad on it until the factory finish has gone. Also scuff the rim walls with 3M Scotchbrite pads too. Mine have never squealed since. What Maguras don’t need is toe-in like V-brakes. Set the pads dead flush to the rims. Remove your tires to really see clearly what you’re doing.
Big Dave’s additional comment - Another thing that may cause squeal is lack of boosters, air in the lines (not getting full power) and loose bolts.

Q - I see there are four colours of Maggie pads. What are they for?

A. Here is what the pads are for:
Black - Standard pad for colourless anodized and polished aluminum rims.
Grey - Standard pad for hard anodized (black) and ceramic rims.
Red - Race orientated pad for both dry and wet conditions for all polished rim surfaces.
Green - Race oriented pad with excellent performance in wet weather conditions or hard anodized (black) and ceramic rims.

Red pads - they are made by Koolstop in the USA (it’s the Mathauser Salmon colour pad material), shipped to Germany, the plastic backs are glued on and then they are shipped back to N. America (and round the rest of the world too).

Hi, Bevan–

I started with a KH 24 with a DX-32/Magura. I kept getting razzed by the guys up in SB because none of them use a brake. When the cross cable blew out on my Magura I went without the brake, and after a few rides got used to riding that way. Then I switched over to a Large Marge sans brake and never looked back.

I think the DX-32 is as good as any rim if you want to run a brake. For me it was amazing that the brake wasn’t as essential as I originally believed. Nice to have on steep fire roads and super steep rock slabs (like the one Ben rode down at Cal Muni Weekend), but otherwise not essential IME.


Thanks again you guys, this has been so helpful.

I set up my brakes initially with toe-in. I guess I need to fix that.

John: I agree with you, pretty much. I rode muni for 2 years without a brake, and that’s taught me that it’s not essential at all, however I just couldn’t help but try it. While it’s not particularly useful for most muni trails by themselves, the off-trail lines I find make the brake well worth it. In three rides I’ve landed descents steeper than I even considered ridable without a brake. With a brake, I can try descents approaching 60% in semi control. I also don’t notice the added weight, so having the brake is like a no loose way of making sure I don’t have to pass up any lines I may encounter on the trail. I can see how useless a brake can be on SB trails, but on trails like Downieville, the brake will save your legs so very much pain and soreness.

It looks like I’ll be sticking with the DX-32, and just working on adjusting the brakes correctly, rather than arbitrarily.