Detuning Magura Brakes

I have Magura brakes on a new KH 36 unicycle and am finding them difficult to use. They are very grippy, and I need a very delicate touch to keep from pitching myself off the front. Is there any way I can detune them–reduce their efficiency. Magura sells four different types of brake pads. Can anyone recommend which would give me the least grip on an aluminum rim?

Do you have any other suggestions or advice?

I am thinking of swapping them out for V-brakes, but it seems like a waste. I use Magura’s on a Muni and am happy with them.


Black brake pads!

you could get a durometer and press it into each color brake pad to see which is hardest, the harder it is the less grippy. I think the rain pads are harder and less grippy. or contact magura tech

I’m pretty sure the black ones are the slickest. Aside from the brake pads some people run water in their lines rather than oil. That’s supposed to give the brakes a bit more squish, but not recommended for winter riding. You could try to toe the pads in as much as possible, but in my own experiments that didn’t provide much as the brakes seemed to self correct and flatten out against the rim.

Honestly thought V’s are great on uni’s. Aside from having already got the Maggies, you can’t go wrong with a cheap set of V’s. Much easier to service, adjust, and use. Until there is a 36x3 tire that a V won’t fit around there is no real reason to run Maggies.

Black ARE NOT the slickest :angry: Black are the Hard pads so have very little braking power! If its still Too much you can cut sum of the brake pads away.
Note: DO NOT use water in brake lines! :angry: Use Only Magura Royal Blood!
:frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

fit the pads in order that the front part of the pads touches the rim first to have a progressive brake, this is very important on a 36"

Slick=slippery=“very little braking power!” In some strange world the word slick might mean sticky, grippy, grabby, but that’s… mad. Think a little before you call someone mad.

I haven’t ever run water in my brake lines, but it is not uncommon for people to do it. If you want to detune maggies it’s one of the few ways you can, but as I said I’ve never done it. I like maggies on my MUni, but hated them on the 36. As luck would have it it only cost me a few dollars of hardware to attach V’s to my lower mag mount, and I was happy again.

Think :astonished: Black has is less griggy Then!
If you after less braking power and Have not got some HS33 on you 36"
You can use HS22 or HS11 as the lever/master is bigger so the power is lower.
Water Boils and you can be in Danger on long downhills the Boiling will lock up the brakes :angry:

That would certainly ruin a good ride. Thanks for clearing that up. I know some trials riders run water, but they aren’t doing long DH runs. I wonder if the speeds on a uni would result in the same kind of rim heat as a bike, my guess would be not, but still I wouldn’t want to do the tests.

I have been running water in my maggies for nearly a year with absolutely no problem at all. I run them on my GMuni 24" and use it at high speeds- i think concerns about the water boiling are unfounded, especially with the speeds and type of braking we are talking about.

Are you sure you want to weaken your brakes? The learning process with braking usually means a few dismounts. When i was learning i often would brake too much then let them off all together to correct- resulting in me eating it from the incorrect re-adjustment. Feathering the brake is a skill that you will get better at with time. If you still do want to adjust it you can fiddle with the knob on the cylinder- it will give your brake lever more travel before it starts to grip.

Braking is a skill that is invaluable to technical and enjoyable Distance and Muni riding- it does take a while to get used to but stick at it.


Yes trials riders do use water as it free and can rebleed any time but Boiling can ruin a day out.

1st On a 36" at 50kph going down a long down hill on the brakes. The brakes and rim get VERY HOT! As one of my friends find out burning has hand after the long down hill at Unicon this year so Boiling the water is some think to think about.
2nd you are right leaning to use the brake is the best way to go!

It seems implausible in the extreme that unicycle use could cause temperatures in the tubing to exceed 100C. Even getting the pad surface to 100C seems unlikely, and the brake pads are insulators.

I think the best way to reduce grippiness is to use black pads, next try to reduce the ammt of the brake pad face that comes in contact with the rim by cutting some 3 mm grooves int he face that remove some material.


I am not sure what the breaking surface is like on the rims that come on a KH36 are like but I found that after I sanded and polished the breaking surface on my Nimbus with Airfoil my braking was no weaker but much more predictable and easier to use.

Perhaps you should look at smoothing out your breaking surface.

Sand down the pads to remove the glaze/new pad finish, angle the pad so it touches at the trailing edge first, try running them when it’s wet so they’re more slippery when they break in.

I run them on my KH 36 and I wouldn’t even consider anything short of a disc brake, you just need to brake the rim and pads in, then it’ll all be good.

Find a nice big hill and coast your way down.

No water, that’s bad for the steel fittings.

Ask Brycer, he’ll tell ya…

You could also introduce some air bubbles to make it a bit spongier; though most folks bleed their brakes to avoid a spongy feel :wink:

I followed bouin-bouin’s advice and reclamped the brakes at an angle so that the front come in contact first. I adjusted it as far as a could. This change does give a better light touch on braking. It is still more than I need, but it is a significant improvement.


Thanks for the note, I did it last year on my KH36 after Induni tour and the very very long (30km) and stressing (for me) downhill.

May be you should also try this :

I toed in the brakes as suggested earlier, but I did not adjust them out far enough. This configuration led to brake rub when I was really mashing the pedals. There is nothing more frustrating the trying to muscle up a hill only to have the brakes start rubbing at each stroke!

I ordered some of the grey Magura brake pads and switched them out for the stock black pads. At the same time I adjusted the brakes out (but did not toe them) and tightened up the bearing holders just a bit.

One way to test for brake rub is to hold the wheel in the right hand and the seat post in the left. Pulling on the seat post and swinging it back and forth will help determine if there is too much flex in the system. If I cannot easily induce brake rub this way I do not observe it while riding. To test the other side I can just push the seat post away or switch sides. This method was helpful for adjusting the brakes and bearing holders to avoid brake rub.

The grey brake pads are great! They are less sticky than the black ones and lead to much smoother braking even without toeing them in. I am happy to have them on my 36”, but I would not bother on the muni—more brake power is probably good for the smaller wheel.


Interesting post. . . . I’ve been in the habit of throwing out these grey pads when ever they come in on new or used brakes. I might have to start saving them if there is actually some use for them.

Thanks for that,