Magura Brake Hacking

So I decided to save some money and not buy new cables for my busted Magura HS-33. I also lost my adjustable red knob at Moab this year, and I have been wanting to get a replacement for that.

Only my crossover cable was ripped, but I was looking into steel braided cables (to replace both crossover and main line), and that costs about $75 pre-shipping. No LBS’s seem to ever carry anything Magura (none had any replacement cables). Magura USA would sell me a new plastic crossover for $8 pre-shipping.

I called around, and a found a somewhat local tube supply store, and bought a couple feet of plastic tubing for a $1. It was tough to heat it up to the right temp. and get it solidly on the metal couplers, but I did it eventually.

The other “hack” is a die instead of buying a new knob. It’s pretty sweet.


There’s the galleries, that are pretty much tutorials.

Oh yeah, the brake got bled yesterday, and everything works great! Thank you, Nathan :).


Jess If your still home in G.B. you can take a look at some line I have for the hydraulics but I dont have any connectors

Nice going! It’s cool to see people’s creativity.

In the future, if you want to go back to Magura parts, I do service Magura brakes with plastic or stainless steel cables, with 90 degree connectors or not.

i think you need a new lbs mine sold me like 10 feet of magora tube for like 3$. also another tip dont heat the tube heat the fiting it makes it easer cuz the tube dosint get all flexey

Dealing with the fittings sizes for switching to a braided line cross-over is tricky. The brakes have two different size threads for the brake line (different thread size and different thread pitch). The Magura branded braided line fits into different holes on the brakes than the plastic line. The result is that you cannot use the Magura braided crossover hose in place of the plastic crossover hose. You have to replace both the crossover and the main hose with the Magura braided hose to get it to work.

You can go after market for a replacement braided crossover hose. A DH or freeride oriented bike shop will have have hydraulic brake fittings and hose. With luck they’ll have the fittings that will fit the Magura rim brakes. Have them build you a custom braided crossover. They can mix and match fitting sizes to get it all to work. So you can have a plastic hose going from the brake lever to the brake and a braided crossover hose.

The custom hydraulic hose and fittings from the bike shop should be much less expensive than the Magura branded braided hose. It probably won’t be as flexible as the Magura branded hose, but it will be flexible enough, and stronger and more kink resistant than the plastic hose.


Make sure you give us a follow up as to how your creative mod has worked out.


My last experience with a bike shop was not good when i changed over from the plastic lines to the braided lines. It was the beginning of the end of my brakes.

I have since replaced the old brakes entirely and am now using an almost new replacement magura brake (HS33) with plastic lines. I want to go back to the braided lines mainly for durability.

Can you tell me if I can just swap out the plastic lines and fittings and just replace it with the braided crossover and main lines? Do I need olives or anything for the braided lines?

The braided lines were originally bought from UDC two years ago in a kit that they offered. So, I think all I need to do is remove the plastic lines with connectors to the brakes and then just thread the braided lines into the brakes - right? Finally, refill with Magura blood.

I am debating whether or not to make the change before California Mountain Unicycling Weekend or run with what I have. The brakes work great right now, almost hate to tinker with them.


If you switch out both the brake lever hose and the cross-over hose at the same time to Magura braided hose you’ll be fine. It’s the mix and matching plastic hose with braided hose that gets complicated.

The braided hose is all different fittings than the plastic hose. The braided hose does not use olives. The fittings are completely different.

When replacing the hose just pay attention to the fitting sizes and thread pitch. Make sure you put the correct size fitting in the correct size hole.

You can use Finish Line Shock Oil #5 instead of Magura oil. It’s cheaper and easier to get. See The Magura Cult pages on rim brake setup for more info. The Magura Cult is where the recommendation to use the Finish Line Shock Oil is from.

Then you’ll need a bleeding kit. It’s a big syringe with a short section of hose attached and a fitting at the end. You might be able to use an old piece of hose (with fitting attached) from your old brake. Then it’s a challenge to find a suitable large syringe. Maybe a bike shop will be able to point you in the right direction. I have the Magura bleeding kit and didn’t roll my own setup.

If you have never bled brakes before it will probably take you two or three tries before you get it right with no air in the line.

You can download the Magura tech manuals. They’ll tell you what you need to know for installing the braided line. There is a tech manual listed as How to install the braided hose along with some other good tech manuals.

The Magura Cult pages have all the info you’ll need for how to bleed them and make sure there’s no air in the line.

mineral oil and watter also work (dont get the watter to cold)

Mineral oil is not ideal. Here is what The Magura Cult says about using mineral oil:

Use an oil that you know the viscosity of and that you know won’t damage any seals in the brake. 30 weight mineral oil is going to be too thick. The brake will be sluggish. Finish Line 5 weight shock oil (for the front fork of mountain bikes) is easy to find at bicycle shops. No need to experiment with mineral oil from the supermarket.

sorey jc but im going to have to disagree with you on this one you would never know the difrence with mineral oil. Ask aney trials biker they will tell you the same thing. In my trials bike magoras I run mineral oil in the winter and watter in the summer. mineral oil is cheap and easey to get and works exactly the same as magora blood, magora just dosint want you to know that


Thanks very much for the detailed response. It is extremely helpful and I know anyone ever going through researching this topic will find your response equally thorough and helpful.:slight_smile:


Here is the whole section on hydraulic oil from the Magura Cult:

Make of that what you will. I would not use water. It has no lubrication and if you leave the water in during Winter it could freeze and break the brake.

The Finish Line oil is reasonably priced. About $14 for 16oz. That is enough to completely flush the brake many times. More than enough for a unicyclist for several years or more.

This is all good stuff. Thanks for the post Jess with the detailed photos. Since I got to see the setup last weekend I can tell you guys that Jess’s die-knob came out great. Here’s hoping it will work perfectly all through CMW!


Can’t wait for proper lines.

I broke my main line a little while ago and have a triathlon on sunday. I want my break for the race but none of the bike shops here in PA or any of the ones in Saskatoon have Magura break line or olives.

Would using plastic tubing like that work for the main line? Is the connection the same as on the crossovers?