Squeakin' Magura Brakes On Airfoil Rim

When I ordered my Airfoil wheel from UDC I asked if it would be one of the reworked powdercoated ones or not. They said it was not one of those. It looks alot like a powdercoat job to me, and the brake squeaks terribly. People think one is odd enough decending a huge hill on a 36" unicycle without a loud squalling noise eminating from the wheel. I’m aware that magura makes different type pads. Is there one that is better for the what I’m pretty sure is a powdercoated Airfoil rim.

Phil, the powdercoating on those airfoils is just not good for braking.
LiveWire Unicycles in San Antonio now offers a precision grinding service for these rims that leaves bare aluminum on the sides with no runout.

The other issue is pad compound. Magura makes about 4 different compounds. I use the grey pads intended for ceramic brake surfaces. BUT, I have not tried them with the powdercoat surface (and won’t - my current project has a disc).
The black pads that come with most magura brake sets are sticky and loud.
There are also red & green pads. Greens are rain pads and reputed to be not so good for dry braking, so that might be a good choice. And other companies make pads compatible with maggies too.

Also be sure that the brake pads are perfectly parallel and flat with the rim when mounted. Magura pads don’t need (and shouldn’t have) toe-in like you would for regular rim brakes.

I don’t have a powder coated Airfoil so I can’t comment on how much squeaking there should or shouldn’t be.


thats what the rounded black plastic things are for, so you can toe them in…if i dont toe mine, the rim screams like a bansheeeeeeeeeeee.

were did you read not to toe Maguras?

Toeing in would mean the back edge dragging first?

No toe-in Maggies, no toe-in Maggies. According to Magura installation manual. The black things are to match the brake surface to the rim angle. However, if toeing-in works for you, Jag, go for it. The attachment of the pad to the brake is a floating one, though.

Even with the machined rim, the brakes will squeal some until the setup wears in some. Try sandpapering the surface of the brake pads.

The strictly anodized surface will show some grain and will not look “melted” in the sharp corners such as the spoke holes. The powdercoated rims are opaque black and look melted. Under the powdercoating is black anodizing. Using a brake on a powdercoated surface is not that great an idea, since powdercoating is plastic applied with heat and brakes induce a large amount of heat in a small area. Normally this heat is dissipated by the metal rim, but if there is no contact with metal…

It’s Wallis Design’s machine that LiveWire pays a fee to use on rims to accomplish the machined surface. Thanks for the use of the facility, Scott! Unfortunately, at this time the machine only supports bare, unbuilt Airfoil rims.

no, its the front that hits first…like if your feet were the pads, your toes need to hit first…just a couple of millimeters of toe are needed.


thanks for your thoughts, i cant tell ya what reason it is but without toe-in they squack ( LM rim, nice walls)…weird what Magura says,hmmm i think i’ll just leave it my way though :smiley: