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Review: the Magura HS 22 brakes

Dirk 22. December 2016

Hydraulic brakes have been around in one form or another for a quarter of a century. But what are hydraulic rim brakes good for anyway? Find out more in Dirk's review.

Welcome adrenalin junkies and speed freaks alike! Please don’t be upset, because this next post is not for you. It is time for another edition of “Dirk’s daily heroes” where there aren’t any extremely lightweight turbo parts or rare components to found. This is all about what’s reliable and what works. On to today’s agenda: Magura’s HS 22 EVO02 Easy Mount hydraulic rim brakes.

Hydraulic brakes have been around in one form or another for a quarter of a century. At first, only for MTB and then adapted to City & Touring bikes, they mostly take the form of disc brakes. So why do we even need a rim brake version in today’s world?

A practical exception

The Magura HS 22’s have a few advantages taken from both mechanical rim brakes and hydraulic disc brakes. Anyone who has spent time in northern Europe during the winter understands how wet and salty it can get which leads to slow-moving and frozen cables and housings. Of course, this can be eliminated with constant maintenance and care. However, on the daily commute it is a lot easier to get home and be done with your bike for the day. We love our weekend warrior machines and take good care of them, but the commuter should be simple and just plain work.

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Disc brakes are noticeably better in bad weather, but they have their own set of problems. For maximum braking power, it can be a test of patience to find the right amount of space between brake pads and rotor. When removing the wheel, one also has to be careful not to damage or bend the rotors or callipers.

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The Magura HS 22 solves both of these problems with its closed, maintenance free hydraulic system. Assembly and wheel removal is also much easier than with a hydraulic disc brake or mechanical system. Since we are already on the topic:

Assembly

So, first get rid of those nasty, frozen cables and housings and the rest of the old rim brakes.

Depending on how the rack is mounted, this many need a little finagling. Next, slide the washers and EVO02 adapter on the cantilever brake bosses, and screw in the SSP bolt. Now, both brake cylinders need to be mounted and fixed in place. The cylinders height, in relation to the rim, is set here. If needed, the distance to the rim can be set after releasing the Easy Mount lever and rotating the cylinder to the correct position. All of this was very easy to do and was very intuitive.

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Now, the brake levers need to be mounted and adjusted. The clamp is split making it easy to attach them to the bars without affecting other parts of the cockpit. With Magura’s Shiftmix clamp, most every modern shifter can be combined directly with the brakes. On older bikes that have classic braze-ons and eyelets for brake cable housings, Magura offers hydraulic hose guides that route the hose very nicely along the frame. I forget to order these, so I went for the next best thing: one-time use polymer fasteners, better known as cable ties.

Braking

The Magura EVO02 HS 22 brakes aren’t heavy handed, but they aren’t like the hands of a surgeon either. I would personally compare them to a reliable butler that is always there for you. They get the job done discreetly and without any issues. The long, 3-finger lever takes a little getting used to in a time where you can stop on a dime with one finger. However, they ensure that you can grab the lever from any position when needed. This is especially helpful while touring and riding in the city because your hands may have more to do than just gripping the handlebars.

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The key here is control. The HS 22’s aren’t the kind of brakes that are going to bite you if you look at them the wrong way. Bite is not even the right word to use here. They engage ‘softly’ and as you pull, they allow for great modulation all the way to end. I haven’t even been able call up on their full power, though this is probably due to my Diamondback’s steel tubing. Of course, Magura has addressed this problem by offering a brake booster. I’m gonna have to get me a pair.

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Summary

The Magura EVO02 Easy Mount HS 22’s are through and through a set of thought-out and practical brakes. Assembly and adjustment is, thanks to the Easy Mount cylinder, super easy and uncomplicated. I also should mention that the hoses I used did not need to be shortened, so I did not have to bleed them. However, today, it doesn’t take witchcraft to figure that out either.

The HS 22’s give the feeling of security and safety, ensuring that you come to a controlled stop every time. Those who have read my Schwalbe Marathon Supreme post know that I like to haul ass in the city, but these brake can handle it, though they don’t necessarily like it. They have the power, but in the end they aren’t built for it. For those looking for a reliable and safe pair of brakes however, the HS 22 are the perfect candidate.

Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
  • Rob W. 16. April 2019

    Thanks for doing a review on the Magura HS 22 brakes. Do you have any input about them after long term use?

    Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
    Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.