Hydraulic rim brakes Magura-HS33
This is one of not so many rim brakes approved for tandems.
I wonder what criteria rim brake must satisfy to get this
approval, and who grants it.
You can find lots of "pros" and "contras" of hydraulic
versus mechanical break systems elsewhere. I'll mention
only what is specific to this particular construction.
- Special pads. Special brake booster. Probably easily
found, but still not any bike shop stock item.
- Adjustment is not as easy as one may think. To move
pads closer/further to/from rims, the full break
assembly has to be unscrewed. And then you do not see,
how much you want to move the pad inside its holder -
must go by trial.
- You can not adjust them sidewise, like you adjust
V-brakes with the screws pressing the return springs.
adjustment is not something to be done frequently; but
sooner or later the "second" cylinder starts sitting in its
slot until the "first" one hits the rim. No problem with
this neither, until you want to re-adjust distance between
pads for another rim. Then you realize that the adjustment
barrel is useless: it moves only the "first" cylinder.
- In theory, wheel removal is fast: "second" pad could
be released with a lever. In practice, this does not work
so well. First, every time you put the pad back, you have
to care of its vertical adjustment (with V-brakes, you
just clip/unclip the noodle from its housing). Second,
and most important: if you have a booster, this
"quick-release" just sucks. The booster has to be either
removed, or bent off - basically, I'd say that wheel
change required unscrewing and re-adjustment. This was
the last argument which made me turn away from HS-33
and replace them with XTR V-brakes (product of the
same price range). I feel pretty much relieved changing
my wheels now.
- They press on the fork from inside. Probably nothing
bad for almost any fork. Except probably scratched paint.
Still I did not like idea of applying the load, which the
fork was not designed for. This definitely should not be
tried on, say, carbon fiber frame. Update: newer
models (at least from 2007 - maybe earlier?) do not press
on the fork blades any more.
My pair of brakes had number of aluminium screws.
Three of them broke in several years without any
special abuse. Fortunately none lead to any catastrofic
failure. With V-brakes, I never had any steel bolt failure
during all my cycling life.
I had a 2001 year model - later models are improved in