Hydraulic Magura Rim Brakes in Flatland? Jimmy Biondi explains all..

Jimmy Biondi got in contact with a readymade article that is sure to get you talking. Hydraulic Magura Rim Brakes in Flatland? Read on for more details.

World Premiere January 2018
Hydraulic Magura rim brakes on flatland Bmx
Created by Jimmy Biondi.

What Is it?
As you can see on the picture, the idea (since it has never been done before) is to have a new type of brake system (hydraulic instead of cable) that fits the flatland requirements in terms of braking power, design (slick rather than bulky with a lot a scuffing place), light weight, maintenance free and comfort of use. Needless to say that “price friendly” or simply “price beware” does not come into the equation.

Why have I had the desire for this project?
There are many reasons to justify such a time and money consuming investment, the main one being that I simply wasn’t satisfied with what we currently have on the market.
If most flatland riders are riding brake less nowadays, they are doing it in many cases for the wrong reasons, the first one being: they can’t be arsed to constantly re-adjust the braking system. A good example is Ed Nussbaum, he admitted himself that he was so pissed off with the brake maintenance that he removed them and never bothered to install them again.
Comes inevitably in addition this perverted trend crisis that subconsciously says : most of the top pro riders are riding without brakes, so if you want to be a one, take them off.
I highly respect riders who can do “brake tricks” without a brake, but they are not many out there.
Working in a bike shop as a salesman and constantly dealing with bikes sometimes worth well over 5k has largely reinforced the idea which I´ve always have had. Our technology is archaic and obsolete, something needs to be done to bring our sport back up to the standard it deserves.

How can it be done?
Because of the very restricted demand on bmx brakes, it’s no wonder that no company has put the time and effort to give us what we need. I originally ambitioned to build an hydraulic disc brakes on the front wheel, but after months of studying the technical side of things, I thought that a strong rim brake could be just as fine if not better. The next step was to pick the right one, I wanted to avoid a bulky set up that will make scuffing tricks harder. After hours on ends of studying the market I finally found what I was looking for: a slick, strong, reliable and maintenance free brake with a great reputation.
That’s when things started to heat up a notch. Those brakes were design to work only in combination with trial forks with specific brakes slots. I tried unsuccessfully to buy/design adaptor to fit the brakes in my flatland fork but It didn’t work. Be that as it may, I will design my own bmx fork with those brakes slots. I’ve been living in Germany for over 2 years and I thought that when money is no object, every company will jump on their feet to help me with the production of a new type of bmx fork.
Again I was wrong, I contacted 4 different company and explained them precisely what I was after, but couldn’t get a decent answer. Google being my only friend, I stumbled across an oversees titanium specialist firm who seemed eager to produce whatever one can dream of, as long as you can afford it.
Now we are talking. To give you an insight of the complexity of the whole thing, have a look at this picture (which is far from the final design).
Titanium wasn’t originally my choice, but it turned out wise as this firm has made a wonderful job in terms of transcribing my blue print measurements into a tangible technical achievement.

Does it work? Is it worth it?
Yes I works perfectly well, with the expertise of my friend Philip Engler a well qualified mechanic who was in charge of the mounting and venting process, the braking power is outstanding. The scuffing room is optimised on both sides and most importantly it finally feels right to brake. You no longer have the impression that in a week or two, you will have to tighten or adjust something. It has taking me over half a year and easily costed over 600 € for this whole project to become reality. In a nutshell, am proud to say that it is hands down in my opinion the best possible flatland brake that has ever been created. Those Magura brakes in combination with this marvellous well-tailored and light weight titanium fork (685 grams) brings the riding feeling on another level.

What’s next?
How would it be to have a back hydraulic brake? As a matter of fact, there is a solution, the company tricks stuff in Freiburg Germany where I live has already come up with a hydraulic rotor, so I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to get a back wheel treated with braking oil pressure.
As far the front brake is concerned, if you wish to get the same system as I have and if you are ready to pay top dollar for it, feel free to drop me an e-mail at jimmybiondi@yahoo.fr and I’ll see what I can do for you.

8 thoughts on “Hydraulic Magura Rim Brakes in Flatland? Jimmy Biondi explains all..

  1. Nice idea and fair play to Jimmy for seeing this one through.
    Surely this kind of stopping power isn’t required in BMX though? I would imagine it’s quite difficult to modulate too?

  2. Nice effort on his part, but is it truly necessary? There may be some early adapters to this concept, but will it become standard? I don’t think so. All types of brakes, from canti to center-pull have their benefits and drawbacks. I do like the idea of titanium forks, though.

  3. I took my breaks odd for the same reason, I hate maintenance. Most important question, is it easy/possible to feather the breaks?

  4. Kudos for innovating & coming up with the design, etc, but this seems like overkill for flatland. Do you really need this kind of stopping power? The answer, simply, is no. The most loyal front & back brake users in flatland today would likely agree that this is unnecessary. Besides being expensive in general, you have to figure in the added cost of hydro fluid & they can be a pain in the ass to work on (having to bleed your brakes can be a drag). Hydraulic brakes make total sense on Mtn, Cx, & road bikes…their stopping power & consistency are incredible! Also, the brakes are disc. Sram made Hydro calipers for a short while & that didn’t work out too well in the long run, so…
    At any rate, great job bringing something to flatland that hasn’t been done before, but besides the innovation side of it all, is this a necessary tool for the community..?

  5. I have to admit, my question would be about what they feel like. Its hard for me to imagine what they feel like and, not knowing that, it is hard for me to say whether it was something I’d ever use. That said, getting this together and making it a reality may be an important step in the evolution of the sport. Whether or not it becomes a “standard” is one question, but the knowledge derived from this kind of work and innovation could still be very significant. This, in my eyes, was real cool to see and the quality of the carry through is undeniable. Curious to see what it leads to or fosters!

  6. It actually makes sense. I actually spent some years learning brake tricks brakeless because I needed the scuffing room more than I needed the brake. Would have been nice to have both!!!

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