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aluminum 3D printed bike brake lever.

Magura, a large manufacturer of bicycle parts and components, has been working with DH World Champion Loic Bruni to develop perfect lever ergonomics. The conclusion they came to is that ergonomics is a completely individual matter. Now with the product program #customizeyourbrake, Magura offers end customers the possibility to adapt their lever ergonomics to their own preference with an aluminum 3D printed bike brake lever.

Professional riders like Danny MacAskill and Loic Bruni give valuable insights into the needs of accomplished athletes. The resulting ideas often lead to production-ready products. One good example for this is the HC3 1-finger brake lever for the Magura MT7: it was developed together with Danny MacAskill and is now one of the most sought-after retrofit parts for ambitious bikers.

3D printed bike brake
On the hunt for the perfectly shaped lever-blade: aluminum base with 3D-printed, modular lever-shapes. Downhill-champion Loic Bruni compares the different options for lever-blades.

Tailor-made for the world champion

From the start of 2018 Magura has officially sponsored the Specialized XC and Gravity Team by providing brakes. After the first test camp, it soon became clear that, in particular, world champion Loic Bruni had his own, very precise ideas about braking performance – especially about the ergonomics and the operation of the brake. In a first sketch, Loic drew the shape of his desired lever on paper. To better understand his needs and to enable practical testing Magura’s development department developed a prototype as a basis for testing. The “Loic-O-Mat”, as it was jokingly named, is a combination of a permanently-mounted, aluminum base lever and 13 variations of 3D printed lever shapes that could be installed and replaced quickly and easily. Loic tried out all the different shapes and lever ratios under real-life conditions and ultimately found his perfect lever form. On this basis, MAGURA produced a perfectly tuned lever for Loic which was used at the world cup race in Fort William for the first time.

“Loic’s requirements were quite extreme. He wanted the bite point far away from the handlebars but with an extreme leverage-ratio for full on/off braking power. All or nothing. The short shape of the lever is more flat and straight. At the bite point, the lever is almost parallel to the handlebars, so his finger won’t slip in this position. Loic can move his finger on the wide grip area and take the pressure off it”, says Reiner Künstle, development engineer at Magura.

The final prototype of Loics lever is made of 3D printed titanium. Through the use of rapid prototyping, the development team was able to realize very short production times without compromising the strength or weight of the lever.

The #customizeyourbrake 3D printed bike brake

In order to utilize the knowledge obtained by the close cooperation with pro-athletes, Magura already can offer a wide range of levers for the model year 2019: four levers made of aluminum and carbon and with different ergonomics are available as retrofit parts for end customers. The Loic Bruni lever prototype is currently in its intensive trial phase, during which other athletes test it and give us their optimization suggestions.

3D printed bike brake

As BikeRumor reports, printing production levers out of titanium would likely price them out of reach, so Magura is printing the production levers out of aluminum. This is said to produce a lever blade that is stiffer than carbon, but thanks to the hollow pockets allowed by 3D printing, a lever blade that is also lighter than their standard aluminum levers. It also seems to allow Magura to skirt the new World Cup regulations in 2019 that prevent pros from racing with prototype parts.

Even as the first 3D printed lever from Magura, the pricing will be in line with their carbon levers at around $80. To go along with the new lever, Magura has worked with SQlab to develop a brake lever buyers guide which will use hand size to help you decide between their five different lever options and also help you dial in your brake fit to give you the most control possible.

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