Cables be gone! Magura announces stealth routing for hydraulic brakes

Clean up the cockpit on your mountain bike

Magura MCi

Between brake lines, shifter cables, dropper post and lockout remotes, the front of a mountain bike can quickly turn into a rat’s nest. However, Magura is aiming to combat the clutter with what it claims is the world’s first hydraulic brake that’s fully integrated into the handlebar — called Cockpit Integration (MCi).

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The new brake system separates the master cylinder from the brake levers, hiding most of the hardware inside the handlebars. While this creates a tidy front end, Magura also says it further protects the internals from damage in a crash.

Magura says it borrowed heavily from its motorcycle know-how in designing MCi and that the system functions the same way as a retrofit hydraulic clutch.

The brake itself works with the level actuating sliding rod, which goes through a hole in the handlebars and triggers the master cylinder. This, of course, introduces the elephant in the room — the MCi braking system will require compatible handlebars with holes drilled in the right places.

Not only does this limit how much you can adjust the position of your brake levers, it’s likely to restrict how much you can cut the bars down too. However, Magura maintains that “the lever angle of the MCi is individually adjusted to each bicycle model and optimised for the best possible seating position.”

Magura says the dimensions of the expansion reservoir and the piston diameter of the MCi are the same as its MT series and should offer the same modulation and stopping performance. It will be available with two-piston and four-piston brake calipers.

With the cables running through the bars, into the steerer tube and then into the frame, Magura has developed what it calls Easy Link cable coupling, which is a plug-in connector that links the cockpit unit to the brake lines.

It says the system can be plugged and unplugged without losing oil, so taking your bars off to box your bike shouldn’t result in spongy brakes.

Speaking of brake bleeds, the MCi uses the brand’s Easy Bleed Tech with the bleed screw located in the bar end, though you’ll probably need to lay your bike on its side to coax those pesky air bubbles out.

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Initially, Magura will only be offering the MCi as OEM stock on bikes, with no word of when an aftermarket version will be available, nor what bikes we can expect to see the internal system specced, beyond that it should begin to pop up sometime this year.