Magura’s new MCi brake & handlebar setup is the sleekest hydraulic disc brake mountain bike cockpit you will find, hiding the brake master cylinder inside of the handlebar itself. With all of the hydraulics & brake hoses tucked into the bar’s end via a self-contained unit, all that is left to see on the outside is a low-profile lever & clamp for a super sleek cockpit setup.
Magura cockpit integration (MCi) brakes INSIDE your bar
Magura calls their Cockpit Integration (MCi) the “world’s first hydraulic brake… fully integrated into the handlebar”. Putting the brake master cylinder & brake lines inside results in a clean & tidy look, promising improved protection and also better aerodynamics.
However, they also point out that the design is about more than just looks – because the design allows them to use a ‘pull cylinder’ instead of a ‘push cylinder’, we’re told that the levers should offer improved functionality while protecting the master cylinder in the event of a crash.
The entire system is actually relatively simple, and shouldn’t be that difficult to set up or maintain. The hydraulics themselves are in a contained unit that slides into the end of a standard handlebar, just like a bar plug. Then, through a small hole in a compatible mountain bike bar, the external brake lever pulls an internal sliding rod to activate the internal master cylinder.
The trick there of course is that it will only work with a compatible bar with the correct hole in it. The trail bike they show here is built with a carbon bar from Bike-Ahead Composites. And that means the position of the brake lever body itself will be somewhat limited by the location of the pre-cut hole/port.
There is a good amount of adjustability from what we’re told – but it may not be ideal for anyone who likes their brakes far away from the grip, or tilted up or down at a more extreme angle.
Of course you will also need an internal routing friendly bar-to-stem, and opening in the frame to make it all work internally. But if you can tick all of those boxes, it will lead to a tidy setup. The bike that we saw had an opening in the downtube where the rear brake hose and Di2 wires entered from the bottom of the steerer tube. The front brake hose then just traveled down to the front brake.
Magura says the system uses a new Easy Link coupler on the end of the hydraulic brake lines where they go through the headset, which should just snap into place. It says that the system can be plugged & unplugged for setup & servicing without losing oil.
Directly accessible from the end of the bar, it should be easy to bleed the brakes – although it appears that you will need to alternately lay the bike on its side to do so.
The new MCi brake lever uses the same dimensions for the expansion reservoir and piston diameter as the MT series brakes. That means it will give the same braking performance as their top MT8 brakes, and also makes a straightforward upgrade option for their most common 2-piston or 4-piston brake caliper family, now with next-level cockpit integration.
MCi integrated brake availability?
The new MCi brake levers will be first available only as original equipment on complete bikes spec’d together with Magura. No aftermarket version is expected in the near future. No word yet on what will be the first bikes to feature MCi with 2019 consumer availability. But Magura teased that we will get to test ride the first production bike with the new kit when we head to Tirol in just over one week, so we’ll let you know then.