Mountain Biking

Magura imagines a cable-free future for mountain biking –

Back in 2018 we designed our conceptually-perfect mountain bike of the future that featured, among other things, a linkage fork, radical geometry and a modular ebike motor.

Naturally, our depiction also had no gear or brake cables. Although this concept was half serious, half tongue-in-cheek, it’s nice to see that some of the trends are starting to gain traction.

In Spring 2019 Magura introduced what it claimed to be the world’s first integrated hydraulic brake system.

Following on from that, it’s now its turn to imagine what bikes of the future will look like. Enter the Magura MCi concept bike.

The complete kit needed to make a bike MCi compatible.

MCi stands for Magura Cockpit Integration, which Magura claims should improve aerodynamics and the robustness of the hydraulic parts, such as cables and brake reservoirs, because they’re stashed inside the frame, stem and handlebars and look neat and tidy.

At the centre of the MCi system is the concealed brake master cylinder and reservoir, which sits in a specially-designed tube inside the custom-made bars.

This means the only external components on the bars are the brake levers – minus reservoir and master cylinder – and wireless Magura Vyron eLECT dropper post button and SRAM AXS gear shifter.

The reservoir and hoses are fitted internally into the bars.

The brake hoses are connected to the internal master cylinder and run inside the bars and into the stem where the front brake hose exits to attach to the caliper.

The rear brake hose carries on through the stem, into the frame’s head tube – thanks to a cutout grove in the headset – and then internally through the frame.

The product of Magura’s labours is a clean-looking front end.

There’s a slot in the bars for the brake hoses to exit into the stem.

The custom-made handlebar has a small port so the brake lever and internal reservoir can connect. Although Magura admits the brake lever is in a fixed position, it doesn’t make clear whether that means it can’t be adjusted vertically in relation to the floor or horizontally along the handlebars, or both.

It does say that the “handle width is infinitely variable on the lever blade”, although we’re not quite sure what that means exactly.

We like clean-looking cockpits.

Either way, if the brake levers can’t be adjusted in their vertical or horizontal plane it’s going to put off quite a few potential customers.

Magura’s thought about servicing, too. Its Easy Link connectors are strategically placed couplings that mean the cockpit can be disconnected from the rest of the braking system, should you wish to remove your forks, bars, stem or brakes from the bike.

It doesn’t mention whether the whole braking system will need a re-bleed once the Easy Link connectors have been disconnected, however.

According to Magura, the Easy Link coupling is a breeze to use.

About bleeding, Magura says it’s possible to bleed the brakes by connecting the syringe to the handy bleed port located at the end of the bar. This means you won’t need to remove the brake levers or reservoir.

Magura’s got plans to make the concept a commercial reality, too, saying the MCi cockpit will be exclusively available for OE manufacturers – think bike brands. I reckon we can safely assume that will mean top-of-the-range models because this level of integration will probably cost a fair wack.

That’s one clean looking bike!

Disappointingly, for the clutter-free cockpit-enthusiast, there are currently no plans to make this available as an aftermarket system.