We had a look at Magura's forthcoming fork range a while back - now we've got details of the new Magura brakes. Brakes are what the German company is best known for, and its stoppers have a good reputation for performance and reliability. Magura's five-year no-leak guarantee is, as far as we know, unique.

Marta Gold

Magura Marta Gold

There's nothing functionally different about the 2007 Marta brake - it's still an open, twin piston system with neat integrated reservoir and wavy rotors in 160 or 180mm sizes. What is new is this gold finish. Gold's a tricky one on bike parts - it'll either look really quite smart or irredeemably tacky. A lot of that comes down to the actual finish itself, which is hard to judge from pictures. So wait and see, and be careful what you combine it with. Thankfully Shimano doesn't do black-and-gold LX bits anymore, that really would be too much... The standard all-black colour will still be available. Both versions have a carbon fibre lever blade.

Louise

Marta may be the same brake in a different colour, but the 2007 Louise is a completely new brake with the same name. Despite the diminutive size of the new caliper, the pad surface area is up by 20% from the old brake for improved power and better fade resistance.

The standard rotor is Magura's SL wavy item, but the one shown here is the new Ventidisc. It's a two-part design, with the steel braking surface mounted to an aluminium spider. This is said to reduce the possibility of rotor distortion under extreme conditions. The spider is also designed to pull cooling air across the rotor thanks to its fan-like design. We have to say we're mildly sceptical as to how much difference that's likely to make, but until we've tried it who can say? It certainly looks pretty funky. The Ventidisc rotors will be available in IS or Shimano-compatible Centerlock versions in 160, 180 or 203mm sizes.

The new Louise lever is a very clean-looking unit. Again, you're getting a carbon fibre lever blade and also a carbon reservoir cover. The lever also features Bite Adjust Technology, which is Magura's take on Avid's Speed Dial system - it lets you adjust not only lever reach from the bars but also how far you have to pull the levers before the pads engage the rotor. So if you like your levers to start a long way out but not do anything until they're close to the bar, you can have that, or any other arrangement that you see fit.

Weights will obviously vary according to which mount and rotor size you're looking at, but the claimed weight is from 398g. Magura used to make some quite clunky-looking brakes, but the new Louise is really very smart indeed. We like. Hopefully it'll work as well as it looks...