Magura USA (aka Magura Direct) hosted their 10th annual press camp this May in spectacular Sedona, Arizona. We got to test the products from each of the companies on the inspiring, sometimes scary and invigorating, and extremely technical singletrack trails of the Sedona area. They were showing off a revamped lineup of their MT brakes, which now includes a brand new four-piston system.
MT NEXT Brakes
Their new MT NEXT series of brakes consist of the two-piston MT2, MT4, MT6 and MT8, and the four-piston MT5 and MT7. The brakes continue to use their existing Carbotecture technology, magnetiXchange brake pistons, organic pads, one-piece alloy caliper, flip-flop handlebar clamp design and Storm rotors. Magura spent two years designing the new brakes, and they focused on better power, modulation, and heat management, with a fairly large redesign within the master body. The gravity oriented four-piston brake utilizes technology and design that came from their development of their Motard motorcycle brakes.
With the previous iteration of the MT brakes, all the lineup had the same braking power and performance, and moving up the price point only saved weight along with upgraded technology, parts and aesthetics. For the MT NEXT series they have increased the mechanical leverage ratio progressively from the base MT2 model to the top of the line four-piston MT7. With the better leverage ratio, you get increased deceleration power, starting with the entry level power for the MT2, to the MT4, then the MT6 and MT8, followed by the four-piston MT5 and MT7.
The MT NEXT brakes use an open hydraulic system, using their Royal Blood mineral oil for hydraulic fluid, with a carbon or carbon blend integrated reservoir, carbon or aluminum lever and clamp, one-piece alloy caliper with magnetic pistons for the pads, and forged aluminum fitting bolts that have a special anti-corrosion coating. Except for the MT5, the caliper uses top-loading pads, for what they call EPR or easy pad replacement, so the wheel doesn’t need to be removed for changes. The master body uses a flip/flop design which facilitates installation on either side of the handlebars, along with dual EBT ports for bleeding. The two-piston models use 22mm sized pistons, while the quads use a smaller 17mm size, and all of them have an embedded high-powered magnet to hold the pads in place.
The four piston MT5 and MT7 differ slightly in their brake pad set up. The MT5 has a one-piece brake pad system that utilizes a large backing plate along with two separate pads on each side.
The MT7 uses four individual pads, and in direct comparison to the MT5, the backing plates are thinner and the pad material is thicker. The pads on the MT5 and MT7 sit in an asymmetrical manner on the pistons, and there is a small gap between them, all of which assist with better heat management.
The MT6, MT7 and MT8 get on the fly toolless lever reach and bite point adjustment, while the MT2, MT4 and MT5 have reach adjustment that utilizes a Torx key. They’ve thankfully dropped the use of the fragile aluminum nuts for the handlebar clamp, and have gone to more robust steel bolts.
MT NEXT Specs
- MT2 – $100, 365 grams, dual piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body, lever and clamp
- MT4 – $160, 345 grams, dual piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body and clamp, and alloy lever
- MT6 – $270, 320 grams, dual piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and alloy clamp and lever
- MT8 – $370, 299 grams, dual piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and Carbolay clamp and lever
- MT5 – $200, 380 grams, quad piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body, and alloy clamp and lever
- MT7 – $320, 355 grams, quad piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and alloy clamp and lever
- Note: All the brake prices and weights include a 160mm Storm or Storm SL (MT6 and MT8 only) rotor
I rode a set of the four piston MT7 during my time at Sedona, and I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful the brakes were. They still retained the excellent modulation and lever feel of the previous iteration of the MT series, but they have hyper jumped into the Shimano stratosphere for power with this new brake. I really liked how easy it was to alter the lever reach and the contact point independently, making for precise fine-tuning of the brakes.
The first day I rode a variety of cross-country and All Mountain terrain on board a Pivot Mach 6, and got a great feel for how they worked in more typical conditions that you might encounter on everyday rides. The lever had a nice feel without any sponginess, allowing great feathering and control of the brakes as required.
The next day I did the super technical Hangover trail, which has a couple of brutally long steep slick rock sections, where braking performance and power are paramount. The MT7 brakes gave me incredible control in these less than ideal terrain and conditions, and although I was on the edge, I felt very comfortable and stable when applying the brakes. The last portion of the Hangover has a lot of chunder and some slow-speed technical maneuvering sections, and the brakes continued to offer precise braking and control, no matter what was going on.
I tossed the MT7 into a variety of situations, and I could never seem to faze them, regardless of the terrain and conditions, though I didn’t get to try them in the wet, so I can’t comment on that. Magura has really ramped things up with the new MT NEXT series of brakes, and they offer more power, better modulation and control, a crisper lever feel and decreased lever throw slop.
Bottom line it is the 4-piston MT5 and MT7 are now as powerful as Shimano with a disctinct and firm contact point. But it doesn’t shock the rider as much as power delivery is more even and it is easier to modulate.
For more information visit www.magura.com.