I have always liked the shape of Magura’s levers, and the MT levers crank up everything by a big notch, with an outstanding and highly tactile feel, and superb ergonomics. They are wide, comfortable, with a nice notch for one or two-finger usage, and the pleasing and functional shape, helped decrease hand fatigue, especially during prolonged use, like on long downhills. The stiff lever allows a concise and firm pull, and is greatly helped by a lack of any slop in the pivot and reservoir body interface. The lever only has reach adjustment, which is altered with a Torx wrench inserted into its front by the pivot, allowing a closer or farther feel, and with a different angle. For my personal taste, I left them fully out, making for a maximum reach.
Their tactile sense is superb, allowing the system to feel like an extension of your hand, and you can figuratively feel a pebble on the ground when braking. The more technical and gnarly the terrain and conditions are, the more comfortable and functional the brakes felt, and they offered fine adjustment of speed with concise lever pulls. They thrived when doing high-precision moves and maneuvers, whether on mild or heinous terrain, with excellent feedback and response, giving rise to an innate sense of security and control. These light brakes are pretty amazing, and I have taken them down some ugly steep gnar, where many brakes fade and scream with misery, and they just kept quietly plugging away. I loved how you could grab the brakes wherever you wanted, and they would haul your speed quickly down, though they could be a touch grabby if got too heavy handed, which can be a common trait of many strong and powerful brakes. Grab a huge handful of the brake and it was easy to do a stoppie, even in the middle of a rock garden. Pulling the lever with a measured feathering worked just fine, and it allowed the modulation to excel, and if a wheel lock up happened, a minute pressure release at the lever had the spinning along again. Even when cranking down steep terrain that is littered with loose chunky material, the brakes retain excellent composure, with good feedback, modulation and control, without unwanted lockups.
They were extremely quiet and their muted usage was a major highlight, as I really enjoyed not having a set of brakes squealing while I was riding down a trail. I didn’t hear the usual wispy chatter that the Storm SL rotor cutouts can make on some of the other Magura brakes, which was a welcome change; it was there, but was very subdued, and you really had to listen for it. Sometimes if they were wet and cold, had dirty pads or rotors, they might make some noise, but after a few good stabs with the lever, they were silent again. Even when getting them extremely hot on long steep downhills, they were fade free and resisted heat buildup, and made no scraping or overheating noises, and their performance and lack of noise were outstanding. “Silent but deadly!” A lot of the quietness is due to a couple of features and design aspects of the caliper system, that all work in synergy to keep them silent. The Duroplastic pistons, which absorb less heat than metal, have a special coating, which prevents them from sticking in the cylinder, and reduces friction and stichion. The caliper itself, runs significantly cooler by the combination of using organic pads, the composite pistons and the double arch, which acted as cooling fins. I did have one day on an a wicked steep, technical and long downhill, when the outdoor temperature was extremely hot, and the brakes had just a touch of squishiness at the very bottom of the ride, but they still felt pretty good considering the treatment they had just gone through. Using the Storm rotor instead of the Storm SL gave a decent increase in power and drop in fade, with a slight increase in weight (20 grams).
I never felt any pad rubbing nor drag from the caliper and rotors, and they always flowed freely, regardless of how heavily they were being used. Due to the offset pistons giving toe-in as the lever is applied, the pads realign themselves with the rotor, so their spacing seems to remain proper, regardless of pad and rotor wear, rotor warping and heating, etc. When it comes time to replace or clean the pads, the EPR (easy pad replacement) system, which uses top-loading pads are simple to remove, and don’t require a wheel removal. Simply remove the retaining screw, grab the tabs on the pads and pull them out, insert a new pair, letting the magnets on the caliper’s piston hold them in place, and then replace the screw. After pad replacement, they aligned in just fine, and if they were installed a bit cockeyed, a good jab from the lever set them in properly.
It’s nice that all the bolts (except for the bleed port) use a T25 Torx head, so only one tool was required for the brakes and rotors. I didn’t have any issue with stripping the alloy Torx heads, especially the large caliper ones, but you do need to be cautious, especially on the clamp, and a light hand tightening and finishing off with the torque wrench is the best approach. The alloy barrel nut is fragile, and you need to use caution when tightening it down to its paltry 3 Nm of torque, else the head can get stripped or sheared off, although I never experienced that problem.
- Uncut – 221.3 and 221.7 grams
- Front (cut 32″) – 200.2 grams
- Rear (cut 57″) – 212.7 grams
- Bolts (alloy) – 2 @ 3.9 grams
- Storm SL 203mm – 147.6 grams
- Storm SL 180mm – 114.2 grams
- Storm SL 160mm – 92 grams
- QM7 (6″ PM 203 adapter) – 22.9 grams
- QM6 (6″ PM 180 adapter) – 23.4 grams