Magura MT8 Brake Review

Brakes Pro Reviews

The forged single-piece aluminum caliper uses a double arch design, just like their forks, and the shape optimizes the caliper’s strength in the direction that encounters the largest load forces, and they also absorb heat, and dissipate it away from the main body. The upper or front fin does the oil transfer between the sides of the caliper, which should provide an additional cooling of the fluid? Their stiffening effect, means that the calipers can be machined further, to remove any unnecessary material for a significant weight saving. 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 caliper has PM mounts, an adjustable hose fitting, and uses two Duroplastic injection molded composite pistons for less heat transfer to the brake fluid, and the pistons have an embedded magnet for brake pad attachment. The organic pads come in two models, the default 7.1 semi-metallic performance version for maximum power, or the optional 7.2 endurance version for longevity.

The top of the line MT8′s are part of their MT brake family, which also includes the MT6, MT4, and MT2 ($369, $269, $174, $104 respectively). The entire brake family shares the same basic technology, with some subtle tweaks and lighter materials for the upper-level models. They all have a carbon master body with the flip-flop design, an alloy double arch caliper with top loading pads, and the dual EBT ports for bleeding. The MT6 uses the Carbotecture SL and Storm SL rotor (same as MT8), but has an aluminum lever and handlebar bar clamp, and the caliper has less machining and larger cooling fins. The MT4 uses the Storm rotor, and has a Carbotecture fiberglass and carbon composite reservoir body, an alloy lever with their BAT (Bite Adjust Technology). Lastly, the MT2, uses the Carbotecture fiberglass carbon composite body and Storm rotors, and an alloy lever, and an excellent price point.

The brakes come with full-length lines, so they need to be cut to size, dependent on user preference and bike geometry. I prefer my brakes set up in moto style, with the front brake on the right side, and the flip-flop clamp design and dual bleed port makes for easy placement on either side of the bars. Undo the barrel nuts on the clamp, and place the reservoir in the desired location on the inside or outside of the shifter pods on the handlebars. Put the clamp on, with the thicker part at the top, and thread and carefully tighten the fragile alloy nuts to their proper specs. The caliper setup was easy due to the pivoting banjo, which made adjusting the hose angle for varying frame geometry and hose routing requirements a snap. If desired, an optional SRAM shifter compatible ‘ShiftMix’ clamp can be ordered.

I measured the desired hose length, and cut them with a sharp set of cutters. Holding the cut section up high to prevent any errant air bubbles, I slid on the sleeve nut followed by the olive, and tapped in the hose insert with a plastic mallet, and finally threaded the sleeve nut into the brake lever, tightening with the proper torque. Neither brake leaked after the hose shortening, nor did they require any bleeding. The EBT (Easy Bleed Technology) system uses a port on top of the reservoir for bleeding, and is easy to use. Although, bleeding brakes are still like getting poked in the eye, and my preference is non compliance. Basic bleed instructions: level reservoir 15 degrees upward, unscrew port bolt, screw on upper syringe, unscrew caliper bolt, screw on a filled lower syringe, push fluid from bottom to top, cycling until bubbles are gone. I worked (ok, mostly I watched) with Jude, Magura USA’s brake guru extraordinaire, at their Sedona Press Camp to bleed a pair, and it was a simple and effortless affair, and the EBT system a definitely effective feature

I didn’t do much breaking in, and did a bunch of good stoppers on the pavement to bed the pads in and get the rotors dusted properly. My usual scenario, is to take them up in the steep and deep, and let them break in by torture!

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • Vince says:

    First off, the brake lever feel on my MT8′s were horrible. They were about 2cm from the handle bars when fully pressed. Search online and you’ll find numerous people with the same problem.
    Secondly, they had a recall on them so I sent them back for fixing. When they came back, the brake lever distance went straight to the handlebars. Bled them using the Magura service kit and noticed nothing but oil leaking out of the master cylinders on both front and rear (a lot of people reported leaking master cylinders too).
    Contacted Magura and long story short, they’re not covering it because “it seems like DOT fluid has been used which would cause the leaking” and only offered a replacement master cylinder at a discounted price. Sorry Magura, not going to spend more money on top of the $700+ I already spent on the brakes.
    Love the look and weight of these brakes but the quality lacks. Magura does have good customer service but not good enough when it comes to a faulty item.
    Got myself some Shimano XTR’s and never looked back.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      I have tested multiple sets of MT8′s and MT6′s and only had one pull close to the bar, and it was easily fixed by a bleed and making sure the pistons were set out. I never had any leaking issues? Was the leak at the hose connector or the diaphragm on the handlebar clamp (where the open system has a breather)? Magura accused you of using DOT in the brakes, that seems a bit odd?

  • Robert McDonald says:

    Great, detailed review. First hydraulic disc-brake, for me was a Louise, that saved me, when a car turned left across the front of me, without indicating, at lights in Chorlton, Manchester. But looking at this dream, now!

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