Magura MT8 Brake Review

Brakes Pro Reviews

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 downhill’s, 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 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 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. I never experienced any slippage in the lever clamp, but I could see where they might happen on some bars, though clamping with the proper torque seemed to alleviate any problems for me. The entire clamp system is an oddity, and perhaps not the most robust or carefully thought out, in my opinion. It uses a double-ended bolt or hanger bolt (machine threads on one end and wood threads on the other), in which one end attaches into the reservoir body (wood threads), and the other end (machine threads) accepts a Torx headed aluminum barrel nut or sex bolt, which is what actually snug’s the clamp down. The alloy barrel nut is fragile, and you need to use caution when tightening it down, else the head can get stripped or sheared off, although I never experienced that problem.

Measured Specs:

  • Front (cut 32″ ) – 178.6 grams
  • Rear (cut 57″) – 191.1 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
  • Total Front (brake, 203mm rotor, 4 bolts, adapter) – 356.9 grams
  • Total Rear (brake, 180mm rotor, 4 bolts, adapter) – 336.5 grams


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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