Magura MT6 Brake Review


Last year, I spent I long time riding and testing the top of the line Magura MT8 brakes, and I was highly impressed with them, and found them to be the epitome of German perfection. I was very interested to see how their little brethren, the MT6, stacked up against them, since they share many of the same basic traits and technologies.

The Magura MT6 brake is very lightweight (310 g w/ 160mm rotor) and extremely quiet, with great modulation, excellent power and resistance to heat, drag and squeal, which all combine to make it stand out in terms of performance. They use some amazingly innovative production techniques and materials to create a light and strong brake for any type of riding, from cross-country to downhill, and it transcends being categorized within any riding style.

Magura MT6
The brakes use an open hydraulic system, using their Royal Blood mineral oil for hydraulic fluid, with an integrated all carbon reservoir, alloy levers and clamp, one-piece alloy caliper, and full aluminum fitting bolts. They include the trick Storm SL rotors (refer to Storm review), which are available in 140, 160, 180 and 203mm sizes (6 bolt or Centerlock adapter), with a wide assortment of adapters for attachment to any bike and fork.

The reservoir is created by injecting their proprietary Carbotecture material, which is comprised of mid-length carbon fibers in a thermoplastic matrix, into a mold. The fibers are aligned to optimize strength and lightness, in what they call their Carboflow Process, which uses extreme heat and high pressure. The mold work is so precise and exacting, that it requires no post machine processing. The flip-flop designed Carbotecture SL body attaches to the bar with a split handlebar alloy clamp (the MT8 uses a carbon fiber Carbolay clamp). The body uses their EBT or easy bleed technology, set up in a mirror imaged dual-port manner for the flip-flop system, so they can be set on either side of the bars. The alloy lever uses a trick and light hollow-pivot to attach to the body, and rotates on buttery smooth composite bushings.

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 versions for maximum power, or the optional 7.2 endurance version for longevity.

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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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  • Justin D says:

    Had the same spongy experience with the mt4’s. All those innovative construction techniques become aggravating when trying to bleed away the SPONGE . Maguras are nice on motorcycles i’d say , but stay away from this whole range , they suck! Shimano xtr’s are on my bike now , wish I had tried them first. Maguras’ carbotechture is a fancy term for plastic, imagine how well that holds up in crashes. Storm sl rotors are nice though. BOOOO MAGURA , BOOOO, back to the drawing board. Use metal next time. Still pissed off with my experience. Run them at your own risk.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Justin – I never experienced any sponginess, and only had one squishiness session when I got the brake boiling hot? Otherwise, they didn’t give me any issues, and I found the lever feel firm, though it does take them a long throw through the stroke to connect up. It does take a certain technique to bleed them properly, and I only had to do it when the stroke got a bit close to the bars. I have crashed extremely hard with the brakes and they have been tough as nails? Sorry to hear you had issues with them, but I think they are fantastic brakes.

    • Bill Hilow says:

      My Top of the line 2014 Cannondale Trigger Carbon Team 1 came with these Mt6 brakes. I thought it was a joke. They were spongy on delivery. Long lever pull.The levers coming right down and crushing your fingers against the bar. This seemed to improve as the brakes heated but not up to par. I installed new pads and bled bled bled bled bled
      and still not as firm as my SRAM DB5 which are $400 installed! The reservoir bleed screw is soft plastic that strips easily. I think they look trick and have a high wow factor. Other than being really light I don’t think they are worth the price or maintenance headaches. Avoid

    • Bill says:

      I think USA riders have a preference for powerful and more direct feeling brakes. The fact that not only do these lack power they are a not maintenance friendly. It’s one thing to be Joe Euro that has a full truck load of factory sponsored parts and a mechanic and another to be American and self reliant.

      • Bill says:

        I did get them sorted out. They need a special technique of using a thinner than supplied bleed block. You have to bleed them through a few times. there can’t be even a few bubbles. Before buttoning it install the reservoir cap before removing the plunger. Then using a thinner bleed block give the syringe one final blast of juice to set the pads. You should barely be able to slip them onto the discs.

  • dagoat says:

    I have the MT6’s on my 29er RacerX and absolutely love them. Swapped out a sett of early Marta’s for them and I’ll never look back. Strong, light and controllable!

  • Taylor says:

    Can you upgrade to carbon levers on the MT-6? Also the clamp?

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Yes you can. You’ll need a tool to remove the lever blade.

      Per my main man, Jude at Magura responded:
      “Yes you can. I in fact swapped carbon levers to the MT4. No problem.”
      Special tools needed?
      “Not really but the ‘axle’ will need to be pressed out and we have a tool for that. In reality, if you have a drift or deep well socket (about 5 mm) works well.”

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