Magura MT8 Brake Review

Brakes Pro Reviews

Magura stunning new MT8 brake is incredibly lightweight (278g w/ 160mm rotor), with great modulation, excellent power and resistance to heat, drag and squeal, which all combine to make it stand out in terms of performance. The high tech works of art 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.

I have always been a big fan of Magura brakes, but they really stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam with the MT series, and they’re superb, and highly engineered marvels. Magura spent a lot of time, effort and money to create the MT or Mission Team line of brakes, and although they used their extensive know-how and expertise in brake technology, they seemed to have followed the old German proverb “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” (das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten). They performed extensive testing on the major brake components, and although each part can stand on its own merit, together they are a symphony of synchronicity! They came up with something called the Performance Faktor, which is a mathematical formula devised by Magura’s design team over two years ago, where the performance is equal to deceleration and modulation plus thermal stability, divided by mass and multiplied by ergonomics (that’s a mouth full).

Magura MT8
The brakes use an open hydraulic system, using their Royal Blood mineral oil for hydraulic fluid, with an integrated all carbon reservoir, carbon levers and clamp, one-piece alloy caliper, and forged aluminum fitting bolts that have a special anti-corrosion coating. 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 Carbolay clamp, that weighs a mere 2 grams. 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 ergonomic carbon lever is made with their Carbolay technology, and uses a trick and light hollow-pivot to attach to the body, and rotates on buttery smooth composite bushings.

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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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  • 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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