Magura has a new brake in the works that they’re showing off for the first time here at Sea Otter. It’s called the MT Trail and, well, the name kind of says it all: It’s a brake aimed at pretty much anyone who isn’t obsessed with the weight of their carbon hardtail or the spring rate on their downhill sled….basically, the bulk of riders out there.
But what actually makes a brake ideal for the average trail rider? Magura’s take—a lightweight brake that’s powerful, but not too grabby. Sorta the holy grail of disc brakes, really. To that end, they’ve put together a brake that’s a combination of their existing four and two-piston brakes, with a few tweaks at the lever and caliper. Or to put a finer point on it: The MT Trail is not
a ground-up redesign of the basic Magura architecture, but according to Magura, there’s no need to have started over from scratch since they heavily tweaked their line for 2016.
“The little idiosyncrasies of our first-generation MT brakes are gone,” says Magura’s Tony Ballantine. “The new brakes are dialed.”
The idiosnycracies that we're talking about were, mainly, a lack of pucker power and finicky bleeds.
“Some shop mechanics had a hard time bleeding the brakes, which had to do with the configuration of the bladder and the bleed port,” says Ballantine. “That’s all been worked out. We made the brake a lot easier to bleed. We were also criticized with our first generation MT brakes. Those first gen models were super, super lightweight brakes and didn’t have the power that some people wanted. We fixed that.”
The MT Trail, then, is essentially an amalgamation of the latest MT7 and MT8 models.
“This is something a lot of us have been doing for years,” says Ballantine. “The whole idea is pretty standard in motorcycle and automotive circles. You need more heat management up front. You need more power up front. The four-piston caliper achieves that. And then in the rear you want a brake that modulates exceptionally well because you don’t want your rear wheel locked up as your going through a switchback or cornering in the gravel.”
The MT Trail features a carbon lever blade, paired with Magura’s lightweight carbon-reinforced master cylinder and carbon back-clamp. For those of you who like shiny objects, the new model also features polished calipers.
It’s worth noting that you can build a less expensive version of the MT Trail by simply pairing their existing MT4 and MT5 brakes. They have the same basic master cylinders and you get that four-piston/two-piston caliper set up. Why, you might ask, even bother with the new MT Trail?
“The MT Trail is a lighter and more powerful set up,” says Ballantine. “That’s true because you have more mechanical advantage at the lever blade. The MT4 and MT5 use our Carbotecture master, which is a little bit heavier than the SL material we use. So, you spend a bit more money with the MT Trail, but you also get a lighter, blingier and more power. But having said that, yeah, if you want a really affordable set of trail brakes, it’s hard to beat the MT4s and MT5 combination.”
The MT Trail will be offered with and without tool-less reach adjust. There’s no official word yet on pricing for the MT Trail, but it will likely sell for between the MT7 and MT8. The brakes will begin hitting the street by the time summer rolls around.