Magura's New MT Trail Brake - Sea Otter 2016

Apr 15, 2016
by Vernon Felton  
Sea Otter 2016


Magura MT Trail


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?
Magura 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.


MENTIONS: @Magura




74 Comments

  • + 52
 Some shop mechanics had a hard time with the bleed?
Real classy guys.
Super unique to blame bike mechanics for your SHIT.
How about blaming your shit ideas for your shit being shit?!
  • + 88
 Tell us how you really feel
  • + 3
 I had some mt7's and I hated them. they kept on getting air in the system and after about a week after a bleed the lever would hit the bar, and i could move the wheel by hand. bled them about 5 times in 4 months before just giving up on them putting a set of guide rsc's that had the same modulation, more power, less weight, and half the price, and they haven't been rebled.
  • + 50
 @jflb I don't think they blamed the mechanics. He said, in the same sentence that the issue was caused by the location of bleed port in relation to the bladder. He also said that they fixed that by making the brake easier to bleed, so nothing to do with blaming mechanics.

I've never had any Magura parts on my bikes so can't comment on quality but attacking them for something you think they said because you didn't bother to read the rest of the sentence is a shit move IMO.
  • + 1
 @Kamba6: you are right but @jflb deserved upvotes.... I'm not a mechanic but just a weekend warrior that just likes to tinker..... My story with Magura is that I got MT5 on a DH bike... Front brake Awesome, rear brake needed bleeding since arrival... sent to shop, shop said that they are OK but "you are never going to have the same feeling you have with Shimanos".... rear brake was never OK, changed pads back and forth... Until.....I saw one of the pistons not moving equally, stuck....read here and there... scratched my head, bought a mineral oil universal bleed kit and started bleeding until I took the caliper and soaked it in Oil.... re bleed.. voila... best brakes I've had.. just took me a while to get used to the lever and power... I still have and would buy Shimano for my trail bikes though...cheers
  • + 5
 In his defense, Tony is a hell of a good guy and hangs out at our local shops, brings by beer, and helps support anything we've ever needed. Oh, and he holds like half the KOMs too, that basterd.
  • - 1
 Couldn't agree more. I bought a set of MT7s from my local shop. I couldn't get them to bleed right. So took them back to the shop. Who before they even started said they were the biggest pain in the ass to bleed. They tried for several hours with no luck. Just so happened the Magura rep was in town. He spent several more hours trying to bleed them with no success and got my whole and I mean whole new carbon bike covered in mineral oil. Next we sent them back to Magura. They show up 3 weeks later. They seemed ok but had shit for power. Luckily for me my local shop where I bought them agreed to take them back and refund my money. I will not buy another Set of Magura brakes. Buyers beware check USER reviews before you buy bike parts.
  • + 6
 @Bikethrasher: Honestly surprised that you guys had problem with MT7s. I bought a pair of MT5s last year to upgrade my TheOnes ( yes,in my case a major upgrade) and couldn't be happier. They still don't need a bleed even after opening the lines to cut them and a full season of riding afterwards. My only gripe is that I had problems finding replacement pads, they're never listed or are out of stock on most websites ( that aren't charging me more for shipping than parts) so I had to be patient. The brakes themselves though, are the bomb, massive amounts of very progressive and controllable power. To the guys that have bleeding problems, I suggest trying it yourself, it really isn't difficult and like my grand-father told me, when you want something done properly, do it yourself.
  • + 1
 I just bleed some mt8 a few days ago for the first time and they are a pain in the ass. Its hard for the air to escape the lever so the air just slowly comes out durring a bleed so the process takes forever.
  • - 7
flag jordanneedsafork (Apr 17, 2016 at 5:24) (Below Threshold)
 bike shop mechanics are fucking trash. i have never had a brake bled well by a bike shop mechanic and any other job i had done i did 10x better myself after i realised that the bike shop mechanic had not fixed anything. money grabbing lazy underskilled fucks
  • + 0
 @MaxAlary: I've bled many many sets of brakes mostly Shimano and Formula. Some older Maguras and a couple sets of Avids without any major issues. Take a second and Google Magura brake issues and see what you get. Maybe it's the same issue you have with your Formulas. Which I find odd because I have a set of R1s that are now 5 seasons old and I barely have to touch them. I haven't have to blead them since in installed them. I sold by friend a used set of The Ones for his DH bike. To replace Avids. He then got a set of Saints. Which by any standard are really good brakes. He switched back to the Ones because they had more power didn't fade as much and never needed bled. I get your point on shop guys not always being on point. But the Magura Rep and factory Techs couldn't get a good bleed on those brakes. Sorry but that's inexcusable. If you can't make your own product work you shouldn't be selling it......
  • + 4
 @Niko182: More power? You sure you talking about the mt7? Smile You remember that PB article of Lourde where some teams were cutting the brakepads because the brake is just to strong? And bleeding the MT´s is definitely not a hard thing to do, you just have to to it differently. They have plenty of very good "how to´s" on their official youtube channel. I have to admit there are some tricks you gotta know but still no rocket science.
check this:
www.youtube.com/user/MAGURAPassionPeople

And by the way you can define your brakepower from aggessive to very smooth by the different brake pads and discs available.
Aggressive: Storm SL disc with Performance 8.1 pads (sintered)
Smooth: Storm disc with Performance 9.1 pads (organic)
  • + 2
 @DangerDave2dot0: Yes, they came with my cannondale jekyll. they worked ok at the beginning. I had 4 different shops bleed them, two of them which sold magura regularly and bled them too. I might have had a bad set but the ones I had sucked. Even the XT m8000s are way stronger than them. My guide RSC's Are too. After they were bled, they would work for maybe a week. Then after that, I'd pull the lever all the way to the bar and the leer was at 85% of the travel it could move out and I could move the wheel by hand.
  • + 30
 The motorbike analogy is irrelevant as they have engine braking and a totally different weight balance, thats why they have a smaller rear brake. On a mtb I've never boiled a front brake even on the longest, silliest descents, its the rear where you want the 'heat management' and while it probably gives a balanced feel front to rear at lower temps, a smaller rear caliper and pad area isnt going to help once things get hot.
  • + 2
 Best comment here.
  • + 4
 My thoughts exactly, plus if you wanted less power on the back just fit a smaller disc
  • + 1
 @pigman65: That's exactly what I do, except on the biggest of bikes: 180 rear, 203 front. I like the way it biases the braking, feels more balanced.
  • + 28
 This Braking News Just In!
  • + 1
 Gimme a brake... No? Ok! Here comes the all new, bleeding-edge technology!
  • + 1
 Those bubbles will come out at a brake neck speed now!!!!!
  • + 0
 @chettjames: good one bobo
  • + 19
 I'm trying to find a reason for changing my 6 years old Magura Louise but they have absolutely no problems, it's the oldest part on my bike (even older then my frame) and they work like on their first day...
  • + 5
 There isn't one. I have a set of 2009 marta sl's, I have replaced 2 busted carbon levers; the brakes have taken a serious beating and still going strong.
  • + 3
 And I'm trying to find reason to change my 1999 Gustavs... Or to do anything apart from changing pads... They are easy to bleed by I didn't need to this in last couple of years...
  • + 0
 I just replaced a pair of Julie's (the absolute shittiest of shittiest Magura brakes) for some Deore M615's with Zee levers and holy shit, these things are amazing!

That said, I really, really love the Magura HS33 Quicksilvers on my Trek 970 ZX commuter.
  • + 13
 Everyone that bitches about these brakes hasn't bled them properly. I'm 220 pounds and ride the north shore of Vancouver mostly and they are absolutely dialled. Make sure the lever is totally level bleeding and cycle the fluid at least 6 times.
  • - 4
flag FrEeZa (Apr 16, 2016 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 So, all bike mechanics in Germany don't know what they are talking about? I have 4 friends who work for 4 different bike shops and all of them ride Shimano and advised me as well to stear clear from Magura, interesring.
  • + 1
 @FrEeZa: I've had Maguras and they were no better than my Avids. I prefer mineral oil so I tried Shimanos. Currently running Saints, XT's and Zees on my bikes now. They're all good. Can't imagine needing anything better. They stop, don't fade, and easy as shit to bleed.
  • + 1
 @kingsx: Magura is actually ok for a while, but then the levers keep failing. I myself am now running Formulas, since my Shimano SLX kept eating air and the rear one was not there a couple of times as I needed it.
I,would also say it is a subjective matter, as everyone has had bad experience with each brand. My most trusted brake is somehow a Juicy 7 2006 with a kinked hose, that thing never dies and is always on point!
  • + 9
 I have MT5's and never had an issue once I figured out an easy way to them and say nice they have been awesome.. The guy I got them off filled them with air, spent about ten minutes on google figuring out the trick and been golden ever since..
  • + 9
 How hard is it to bleed Magura's? It's a push pull system. Blown away by all the bleed issues...it's a 5 to 10 minute process. Amongst the all the anti Magura fans on here, love my MT 7's.
  • + 11
 Oh give me Hope
  • + 0
 Hope a shit, the shit they pulled on the older M4's and Monos (IS mounts = cancer) is something I never forget, Hope never ever!
  • + 7
 MT7's best breaks out there! We set up 6 bikes with them and didn't have to bleed one set cut the lines to size and everything! 3 months later and still feel like the first time, touchy with perfect modulation!
  • + 3
 I agree that the brakes are superb. I changed from Saints and XTRs, and I would not go back as far as the brake is concerned. Best power and modulation. However, I need to state that my brakes were bled like shit, I could pull the lever all the way up to the bar when they came brand new out of the box... with new rotors that is. So I had to buy the super expensive magura blood right from the start. Also a friend of mine had some problems with a sloppy cut screw thread in those carbotexture brakelevers where the brakeline goes in. And then there is the customer service... me and a friend both got an MT7 lever on which the adjusting screw for the lever span didn't work properly, because the toolfree screwtop was not glued to the screw adequately. I can turn the screwtop as long as I want, the screw doesn't care. I called the Service and they told me politely that they would send me a new lever. That was one year ago and I'm still waiting... No reaction on my mail whatsoever! And then there is the span of the lever... I have rather long fingers, but the lever is really reaaaaally far away from the bar.
  • + 2
 @mazze: there are some new levers available. And make sure you don´t take the ones with tool-less reach adjust because the ones with tool-adjustment get even closer to the handlebars plus you can change the adjustment-screw to a regular headless screw with no stud at the end of that screw and you can minimize your reach to almost zero Smile
  • + 0
 @DangerDave2dot0: Thanks for the tip. I know that the mt5 lever is more adjustable, but this not the way it is supposed to be. The mt7 is the more expensive product, which aims to be at least as functional as the mt5 but superior in quality and weight. However Magura fails to deliver this, which is my critic. I for one like a toolfree adjustability and therefore decided to buy the highend product, which then turns out to be inferior.. that's unacceptable if you ask me.
  • + 2
 the first generation had their issues for sure but last years models have been great for me. Have the MT5's and they are quite easy to bleed, no drag, and incredible power. Can see why you might want less power in the rear actually...
  • + 2
 I had a set of mt6 brakes on my bike and they were awesome! Lightweight, extremely modulable and decently powerful.
The downside was that they were great only 1/10 of the time, being total crap the other 9/10 of the time. The bitepoint would wander so much sometimes that even by pulling the lever all the way to the bar the brakes would simply not engage, and no amount of bleeds fixed that.
Luckily, it all ended the second time I flew with the bike and the front brake had a huge leak between the carbotecture cilinder and the metal bar clamp, forcing me to finally buy a set of trustworthy XT's.
  • + 1
 There was a recall on that master cylinder leak issue on the first gen of brakes with the carbotecture stuff. If you still have them, contact magura and you might get a brand new set.
  • + 1
 @MaxAlary: Thanks for the info! The only recall I got was for the lever, too bad I don't have them anymore :/
  • + 5
 Good looking brakes, but did they really need to advertise that the lever is carbon by typing it on the lever?
  • + 4
 Agreed. So cheesy.
  • + 1
 I thought the same thing man!!!
  • + 1
 Goofy and redundant. Reminds me of trucks with "4x4" badges. Cars used to have "turbo", "DOHC", and "fuel injected" badges from the factory. Who gives a shit?!
  • + 2
 @kingsx: What's wrong with that? I'd like to know that my Justy has 4WD and the (lolsounreliable) ECVT, or that my Impreza is the GT Turbo with a EJ20G DOHC engine!
  • + 1
 @User32: I don't know, just my personal preference, I guess. You realize I'm not against the turbo charging, double overhead cams or 4 wheel drive, it's the tacky signage stuck on the car. As an example, I can't think of one high end auto manufacturer that sticks shit like that on their cars.
  • + 2
 kinda funny he mentioned difficult bleeds for the past MT series. As a mechanic i've bled about 6 or 8 of their brakes, replaced levers, calipers, and hoses, and i've never had a single problem with their breaks as far as service goes. The bleeds for me were always a breeze. even easier than some of the shimano bleeds i've done.
  • + 1
 Exactly why would I buy this brake instead of XTR or Saint? Just give me valid reasons to ponder.
BTW-I do not agree with the idea that you only need heat mgmt. on front brake justifying the MC design idea of 4 pot/2 pot
. On a moto you have engine braking doing the lion's share of the work. The caliper is under much less stress in that arrangement. The only engine brake MTB's have is some freewheel drag. You need almost the same brake front and rear IMO.
  • + 1
 Clutch in, rolling free, I'd say 80% of your braking still comes from front. It's a matter of weight transfer.
  • + 1
 I wanted Magura brakes so bad like 20 years ago when I couldnt afford them,but now that I can I don't really want them anymore.however if they came as spec I might have another opinion.
  • + 2
 I wanted Gustaw M...
  • + 0
 I had MT5's with MT7 pads.......the comment about the bleeding is an understatement...I have never cursed at a set of brakes so much in my life. Power was awesome but I could never get the rotors to stop dragging and bleeding was such a nightmare I switched to saints and never looked back!
  • + 4
 Sounds good. I like my brakes simple and reliable.
  • - 1
 So then just wait a week or two and pick up a set or two for 50 bucks. "Like new, recently received new levers and hoses" I swear, Magura are so bad, they make Elixirs look like Brembos Big Grin
  • + 2
 @FrEeZa: have you tried all their brakes from every year or is this just a whinny move from a dude who had a cheap oem set on his bike and actually doesn't know eff all about the brand lol I'm guessing the later one lol!!!
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: Had a Gustav and it was the tits! .After the Gustav I did run the ventilated Julie from 2008 and I believe that is on par with the current Zee, just unlike the Zee, when you squeezed the lever, there was someone to stop you. A friend had MT4, they left their guts on the floor after a wilder ride. Another friend kept having problems with his Louise, even though that generation was good. MT2 and MT6 around me from buddies for sale for practically nothing, because the levers keep failing. There is a reason why you can get MTS and MT6 new for 24-50 Euro. They used to make great brakes, but these MTs are really a hit and miss.
P.S. I live close by Magura Smile
  • + 2
 I love my julies on my old rock hopper 14 years and still haven't bled them and they still bite like no tomorrow
  • + 0
 The Julie is one of the best brakes they have produced! I doubt it will ever leave you. Just dodge the MTs and you'll be golden Smile
  • + 3
 best brakes ives ever had, havent had any issues.
  • + 3
 "Magura's New MT Trail Brake" now with, "pucker power"
  • + 3
 4 piston front caliper, 2 piston rear? Cool.
  • + 0
 Moto cool. I run that setup with Saint front and XT rear.
  • + 3
 Plastic bleed port screws. Meh!
  • + 2
 amazing!!! excellent product!
  • + 1
 I remember my Magura marta SL that's the memory I will keep because after that they just kill the brakes.
  • + 1
 stI'll available in hot green?
  • + 0
 Yesterday i sell my mt4 and buy XT, nothing personal but I happy
  • + 1
 Guide the way
  • - 3
 Guide brakes on everything
  • - 3
 Isn't Lopes sponsored by Magura?? If so thats one huge reason to stay away from this brand.
  • - 1
 I Saint we must trust!
  • - 2
 I already have the holy grail of brakes....Saints

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