Review: Magura's Lightweight MT8 SL Brakes

Jun 4, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  
Magura MT8 review

German brand Magura has been in the brake business for quite some time - over a hundred years on the motorsports side - and while they may not hold the same chunk of OEM sales that the red and blue "S" brands share, they're certainly a force to be reckoned with.

I was beyond pleased riding their MT7 brakes that I reviewed last year, and while the MT7 is designed for the enduro-trail-dh category, the MT8 SL brakes reviewed here tip the scale the other way for the XC crowd with a lightweight two-piston design, carbon lever, and race-ready chassis.
MT8 SL Details
• Intended use: XC / Marathon
• 2-piston calipers
• Mineral oil system
• Interchangeable levers
• Carbon fiber lever assembly
• Weight: 195g as tested (w/o rotors, adapters)
• MSRP: $289 USD

The MT8 SL features levers with an adjustable sweep that are also interchangeable - Magura offers several different options, allowing riders to pick the shape and material they prefer. Colors can also be customized on both the lever/master cylinder assembly, clamp, and on the caliper using different covers, clamps, and rings available from Magura.

As a top-of-the-line product, the MT8 SL isn't cheap at $289 USD a pop for the brake assembly alone. Rotors and adapters are sold separately, so add on $80-$100 or so more to complete the package. Rotors are $37 each for the recommended HC rotor or the nicer SL is $45. Adapters are $13, so you're looking at $700 or so to get your bike up and stopping.

Out of the box, the lever and caliper assembly, along with a full-length line weighs 195g. That's comfortably over 100g less than SRAM's top tier Level Ultimate brakes that weigh a claimed 318g.

The entire brake system is produced in Magura's factory in Germany under stringent quality controls - the entire building is sealed and pressurized to prevent dust or dirt from getting in and contaminating the products. On top of that, Magura offers a five-year leak-proof guarantee for all of their brake systems.

Magura MT8 review
The MT8 SL lever. Levers can be interchanged to modify the feel and performance of the brakes.
Magura MT8 review
The brakes utilize two resin pads in the caliper to slow things down. Magura have three different options for pad compounds available.

Details and Installation

The MT8 SL sports a composite master cylinder made out of Magura's "Carbotexture SL" material. The lever is their 1-finger HC carbon lever blade. and the bolts holding the lever assembly to the handlebar use a very open pitch thread and lower torque than most other handlebar clamps and the levers are made to rotate in the event of a crash rather than snap off. Levers can be run on either the left or right side; a simple twist of the pin that holds the lever to the master cylinder allows it to release and be transferred to the other side for a uniform look.

On the other end of the line, there's a two-piston caliper. Unlike some other brands' calipers, the MT8 SL, like other Magura calipers, is machined out of one piece rather than two sides joined together. Magura claim this makes it more powerful, stiffer, and more stable than a two-piece design. There are three different pad options from Magura, that all use a resin composition.

Magura MT8 review
Magura MT8 review

Magura ship all of their brakes with a full-length hose so you're going to be cutting down the brake lines no matter what, but anyone with basic mechanic and direction following skills should have no issues. If you're careful, might not even need to bleed the system, but a full bleed is a quick and painless process.

Magura uses their own "Royal Blood" mineral oil. The bleed screw on the master cylinder pushes into place and very little torque is required to hold it where it needs to be. Keep this in mind before you over-torque it and strip it out if you're working on your own bike.

There are three different options for pads, offering varying levels of friction. The stock pads are the 7.P Performance pads, which are "for long tours; these pads offer safety together with excellent performance in all situations." The 7.C Comfort pads are "for riders who want control rather than bite from their brakes as well as those looking for a long-lasting product" and the 7.R Race pads are "for all those who bring their material to the limits during cross country or downhill and require outstanding braking performance," according to Magura.

Magura MT8 review


Having used the MT7's for well over a year on various bikes, the MT8's were a simple set-up and easy to get out of the box, onto the bike, and out on the trail. On the bike I have been using the brakes on, I previously been using SRAM's Level Ultimates, so it was a great back-to-back comparison of two top-of-the-line XC stoppers.

The MT8 SL's have a very lightweight feel to them. The carbon lever is incredibly comfortable and the ergonomics suited me well. The lever blade is wider than the Level lever and is also a bit longer, due in part to the design differences in the master cylinders.

The stopping power that the MT8 SL brakes provides is very good after the initial break-in period. It's the modulation that makes them really stand out - it's better than any other brake that I've ridden. The stock HC-1 carbon levers were a little on the soft side for my liking, but they still provide ample power to go along with all of that modulation. Swapping levers can definitely change the way things feel, and the shorter levers have a little firmer bite.

With the MT8 SL's, as with other Magura brakes, you can swap out pads to change how much they grab. While the stock pads are good and offer a great amount of modulation, I found myself wanting a bit more power, so I opted for the 7.R race pads which gave a great deal more stopping power. Swapping to a 180mm rotor up front (up from a 160) also generated a bit more of the grab I was after

Long descents left the brakes unfazed, and I never had an issue with pump-up or fade. The brakes were every bit as consistent at the start of a long ride as they were at the end.

Overall, the MT8 SL is one of the best feeling XC brakes available, but I found that it took a bit of tinkering and messing around with different levers and pads to get the to that level. The brakes offer quite a bit more modulation than SRAM or Shimano's XC options, but in their stock configuration they don't offer as much power right out of the box. Price-wise, the MT8 SL's are no doubt far more expensive than their counterparts.


+ Ultra-lightweight and customizable
+ 5-year warranty
+ Fantastic modulation


- Achieving the ideal set up can take some experimentation with different lever/pad combos
- Underpowered compared to competitors right out of the box

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesMagura's MT8 SL brakes are one of the lightest high-end XC options available. Set up is easy and the brakes perform flawlessly with copious amounts of modulation, although they don't have quite as much raw power as I would have liked. The good news is that there are multiple ways to customize them, which means that for someone who is patient and wants their brakes to feel a very certain way, the MT8 SL is not going to let them down. For riders who are less inclined to tinker and experiment, it may be better to stick to something more basic. Daniel Sapp


  • 50 19
 I loved my MT7's..........when they worked. Bleeding them was an absolute pain (even using Magura fluid and following their instructions) which I had to do several times during a year - switched to Hope and never looked back
  • 75 24
 But hope brakes are sooooo weak they're practically unrideable. /s
  • 7 2
 Same here. Not to forget the smallest missalignment or just moist air tend to produce horrible squaking sounds.
  • 11 25
flag inked-up-metalhead (Jun 4, 2020 at 0:41) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: what hopes have you tried? The v4 isn't far off Saint levels of power.
  • 55 2
 @inked-up-metalhead: the /s at the end means sarcasm implied
  • 21 2
 @Mayzei: oh. I did not know that. OK, cheers.
  • 14 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: guess it's the same as having a union jack by your username (I don't count, I'm an import)
  • 98 3
 @inked-up-metalhead: it was sarcasm but I've owned mini, mono mini, x2, e4, v4... but this is pinkbike... whether or not I've actually used them is irrelevant... the important thing is to form a strong polarizing opinion and stick with it.
  • 27 30
 it does not seem like a pain to me at all. maybe you are a bad bleeder. not being able to bleed a brake properly is your fault, not the brakes. if you can do it properly, why bother for yourself? why not let a bike tech do it for you?
  • 16 4
 @Uchwmdr: yeah you are probably correct, never had an issue bleeding Sram, Hope's or shimano. However my friend and I have experienced the exact same issues on both pairs of Maguras (following the instructions to the letter), you are right must be me
  • 7 2
 Same here, MT7's worked great, until I had the dreaded sticky pistons flaw. Setting them up was a bit of pain and yes, bleeding them is not as straigtforward as everybody is trying to tell us. The after sales of Magura is top notch, got a new set, no questions asked. But I sold those off and switched back to Shimano. Not the highest bling factor, but I just like my bikes to run hassle free.
  • 9 19
flag enduroNZ (Jun 4, 2020 at 3:11) (Below Threshold)
 you are NOT a trump supporter I can tell @thegoodflow:
  • 3 17
flag RoadStain (Jun 4, 2020 at 3:31) (Below Threshold)
 @inked-up-metalhead: Seriously, if they are almost as good....well, why not get Saint's? Recently I put XTR brakes on my XX1 bike...I could just not find a reason to not install XTR brakes over any others on the market.
  • 13 1
 @NinetySixBikes: this bleeding process in flawless and pretty straightforward. Done it during quarantine to kill some time despite they were running still good after two and a half years, and I was hoping to take longer: less than 20 minutes done.
  • 4 1
 @enduroNZ: lol, how did you know?
  • 3 0
 @RoadStain: he didn't say almost as good, he said almost as powerful.
  • 24 1
 @RoadStain: wandering bite point on the Shimano brakes, even XTR is not an option for me, and their bite point adjustment is useless
  • 2 17
flag RoadStain (Jun 4, 2020 at 4:27) (Below Threshold)
 @SonofBovril: I seriously do not know what that means (on the bike on the trails). Then again, I am not anywhere near real mountain descents. I do know that my XTR are head and shoulders ahead of my OE Tektro stoppers.
  • 8 2
 @SonofBovril: Agree. Was a big Shimano fan for many years but the wandering bite point on all their brakes, Saints, SLX, XT, etc... was a big turn off. Even worse in the cold weather. I think its a combination of slow flowing mineral oil (worse in the cold and on the back brake), and a far spread on their pads (nice for not rubbing though). Shimano's were cheap, reliable, easy to bleed, and powerful. I like an on/off feel to my brakes. But that wondering bite point almost sent me over the bars one too many times. For trail riding I went to Guides, have a lot of miles on them, and like them a lot. This year I swapped out the Saints for Codes on my DH rig but haven't ridden them yet. Oh yeah, the pad rattle on the Saints, even with non-finned pads, sounded like a loose headset.
  • 1 0
 I had a similar experience with mt5s. They worked pretty well for a year or two but over time they started to need bleeding more and more frequently. In the end I was actually afraid to ride steep trails purely because I knew I'd have to bleed my brakes when I got home. I'm not sure what exactly was happening, maybe a seal that was being compromised by heat under heavy braking, but it was very annoying.

The levers and master cylinder also break a lot more easily in crashes as far as I could tell, and while that's not something that happens too often, I still think that carbotexture stuff isn't the best idea on an enduro/DH brake.

Hopes are heavy but very reliable and consistent so far.
  • 13 0
 @Pichy: Yep, on MT7s now and I'm loving them. The bleed process is not difficult. Great power and modulation and they never fade.

My one gripe is the tiny amount of space between the pads requiring extremely precise alignment and very true rotors to avoid rubbing. I like tinkering though so I don't mind the challenge.
  • 2 0
 In the photos I don't see the little clip spring that hold the pads apart? Am I just not seeing it, or does Magura use something different? Honest question, I know nothing about Magura brakes.
  • 15 28
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 4, 2020 at 6:04) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: you are so butthurt it seems like you area a typical Hope fanboi with braided hose in their bum. Kind of classy, but also kind of irritable Smile
  • 21 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Sure, if that makes you feel better, proud butthurt fanboi here. I was kinda hoping you would actually follow through on you multiple butthurt empty threats to not respond to me anymore, but here you are again.
  • 12 26
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 4, 2020 at 6:14) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: pssst... do you see people offended by people complaining that Maguras are failing? Other articles on Sram or Shimano brakes? No... only certain Hope people get triggered
  • 15 5
 @WAKIdesigns: K Waki, thanks for your input.

  • 4 0
 @NotSorry: you probably had a crash and put a hole inside the brake hose. 99% of the time if you have any brakes and they worked fine but then they always need to be bled and there is no leak in the lever or caliper you probably pinched the hose and there a leak either internally even worse all the way through. Try changing the hose. One thing I will day about magura brake hose they are damn expensive..
  • 6 0
 Well I run the MT Trail Sport Combo and they're amazing. I've never had to have them bled since setup and they are flawless with gobs of power. My mates allways take my ride for a spin and without fail they allways comment on the power of the brakes.
  • 9 0
 2-3 years, 1000+ miles and counting on MT7 and MT Trail brakes. I’ve bled each once or twice in that time.
I’ve had several crashes, and the lever assembly pivots out of the way with no damage.

I’d strongly recommend the trail sport to anyone not needing a full DH brake. Cheap, reliable, w/ great modulation and ergonomics. And still lighter than most other brands top-tier products...

Experiences vary, but mine have been great.
  • 5 0
 @kcy4130: No springs because the pistons contain magnets that hold the pads in place. A neat idea
  • 6 0
 @kcy4130: >there are magnets in there. No spring is a definite plus. Pads load from top or bottom, and stay put while you get the retention screw in place. Super easy
  • 2 1
 @kcy4130: Magura uses a magnetic system. The pistons are magnetized and the pads "stick" to them. Elimnates the spring. And eliminates any chance of rattling.

Unlike Shimano's spring though, the magnetic system doesn't have built-in toe-in to try and help with any squeeking. I haven't confirmed, but maybe the designers (they are German afterall) designed a bit of toe-in into the pistons themselves???
  • 5 0
 Bleeding Magura’s could not be easier.
I have MT5 and just love them. Powerfull and easy to maintain. Love to hear that frrrrrrr sound just before they bite.
  • 4 0
 3 years to on my mt5 without a hiccup. Bled them twice, 1st time 3 times to get them right. After I followed instructions from nsmb I got them right. Used the same way of bleeding for shimanos and also bled properly. Bunch of crashes and master cylinder looks less trashed than any metal ones a previously owned, works perfect. Just ordered mt trail sport. Just get cool stop pads, they are semimetalic and last a bit longer. Bunch of friends on them with 0 issues. Alignment is a problem only if you have bent rotors.
  • 4 0
 @thegoodflow: L.O.L.
  • 8 3
 @WAKIdesigns: didn't take you long. please use Hope breaks
  • 3 0
 @RoadStain: because shimano are far from hassle free, i've warrantied 2 sets of saints and had continuous issues with my current set up needing bled on a bi-monthly/ 400 miles basis due to softness creeping in and carbon build up. Hopes on the other hand literally fit and forget and fully and easily rebuild-able. the last pair i used for 5 years without a bleed...... why dont i use hopes

put simply they felt underwhelming compared to my shimano. normally i prefer durabilty to function. but sometimes the gap is too great. so shimano won the battle here.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: magnets
  • 3 0
 I agree. Bleeding them is not as user friendly as other brakes/brands. You have to be careful specially when sucking the fluid from the caliper, since you just push a syringe in the bleeding port of the master cylinder. Sucking to hard might cause air to get in the line. I wasn’t very careful first time I did and it took me forever the get no bubbles. But once you learn and do it properly they are trouble free and there is no need to bleed for a long time. Best brakes I’ve had in comparison to shimano and sram.
  • 6 2
 @RoadStain: ....when you get the brake bled to perfection, the lever should pull into the bar and engage the pads onto the disc and lever go firm the same distance every time. this is the lever throw.

the bite point is pretty much the same as this but more specific to the caliper itself and basically covers how far the caliper piston has to move to bite on to the disc.

with most brands you can adjust this bite point and affect the lever throw quite considerably with a turn of a knob or screw. shimano has a knob but that's for lever reach (which has zero effect on the caliper it just moves the lever nearer or further away from the handlebar)

shimano's bit point adjustment does what it says on the tin, (the tiny wee cross head screw on the lever body) having had several of their brakes dismantled i can assure you it affects the bite point directly, but its so minute as to be unnoticeable to most people hands.

anyway....wandering bite point ......shimano from the bottom to the top suffer from this. if you live in humid and variable climate......with grimy conditions . you will get wandering bite point not just within a weeks conditions, but even on a single ride conditions .

affectionately known in scotland as the "shimano double brake technique" whereby you have to pre brake quickly (but not enough to engage bite) 1 second earlier than normal for a corner, then release the brake and then brake properly....... failure to do this results in being utterly underbraked for said corner and spending the next 10 mins picking Gorse thorns out your body. its quite amusing until you realised you spent £300 on a set of brakes that needs pre-pumped before they work.

good tip on shimano bleeds - i got this from the shimano techs whilst having issues racing the EWS last year

if you are doing a full bleed or a "top up and bubble" removal fix. do it with the bite point screw wound fully out. once you are happy with the bleed. and all is done. wind that screw back in fully. it pushes the master lever piston in a fraction and closes the system up more, leaving a pretty solid and reliable bite point
  • 1 0
 @neons97: hmmm. not sure im guessing here....but i imagine not as it might cause binding in the piston bores. with shimnao spirings i assume its free floating design. and the pad whilst toeing in eventually sits parallel to the disc when more power is engaged. any fixed form of toe in on the magnetic pistons would at best result in very uneven pad wear or at worst jammed pistons in bores
  • 3 0
 @PabloMoll: I think that's where a lot of problems arise is when people start pushing/pulling with syringes in the master cylinder. I have had a pair of MT7's for a couple seasons, and a pair of MT5s. I've bled each system twice perfectly. First bleed was in the parkinglot at Whistler in a torrential downpour. I use the syringe on the caliper side and an open syringe in the lever body. Only push/pull from the caliper. While you're doing the bleed, I rotate the master cylinder from level, to down about 15*, to up 15*, then back to center (push-pull fluid through 3x ea, ending on pushing fluid towards the MC). Angling the master cylinder body lower than level then up from level ensure that the little bubbles in there escape. I pull the caliper from the bike (with the syringe attached) and close the system off with the caliper above the master cylinder. For me, it's been the easiest bleeds I've done between them, Shimano, and Sram.
  • 4 0
 Don't let Walkie Talkie hear you are using hope!
  • 1 0
 @forkbrayker: you have to keep them topped up. Every four or five rides do a lever bleed and that seems to sort it. I have absolutely no idea how the air gets in or the oil gets out though.
  • 2 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 4, 2020 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 @forkbrayker: I will be honest, my only good result with Shimano is a shitty fluid sacrifice flush bleed. Zero proclamations, bat wings and no rain dances. Back out pad adjuster. Attach funnel at the top, 60ml syringe without plunger but with some oil At the bottom. I put plastic bag on bar under the master cylinder. Open the bleed port, Keep pouring Fluid from the top and pump with the lever for some time to flush most bubbles from the caliper until syringe is over half full. I don’t care if small bubbles keep coming. Then I insert the plunger and flush this shit all up, not caring if it overflows the funnel. All ends up in the bag below. Close bleed port, take 20ml fresh fluid, reattach, pump down some again, then slowly start pushing up with syringe while banging on caliper, cable and cylinder, wait for bubbles to stop coming. Very few are coming at that point. Close bleed port, pump some more with lever, bang some more.

5 mins and done quite well. No matter how many mechanics and me did whatever, the wandering bite point reemerges sooner or later, but even if my bleed is not perfect as a bleed, some air may stay in, wandering point seems to take more time to come back. Stupid I know. But that’s my anecdotal experience with flushing the system all out. Shimanos are after all quite tolerant to air inside. My codes though...
  • 4 1
 Just bled a set of Magura's for the first time. Seemed very straight forward, the screw in caliper port especially was mint. I'd rate a full bleed easier than Shimano, and I'd put SRAM below them too because of the faff of DOT fluid.

What's the trouble you've had, I can't really imagine?
  • 2 0
 Magnets on pistons so no need for the spring @kcy4130:
  • 2 1
 @50percentsure: can you bleed them like this? Because I’ve found this to be the most effective way of bleeding shimano brakes.
  • 2 0
 @Pichy: Funny thing is that back in the ol' days, I had the HS33 rim brakes. Those were a breeze to bleed. But when I switched to their disc brakes, it allways was a struggle. I managed, but not as easy as Shimano's or Sram's. Perhaps I need some more practise, cuz like I said, the MT7's were awesome!
  • 1 0
 @Uchwmdr: This doesn’t answer why it needs to be done so frequently tho...
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Can you dump the fluid out into a rag instead of using a threaded syringe? Yeah, I suppose you could do that with any brake, but...why?

Found this little trick useful. A better top bleed than Shimano can be achieved done by drilling a hole into the top third of a syringe and pulling bubbles up:
  • 3 1
 @mobiller: just found it to be the best and easiest way to bleed shimano brakes of the same technique works with Magura then I don’t really need to listen to these ‘they’re hard to bleed’ comments.
  • 3 0
 @Uchwmdr: yeah i've never had a problem bleeding magura brakes the old magura brakes (2010ish) were apparently horrible to bleed but my mt trail sports are by FAR the best brakes i've EVER ridden they are absolutely amazing
I'm already saving to buy a pair of mt7s for my dh bike
I want a pair of brakes i like when i'm racing and the code r's i have just don't feel good and aren't super strong
  • 2 1
 @MikerJ: i thought it was because of the tiny reservoir
My maguras use mineral oil and they bite more consistently than my sram brakes

The reservoir on the shimano saints is smaller than on sram guides!
(Remember this is supposed to be their high end dh brake and the srams guides are made for trail/enduro riding)
btw i said smaller than guides but the reservoir might be smaller than sram level
  • 2 6
flag Beez177 (Jun 4, 2020 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: pump the brakes Hoe Mo, not your boyfriends backside!
  • 1 3
 Looks like lovely set of brakes...
But lowerish power, and price are turnoffs for me. For that kind of money, i'll take my guide r's over them any day (4 pistons, matched 180mm rotors front and rear, carbon levers, dot 5.1, ect. ect.).
Now that sram has there new bleeding system out, win-win for me.
What really catches my eye on these, is lovely looking lever system, weight, and quality.
But that still makes it a really hard sell... Once one goes down the road of overpowered 4 piston brakes, there's no going back.
These are a fine option stacked against the levels, but once you move up the the guides, these are left in the dust, especially considering price vs performance.
  • 5 0
 @wcr: Have you ridden Maguras? If your looking for a 4 piston try the MT5's. Sram can't touch them. I don't know about these trail calipers so I can't talk about them, but the 4 pots from Magura from a performance standpoint, IMO honestly, blow Sram's offerings out of the water. Coming from someone that has been running Codes (and Guides, and Shimano throughout the years, etc) since 2011. You are right though, Sram's bleed system has a 1-up since if need be for feel purposes, it's easy to overfill slightly. And with Sram, the bite point adjust is actually functional.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you could just get the bubbles out of the master cyl then gravity bleed them. Multiple pairs of shimano brakes and no wandering bite point.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: no idea why youve been neg propped. But that whilst laboriously worded that method is pretty simple and more or less how i got my last good bleed.
  • 1 0
 @wcr: check out the mt5 or the mt7
  • 1 1
 @krashDH85: Well said... No sir, haven't tried them out yet, i just started real mtbing this year.
Ya, these vs guides aren't a fair comparison; MT7's look, and sound epic.
Where i'm coming from, my Guides are my first "real" hydraulic disk brake. And compared to what i had before (cable disks, and shimano mt200's), the guides are walk away, different league of braking performance.
I did look at the mt5's when i was upgrading, decided to go with the guides (new bleed system and killer second hand price).
MT7's are on my future list... 4 pad/4 piston is eye-opening, especially for what i ride. But thinking about it, a bit overkill for what i ride. The sram's are more then enough for me, i ride techy xc/trail (what the mt8's are aimed at).
Magura is hands down, lovelier system then sram or shimano. The upgradability/customizability of these are kind of astonishing, something i haven't seen before...
Wonder how they stack up against xt's or xtr's?.
Something else to think about Smile .
  • 2 1
 Everyone could just buy SRAM instead
  • 1 2
 @Ooofff: f*ck sram!!!!
  • 2 0
 @wcr: NIce! Honestly, save yourself some coin and just go for the MT5's. I bought the MT7 for my DH bike specifically for the BAT knob (pad contact adjust) and what I "thought" were nicer levers. Well, the BAT doesn't do squat for pad adjustment. The lever...well, both broke within 2 weeks (still functional, but still broke) not to mention the "tool-less" lever throw solution screw was loose, so I had to re-adjust every couple runs. The MT5 and 7 caliper body are identical. The only real difference between the 2 is you get a fancy sticker over the lever pin hinge on the 7's on the master cylinder body. I'm running the 5's on my trail bike with the upgraded MT5 aluminum levers, that take a tool to adjust the lever throw, and it's a much better lever than the 7's have. So much so that I'm putting another set of the 5 levers on my 7s. Seeing that I bought the 7's first, if I did it over, I'd just run the 5's all across the board on the bikes with the upgraded HC1 lever for everything.
  • 1 0
 @krashDH85: Thanks for the heads up Smile . Nice to know that a feller doesn't have to spend a pile to get nice stuff...
I guess it's kinda like comparing the new deore to slx. Ya, slx may be a little fancier, lighter, more tech, but from what i'm hearing, nowhere as good as i first thought...
I'll do the smart thing, and stick with my good ole 10 speed... And it still comes with great tech, IMO, the "basic" shadow plus+ clutch is the best in the biz, miles down better comparing to my bro's nx 11 speed.
Do they make a carbon lever upgrade for the 5's?
I totally love the levers on the guides, finger feel is so nice (bare hands or gloved).
That hit's on another point, that i really like about my brakes... Bite point is constantly consistent, and modulation is on point, each and every time i pull the levers. And they don't rattle the least bit, which is another win in my book Big Grin .
I'm going to run them till they die, then take a look at the 5's.
Thanks for the tidbits man, you have a new follower.
  • 1 0
 @Ooofff: Maybe because of the "Reverb"...
  • 3 0
 @wcr: you dare speak its name in all fairness tho gx is pretty good sx is dog poo
  • 1 0
 @hyperider: you can replace a magura hose with a braided one, more expensive but practically impossible to break...
  • 1 1
 @Ooofff: gx is actually really good, i wouldn't use the gx lever because the adjustment (for me) is a must have but the derailleur is so good that it's pointless to pay extra for the upgrade...
  • 1 1
 @Ooofff: i could also just get brakes that stop me...
  • 1 1
 @krashDH85: the hc3 levers are incredible, obviously incredibly expensive but so good, i might get some braided cables in the future though, the cables that come stock balloon quite easily...
  • 1 0
 @Bikerdude137: codes easily stop me
  • 1 1
 @Ooofff: you and me are not the same person...
  • 1 0
 @Bikerdude137: I only weigh 65kg so probably
  • 18 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Dude, hacking on people or resorting to name calling and pigeon holing because you are too inept to set up brakes is so lame.
I love a good brake argument but having tried most, the Hope V4 are top quality, easy to set up and on the same level as code in stopping power with similar modulation.
I'd happily use either V4 or Code on my bike but the thing is, I actually ride
Admit it, you're an armchair athlete and you dig being a dick.
  • 14 3
 I dunno about their brakes, but I love how easy it is to rile up the Hope fanbois.
  • 7 5
 Are you dizzy bruv? V4’s seriously lack power and the lever feel is rancid. Sharp, rough lever blades that are physically hard to pull compared to pretty much every brake I’ve used add in that they don’t have much power and your living in a world of arm pump. Oh and the levers always rattle and squeak and generally feel like they need a good service even though they don’t. My moto V2’s are better than v4’s. Amazing company though and their customer service was next level.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Wow. That's all I can say.
  • 1 1
 @Bailey100: whatever mate. Hope are made 9 miles away. I’d buy them just to support my local area if they weren’t almost unusable.
  • 4 7
 @thenotoriousmic: regardless our differences in drivetrain area, I am glad we agree on brake front. I was meant to have a ride in the woods with people from my office so I lent my fully to a colleague and was supposed to rode my DJ myself. So I installed a BB7 brake on front, having Hope X2 in the rear. Well... sadly, X2 is still evidently weaker than BB7. No wonder Danny, Duncan and Ali are using Maguras instead of Hopes! Takes some muscle in the finger to be able to backhop with x2 in the rear

So Hope fanbois, who wants to buy a barely used X2 for 100£? I need some power so I’ll use a mechanical Avid brake as an upgrade!
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: The levers are what turned me off Hope. The blade is downright painful on long descents where you're constantly on the brakes. They do also always feel like they need serviced. They are attractive, I'll give them that. I never found the E4s to be underpowered. I'd happily go back to them if they completely changed their entire lever assembly...
  • 3 3
 @NotSorry: are your hands actually that tender and delicate?
  • 4 2
 @thegoodflow: Quite the opposite, they are large with a high grip strength from years of Jiu-Jitsu. I imagine small bitch hands would fit perfectly with the Hope levers.
  • 2 0
 @NotSorry: That's so strange to me. I came from a moto background and for me, they are the best levers I've found. This is the second set I've had (sold the other bike), and they've been flawless. I ride probably 30 hours a month, everything from North Shore , Squamish, to Kamloops.
Lever shape is subjective, to each their own but I'm surprised by the negativity around these brakes. I switched to the sintered pads right away, bedded them properly, run 203 front and rear and they are everything I could ask for from a brake. I don't get arm pump, the bite point stays where I set it, the the lever pull is light.
Again, to each their own but they sure work for me.
Also, I'm not dizzy and I don't know what the f*ck a "bruv" is.
  • 3 3
 @Bailey100: I'm exaggerating a bit my man. They aren't painful, just less comfortable than others I've used. I have Maguras now and I find the HC lever to be considerably more comfortable than the Tech 3 lever. The Code lever is more comfortable to me as well. I prefer a wide lever with a nice hook at the end. Yes, lever shape is subjective and it's silly to argue about subjective things. However, this is PB where everything is an argument...

I like my MT7s. I didn't dislike my E3s but I do like the MT7 more. I would love to have Trickstuffs and probably will within 18 months because i have acute upgrade-itis.
  • 2 0
 @NotSorry: I also suffer from upgrade-itis.
I've cured it by running out of money.
  • 1 1
 @Bailey100: Oh I run out of money all the time! It just puts my condition into remission until I find myself with money again LOL.
  • 2 0
 @NotSorry: oh, sorry I didn't realize that "downright painful" actually meant "they aren't painful, just less comfortable than others". My mistake. We all have our preferences.
  • 1 2
 @Bailey100: bruv = brother. Yeah that’s totally fine dude. If you don’t find the levers to be an issue and they have enough power for you then you’ve got a set of brakes that will give you years of trouble free riding.

@WAKIdesigns Wink
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: we know this isn't biased he's from the uk
  • 13 7
 Seem like good brakes. I'm surprised they didn't mention Magura's ultra cheap feeling plastic levers. Pretty much the main drawback of the brake imo. It's no wonder so many people run shiguras. Still it does allow them to be light I suppose.
  • 7 3
 Maguras focus is plastic parts for the automotive industry. So my guess is that they won't change to metal levers anytime soon. Had the MT5, not a bad brake but the levers are indeed awful.
  • 18 0
 they didn't mention them because they're carbon on this model.
  • 14 0
 Shimano levers can work with the Magura calipers. Shigura brakes Smile
  • 6 0
 @5afety3rd: he's referring to the whole master assembly, which is made from a carbon reinforced plastic. They don't feel as solid as an aluminum assembly, but unless you're really hard on your gear they're up to the job. I've been running Magura brakes for years and I won't go back. A total pain to bleed, but you start to learn the tricks and ultimately well worth the hassle. I can also vouch for Magura's customer support. Had a lever develop a leak at the master and they sent a replacement the next day.
  • 5 0
 @JasonALap: I have MT7’s on my bike. Magura makes two different master cylinders, carbon ones and nylon ones. You’re thinking of the cheaper nylon ones. Jude at magura is the man I agree.
  • 3 0
 Check out their Mt8 pro. Alloy lever blades with a better shape, only 30g weight penalty... and cheaper.
  • 1 0
 I agree man, those lever seem to flex and feel cheap. I switched to the aluminum ones and it really gives it a much better feel. My MT7 have over 1200 trail/enduro miles with two bleeds and 20 bike park days in a year and are just fine.
  • 1 0
 this is just my opinion but i like the slight flex that the brake has, there's just something about it (like i said just my opinion)
  • 6 0
 Been running the MT7, MT8 and MT4 brakes across my bikes for about five years now. The weight, modulation and cost-to-performance is top notch. The review is spot on, it took some tweaking to get the most out of it, but once you have it good, the brakes have been trouble free. I have learned how to bleed myself and this is now also OK. It isn't something you need to do frequently so not a hassle.

Currently running MT7/MT4 on my Canyon Strive Enduro bike with 200 Rotors
MT7/MT8 on my Spark Downcountry build with 180 rotors

The biggest thing I can say is get your pads right, and your lever-blades right and they will give really excellent performance.
  • 2 0
 ive been running the race pads on my MT7 recently and i can for sure tell the difference in stopping power, fade, and especially noise. i think i still prefer the performance pads on the 7's
  • 1 0
 @Kaggel How are you getting the rear caliper to fit on the Spark? I have heard it does not quite fit inside the rear triangle.
  • 1 0
 @Ross0318: The MT8 caliper is a tight fit on the back of the Spark, but it it does fit. Probably 2mm clearance to the frame. I have the 930 frame with the carbon front and alu rear. Maybe the full-carbon frame is different.
  • 5 2
 I love Magura mt5/mt7's feel and power but really don't like the plastic used for the master cylinder. I just got some Hope v4's and man...if Magura would just do some machining like Hope, they would be hands down the best brake on the market.
  • 8 2
 They do... Trickstuff! ????
  • 2 8
flag friendlyfoe (Jun 4, 2020 at 0:38) (Below Threshold)
 Just got a set of mt5. The master really is a cheap piece of garbage but they work really well. Biggest disappointment is that the two finger lever is borderline unusable for 1 finger braking (which is probably 99% of us) and replacement levers are ridiculously expensive. It's going to be tough to say nice things about them when the ergonomics are so bad
  • 17 0
 @friendlyfoe: you just have to move the lever a bit more inward on your handlebar so your index finger sits on the curved tip part of the lever. They work fine for 1 finger braking.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: Just move your levers inboard and you're done. Otherwise, check the German websites, they sell 1-finger levers for cheap.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: also when you move them more inward get left side bracket for shifter and use it on right side. Gets shifter closer so you compensate for longer lever.
  • 1 6
flag friendlyfoe (Jun 4, 2020 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 @kanasasa: good solution but it's BS that youd need to do that in the first place.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: not really. They specify that they are two finger levers and can be used as one finger. Or choose from the multiple other levers they offer
  • 1 3
 @seismicninja: Only it doesn't work well with 1 finger unless you run them so far inboard that you have to run a backward shifter. For the amount new levers cost from them I might as well have just got hope.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: why bs? They are 2 finger levers and I use them as 1 finger with a mod. Or just buy different lever that works without additional mods.
PB never happy, magura is the only company to cover every finger scenario known to humans and people still complain.
  • 1 3
 @kanasasa: Just because you're happy with that as a solution doesn't mean everyone is going to be. By the time I buy new levers I'll have spent 100 dollars more than XT 4 pot. The magura's do in fact work better, which is why shimano needs to get their act together and is starting to lose market share, but the build quality on the magura's is half of what you get with shimano.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: This is sad. Can't figure out how to move your brakes inside of your shifters and adjust the blade so it lines up with your index finger? Really?
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: wait. What??
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: yeah i was planning on getting mt5's but i'm just going to save up a bit longer for the mt7's
  • 1 0
 @Bikerdude137: it's a waste of money really unless you want the hc3 levers
  • 1 0
 @seismicninja: Well apparently magura says you can't use the hc3 levers with the mt5 (the mt7 comes with hc1 levers btw the hc3 is the danny macaskill lever)
  • 1 0
 @Bikerdude137: thats what I'm saying too. The mt7 is a waste of money unless you want to use the hc3 lever. Mt5 has same ppwer and modulation but can't use the hc3 or other levers Magura makes for the mt7. So imho unless you specifically want to use the hc3 levers, the mt5 is the better buy. I had the hc3 and to be honest, I didn't see much of a difference since I always want as much power as possible so I only ran them with the higher leverage ratio.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: wait, you seriously hadn't thought of that? That's what you're supposed to do with all brakes, they all have different levers, have you ever even looked at your bike before a ride?!
  • 3 0
 Ive got a set of the Magura MT3 trail brakes on my bike. Initially i wasnt impressed they were really lacking in power. However, they just took a very long time to bed in and now I am really happy with them. Plenty of power, great modulation and I also think they look great. A good alternative to Sran and Shimano.
  • 4 1
 There is no denying Magura brakes can be slightly harder to bleed than other brands. I do however love my MT Trails and have had no issues with the last two sets of them I have owned and ridden.
  • 2 0
 I too am/was a huge fan of my MT7's after I paired them with Shimano levers. They were way too "tight" with Saint levers, but I found a M8000 XT levers worked really well, and also made the bleed not just as good as Shimano but better since the caliper fitting threads in instead of being held on with a clip that will often fall off and spew mineral oil everywhere. Extremely powerful and fade free.

Unforunately I continually had problems with too much brake drag. I even popped the pistons out and cleaned them which helped for one ride before they became draggy again. So I moved them to my DH bike, and every time I get on my DH Bike I'm reminded how awesome they are. I don't know why I seem to have so much drag problems and others dont' complain about it. I"m talking somewhat significant drag too, something I couldn't live with on a bike that sees a lot of long days of climbing. I don't know how to quantify it but when you spin the back wheel and it slows down way too quick, vs for example my shimano brakes where it will almost spin backwards from the weight of the valve core as it stops (beacuse there is plenty of caliper clearance).

I have the XTR 4 pots and they are okay but not as powerful and sooner to start honking when hot - gonna try Hayes Dominion A4 next.
  • 1 0
 Had the old MT8's that went through the recall, no thanks, even after the recall they were just not reliable. Also ran MT6's as well and had the same issues. The Only Maguras that seem to ever work well, are the low end offerings, case in point, a set of MT2's on my wife bike... work all the time, and are easy to bleed. But at the end of the day no matter how many "team" riders endorse them... no thanks! I'd take Old Avid Juicy 5's over Magura. But to each their own. I hope they work out for someone!
  • 11 1
 Avid as an example of reliable brakes? I do not think so.
  • 3 4
 Avid Juicy 5 was indeed one awesome brake!
  • 1 0
 I personally really love my magura mt8 but I run the cheaper mt8 pro which I found for around 150€. So far I’m really satisfied with the performance the value is really good. It’s 225g mainly because it uses a Aluminum leverblade ( you can upgrade it to carbon tho) instead of a carbon one. The mt8 sl and the mt8 pro look really similar the brake caliber of the pro just is a lot more „silver” instead of this gunmetal grey of the sl. So I guess what I’m saying is that you could get a mt8 pro for cheaper with a slight weight penalty but still get the great performance.
  • 1 0
 i love my MT7's. ive had a few crashes on them with no issue to the master except some cosmetic blems, bleeding is fairly easy if you know how to bleed brakes properly, and their modulation is just so much better than anything ive used (SRAM or Shimano).
  • 4 0
 maguras are underpowered? No!?!? when has that EVER been the case...bless...
  • 1 0
 they were talking about the mt8s which are only dual piston but still it's questionable
  • 1 0
 I had a set of mt4s on my bike a few years back, and I must've bled them 4 or 5 times in a year and they never felt good. One of them is now on my friends dirt jumper and it feels fine. I also have a set of mt5s on my dh bike, and I after one bleed they've been great for like 2 years. I bought both sets used, so I can't say for sure that any of this was magura's fault, but I probably wouldn't go for maguras again, just because of their inconsistency. I do love the modulation they have, and the mt5s have really good power, the bleed process definitely is a bit more involved than other brands, and although it pains me to say it, it's just more convenient to run a more common brand, that shops would have parts on hand for. obviously they're not "bad" breaks, just more work to get going right than other brands, at least in my experience.
  • 1 0
 As said at the top, Magura MT7 are the best brakes ever, when they work... Bleeding is really very difficult but with a few tricks found on the internet, I'm now managing to have a strong feel on them. However, I've had them for 3 years and have burst 4 lever pistons seals. You cannot do any maintenance on them and although they are covered by a 5 year leak proof guarantee, Magura has not been as accomodating as it's been said in the comments. 1st time went well, 2nd time they did not want to pass the guarantee because the lever was scartched and they said that this had caused the bursed seal, 3rd and 4th time they did not want to cover the repair because (logical irony) they had repaired it already the year before... Just one single reply asking them to honour their guarantee did the trick however and they replaced it/them at no cost. Can't wait to sell them on when Magura releases an updated and better version or when I go full Trickstuff...
  • 1 0
 Have mt trail brakes. They have been absolutely reliable. I really like the thicker rotors (2.1mm vs 1.8mm shimano). I feel that helps them stand up to more abuse and stay arrow straight.
Riding the shore, I tried to get away with 180mm front and rear, but it wasn't quite enough. 200/203mm was needed up front. Modulation is great, but occasionally I wish for more power on tap. Yes, I tried the race pads...
one complaint is that parts/pads aren’t easily available. Just bought rear pads for $60. That’s a lot! I’m trying kook stop and Nukeproof cheap pads next. We will see!
  • 1 0
 also apparently trickstuff pads last forever and According to enduro mag, give up to a 20% increase in power, depending on the brake of course
  • 1 0
 I have an oversized magura 180mm rotor + brake pads on a jekyll 800 Cannondale, and it's the single burliest component on the whole bike.The brakes are like 3x better than the weight weenie tires that fit on the bike.
  • 1 0
 Been using MT5’s on 3 bikes for 2 years now with no problem. I don’t have any problems with bleeding them. It’s the same method as Shimano. I found flicking the lever before finishing made a big difference
  • 3 0
 also creating a vacuum in the lines helps tremendously!! cut a hole in the side of the syringe, pull up to create vacuum, then once you reach that hole it releases the pressure and BOOM youre done
  • 1 0
 @TylerG96: Also putting the bike up vertical to do the back brake helps, it gets a ton of air bubbles out that normally would be stuck
  • 2 2
 I don't care if my brakes are light. I just want them to do their fucking job and slow me down so that I can keep all of my teeth. If I have to run brakes that are 100g heavier to achieve that, then that's exactly what I'll do.
  • 1 0
 Well in that case go the mt7/mt5 route...
  • 1 1
 Te hamulce po prawidłowym ustawieniu i wyposażeniu w metaliczne pady działają jak brzytwa. Polecam!
These brakes, when properly positioned and equipped with metallic pads, work like a razor. I would recommend!
  • 2 0
 Shouldn't price (compared to other options on the market in this category) be listed as a con?
  • 2 0
 Well, I just ordered the Magura MT Trail Sport. I am hopeful that they are as bad ass as I an them to be.
  • 1 1
 Was this test review done with the brakes set up to be as powerful as possible, or just ridden as they came out of the box? If you want power, yet do not adjust to get that then what good is the review?
  • 2 0
 I'd think they'd be hoseless
  • 3 1
 Magura can’t stop a Grim Donut....
  • 4 0
 Can't stop something that doesn't exist
  • 3 2
 Not worth the hassle. Go with Trickstuff. They are worth every penny.
  • 4 1
 I don't doubt their performance and reliability at all but double the price and a 9 month waiting period is too much.
  • 1 0
 @NotSorry: Just ride one and you wont get back to any other break then trickstuff. Before trickstuff, I ride shimano and magura, but nothing can come near a trickstuff feel for me.
  • 1 0
 @NotSorry: Some vendors have them in stock so there’s no nine month wait
  • 1 0
 @Markus-s: I'm sure they're incredible. Maybe someday my desire to have the best components will drive me to purchase them.
  • 1 0
 @EdSawyer: Really? Point me in that direction!
  • 1 0
 @Markus-s: i don't want to try trickstuff, i know that i'll like them, and i'm not willing to have to spend 1000+ everytime i get a new bike because of the brakes...
  • 3 2
 Modern day Marta SL's? Those things were indestructible.
  • 1 0
 He still made you vote, you're tricked mate!
  • 4 3
 Two piston is only for XC and gravel rigs.
  • 1 0
 or for the back brake on a trail bike but yes twin pistons are kinda underpowered
  • 1 1
 not going to leave the Shimano brake camp anytime soon. They look nice. meh.
  • 1 1
 Good that they use torx screws everywhere, dentists always love to bring some extra instruments.
  • 1 0
 Trickstuff Diretissima
  • 1 0
 according to enduro mag, the mt7 has faster deceleration then diretissima's... at half the cost.
  • 1 1
 Lightweight is a brand. Light weight is an adjective.
  • 3 4
 After 5 years they start leaking … The joy of Magura lol .
  • 1 0
 well shimano's start leaking after 2 so i'm guessing that's a good thing...
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