Since 1893, Magura has been an innovator in the field of hydraulic engineering, and that experience paid dividends in the late 80s when the company began to produce hydraulic brakes for mountain bikes. Now with over twenty five years of experience behind the product, the company is introducing their new MT NEXT product line, which takes a radically new approach to brake master cylinder technology. These advancements consist of a major rethink of the features and material properties used in the construction of their brakes.
The last model generation of Magura brakes utilized directionally oriented carbon fibers in the master cylinder body, which was mated to a lever blade that was a mix of short and medium fibers in a thermoplastic resin to produce some seriously light weight brakes. We won’t have the final details until the brakes are officially unveiled at their U.S. press launch next week, but the new MT line of brakes feature a unique Carbotecture SL and Carbotecture technology to shave even more grams and offer better deceleration performance. All we know currently is that the new material is the same found in BMW motorcycle levers.
Each of the different new brakes in the NEXT line up has a one piece chassis that has been optimized for lightweight. To illustrate this point, consider that the new brake levers are approximately just 20% of the total weight of the system, while the caliper (with disc and hose) account for the remainder, which is to say they’ve added material where it’s needed and reduced it where they could.
Also new is the magnetiXchange brake pad system, which they claim greatly simplifies brake pad replacement. The final big update this year is that the pivot point is now 20mm closer to the handlebar, which provides better ergonomics and a more linear power delivery.
The MT8 (pictured above) is the lightest brake that Magura currently offers. They’ve been able to achieve an impressive sub 300g brake (299gm front brake with 800mm cable, 160mm rotor, and screws) by utilizing a full carbon brake lever and what Magura is calling Carbolay tech. MRSP for the brakes will be $370 and you can expect to find these at dealers starting in June.
The MT6 Brake is 320 gm and weighs a hair over 30g more than the MT8, but will save you a hundred dollars. At an MSRP of $270, they share many of the same feature sets as the higher end model, but use an alloy lever to bring down costs.
The MT4 will retail for a modest $160 per brake when it goes on sale later this summer and only weighs about 45g more than the carbon-tastic MT8. It lacks toolless adjustment, but still has the easy to use magnetiXchange brake pad system, and a one piece caliper design.
At the most affordable end of the spectrum, the entry level MT2 model weighs an impressively light 365g (front brake with 800mm of cable, 160mm rotor, and screw sans adapter). To give you a rough idea of how light that is, an uncut Shimano XT brake (housing and caliper, no hardware) weighs a claimed 300 grams, and you’ll still need to factor in at least another 100g for the rotor,etc…
If the performance is as good as Magura claims, this will be an excellent OE spec for lower priced XC and smaller travel trail bikes.
Also new from Magura is four pistons brakes. We spy’d these initially at Sea Otter, but now we have a few more details. These new models borrow heavily from their extensive motorcycle background and could be considered downsized replicas of their super moto caliper. The technology will be incorporated into their MT7 and MT5 brakes, which are designed for the rigors of Enduro and DH.
The MT7 model will weigh 355g and offer the best braking performance in the line up. Retail will be $320 a brake, but the more affordable MT5 will offer a similar feature set for $200. The main difference between the two is that the MT5 loses the tool-free lever reach and higher end carbon construction. Weight also goes up by 25g.
We will have a lot more information on the new product line in the next few weeks after Zach heads to Sedona for press camp. Stay tuned for more technical details, information, and ride impressions!