With the cat out of the bag on Magura’s year-long developmental partnership with Cervelo, we’ve got a look at the future of road brakes with their new RT8TT hydraulic brakes and levers.
UPDATED: English language press release added with feature list, plus more tech info and images throughout the post.
Yes, hydraulic disc brakes for the road are on the horizon. But there is a massive number of riders out there now that might want to upgrade to a hydraulic groupset without giving up their beloved frames. For those people, hydraulic rim brakes coupled with a same-brand system or Di2 / EPS hack are the answer. For the latter, Magura is first to market. Well, first for the TT crowd anyway…
As these renderings show, the brakes use the same single-bolt, center mount as traditional mechanical calipers. That means they’ll fit on any standard road bike!
Pushing from that central bolt is a small piston that pushes a cam to split the arms and bring the pads to the rims. From an aerodynamic standpoint, it brings everything in closer and directly in front of the frame, a benefit to any bike, and there’s no cable sticking off to the side.
It is interesting to see a rather large return spring. With mountain bike hydraulic disc brakes, the diaphragm that moves along with the pads helps pulls things back open when the lever is released. That diaphragm is also generally how hydraulic brakes self adjust for pad wear. Word is, there’s no pad wear adjustment on these road calipers because the lever pushes enough fluid and the leverage ratio is enough to move the arms a significant distance. You simply adjust the lever reach with a small allen key instead.
Magura says the benefits of road hydraulic brakes (rim or disc) are:
- no cable friction means super smooth braking action and feel
- massive braking power with minimal lever force
- fine modulation of braking power
These brakes come to us with taglines like “speed management” and “seconds make the difference.” The concept is that you can brake harder and later, saving a few precious seconds. It’s certainly true in mountain biking, and the benefits of that strategy in TT, Triathlon and Criterium racing should be obvious. For good ol’ fashioned road biking, having easier modulation and lever feel that’s not only
easier smoother but translates into more power even when the rider is fatigued can only be a good thing.
Above, the TOP of the brake lever (left) and the FRONT (right) show the reach adjustment which effectively doubles as pad adjustment through the front of the lever. Much like a quill stem, the levers use an expanding grooved section to lock into just about any round aerobar or bullhorn handlebar.
The schematic below shows a quick release switch to open the brakes for easy wheel changes.
The RT-series brakes use a fully closed system like Magura’s current HS33 rim brakes, and they come with a 5-year leak proof guarantee. What’s really amazing is that the complete setup comes in at just 495g. By comparison, Shimano Dura-Ace brakes are about 294g/set and 80g for the TT brake levers. Add cables and housing and you’re likely just over the weight of Magura’s hydraulic stoppers.
The group will appear on the Cervelo P5 exclusively for 2012. For aftermarket, it’ll be available in June for €599 / set.
According to the press release below, an RT6TT will be on offer, too, at €499 / set, and likely standard road brakes, too.
We’ll also see both versions for road bikes, RT8 and RT6, with adapters. More on this as we get it.
PRESS RELEASE (English Version):
MAGURA RT8 TT: Brake revolution for triathlon and time trialling – The world’s lightest and fastest hydraulic rim brake for the road
In 1987, MAGURA invented the first hydraulic braking system for mountain bikes. 25 years later, the world market leader takes its experience in hydraulic rim brakes to the road. Working together with aerodynamics expert Cervélo, MAGURA has now introduced the world’s lightest and fastest hydraulic rim braking system for the road, the MAGURA RT8 TT (TT for Time Trial). The motto is: “Aerodynamics by Cervélo, Hydraulics by MAGURA”. Their braking power and modulation set new standards for triathlon and road bikes. This allows effective speed management both on the descent and before curves. This way, cyclists are able to gain crucial seconds.
The challenge facing MAGURA’s development department in Bad Urach was clear and concise: to build the world’s fastest brake for the road. It had to be extremely light, provide greater braking power than any other road bike brake before it, yet still be capable of exact and smooth control. It also sets new standards in terms of aerodynamics for triathlon and time trial machines. In order to trump here, MAGURA brought on board the Canadian bike manufacturer, Cervélo, for its exceptional expertise in aerodynamics. After more than one and a half year of intense development, MAGURA now presents the braking revolution for triathlon and time trialling: the first hydraulic rim braking system for the road – the RT8 TT (RT for Road Team, TT for Time Trial). Four factors stand out here: high braking power, fine modulation, light weight and optimal aerodynamic shape.
Speed management à la MAGURA: The one who brakes later stays fast longer
As a hydraulic rim brake, the RT8 TT has a crucial advantage over comparable mechanical braking systems: Friction losses are considerably lower allowing greater efficacy. This feature allows optimal control. Apart from this, only the slightest of touches is required to produce a high braking power.
The RT8 TT combines rapid deceleration with the best possible modulation therefore providing ideal speed management. “On descents, the cyclist can brake later and more precisely therefore gaining crucial seconds in those few meters before the curve,” MAGURA Head of Marketing, Götz Braun, explains. MAGURA’s slogan for the RT8 TT is also: “Seconds make the difference!”
Light construction without compromises
The RT8 TT is designed for minimal weight: The carbon brake levers save precious weight, as do the light and extremely stiff aluminium brake bodies. The result of the collaboration is the lightest hydraulic racing bike braking system on the market at only 495 grams.
Maintenance-free and light ergonomic construction
The RT8 TT is a completely maintenance-free braking system and is unaffected by dirt, dust and water. With the help of the hydraulics, changing the brake pads is relatively simple compared to cable brake systems. Numerous patents and 25 years of MAGURA expertise in the field of hydraulic rim brakes underpin the new innovative braking system. Thanks to the clever “quick release” mechanism, the wheel change takes only a moment. The brake lever set-up is also uncomplicated. Of course, the RT8 TT uses MAGURA Royal Blood mineral oil. In contrast to the often-used DOT braking fluid, it doesn’t have to be exchanged and there are no health concerns. Nevertheless, should it be necessary to bleed or to shorten lines, this can be done quickly and simply. MAGURA also provides a five-year warranty covering
oil loss from the line.
The ergonomically formed carbon brake lever and the exceptional modulation of the RT8 allow perfect braking, even for cyclists with small hands. “They provide the best braking control for the cyclist and thus also a feeling of security,” Götz Braun says. The RT8 also converts the very slightest of touches to high braking power. It is therefore also ideally suited
to the needs of the female cyclist taking part in road racing events
Cooperation with aerodynamics expert Cervélo
MAGURA streamlined the RT8 TT in collaboration with the aerodynamics expert Cervélo using a wind tunnel. The brake bodies are shaped aerodynamically and the hydraulic lines are hidden inside the tubes. The ultra-stiff brake levers form part of the wing profile.
RT8 TT celebrates premier in 2012
For the 2012 season, the RT8 TT will be incorporated exclusively into the Cervélo P5 time trial machine. The new RT8 TT is approved by the International Cycling Union (UCI). It will premier in the middle of March at the Ironman in Australia. As sponsor of the Garmin-Barracuda team, MAGURA will also launch the RT at the Tour de France time trial.
Other RT8 TT models
As well as the triathlon brake RT8 TT, the road bike RT8 converter will also make an appearance in 2012. There will also be a cheaper version of both models – the RT6 TT and the RT6 converter.
Features of the MAGURA RT
- The world’s first and fastest hydraulic rim brake for the road
- Ideal speed management by braking power and modulation
- Field of application: Triathlon/ Time Trialling
- Material: Carbon/Aluminium
- Available from June 2012
- Models and prices (front and rear brakes in set, without brake shoes):
- RT 8 TT (Triathlon) 352 £ / 599.00 €
- RT 6 TT (Triathlon) 282 £ / 499.00 €
The MAGURA RT gives the cyclist:
- Better speed management before curves and on the descent
- Hydraulic system provides high braking power and smooth control
- High efficacy as a result of the hydraulic system and materials used: rigid aluminium brake bodies and carbon brake levers for direct power transmission
- Light construction: at 495 g, currently the lightest braking system on the market for road bikes
- Aerodynamic design using Cervélo expertise
- Ergonomic carbon brake levers
- “Quick release” mechanism for quick and simple set-up
- Maintenance-free braking system: not affected by dirt and water and easy to maintain
- Suitable for incorporation into road bike frames