Just In – Magura MT5 Four Piston Brakes

by Brian Mullin on August 20, 2014

Magura revamped their MT brakes this year, and they increased power throughout the lineup, and added two new four piston systems (MT5 and MT7). I originally tested the top of the line MT7 at the Magura Press Camp in Sedona back in May, and I was thoroughly impressed with the brakes, so I was looking forward to trying them out on my personal bike and local terrain. Magura sent along a set of the MT5’s for a test, and at only $200 and weighing 380 grams (including rotors), they are a reasonable and
worthwhile set of brakes.

MT NEXT Brakes

The MT NEXT series of brakes consist of the two piston MT2, MT4, MT6 and MT8, and the four piston MT5 and MT7. The gravity oriented four piston
brakes utilizes technology and design that came from their development of their motorcycle brakes. They increased the mechanical leverage ratio
progressively for increased deceleration power from the base MT2 model to the top of the line four piston MT7.

The MT NEXT brakes use an open hydraulic system, using their Royal Blood mineral oil for hydraulic fluid.  They use a carbon or carbon blend integrated reservoir, carbon or aluminum lever and clamp, one-piece alloy caliper with magnetic pistons for the pads, and forged aluminum fitting bolts that have a special anti-corrosion coating.

Except for the MT5, the caliper uses top-loading pads, for what they call EPR or easy pad replacement, so the wheel doesn’t need to be removed for changes. The master body uses a flip/flop design which facilitates installation on either side of the handlebars, along with dual EBT ports for bleeding. The two piston models use 22mm sized pistons, while the quads use a smaller 17mm size, and all of them have an embedded high-powered magnet to hold the pads in place. The four piston MT5 and MT7 differ slightly in their brake pad setup. The MT5 has a one-piece brake pad system that utilizes a large backing plate along with two separate pads on each side, while the MT7 uses four individual pads. The MT6, MT7 and MT8 get on the fly toolless lever reach and bite point adjustment, while the MT2, MT4 and MT5 have reach adjustment that utilizes a Torx key.

First Impressions

I installed the MT5 along with a set of their Storm 180mm rotor on my Ibis Ripley. My maiden voyage was on one of my favorite trail systems located up in the foothills above Colorado Springs. The Pipeline (668) to Bear Creek (666) trails include steep and gnarly terrain, with lots of loose gravel, scree, rocks and technical rock ledges. It drops around 4200 feet in elevation and has some long and continuously steep sections with lots of exposure. I have ridden the trail many times over the years with brakes from multiple manufacturers, and with this intimacy, I had a great platform for cross comparison against the MT5.

Measured weights:

  • MT5 Front ( 830mm cut)- 241 grams
  • MT5 Rear ( 1320mm cut) – 251 grams
  • Storm rotors (180mm) – 142 grams each
  • Total (brake and rotor) – 383 grams and 393 grams each

The MT5 has any amazing amount of power at its reserve, and anytime you needed to slow down; a quick and light stab of the lever gave you whatever deceleration was desired. The modulation allowed excellent control in any situation, whether that was at high speeds or in slow speed technical maneuvering. I especially enjoyed the ability to feather the brakes at any speed, and the lever feel was amazing, and it felt as though I was one with the bike. On the long loose scree of the 666 trail, I found myself riding much faster than normal because I knew I could rein in the speed anytime I desired with complete control and security. Even after dropping thousands of feet in elevation, my hands never felt fatigued, which was a refreshing experience, as my hands are usually weak and cramped in the end. I didn’t feel any sponginess and fade during the long downhill, no matter how hard I yanked on the lever. In direct comparison to the new Shimano brakes, they lacked just a slight amount of maximum power (not much), but they more made up for in better modulation and lever feel, and they certainly didn’t have the Shimano on/off grabbiness.

In conclusion, the Magura MT5 four piston brake has excellent power, superb modulation and lever feel, and offers precise braking and control, with highlights to its feathering capabilities and lever feel.

For more information visit MaguraDirect.com in the US and Magura.com elsewhere.

MT NEXT Specs:

  • MT2 – $100, 365 grams, dual piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body, lever and clamp
  • MT4 – $160, 345 grams, dual piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body and clamp, and alloy lever
  • MT6
    – $270, 320 grams, dual piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite
    point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and alloy clamp and lever
  • MT8
    – $370, 299 grams, dual piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite
    point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and Carbolay clamp and lever
  • MT5 – $200, 380 grams, quad piston caliper, lever reach adjustment, Carbotecture body, and alloy clamp and lever
  • MT7
    – $320, 355 grams, quad piston caliper, toolless lever reach and bite
    point adjustment, Carbotecture SL body, and alloy clamp and lever
  • Note: All the brake prices and weights include a 160mm Storm or Storm SL (MT6 and MT8 only) rotor

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DA MIKE! August 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Does it have 40% od dead travel like all previous models? My previous MT2 had 40% of lever travel doing absolutely nothing which is incredibly frustrating. I took them off after one week and replaced with Shimano XT. What a difference!

So, still dead travel or they finally work form the beginning of lever travel?

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