Sharing the general design of the top-tier MT8, Magura's MT4 is a value-minded package that gains a sub-40 gram weight penalty. Due to trickle-down technology, you're able to expect the same smooth application of power and consistent lever feel as Magura's top-shelf products, onlywithout the...
Strengths: Great modulation, good stopping power, reasonable price, light weight
Weaknesses: Hard to bleed, the hardware is easy to strip, they break fairly easily, and you need a special tool to replace the lever.
Once you get a good bleed, these brakes are fantastic. It just takes some patience to get a good bleed. The Magura instructions aren't that great, either. You need to be careful with the hardware as the plastic screws on the reservoir are easy to strip and expensive, considering they're plastic screws. That being said, they are great on the trail, and that's what makes a good brake.
Strengths: None. Maybe that they are reasonably light.
Weaknesses: Almost everything. These brakes (and I assume whole MT line) is simply bad design and bad line of brakes. It is astonishing for me how more expensive brakes than Shimano XT are at least few times worst. Leaver is crap, long and has 1cm wiggle just from the start. You can never bleed them properly without special tricks to make them at least decent (overfill). They have a LOT of dead travel, Basically you can pull them half way through and nothing happens. They start to bite half way through the stroke (and stroke is longest I ever seen on brakes).
Overall I would never buy Magura. They came with new bike (MT6) and initially I was happy to have them instead any Avid's but not for long. They are nothing comparing to Magura Marta's brakes. Buy Marta if you like Magura but MT line is just bad design. Honestly I do not understand why you would want to buy Magura when Shimano new brakes are cheaper and frankly about 3 generations ahead in design and solutions (leaver, stroke, bite, bleeding procedure). I have spend whole day with my friend trying to bleed them properly without result. After reading on Magura forum new bleeding technique I got decent result form one brake. Second never came close. Overall really bad brakes. And all this carbo structure bull$hit looks just like cheap plastic and feels like cheap plastic. Compared to my friends new Shimano they look like form child's bike. Huge, clunky lever and plastic body. Stay away from Magura new brakes line.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2013
Strengths: Cheap, powerful, nice modulation
Weaknesses: Bleeding although easy takes a while, as others have said the factory bleed is generally crap.
These brakes are great, i picked them up as a bargain (£150 for the set plus 160mm rotors). Factory bleed is crap and the brake doesnt really cut it in this state. However take your time and bleed them properly and they are awesome. Dont follow magura bleed instructions however, they are 90% right but your best leaving a syringe with some oil remaining in the EBT port and closing the caliper end off first as oil will drain out. I wish magura would take shimanos approach and put a bleed nipple on the caliper as it would make like much easier as it is a faf to get the bleed screw out and get the grub screw in quickly without fluid everywhere but when you get the brake bled right its a good reward as its sharp and has good modulation. The BAT is good and allows you to get just the right feel from the lever. Maguras centre lock adaptors are great too and ive had no fuss with them.
All in all a great lightweight brake that has plenty of power, just make sure you give it a good bleed before really testing it. If you love the feel of the previous gen shimanos you'll love these and they have more power than their similarly priced counterpart (SLX). Dont expect to use this for DH or FR thats not its intended use. And if your not up for putting some time in to getting them setup then avoid. However it really is worth the hassle.
Similar Products Used: HS11/HS33, Saint M800,shimano LX, first gen SLX, XT 775s, Hope mono mini, M4s.
Bike Setup: Identiti Mr Hyde, Shimano XT on nukeproof generators, Recon silver RL 120mm, XT/SLX drivetrain, FSA/Hope/atomlab/NC17/DMR/WTB/Blackspire finishing kit
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2012
Strengths: They look cool. Easy to shorten the disc tube. I really like mineral-oil brakes. Magura USA's tech and warranty department go above and beyond. These guys will take care of you!
Weaknesses: Although they're easy to bleed, they always have a squishy feel as though there is still air in the line. The bottom line is that they have a squishy feel as opposed to a nice firm feel like on some of the Avids, Hopes and Formulas I have tried. They eat through brake pads FAST. I've gone through two sets of pads in 100 days of riding this season. The lever reach adjust requires a torx bit as opposed to being toolless. The pad contact adjuster (which is tool-free) is essentially useless. Once the brakes are bled properly, you can only adjust the pads to be further away from the rotor. I thought about re-bleeding the brakes with the contact adjusted all the way out, then dialing it back in to see if I could get better contact.
With regards to what brakes are supposed to do, the MT-4s do it satisfactorily enough. One finger braking even on the longest, steepest descents. The mineral oil keeps things from overheating. My main gripes with these brakes are the squishy feel, poor lever modulation, and the fact that they eat through brake pads like crazy.
Strengths: Great Modulation and very reasonable pressure. Unlike the other reviewer, two fingers work just fine. I just did a trail that boiled the fluid in my Hayes El Camino's while I got hand cramps from hauling down. With the Magura's I had no brake fade or loss of braking. My confidence in being able to brake when and where ever is greater than before. They really made a difference. Very Much a Magura Fan.
Weaknesses: Mounting bolts on the clamps for the levers/master cylinder are aluminum and very easy to over torque... I snapped one adjusting it. But when I contacted Magura they shipped new ones to me with the caveat that it is by design. They expect the bolts to break in a crash instead of your cylinder... good idea.
I am a fan of Magura. Very well made and very well designed... wonder how good the MT-8s are?
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 22, 2011
Strengths: looks good..
Weaknesses: Factory bleed was weak, follow factory bleed instructions and still weak - 3 fingers and it still takes all the force of hand to stop and no lock up. Bleed port plug is made out of soft tupperware like plastic and now is stripping after taking off once. ( i am a experienced mechanic} and did not over tighten it. No problem it should be easy to get a new plug-wrong. Impossible to find. So I have a nice looking brake that is pretty much worthless.
Don't buy these until Magura gets their act together. I have attempted to contact magura no response...
I bought an XC bike with Avid Elixir 3's. They work fine, but are not very ergonomic when paired with X0 9 speed grip shifters, and are a little heavy for XC. I ride XT brakes on my trail bike, and love them, but I figured I'd give the MT4s a chance since they are pretty light.
Got the MT4s and t ... Read More »
I'm a relatively new rider and have no mechanical inclination so forgive my ignorance. The MT4s on my bike are about 3 months old and I've had no problems with them working, but the travel on the rear brake is quite a bit more than the front brake. Someone told me that was because the fluid or whate ... Read More »
Hello everyone, its time to change brakes. I currently own a set of Shimano M585 LX, and find they fade alot when braking at long steep descents.
I mostly do XC/AM terrain riding on a XC oriented bike.
According to my budget, ive found those 2 options:
2)Magura MT4 or Louise BAT
3 ... Read More »