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(aka SS_MB-7)
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mward said:
Magura Marta SL's.
Ditto!

I've got a set of Marta SLs on my SS and my FS-XC rides and both are fantastic! Each set is ~705g/set (fully bled, uncut, all bolts, rotors, etc.). Lever-feel is second-to-none (a close second would be the Formula B4 SLs), modulation is predictable and consistent, as is power...be it, dry or wet, hot or cold (-25C). And, they are quiet (unlike my Hope Minis)! Disc rub? Nope (unlike my XTRs)! Pad-wear? Excellent!

I've owned and raced on alot of discs over the last couple years (Hope C2 Pros, Hope Minis, Hope Mono Minis, Shimano XT/XTR, Formula B4s, Formula B4 SLs, Formula B4 SL+s, and now Magura Marta SLs). FWIW, all of the other brakes are gone and only the Martas remain. Why? Because they've proven themselves to me again and again.
 

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I have to agree with Mike! Although I don't have all the experience with the other models he has... Even though I'm biased being an MCM, I'm very happy with my Marta SL's. They work flawlessly if properly installed and are the lightest on the market right now (B4 SL's used to be!).

They are the most powerfull lightweight brake I've tried... And to boot, Magura USA gives great customer service (althought Thorsten with Formula does too!).

Luego!
 

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Weight Weenie Shop Owner
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2,006 Posts
Marta SL's are some of the lighest and best...

on the market today. I am converting to dsic brakes in the few weeks myself and have a few that I can choose from. I am goig with the Marta SL with the reasons of weight, durability and customer service that I have getting and dealing with Magura.

BTW: I am runnning an April special on the Marat SL : sales.light-bikes.com

MTBR Classified Ad
 

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zeebot
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1,125 Posts
Opinions seem to vary WIDELY on which light brake works well for them so I'm going to throw in the negative for Marta SL.

I thought they were not as good compared to the current formula b4 brakes i use. the lever design is much nicer with the formula and they have the breakaway feature built in. I like the fact their are two bolts instead of one and the reach adjustment is external.

With the marta's I had a terrible time with pads wearing down extremely fast in poor conditions. I never tried the endurance pads Magura offered because I lost patience with them after burning through 300 dollars worth of pads in one year.

I had constant problems with the rear and could never keep the air out of the lines even after having the entire lever system replaced by magura(awesome CS.) the front never gave me a problem.

Braking power between the two brands are equal as is modulation. Pad wear is MUCH better on the current formula brake pads. I broke the formula's in at the exact same place as the Maguras in very similar conditions(pisgah) and they hands down outperformed the marta's in every way.

On extended downhills the magura's would lose all modulation and in one case completely failed due to what I could only assume was overheating. I never have the loss of modulation with the formulas and they've yet to fail. FWIW, the brakes were being used on a 20lb singlespeed with a 165lb rider.

The price was much nicer for the formulas, from thorusa, being only 175 for the pair while the maguras were twice that!

Maybe the moral of the story is don't ride Marta SL if you are doing extended downhills, or if you plan on exposing them to less than perfect conditions.
 

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Complete Bastard
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2,282 Posts
I have used my martas in horrible conditions, muddy race when it was raining and didn't have a single problem. Never had fade, never had modulation problems. I don't do extended downhills on them, they're not downhill brakes, and we don't really have any extended downhills in missouri. FOr an xc bike, they're perfect. For freeride or all mountain as spooky is describing, maybe you want something a little beefier. The martas don't have the heat dissapation of larger brakes. I've never had a problem with mine, ever, fwiw.
 

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zeebot
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1,125 Posts
mward said:
I have used my martas in horrible conditions, muddy race when it was raining and didn't have a single problem. Never had fade, never had modulation problems. I don't do extended downhills on them, they're not downhill brakes, and we don't really have any extended downhills in missouri. FOr an xc bike, they're perfect. For freeride or all mountain as spooky is describing, maybe you want something a little beefier. The martas don't have the heat dissapation of larger brakes. I've never had a problem with mine, ever, fwiw.
I should go in to more detail re: the shredding of pads and loss of modulation.

These problems NEVER happened when riding on trails that are perhaps similar to Missouri - relatively flat, some hills but nothing over 800-1000ft. They were perfect for those conditions.

The brakes failed up in Vermont at an enduro race. I was going off the top of Jay Peak ~4000ft on what would be a black diamond ski trail and they just boiled over and totally failed. I had to stop and wait a few minutes then they were OK the rest of the race.

The shredding of the pads were always in bad conditions BUT they were also on rides that were over 50 miles long with significant elevation gain/loss of over 10,000ft.
 

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Complete Bastard
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2,282 Posts
Well, Missouri isn't really flat, but most of the terrain is river and creek valleys so it's a lot of short steep up and down. No sustained climbs or descents like you're talking about. I would not run these brakes in the real mountains, they'd overheat. The pistons on a lot of calipers are steel which helps disipate the heat, these are aluminum, which makes them lighter but transfers all that heat to the fluid, which you probably boiled. Good brakes, for the right conditions.
 

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(aka SS_MB-7)
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924 Posts
Spookykinkajou said:
I thought they were not as good compared to the current formula b4 brakes i use.
Don't get me wrong, I really liked my B4s (B4 SLs and B4 SL+s)...for me, they'd be a very close second, just behind the Marta SLs.

Spookykinkajou said:
Braking power between the two brands are equal as is modulation.
Yes, both the Formulas and Martas *feel* pretty close (and that's good). Over the years, I've found the Formulas to have the best feel (modulation) and incredible power. Some other brakes had more power, but just didn't have the *feel* of the Formulas. Then, I tried the Marta SLs....wow! Over the year I've been riding on my Martas, they've worked their way-up to my brake of choice. Of course, your brakes may vary. ;)

Spookykinkajou said:
Pad wear is MUCH better on the current formula brake pads. I broke the formula's in at the exact same place as the Maguras in very similar conditions(pisgah) and they hands down outperformed the marta's in every way.
For me, pad-wear on the Formulas would be equivalent to the Martas....both are excellent. Even after TransRockies, I still had pads left despite the mud, water and DHs.

Spookykinkajou said:
The price was much nicer for the formulas, from thorusa, being only 175 for the pair while the maguras were twice that!
Without question, the Marta SLs are much, much more expensive than the Formulas. With that said, and knowing their performance (head-to-head), I'd probably give the cost/performance title to the Formulas since they are soo close to the Martas in performance, but a lot less expensive. Perhaps a better comparison would be the Martas (non-SLs) versus the Formulas....the only diff between the Marta and Marta SL is the carbon lever, which does feel nice on the fingers, but doesn't really add that much (other than some nice bling) to the SLs.
 

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I love Pisgah
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3,406 Posts
I've used B4s since mid 03. After the warrenty swap on the B4SLs soon after getting them, the current set has been flawless to date. I use the alum rotor and special pads for dry xc races, and a steel rotor for mud xc races, epics, marathons, 24hrs, etc. 20+xc races(2-3 were mud slogs), 59 mile Pisgah Death March, Firewater 50(15,000' combined climb/descents) 24HOA, 12hour, yada yada. Amazingly, I've yet to replace a brake pad at either end, nor do they appear to need it(just checked them recently after a mud race 3 weeks ago).
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
Never owned Martas

1speed_Mike said:
Ditto!

I've got a set of Marta SLs on my SS and my FS-XC rides and both are fantastic! Each set is ~705g/set (fully bled, uncut, all bolts, rotors, etc.). Lever-feel is second-to-none (a close second would be the Formula B4 SLs), modulation is predictable and consistent, as is power...be it, dry or wet, hot or cold (-25C). And, they are quiet (unlike my Hope Minis)! Disc rub? Nope (unlike my XTRs)! Pad-wear? Excellent!

I've owned and raced on alot of discs over the last couple years (Hope C2 Pros, Hope Minis, Hope Mono Minis, Shimano XT/XTR, Formula B4s, Formula B4 SLs, Formula B4 SL+s, and now Magura Marta SLs). FWIW, all of the other brakes are gone and only the Martas remain. Why? Because they've proven themselves to me again and again.
but I'm reluctant to get another set of Magura brakes after my experience with my Claras. Granted, the Claras were deeply flawed, but I was surprised that I really got the red-headed stepchild treatment when I tried to warranty them. I felt like I got second rate service because I bought a 'cheapo' brakeset.

I bought a set of Hope Mono Minis and could not be happier. I have no noise issues, except they howl when they get wet. Apart from that, just a tad of high pitched squeek when I'm really cranking down on them. They are a piece of cake to service and don't require new olives every time the hose is removed. I've never had to align them once I did the original setup, mess with the pads, etc.
 

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If you want brakes that light, that means you won't be doing really rough biking, most likely cross country, so in this case you don't really need the extra power from disc brakes and I would go with xtr v brakes with single digit ti levers.

Jack
 
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