Magura has succeeded in delivering one of the most powerful brake available today.

Magura has succeeded in delivering one of the most powerful brake available today (click to enlarge).​

The Lowdown: Magura MT7 NEXT brakes

High-end braking has changed emphasis in the last five years. Instead of sub 300 gram stoppers that suggested stopping, the priority has shifted to brakes that hit hard and apply massive decelerating forces to your body. Riding styles have changed as bikes have become more capable and terrain more rugged. Riders now prefer a firm lever feel where you know exactly when the pads hit the rotor. And reliability and maintainability is now top of the list when it comes to rider demands.

This is Magura's answer to all these needs. They started by redesigning the rotors from the ground up. Now they've attacked the segment with four pistons and four brake pads for each brake. Aside from prodigious levels of power, they also emphasized modulation. The Magura MT7 succeeds in all these departments.

Materials: Carbotecture SL brake lever housingCaliper: Forged 4-piston brake caliper
Adjustment: Tool free lever reach and contact pointMSRP: $319.99 USD (per side, excluding rotors)
Weight: 355 gramsRating:
4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4.5 Chilies-out-of-5
Lever: Ergonomic, 1- or 2-finger brake lever
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • Incredible power puts it at the top of the class
  • Lever is on the big side
  • Easy to modulate with lever travel and excellent firm feel
  • Hard to get the lever close to the bars. Note that this will be updated in 2016 brakes
  • Excellent heat management
  • Contact point adjustment knob is stiff
  • Fairly light for the amount of power

Bottom Line: MT7 Brakes and the NEXT Series

Magura has succeeded in delivering one of the most powerful brake available today. Steep descent, long ones, wet, etc. are all child's play for this brake. There's excellent modulation available as well with lever travel after contact point controlling the power of the brake accurately. This brake along with the Avid Guides are tops in terms of modulation.

We weren't quite as jazzed about the lever shape since it's a hair on the big side as it allows 2-finger braking comfortably. 1-finger optimized levers are our preference now since these brakes have so much power anyway. We weren't able to position the levers very close to the bars but we've been assured by Magura that this has been addressed in future versions of the lever. The lever blade and adjustment screw have been modified to allow as much lever position adjustment as needed by riders. This will trickle down into the supply and should reach consumers by fall of 2015.

Magura MT7 in Sedona.

Magura MT7 in Sedona (click to enlarge).​

With very stiff competition from Shimano and SRAM, Magura has stepped up to the plate and delivered this incredible stopper. Upon initial use, one is impressed with the firm feel and impressive stopping power. But then we were reminded that we were on brand new brakes. So throughout the day, the brakes got more and more powerful. By the third day, as the brakes were fully bedded in, we could sense that these were the most powerful brakes we've tried. And the icing on the cake was it was easy to modulate as lever travel was present along with the firm feel on the pad.

It's a great brake indeed and we're happy to see the attractive MT7 Raceline and the more affordable MT5 complement the standard MT7.

Continue to page 2 for a detailed comparison chart with the competition at the MT7 and the rest of the line »

First impressions and NEXT line overview

By Brian Mullin

Their new MT NEXT series of brakes consist of the two-piston MT2, MT4, MT6 and MT8, and the four-piston MT5 and MT7. The brakes continue to use their existing Carbotecture technology, magnetiXchange brake pistons, organic pads, one-piece alloy caliper, flip-flop handlebar clamp design and Storm rotors. Magura spent two years designing the new brakes, and they focused on better power, modulation, and heat management, with a fairly large redesign within the master body. The gravity oriented four-piston brake utilizes technology and design that came from their development of their Motard motorcycle brakes.

With the previous iteration of the MT brakes, all the lineup had the same braking power and performance, and moving up the price point only saved weight along with upgraded technology, parts and aesthetics. For the MT NEXT series they have increased the mechanical leverage ratio progressively from the base MT2 model to the top of the line four-piston MT7. With the better leverage ratio, you get increased deceleration power, starting with the entry level power for the MT2, to the MT4, then the MT6 and MT8, followed by the four-piston MT5 and MT7.

Magura MT NEXT Power graph.

Magura MT NEXT Power graph (click to enlarge).​

The MT NEXT brakes use an open hydraulic system, using their Royal Blood mineral oil for hydraulic fluid, with 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.

Magura MT Pistons.

Magura MT pistons (click to enlarge).​

The four piston MT5 and MT7 differ slightly in their brake pad set up. The MT5 has a one-piece brake pad system that utilizes a large backing plate along with two separate pads on each side.

Magura MT5 pads.

Magura MT5 pads (click to enlarge).​

The MT7 uses four individual pads, and in direct comparison to the MT5, the backing plates are thinner and the pad material is thicker. The pads on the MT5 and MT7 sit in an asymmetrical manner on the pistons, and there is a small gap between them, all of which assist with better heat management.

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. They've thankfully dropped the use of the fragile aluminum nuts for the handlebar clamp, and have gone to more robust steel bolts.

MT NEXT Line Overview

  • 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

Danny McCaskill's bike is equipped with Magura MT7's.

Danny McCaskill's bike is equipped with Magura MT7's (click to enlarge).​

First impressions

I rode a set of the four piston MT7 during my time at Sedona, and I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful the brakes were. They still retained the excellent modulation and lever feel of the previous iteration of the MT series, but they have hyper jumped into the Shimano stratosphere for power with this new brake. I really liked how easy it was to alter the lever reach and the contact point independently, making for precise fine-tuning of the brakes.

The first day I rode a variety of cross-country and All Mountain terrain on board a Pivot Mach 6, and got a great feel for how they worked in more typical conditions that you might encounter on everyday rides. The lever had a nice feel without any sponginess, allowing great feathering and control of the brakes as required.

Magura MT7 rear caliper.

Magura MT7 rear caliper (click to enlarge).​

The next day I did the super technical Hangover trail, which has a couple of brutally long steep slick rock sections, where braking performance and power are paramount. The MT7 brakes gave me incredible control in these less than ideal terrain and conditions, and although I was on the edge, I felt very comfortable and stable when applying the brakes. The last portion of the Hangover has a lot of chunder and some slow-speed technical maneuvering sections, and the brakes continued to offer precise braking and control, no matter what was going on.

The MT7 Raceline is a limited edition version that pays homage to the Magura neon yellow roots.

The MT7 Raceline is a limited edition version that pays homage to the Magura neon yellow roots (click to enlarge).​

I tossed the MT7 into a variety of situations, and I could never seem to faze them, regardless of the terrain and conditions, though I didn't get to try them in the wet, so I can't comment on that. Magura has really ramped things up with the new MT NEXT series of brakes, and they offer more power, better modulation and control, a crisper lever feel and decreased lever throw slop.

Bottom line it is the 4-piston MT5 and MT7 are now as powerful as Shimano with a disctinct and firm contact point. But it doesn't shock the rider as much as power delivery is more even and it is easier to modulate.

For more information visit www.magura.com.