I remember as a young kid, looking through my dad’s old MTB magazines & seeing the Magura hydraulic rim brakes & Gustav disc brake models & being in awe. These were some very iconic bike parts that were performing at the highest level for some of the best racers in the world.
Fast forward a few years & the German company is at the pointy end of performance, taking on much bigger companies with their great quality stoppers.
While mounting the MT5’s & Magura Storm rotors to one of my bikes I was pleased with their ease of setup. They have an easy to follow bleeding technique video on their YouTube channel & their bleed kit comes with everything you need. (Magura specify to use their own “special brew” mineral oil, Royal Blood.)
This was the first time using Magura’s for me out on the trail. They are supplied with their two finger lever, Euro Cycles had also supplied the one finger lever blade option for me to try out. They are very simple to swap out, with a steel dowel pin & retention spring holding them in place. After a few back & forth changes between each lever & different angles etc, for me personally running the two finger blade, close into the bar to use it as a one finger was best. This will be different for everyone, but the fact that they offer different options is awesome. This is something that iIwish more companies had on their radar.
The difference between the MT5 & MT7 model brakes is the tool-free adjustment up at the lever/master cylinder. Considering they share the same caliper, I knew I could expect some serious stopping power that I’m sure everyone has heard about from these big 4 piston units. Serious stopping power is exactly what I got. Out of the box they are fitted with the “Performance” line of pads, although they did take a little while longer to bed in that the likes of either big S brand pad, once they were bedded in there was an incredible amount of power & feel at your fingertips. We are talking Saint/Code power, for a fraction of the price. The only thing a could really fault was that the pads are secured by the magnetic pistons & hooks. There is no concern of them coming out at all, there is a slight rattle through chattery tracks when you aren’t on the brakes though. The “Race” line of pads is held in place with a pin however, which would resolve this, I am told the bite from those pads is absolutely savage too!
Another thing to note is the Storm rotor. These rotors are 0.2mm wider than their competitors, this may not sound like much, but for a small weight gain I really do believe this is a large advantage. More material means better heat distribution/dissipation which means cooler, better running brakes. This extra church will also add to the strength of the rotor, no one likes warped rotors that they can never get to run nicely between the pads.
In conclusion, the Magura MT5 is an absolute workhorse of a brake. I have noticed recently that the likes of Jarad Graves & Curtis Keene are actually choosing the MT5 lever instead of the 7, keep it simple? Why not?! Price comparison is unfair to the other brands because these stoppers have so much pedigree & German precision that they would have to send models twice the price per end to be in the ballpark.
Editor’s Note: One thing worth mentioning is there is a huge range of different products in the Magura line and this is also true of the brake pads available. The review pair came with the Performance type pads in the “9 series” type, these are also available in a Comfort type compound. However if you want even more performance you can go to the “8 series” pad (stock on the MT7 brakes) which is available in Performance or Race compound which is stronger again.