Magura MTS Hydraulic Disc Brakes: Final Review- by Guitar Ted with an Magura MT8 Final Review by c_g
Since my last update, (seen here), I have ridden on into the winter and much ice and snow has been encountered. I was curious to see how cold temperatures might affect the braking performance of the MTS brake, and if mineral oil is okay or not with use in sub-freezing situations.
In temperatures which ranged from the single digits Fahrenheit to just above freezing I found no variance or fall off in performance which I had enjoyed since the beginning of the test. The brakes remained quiet, despite the occasional contact with snow and water.
Perhaps the most impressive, (to my mind), performance was during a recent Winter race where the course went down some fairly steep, technical trail featuring patches of ice. This forced me to only hit the MTS brakes where the wheels would be in contact with dirt. Coasting across the icy sections, I picked up speed, and then I had to hit the brakes really hard at times to scrub off speed before corners or obstacles in my way. At other times, finesse braking was necessary to keep from losing control on steeps where falling would have been very bad! Through it all, the MTS performed at a high level, never letting me down.
Conclusions: Throughout the test, the MTS brakes have been consistent in terms of power and modulation. There were a couple of noise issues, (a loose pad holding bolt, and the wet, muddy ride instance reported on in my Mid-term), but no other negative issues were encountered throughout this test period.
The MTS does lack the BAT pad contact adjustment feature. Did I miss that? Well, if I had it available, I would have used it to fine tune the feel a bit more to my liking, I will say that much. Besides this, the MTS is a workhorse brake, in my opinion, neither being spectacular in terms of features, nor lacking in performance, which for me was always reliable and consistent in all conditions. A really good brake, but it probably would shine brighter for me with the BAT adjustment feature.
MAGURA MT8 – Final Review: by c_g
Simultaneously to GT, I have been riding the top end version of MAGURA´s latest disc brake offering – the all carbon MT8. These brakes feature everything in advanced carbon injection technology and weight saving currently possible and come out at a breezy 179 g per set (110 for the Storm SL 180 mm rotors). Like the MTS it is a “mount´n ride” kind of brake with nothing but a lever reach adjustments to be done to it. For the first 2 ½ months I rode the brakes on my BERGAMONT Revox Team hardtail and then another 2 months on the CUBE Stereo SHPC.
My running with the MT8 had not been as smooth as GT´s. Initially my brakes came with a rather soft pressure point, that was getting softer and softer over time. Right when I was about to send it in for inspection my co-tester martinoo pointed me towards micro bubbles, performed a 5 min “quick bleeding” on my breaks and all was back to normal. After that my set of brakes had been simply fabulous – rivaled in control and power only by the samples of SHIMANO brakes I have ridden lately on different test bikes. The MT8s had been exactly like I want disc brakes to work and just like GT, they had been ridden a lot in the challenging trail conditions of the last fall and current winter. When running sketchy sections on wet roots, in the mud or on snow with icy patches underneath modulation was vitally important to stay on top of the bike … the MT8 never let me down and did perform perfectly.
The brakes came in too late to test them for fading and overheating on the long alpine descents, but everything else has been thoroughly checked. After the Quick-Bleeding procedure the pressure point and feel remained consistent and I rarely ever heard the brakes scream when wet. Another positive thing over the CUBE´s stock FORMULA R1 was that pad rub (a constant companion with the R1s) had been unknown with the MT8s. Pad wear seemed to be normal, too. So all well until ….
… until the wintery ride last week. I was just thinking how I would put my positive experiences with the MT8 to words and flying down a moderately technical downhill, when unannounced and suddenly my left lever fell through without any resistance. Zero braking power up front and an inevitable crash (luckily with no serious injuries) followed. Upon inspection there was no defect or leakage visible, yet it remained inoperative. I took the defective brake off my bike and sent it to MAGURA HQs where they are currently examined. Only a little later I was asked to send in the rear brake as well. Now we are awaiting an official statement on why the brakes failed and will be posting it here when it comes.
c_g´s summary: If it were not for the sudden and complete failure, I would have praised the MT8 in high words. The initial micro bubble thing aside, the MT8s performed admirably and did everything one could ask from a high end set of brakes. They were great on modulation, had plenty of stopping power and were extremely lightweight. Looking at the price and weight the MT8s truly stand on top of MAGURA´s MT line of brakes as a high end and weight weenie brake of choice. More budget versions are available in the form of the MT6, MT4 or MTS. But the failure did happen and with no results to the investigation by Magura out yet, my conclusive verdict on the MAGURA MT8 disc brakes needs to remain open. I will credit MAGURA for being company well aware of the issue and working hard to get to the bottom of it – We will keep you updated.
Note: Magura sent these brakes to Twenty Nine Inches for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout. Also- we will update this review once Magura has sent their results on the investigation into the failure c_g experienced.