Combining the front, four-piston caliper from MAGURA’s powerful, gravity-oriented MT7 model with a two-piston rear caliper similar to its MT6 “competition series” brake, MAGURA’s new MT Trail Carbon brake set strikes a balance of power for the trail rider — the thought being that lighter trail bikes don’t need quite as much rear braking power as a full DH bike.
I like MAGURA brakes, and I believe in their design philosophies. Their success starts with a full carbon master cylinder (MAGURA calls it Carbotecture — a proprietary blend of thermo plastic and carbon fibers), which allows them to shave weight in all the right places. Saving weight on the master and lever assembly allows them to add extra material where it counts with a stout 2mm-thick rotor (most are 1.8mm) and a beefy caliper. The generously finished rotor and caliper serve two purposes: added strength and safety and unmatched heat management. As MAGURA’s engineers explain it, their goal is to retain heat and dissipate it through the rotor; the thicker rotor helps keep heat from transferring into the caliper and overheating the brake fluid, which causes brake fade.
All hydraulic disc brakes require maintenance, and no brake bleed is idiot proof. I’ve had my successes and failures with every brake bleed I’ve attempted, but I find MAGURA’s to be one of the easiest to work on. I like that MAGURA uses non-toxic mineral oil rather than DOT hydraulic fluid, and their basic bleed kit will get an amateur mechanic through a bleed with a little practice. One drawback to the Carbotecture master cylinder is the material is somewhat soft, and extra care is required to not overtighten the bleed port screw (guilty). MAGURA designs the T25 screw head to strip before the threads in the master cylinder, but keep extra bleed port screws on hand.
BY Brian Riepe