In this review, a Magura customer of ours goes through his Magura MT7 brakes. With 4 piston calipers, ergonomic lever design, and controllable stopping power, the MT7 brakes make a good candidate for any aggressive trail downhill bike. Check it out!
I’m certainly no pro, but I share a passion for mountain biking like you, reading this article. Choosing brakes for a mountain bike is no easy feat. A few years ago, I upgraded the Shimano brakes on my Giant to the top of the line Shimano BR-M9020. They were great, but I felt that the modulation could have been improved upon. I kept locking up and while they were insanely powerful, at the risk of sounding like a superhero movie, power is nothing without control. Right?
I now have a Santa Cruz Bronson 2 CS. It came standard with SRAM Guides and I decided to upgrade those to the SRAM Guide Ultimates which, while powerful and offered decent modulation, constantly warbled and drove me absolutely nuts.
The ritual for me was to clean the rotors with brake cleaner and maybe a touch of some emery sanding. It would alleviate the squeak and warble for a few miles and then start again. After bleeding and replacing pads a few times over a year, I decided I’d had enough.
Enter the Magura MT7. German Precision. 4 Pistons. Plenty of controllable power. I love these things. Paired with the Storm HC rotor (I chose the heavier HC rotor because I’m hard on my brakes and don’t care too much about a few grams), these brakes are insane.
Provided they’re bled and aligned properly, they offer incredible power and a superb range of modulation – like nothing I’ve ever felt before. With mineral oil coursing through the veins of this monster, it’s a force to be reckoned with. I feel like I could stop a train with these brakes. But I feel like I could also do it gently.
Bleeding is simple, mounting is simple. You just need to follow the not-half-bad English instructions on the otherwise German info leaflets and you’re set. They even have some English-dubbed YouTube tutorials on a few things for the Magura MT range. I’d also recommend getting a torque wrench capable of 6Nm while you’re at it, if you’re going to be mounting these yourself, coupled with T20 and T25 Torx bits.
The bedding in process is a bit lengthy (Magura recommends over 20 controlled hard stops from 20mph) and you will need to be spot-on with your caliper alignment, otherwise you’ll get the occasional squeal or squeak.
Bleeding with mineral oil feels a bit more involved for me, so be careful. Once you’ve cut the cables, bleed slowly and properly. There are dubbed videos for this procedure too. It’s quite entertaining really.
I’ve had these brakes for about a month or two and I just love them. I wouldn’t say they’re galaxies apart from the Guide Ultimates, but I feel they’re better suited to my style of riding. Also, less warbling and I honestly feel a lot more confident on my bike when I’m hitting those downhills.
Also, the standard Magura MT-7 brakes come with relatively long levers compared to most modern high-end brakes, and let me say that I trust Magura (they supply BMW and KTM with performance brakes for their motorcycles).
If, however, like me, you feel like you prefer the stubbier 1-finger brake levers, Magura offers these as an upgrade in both Carbon and Aluminum (see lever pictured). I went for the Aluminum levers because I couldn’t justify the cost of the Carbon HC3 levers, and they’re awesome. Big difference for me, and they also just look cooler. Either way, the standard and upgraded levers offer the same level of adjustment.
On the MT7s, you can adjust reach as well as bite point by turning a series of knobs on either the lever or the body of the master cylinder.
Overall, these brakes are what I’ve been looking for and I hear that Magura’s customer service in the US is impeccable. Sounds to me like a recipe for success.