Right out of the box I could tell that there was something different about these brakes. The levers felt feather light in my eager palms but once on the bars they felt sturdy and had a great ergonomic feel to them.
These brakes are very unique because the lever blade, master cylinder, and face plate are all made of carbon fiber. The faceplate mounting hardware along with the caliper mounting bolts require a torques head wrench bit rather than a standard hex key which is becoming more and more common. These bits are also made of aluminum which saves weight.
The calipers were simple yet elegant. The pads are held in with a retention pin and are kept away from the rotor via magnets in the pistons. Genius!
At first I caressed the levers gently in fear that the feather weight carbon blades would snap under pressure but soon as the descent began I got carried away and rode them hard with no reserve. It wasn’t until I was at the bottom that I was aware of them; when I needed them they performed as they should. Simple, quiet and powerful.
There is no contact adjustment on the lever, just a reach adjust. I was concerned about this until I rode them and never experienced any drag or unwanted pad contact. They had great modulation that was easy to control with one finger on the lever.
Overall I am very pleased with Magura’s MT-8 brakes. The styling is great! The raw carbon with red accents just happened to compliment my perfectly! The levers were very comfortable on the digits and had plenty of power when needed. The weight savings will also help me out on those long climbs when my XC buddies start breaking away. I’ll have to ride them for a season or two before I can tell if they’ll stand up against aggressive all-mountain riding (wink wink), however I’ll be scraping my Avid Elixirs!