A press camp like Magura’s annual retreat in Sedona, Arizona, is always a treat for us werd-slingers. But being a bit older and a bit more jaded about the latest new products, I go to hang out with old industry friends and ride bikes, while watching the young crop of new bike journalists work their magic on the trail and in the various other print magazines and websites.
I recently high-tailed it down to Sedona for a few days of sampling the latest stoppers from Magura, the four-piston MT7s.
Do I still have it? Well, one things for sure, I can still ride a bike at a pretty fair level. What I lack in speed I make up for in some level of technical riding ability, a must on these trails. Good thing there’s some other slower folk to ride with in the back of the “B” group.
The trails in Sedona are rippin at any speed. Challenges await at every turn. And the one thing I took away from these two days is that these newfangled mountain bikes work pretty well these days. As in, you don’t need to carry your entire workshop with you on the trail like we did back in the early 90’s.
Both Pivot and Specialized provided bikes for us at camp. I was given a large Specialized Stumpjumper, which was exceptionally dialed in by Magura wenches Jude and Mike. Even the tire pressure was perfect.
Highlighting the Stumpy were Magura’s new MT7 brakes, which I was very excited to try. It’s fun to watch the different brake manufacturers battle for market share. Brake makers keep pushing the envelope further and further. Some succeed, some fall by the wayside. In the end the consumer wins.
The MT7’s, and the whole Magura lineup look poised for success. Following after the design of their motorcycle calipers, the MT7’s have four-piston calipers and individual pads for mo’ power and improved heat dissipation. These are Magura’s most powerful brakes, just what I need.
I’m told a front MT7 with rotor and hardware weighs in at 355 grams—not bad. Magura has strategically made the caliper big and strong, while keep the lever light. They’ve moved the pivot 20mm closer to the handlebar for improved leverage and ergonomics. It certainly has a nice feel to it, and the reach adjustment is handy.
This all panned out on the trail. On my initial ride I did not think about brakes at all save to adjust the reach, to get the levers landing as close to the bar as possible. This is a good sign. One should not have to think about braking.
On subsequent rides I forced myself to think about braking. As I teetered at the top of a major drop at near trackstand speed, trying to maintain movement while choosing a survivable line, I did notice that these pups were providing the control I was looking for. Magura talks about modulation a lot, and the MT7’s have this in spades.
The MT7 is the top of the line at $320 per wheel. The MT5 is also available at $200 with a 25g weight penalty. That’s $4.80 per gram saved, but that also buys you the cool yellow owl eyes that are only on the MT7
Note that Magura’s entire brake lineup has been upgraded to the new generation, MT NEXT. All the dual piston models, from the $100 MT2 to the $370 MT8 all have improved ergonomics, and as you run through the lineup each brake has increased power and lighter weight as you spend more money.
Look for the new brakes to hit your local bike shop in mid July.