Skip to content
Home » Bikes and Tech »
Gallery: A close look at Magura’s new MT NEXT disc brakes
Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Following up on its MT line featuring carbon-fiber master cylinders, the Magura MT NEXT line of disc brakes carries the carbon-master-cylinder system a step further with full redesign of many parts. MT NEXT also includes two new models with four-piston calipers capable of handling the heavy demands of enduro and downhill racing as well as of weighty e-bikes.
I got to ride these brakes for a couple of days on some fun and technical trails around Sedona, Arizona. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The third arch on the MT7 (and MT5) one-piece four-piston brake calipers gives it extraordinary stiffness as well as high heat dissipation. I got to ride these brakes for a couple of days on some fun and technical trails around Sedona, Arizona. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The little yellow plastic rings pop into the threaded piston-access plugs to give the MT7 caliper a touch of color. Odd-numbered Magura MT brake models indicate four-piston calipers; even numbers are for two-piston brakes. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes All of Magura’s MT brakes are compatible with both its Storm and Storm SL rotors; this is the Storm rotor, which is heavier, lacking the large lightening cutouts of the Storm SL, and consequently can dissipate more heat. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The master cylinder on the MT7 is carbon fiber, using Magura’s Carbotecture SL molding technique utilizing long carbon fibers. The lever blade is forged aluminum, and the whole lever unit is so light that it allows Magura to put more metal in the caliper for stiffness and heat dissipation while still coming in at only 355 grams for the entire system. That’s very light for a heavy-duty four-piston brake. MSRP is $320. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The knobs on the MT7 lever are tool-free adjusters for lever reach and braking bite point. The MT5, Magura’s other four-piston brake, also has those adjustments, but a tool is required. Braking force increases with model number in the even-numbered (dual-piston) brakes, and the four-piston MT5 and MT7 brakes have higher power than any of the dual-piston models. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The top-of-the-line cross-country brake, the MT8, features a Carbotecture SL lever body and handlebar clamp and a new technology for the lever blade called Carbolay. The entire MT8 brake system weighs under 300 grams, despite having a massive one-piece aluminum caliper with stiffening/cooling arch and full 2mm-thick rotor. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the top-of-the-line Magura MT7 four-piston brakes and 140mm-travel Magura TS8 fork on this SRAM XX1-equipped Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 29er for two days of riding on the wonderful trails of Sedona, Arizona. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Notice the diamond-shaped stitching pattern on this MT8 lever blade. Magura’s Carbolay blade-molding technique eliminates the possibility of human error laying up the wrong number or direction of carbon layers. In Carbolay, unidirectional non-pre-preg (i.e., dry – not pre-impregnated with resin) carbon layers are robotically stitched to a thin layer of fiberglass in exactly the precise orientation and number of layers — including having the fibers wrap around the holes in the blade, rather than be cut by drilling the holes. Then, in the mold under high temperature and pressure, the resin, which is as thin as water at that temperature, flows by capillary action throughout the layers of carbon. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Wear management: notice that the piston is offset toward the trailing edge of the pad receptacle in both MT8 (left) — and other dual-piston calipers — as well as in the MT7 (right), which has four separate brake pads as well as four pistons. The non-centered piston ensures more even pad wear; when the brake grabs, the leading edge of the pad is pulled into the rotor as it tries to drag the pad forward, causing higher wear on that edge. But having the piston pushing at the trailing edge evens out the wear. The little metal circle in the center of each Bakelite piston is a magnet. Magura’s “magnetiXchange” simplifies brake pad change: remove the pin and pull the pad out; thanks to the magnet, the new pad snaps right into the correct spot. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Carbotecture (left) and Carbotecture SL (right) lever bodies. Carbotecture SL, used in higher-end brakes, is stronger due to the longer carbon fibers in it, so the various sections of the lever body can be thinner and lighter. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes This hole in the cover over the reservoir allows the air space above the rubber gasket over the fluid to breathe. That prevents a vacuum from forming above the fluid, which would prevent the master cylinder volume from decreasing as required in order for more mineral oil fluid to fill in behind the more-extended pistons as the pads wear thinner. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes The internal shape, including the piston bore, of Carbotecture and Carbotecture SL lever bodies is net-molded—there is no machining done afterward. To ensure that the internal bore of the master cylinder is perfectly cylindrical once it cools after molding, the mold for the bore is actually slightly oval, since the thicker areas contract more when cooling than do the thinner areas. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Even the entry-level MT2 has a carbon-fiber master cylinder. Lower-end Magura MT models use Carbotecture (as opposed to Carbotecture SL) lever bodies, which have shorter carbon fibers in them. At $100 retail, the complete MT2 brake only weighs 365g, yet it has a one-piece caliper stiffened and cooled by a large arch, magnetic pad change, adjustable lever reach, and a carbon-fiber lever, lever body and handlebar clamp! Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes This clutch lever for a BMW motorcycle is completely carbon fiber, including the entire body and blade, using Magura’s Carbotecture SL molding technique. It saves a full kilogram off the aluminum clutch lever that Magura used to supply to BMW. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Magura’s four-piston Superbike motorcycle competition brake caliper has the same one-piece three-arch design as the MT5 and MT7, just a lot bigger! Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes Heat management: like the MT7 bicycle brake, this Magura motorcycle brake also has four separate pads and for the same reason. During braking, friction with the rotor causes each pad to become increasingly hotter from leading edge to trailing edge. By having a space between the pads, the rotor cools slightly between them, and the temperature on the leading edge of the second pad is lower than the temperature of the trailing edge of the first pad, allowing the temperature to increase again across the pad. If it instead had a single, large pad, the temperature of the entire half of the pad over the second piston could be high enough to glaze the pad. You can also see the offset pistons in this caliper designed to even out pad wear like in the MT bicycle brakes. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes This is the lighter Storm SL disc. To maximize strength and stiffness and minimize warpage, Magura’s Storm and Storm SL rotors are a full 2mm thick; Magura chose reliability and low maintenance over lighter weight of 1.8mm discs. For those same reasons, Magura has dropped the aluminum Torx rotor bolts it used to offer with the Storm SL disc. Magura's new MT NEXT disc brakes There are many places on Sedona’s vast network of trails where you really want your brakes to work predictably and reliably. The MT7s did exactly that for me. Sergio Bravo photo