Based out of Germany, Magura is renowned for its brakes and are viewed by many as one of the premier brands in mountain biking. The German Hope you could say! The company has diversified by adding suspension and droppers to the mix but brakes remain firmly at its core.
I’ve been keen on getting my hands on a pair of Magura MT5 brakes for some time now. So much so that I opted for buying a new pair rather than engaging Magura directly for a demo set. The MT5’s offer the same technology seen in their big brother (or sister) the MT7 but at half the price. You’re looking at 110 EUR each. You lose some minor adjustment functionality but get comparable performance. I managed to get these for £70 each through another retailer, which was an absolute bargain!
With 4 pistons per calliper, the MT5s have a wider braking surface area than dual piston callipers and plenty of power behind them to give these beasties some serious bite. The wide braking surface area can make brake alignment more challenging but nothing too painful.
Be warned! The extra bite takes some getting used to, especially when you already have some larger rotors on your bike. Using the same force on your levers as you’re used to will have you OTB in no time. But, once you get used to it, these brakes will help you stop on a penny (or dime for our American readers).
In terms of brake levers, the MT5s are made from their Carbotecture® material which in essence is a high-quality plastic – callipers are made from the typical aluminium you would expect. The lever-blades are 2-finger as standard which has proved to be fine for me but I would have expected the option for a 1 finger version. 1 finger lever-blade upgrades are available at 75 EUR for the pair.
The brake levers are dual-directional, by which I mean, they can be setup as left/right on your cockpit based on your riding style. The real benefit here is the one size fits all when buying new, parts and general setup.
Also its worth noting that the usual chore of bleeding your brakes is pretty much gone. Not only are they piss easy to bleed, they also use mineral brake vs DOT fluid. The benefit of mineral oil is that it does not absorb water from the air over time like DOT brake fluid does, the boiling temperature and performance of the fluid will not be affected. Long story short, you don’t need to bleed your brakes as often.
You can watch the video run through mid-ride here
Magura MT5 Specs
- Weight: 255g
- Material Master: Carbotecture ®
- Material Lever Blade: Aluminium
- Material Calliper: Aluminium
- Brake medium: Royal Blood
- Banjo Fitting: Yes
- Reach Adjust: Yes, tool
- Recommended rotor: Storm HC
- Mounting: PM/IS