Magura launched two years ago a new brake range called MT, to which the MT2, MT4, MT6 and MT8 belong, starting from entry-level to top end. And, because we got our hands on a pair of MT4s and such promising brakes shouldn’t just sit around, we thought we had to give them the chance to show their capabilities.
The company’s choice to approach things in a different manner reveals itself starting with the mounting phase, where you will neeed a torx key in order to mount the levers on the bars. The levers themselves are flip-flop ones, so that means you can switch them without any loss of functionality. On the other hand, they feature nice finishes, as the calipers also do, and all these parts are built with the goal of achieving optimal stiffness in mind. And they use mineral oil instead of regular brake fluid, if you really want another convincing piece of evidence regarding Magura’s vision on braking.
You can grab a good hold of the levers with your fingers, but Magura still has some work to do in this respect. Still, it features an adjustment screw in order to set the distance between lever and bars, and the oil tank is found in the actual body of the lever, placing Magura MT4 among respectable modern brakes.
However, the actual performances of the brake leave to be desired, falling behind what Shimano’s SLX, its main rival, displayed during testing. Brake power isn’t an issue, we also found the modulation to be right, and fading to occur only on long descents, but even so the MT4s lack the precision and brute force with which the SLXs stop the wheels. They simply don’t deliver the same overall performance as far as we’re concerned.
Judging from the maintenance point of view, the brake pads are easy to replace, while bleeding also requires a minimum set of skills. But Magura’s MT4 brakes are really competitive in terms of weight, tipping the scale at 417 grams (16.47 oz), beating Shimano SLX by 50 grams (1.7 oz), which become 100 grams (3.53 oz) when talking about the complete pair, rotors included. It even surpasses Avid’s Elixir 5!
Magura managed to launch a good product for cross-country in the form of the MT4, but if you’re planning on riding in a more extreme manner, like all-mountain or enduro, then don’t count on them too much. They are light, good looking, well crafted, and work as expected from such a product, but are more expensive than its main competitor, Shimano SLX, and fail to provide the same braking power.