Magura have released details of their new flagship disc brake, the MT8, which boasts cutting-edge carbon fibre construction and is said to transcend categorisation as either a cross-country or downhill brake.
The German company have decided to trickle out information in bits and pieces, starting with the lever and master cylinder. They haven’t released a target price or weight – although the prototype looks to weigh less than 230g – but they promise a complete preview of the MT8 at the Sea Otter Classic in April, prior to its official unveiling in May 2011.
What Magura have released is details of the ‘Performance Faktor’ equation used in the development of the brake, and the high-tech materials used in its construction. The Performance Faktor is a mathematical formula devised by Magura’s design team two years ago, where performance is equal to deceleration and modulation plus thermal stability, divided by mass and multiplied by ergonomics.
Magura’s prototype MT8 weighs under 230g
Formulation of this equation marked the starting point for development of the new brake. “We’ve had an injection molding factory for over 30 years and we’ve been molding carbon fiber before this,” said Jeff Enlow, Magura USA’s general manager. “Once we put our heads together, we said, ‘we can’t make it cheaper in Germany, so it has to have a technological advantage’.”
It also led the company to use unconventional materials and processes in the MT8’s manufacture. The master cylinder uses two new technologies that work in tandem: a material called Carbotecture and a manufacturing process called Carboflow. Carbotecture is a type of injection molded carbon that’s neither a fiber reinforced plastic nor a laminated carbon structure. Magura describe it as high-density carbon thermoplastic.
The MT8’s master cylinder is made of a high-density carbon thermoplastic material that Magura call Carbotecture
They claim the compound is half the weight of aluminum yet infinitely stronger under impact and fatigue. It’s also extremely uniform, even when compared to metal, which allows Magura to use less of it. Carbonflow is the proprietary process of injection molding the Carbotecture into bike components while maintaining exact tolerances and material distribution. It’s an in-house process that Magura Germany retain complete control over.
The brake lever is made using a Carbolay process in which carbon fiber is embroidered onto a woven structure for best fiber orientation and maximum strength; this process is already in use on Magura’s Marta SL levers.
A peek into the Carbolay process that’s used to manufacture the levers