There is a lot to love about Magura’s four-pot MT7 Pro brakes, they’re light, reasonably priced, and with a customisation list as long as your arm they are certainly worth considering.
Unlike other brakes that boast only the option to customise appearance, the MT7 is truly a shape-shifter. Knock the lever pivot pin out and you can insert a new lever blade – I tried the ridiculously adjustable HC3 lever with variable leverage and reach – or the flash HC carbon lever to shave a few grams.
Of course you can also buy coloured inserts or brackets for the calipers and levers to match your steed, which tickled me more than I will admit, and either Shimano or SRAM shifter adaptors to match your existing gear hardware.
They don’t just have good looks, either, all of the customisation options allow you to match the leverage and modulation to your preference and tidy up your cockpit area. Both bite and reach adjust are on the lever as standard too, so everything is simple to tweak on the move.
I also love the magnetic pads which make swapping them out a doddle, and mean the small springs that usually push the pads against the pistons aren’t needed.
Once fitted and tweaked to my satisfaction I was blown away by the sheer power of the MT7s. With arm buckling levels of grunt available with a light squeeze of the lever, they easily match and largely surpass other four-pots on the market.
The bite point was unmistakably positive, giving a confidence-inspiring bite as soon as they made contact with the rotor, which most of the other testers loved too.
Some complained they had a little too much bite for their tastes, though, preferring a little more lever modulation and less urgent grab, but most just loved them as they were.
That was with the standard, on paper at least, less grabby performance pads, too. It would be interesting to upgrade them to the 8R Race pads that Magura says shave even more bite.
Either way, if you are looking for some seriously powerful, stick-in-the-spokes stoppers, you can’t go far wrong with the MT7 brake.
I did have a few issues with fitting and bleeding, though. In the workshop I trimmed the hoses and bled them as per Magura’s instructions. Post-bleed tests in the car park revealed no problems at all, and they had a perfectly positive action with a firm lever and consistent action.
Unfortunately, after 15 minutes of using them in anger, they faded into the bar. This wasn’t ideal as I was halfway over a mountain and had to gingerly pick my way home after cutting the ride short.
After bleeding them a second time, the same result appeared out on the trail .
Frustratingly, I repeated this process three times before I finally got the last of the air out, making me wonder whether I was doing something wrong. I checked Magura’s walk-through video and bleed instructions, which confirmed I had followed them to the letter.
I believe there must be some hard-to-purge air pockets in the caliper body and, since the third bleed, I’ve had no problems with them and they’ve performed flawlessly.
All in all, they are a light, extremely powerful brake with a high-quality finish and super-customisable fit. Just take care when bleeding them and prepare yourself for a few runs at it. Make sure you do a solid post-bleed test ride before leaving the workshop far behind and heading for the wilds.
How we tested
We bolted 10 sets of brakes to our test bikes, with a 200mm rotor up front and 180mm at the rear, and scraped our way down descents, checking for power, feel, fade, modulation and reliability.
Other brakes on test included:
- Hope Tech 3 X2
- Hope Tech 3 E4
- Shimano Deore BR-M6000
- Shimano Deore XT BR-M8020
- SRAM Code RSC
- Hayes Dominion A4
- Clarks Clout 1
- SRAM G2 Ultimate
- Formula Cura 4