Magura’s cheapest four cylinder brake has a distinctive plasticky feel and its blunt rather than soft starting action won’t suit everyone. If you’re willing to adjust to that, though, these German anchors are massively powerful and well priced.
Magura mainly produces injection moulded plastic car parts, so its use of a moulded ‘Carbotecture’ lever body isn’t surprising. The use of what essentially look like wooden screws to attach the bar clamp continues the unorthodox approach. The reservoir sits between the lever and the bar, too, with the pivot the far side of the master cylinder so that the lever compresses it like a nutcracker. It makes for a neat unit overall, though, and its 463g weight is average for a brake at this affordable price.
The pivot positioning produces a signature lever sweep, which is somewhere between Formula and Shimano brakes with a reach adjuster set into the face of the lever blade. Visually and physically obvious flex in the lever body once you’ve got to the bite point gives a spongey feel to the two finger alloy blade, though.
If you’re after maximum power for your pound, they’re worth taming
Power comes on very strong and early in the stroke too and the blunt, limited modulation feel is compounded by the fact that Magura’s four pot brakes are the most powerful brakes we’ve ever used or tested on a dyno by a fair margin, too.
If you’re after maximum power for your pound they’re still worth taming, though, as you won’t get more stopping for less money. Already good brake value is boosted by the fact that the four small pads last an impressively long time.
We’ve had no issues with contamination of the ‘Royal Blood’ (no not the band) mineral oil internals either, although we have had some issues with sudden loss of function on other MT units during testing. They’re relatively simple to bleed, though, and the ambidextrous lever makes swapping front and rear brakes easy.
They’re also supplied with super long hoses that are overkill for almost any bike (but not quite long enough for a tandem). That does mean you almost certainly won’t be able to avoid cutting them to fit your bike, but the good news is that we didn’t need to rebleed when we did it.