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  1. #1
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    Magura MT-8 vs R1 vs Mag SL

    Anyone using the MT8 would be interested to know what your thoughts are on them in comparison to the R1 or the Mag SL. I want them for a 29er hardtail I am putting together - I have been using the Mag SL's on a full sus 2010 Epic and been pretty impressed with the reliability, ease of adjustment/ maintenance and modulation etc. Just wondering if the MT8's are worth the extra cash - I am 80Kg and felt the stopping power of the Mag SL's even with upgraded pads could be a little better.
    BTW will be for XC - light AM use

  2. #2
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    What size rotors are on your bike? have you considered steel lines?

    I am doubtful the difference is worth the hit.

  3. #3
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    Need a new set of brakes for a new build, wasn't thinking of changing out the Mag SL's on the Epic, will get round to putting some 180 rotors on it at some point - Reviews are sketchy on the ground of the MT8's and just wanted an idea if people find them worth the extra $100 or so over the R1's or Mag SL's, there is a lot of marketing claims over weight and better power, was wondering if it was true in peoples experience
    It's for a 29er hardtail

  4. #4
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    I have the MT8 now and I run SL 203 rotors F & R. I love them, modulation and power are awesome. Never used R1 so I cant comment on them. I used Marta Mag SL for about 3 months and hated them. They had good power, I just never liked the feel that I got through the lever, liked more initial bite. Everyone raves about them, so maybe I just got a bad set. I have run several different Avid sets and they have good power but hard initial bite and modulation was difficult.

    I would guess that the MT6 would just as good at an ever so slight weight penalty but definite cash savings. If you like the Mag SL's, stick with them. Especially on the Epic, definitely not a DH bike where you would need the extra stopping.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    I'm a bit interested in this comparison as well. I really like my R1 brakes, but could use a bit more power as I start to descend more techy and longer downhills. From what I have heard, the new XTR's are about as good as it gets for weight to power ratio.

    To me, the MT-8 seems to be overpriced. Everyone used to think that the R1 was overpriced, but the MT-8 is heavier and costs more. Unless the performance exceeds the R1 by a large margin, it just isn't worth it. On the other hand, if your doing more AM stuff and feel you need 180mm rotors, I have to think there are better alternatives then the MT-8. Maybe you should look at The One??
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  6. #6
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    I have nothing but positive things to say about the MT8(so far). I've only ever worked on R1's for a friend(and briefly ridden them), but the R1 setup is quite a bit more finicky than the MT8. The brake lever feels so differently(between the R1 and MT8), that it is hard to say which may be better for you - R1's have tons of power, shorter lever throw, very on/off feel to me(which I dislike). The MT8 is not as powerful, but much more 'controlled' when coming to a stop(hard to lock up), great modulation, great feel(for me) - easiest brake I have ever set up(and I've worked on just about everything), good pad clearance so the rotors run free(and it's easy to get them to run rub free, unlike some other brakes). So much improved over my old Marta SL's(feel wise), which I never really liked - short lever throw, very on/off feel.

    Very easy decision for me, but like I said, not everybody likes the same type of feel when it comes to brakes.

  7. #7
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    Save some money and buy the new XTR trails - you will be much happier. Try a test drive at a local dealer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    Save some money and buy the new XTR trails - you will be much happier.
    And this is based on....???

    I haven't tryed the XTR, but I won't say that you will be much happier either on MT8's or F1's and I think that XTR are good brakes.
    I can only state that I have used Magura Mag before and now MT8's and I like them more, they have just a little bit more of power (maybe due to a larger pad) great modulation, good pad clearance and for the type of riding I do (XC-AM) they are on spot.

  9. #9
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    Based upon owing both the new XTR trail and XT brakes. IMHO they are the best MTB brakes on the marked at any price. Suggest you don't try the XTR Trail - you will be unhappy with your current brakes after you try.

  10. #10
    Maromero
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    Based upon owing both the new XTR trail and XT brakes. IMHO they are the best MTB brakes on the marked at any price. Suggest you don't try the XTR Trail - you will be unhappy with your current brakes after you try.
    So you have used the MT8 and the comparison clearly goes to XTR.
    Now that you clarified your basis I can go buy either XT or XTR right?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    Based upon owing both the new XTR trail and XT brakes. IMHO they are the best MTB brakes on the marked at any price. Suggest you don't try the XTR Trail - you will be unhappy with your current brakes after you try.
    LOL, you sound a like a Shimano Rep! What you said is insulting to other brake companies. Watch your wording. This is a "friendly" thread...
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  12. #12
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    I'm not a Shimano rep - just love the brakes. Just suggest you try and then compare. Happy Trails...

  13. #13
    official eMpTyBRain
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    I'm not a Shimano rep - just love the brakes. Just suggest you try and then compare. Happy Trails...
    Just messin' with ya. I am currently a Magura guy and a Shimano guy.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  14. #14
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    Thanks for sharing all,
    I am riding mostly in central Thailand and most of the trails tend to be mainly XC rice paddies, plantations etc to get to a few kilometers of very steep, rocky, rooty, gnarly jungle singletrack sometimes bordering on DH. Am building up the Air 9 as an XC race bike, although not perfect the Epic does handle the jungle steeps reasonably well, all right the Fox F32 100's are a bit lacking in travel, and get that nasty way under the bike feeling a bit too often, but have added a dropper post, short stem and new bars, The Mag SL's are a bit lacking on 160mm rotors for the steeps.
    Thinking about it I will probably put the Mag SL's onto the Air 9 and then look at beefed up brakes onthe Epic (the plan is to change out the frame / forks next year to something along the lines of an Enduro with 150mm forks - if the financial controller allows).
    I have seen decent reviews for the new XT/XTR brakes but was put off shimano brakes a few years ago after a mate had major issues setting the XT's up and constant fiddling on the trail and then 3 months after the warranty had expired the piston started to stick in the rear caliper - guess what not servicable and spare parts not sold he ended up having to get a new caliper.

  15. #15
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    I bought a new set of MT8 from an online retailer: Pro Bike Supply. The brakes are installed and as I was just about to adjusting the reach adjust: the bolt head broke! I swear I hardly even turned it and it broke! I am really disappointed. The bolt quality is really crap for a brake of this price. Really ridiculous considering I have not even gone on a single ride!

    Just emailed Magura.de but suspect they will just refer me to local distro and the local distro will just blame me and charge me for something which is under warranty. Living and riding anywhere else but the US and Germany is obviously a problem. The local distros just don't live up to expectations.

    Anyway,
    I have Mag SL on my Pivot, R1 on my Dixon and the MT8, which obviously I can't blardy give a review given the above.

    (Also have SRAM XX on a HT which also caused a lot of grief, so I think it is safe to skip it)

    R1 are great if you dont get a dud set with leaking caps. I had 1 which leaked and needed to be replaced. Was covered by warranty but took 2 months (Singapore, not the US)! Since then, they have been reliable.

    Mag SL have been the most consistent. They are good, so maintainence free, perfect out of the box, that I had at one point in time 1 pair of Marta and 2 pairs of Marta SLs.

    If I am on budget and hate finicky maintenance/corrosive fluids, go for the Mag SL. Save the balance on some else nice.

  16. #16
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    I've had both the Mag SL's and currently ride the MT-8 brakes. I'd probably stick with the Mag SL's. The MT-8's seem to lose their power and I'm pretty sure they leak pretty easily because I'm going to have to rebleed them...again. I've only been riding them for 1 month so that seems a bit crazy. Not worth the money in my opinion.
    MCH Co-Captain

  17. #17
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    Hello Erichwic and sorry to hear you are having problems with your new MT's.

    You should be happy with your new brakes as they are better in every way over out past Martas and Louises. Subtle but better.
    I suspect air in the line since you speak of losing power but I doubt there is an actual leak unless you are noticing fluid collecting somewhere. We rarely have a leaking scenario and warrant for 5 years but of course anything can happen.
    Did the lines get shortened when installed on your bike? Maybe this is when the air was ingested and needs a quick bleed.
    The bleed process on these new brakes are so easy and the fluid flows so much better than in the past through the EBT port. It's much quicker and simpler to service the MT's over the older brakes and I am attaching a video link to help.
    Good luck and let me know if I can help further and thanks for sticking with Magura!

    Magura MT8 Brake Bleed with Jude Monica www.mountainflyer.com - YouTube
    Jude

  18. #18
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    Yes, the lines were shortened and rebled once already. They felt firm for a dozen rides or so and now feel "soft" again. I can basically pull the lever to the bar with almost no stopping power. I do plan on having them bled again in hopes of improved stopping power. I appreicate your input and will let you konw once I have it rebled.
    MCH Co-Captain

  19. #19
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    I had R1's before I switched to MT8's. I'm 200 lbs. and running 203/180. The MT8 and R1 seems to be equal when it comes to stopping power. I prefer the MT8 for ease of setup. Didn't need to worry about the hydraulic oil if and when I spilled it and there was no need for spacers on the calipers to get them properly aligned on the rotors. Cutting and bleeding the lines were also easier on the MT8. Best thing of all: no squealing on the MT8 (using Magura Storm rotors).
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  20. #20
    Did I catch a niner?
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    Save some money and buy the new XTR trails - you will be much happier. Try a test drive at a local dealer.
    You only save about 40 grams vs the XTs so save even more money.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnamin View Post
    Cutting and bleeding the lines were also easier on the MT8.
    I disagree. I find the R1 easier to bleed and the Formula bleed kit better quality and better thought out. I hate the plastic bleed plug on the MT8 lever and the odd tool requirement of only the caliper bleed plug (despite Magura advertising that one tool does everything).

    The Maguras are easier to set up, though, that's clear. I like the shape of the R1 levers but don't like the fussiness of the limited pad clearance. Lever feel is radically different between the two. The Storm SL rotors are nice.

  22. #22
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    I seriously thought about getting the Shimano XT brakes....but after a direct comparison, my 2007 Magura Marta SL is still spades better...simply because they have not been bled since 2007. The modulation of the XT is slightly plusher than my Maguras - but I feel I got 10x my money's worth with the Magura Marta, since I have about 5000+ trail miles on them, without a single hitch.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I seriously thought about getting the Shimano XT brakes....but after a direct comparison, my 2007 Magura Marta SL is still spades better...simply because they have not been bled since 2007. The modulation of the XT is slightly plusher than my Maguras - but I feel I got 10x my money's worth with the Magura Marta, since I have about 5000+ trail miles on them, without a single hitch.
    I had 08 Marta SLs and they were incredibly reliable, but the lever felt wooden to me. Locked those things up all the time. Happy to say that Magura has really improved the feel with the new MT line.

    Like craigsj, I'm not too thrilled with the plastic bleed plug on the MC of the MT8 though.

  24. #24
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    I have the MT4's and really like them but I did over tighten one of the plastic bleed plugs and I am very experienced mechanically. I had to use a blade screwdriver to release the damaged plug.

  25. #25
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    I've been riding Formula RXs for the past three years and they've been on 4 different bikes and still work flawlessly! Never bled, don't squeal, don't rub... I'm going to upgrade anyway since the finish is wearing of the master cylinders and I THINK I'm going to go with R1s just because the RXs have been so reliable. The MT6, however, is extremely tempting.

    My opinion on Shimano/Avid brakes: Avid's pretty much suck. Shimano brakes seem solid but I don't like the amount of lever pull(XTs demo'd). My thought is, Magura/Formula specialize in brakes. Avid/Shimano put development into a plethora of stuff so the companies that focus on one thing SHOULD be better, correct? Makes sense to me anyway

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