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  1. #1
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    Marta SL vs XT for upgrade???

    I am looking for a new set of brakes for my new hardtail build.

    I have actually had great luck with my current Juicy 5's (once the squeal and gobble dissappeared) but wanted to move up a notch.

    My mind was made up that I was going to try the Magura Marta SL's as they have had great reviews, and I think german engineering is second to none. My LBS however, is steering me more toward Shimano XT for a no hassle, well built, easy to bleed and service, mineral oil brake. They described the Magura stuff as "good, but finicky". They are knowledgable and I respect their opinion, but I figured I would ask around a little more before deciding.

    Any experience with the two or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Maguras over XT any day. My Louises have been on my bike for 4 years....easy to bleed (1x/yr) with mineral oil, great modulation.

  3. #3
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    MBAction gushes over the Martas every chance they get and I don't think I've ever seen a bad thing said about them aside from being a bit pricey.

  4. #4
    DGB
    DGB is offline
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    I've not got Martas but I do have Louise BATs (not hugely different to Martas anymore, esp. since 2009 and them using the same pads) and M775 XTs on my bikes and I find both of them to be very good.
    Personally, I prefer the feel and the reach adjustment range of the XT levers. The XTs also have a free-stroke adjustment that the Martas don't have (BAT on the Louise levers).

    I would say that, from what I've read, the older Magura stuff was more finicky from a bleed point of view but the newer models are a doddle to bleed.
    My XTs (some of the earlier M775 models) have been a bit tricky to bleed but I believe they have been reworked internally in later versions to make bleeding easier.

    IMO you can't go wrong either way as both are solid options and head and shoulders above Juicys (I had J7s so I know).

  5. #5
    Nuts
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    I have both and the jury is still out on which one I like better. For the price I think I would get the XT M775's unless you are looking to save a little weight. Also for the record I have the 08 model Marta's. Both are great brakes and I think you would be happy with either one.
    And I love beer!!

  6. #6
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    Thank you

    Thanks for your thoughtful replies.

    I figured that both were great brakes and I really can't go wrong either way. Hearing from those of you who have had both re-inforces that opinion.

    I think I am going to give the Magura Marta SL's a try. Brakes are not a place on the bike where I want to cut corners due to a cost marginal cost difference. They are one of the most important components for both safety and feel of the bike.

    Thanks again for the input.

  7. #7
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    XT's

  8. #8
    Daniel the Dog
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    XT's

    No doubt. I had nothing but hassles with Magura brakes in the past.

  9. #9
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    Main issues?

    Thanks for the input again.

    Curious what the main issues you had with the Magura brakes were.

    Most of the issues I have heard about were at setup (which I will have my LBS do). After that I have heard in general that they are powerful, reliable, great feel, and easy to maintain.

    The final verdict will be when I spend some time on them and find out for myself, but it is good to know others experience as well.

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    I had the Marta SLs and finally switched 'em out last year after hassling with them for three years - just too finicky for me. They're sitting in a box in my garage if you want 'em cheap. PM me if you're interested.

  11. #11
    one more time
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    I vote XT's - no hassle.

    They arent light but they just work.
    Bikes, beer and pizza.

  12. #12
    wuss
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    I've had 4 sets of Maguras over the years and they have all been great. My previous bike (stolen) had the latest Marta's, and now I have the latest Louise (I was being cheap). I think the new Marta's are just as powerful as louise, all you lose is the lever adjustment (which I don't use) and the handy clamp for the handlebars (which I do like).

    Plenty of power and modulation, and have been extremely reliable for me. I'm not super fond on the looks though.

  13. #13
    T.W.O.
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    I have a Louise carbon bat and 3 set of SL and 2 has never give me any problem. One I'm trying to figure out the problem I'm loosing pressure when I brake. I've tried immobilized the caliper but didn't work may be I did it wrong. I just bought a new caliper hopefully after I switch it out it would be better.

    I also have 2 set of Xt but for some reason I just don't like the lever feel. The Magura feel better may be because they are carbon lever. There's no lever up grade for the XT yet. If Twenty6 makes them my vote would go to XT. They are nice levers. My juicy 7 feel awesome after I switched.

    Also XT feature the Servo Wave which change the mechanical advantage of the levers in the first few mm of lever action. I spent all this time learning how to modulate and it seem XT does it automatically. It's something to get used. As for the set up I agree XT is no hassle. Both have plenty of power to spare. one is much lighter as Magura whole front system weight almost the same as XT lever.

  14. #14
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    Levers

    I agree that the looks of the Magura brakes really are not that great.

    From the replies so far it would seem that I should just put on XT and be done with it, as no one has really negative experiences with them and the weight for me is really not that big a deal.

    The main reason I am so torn is that I really did not like the feel of the XT brake levers either. It seemed just too long and not that ergonomic for me. The Juicy five levers have been perfect. It was really noticeable as soon as I tried the XT brakes out on a bike.

    Well I will stew on it a little more. I feel so lucky to be concerned over such trivial things as what high end brake to put on my new bike. Lots of people are concerned with getting a job, or putting food in their bellies.

  15. #15
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    If weight isn't an issue, I would recommend you consider Gustav. You would be hard pressed to find a negative comment I think besides the weight and that they have a slight drag ( no discernible drag if set up properly ) My LBS tried their hardest to steer me to Juice. They get a discount from them, whereas probably not from Magura. I Think dealers don't get much of a discount from Magura,whereas they may get a significant discount from companies like Shimano because they buy more products.

    I love my Gustav's, and glad I was able to think for myself and not be swayed by my LBS self interests. If weight isn't a problem for you ( they don't weight that much ) Gustav does have a long lever probably similar to XT, but you can order the shorter levers. I think they would be heads over your other choices, and it's nice to have brakes that not many others have.
    Last edited by suba; 03-24-2010 at 06:21 AM.

  16. #16
    wuss
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    Somehow I don't see the Gustav's as being targeted for the same purpose as the Marta and XT brakes... If you go along that route you would have to be considering Saints and V2's.

  17. #17
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    Hope makes good brakes but dot fluid doesn't work for me. I'm sure Saints are good, but Magura has a good reputation, and for me it's nice having components that aren't usually seen much.

    IMHO you can never have enough braking power. I'll keep my Gustav's

  18. #18
    Soft AND Tender
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    cold weather?

    If you ride in cold weather - you may want to research XT performance in winter. At least with the XT's that I have modulation goes to hell below freezing - almost no lever throw because the pistons don't retract properly. If no cold weather riding - they work great.

    I use BB7's in the winter and XT's in the summer - 20 minute swap, twice a year. Prefer the XT's over other hydro brakes I've tried (Avid and Magura only).

  19. #19
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    If you like'd your Juicy's, why not go to Elixirs? You're already aware of the turkey gobble possibility, and it sounds like you know how to fix it, should it come up. If you don't like the XT levers, then pass. You'll be using them many times and if you don't like them now, don't settle.

  20. #20
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    Elixers

    Unfortunately the fix for the gobble was time. I could not figure any fix out and then it just decreased on its own. The lbs was not overly enthusiastic about elixers, and I was thinking about trying out mineral oil brakes which limited my choices. I do not live in cold weather so XT would have been fine. I agree that lever feel could be a deal breaker for me and XTs. I am thinking that the Martas fit my requirements best (unless I run into issues like some of you unfortunately had). Luckily, we are talking bike brakes. Worst case scenario is I hate them, and in that case they cn be changed. Thanks again for your input and experiences. Very helpful to hear opinions outside the sales floor.

  21. #21
    Dual Squishy...
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    Straightline is coming out with new XT/Saint levers this Fall from what someone at Straighline told me. Personally, I have them on my Juicy 7s which I am swapping out for Saints. The Straightline levers are amazing! Check them out...

    Get the XTs and wait a bit for Straightline to come out with their levers, then you have a sweet setup...

  22. #22
    T.W.O.
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    Hopefully they release this new XT version. I spoke to the same guy(he said he's the only one answer the phone) about the inner plate about18 months ago he said to keep checking back. 2 months ago he told me that they scrap the project and focus more on the silent guide system instead. There lever looks nice.

  23. #23
    Dual Squishy...
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    Twenty6 Products said this about Shimano Levers:

    "Thank you for your interest in Twenty6 Products. We do not have any plans of making levers for the new shimano brakes. Thanks again,"

    From Straightline:

    " Nah the XT will come this fall we just did the Elixirs..."

    These are from emailed questions I sent to both TODAY, quick responses from both!!

  24. #24
    T.W.O.
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    great, Too bad about Twenty6, I asked when I got my lever for J7 if he'd do the Marta or XT, he said but not at that price it would be custom price somewhere in 300-500 well, too bad.

  25. #25
    Magura N. America Svc Mgr
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    I like seeing a comparison of Shimano and Magura as I feel there are few others you can compare as far as quality of construction and attention to detail. Hope makes beautiful stuff of course but performance is sometimes a question.

    There is no other bicycle brake that compares in performance, feel, power and modulation as a Magura, especially modulation. The Germans have had that right from the beginning. We have had issues in the past but we learn and continue to learn and evolve our product. We try to listen to feedback and slowly adjust and perfect.

    The bleed concerns of the past were simply rectified with educating the shops mechanics to feel comfortable with the details of ours and everyone else's brakes. They are no different from any others systems in how they work or how they should be serviced so anyone savvy with a Hayes, Hope, Sram, Shimano, Formula, Chevy, Ford, Ferrari, Brembo, Alicon, Willwood, Tokiko, Nissin, PM, etc.... should be able to service the brake. Why not? Sure there are tips and tricks but the basics are well established and easy.

    Good luck with your decision and enjoy your ride!
    Jude

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