We review the new Magura RT8 hydraulic brakes.

Magura RT8 Brakes ReviewMagura RT8 hydraulic brakes

Magura released their hydraulic brakes as part of Cervélo’s P5 package this time last year, but now they’re available for retro-fitting to any bike. Their power and consistent control could transform your ride. The mechanics are pretty simple but there are some issues. The brakes currently only mount to conventional single bolt frames and forks, so can’t be used to replace V-brakes. While the system is supplied ready to use, there’s no way to get it through an internally routed bar and frame without cutting, fitting a new washer and then rebleeding.

If you’re not confident doing it yourself, take them to a bike shop used to fitting hydraulic brakes on mountain bikes and let them fit them. Brake pads aren’t included either, although you can just use the ones from your previous brakes. On the plus side there is a quick release catch on the lever for easy wheel removal and an adjuster to cope with different width rims. At 259g for a full front set without pads they’re lighter than most cable options and price is on par with most top brakes too.

If you’re used to spongy or underpowered brakes these will make a colossal difference. Power is as good as any V-brake systems but lack of cable drag round tight corners means modulation is fantastic, which is particularly useful on carbon rims in wet conditions. The effect of consistent control and power for braking later and harder makes riding technical courses a lot easier and will tame otherwise potentially traumatic ultra-aero bikes.