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Magura Race vs Performance Pads Review Compare

Magura Performance vs Race Brake Pad Review

Initial Ride Test – Magura Performance vs Race Brake Pad Review for MT5 / MT7 models.

I love my Magura MT5 brakes. That’s well established here on at this point I’m sure! Until this month however I had never run the Magura Race Brake pads. I decided to change it up a bit on the last pad change – and WHOA, quite a difference.

Magura 8.P Performance Brake Pads

As a baseline, I have had no complaints on the Magura 8.P Performance pads over the years.

I do run the 4 piece MT7 pads in my MT5 brakes as I find them easier to align. I tell myself they perform slightly better than the 1 piece options as well. I’m not sure how much of that might be in my head or not – but when I buy pads I buy the 4 piece option.

Heat capacity has been good – although I seldom ride super steep extended trails these days I am a heavier rider and I can get heat through brakes. I run 180mm rotors front and rear which have plenty of power without being too grabby for my liking. If I was going on a super steep day I might go to a 203mm front for a bit more heat capacity. I’m a fan of keeping an extra adapter and rotor around for that reason. In fact, my 203mm rotors are probably several years old from my last Mammoth trip now that I think about it!

The Magura pads are replaced more frequently than my previous Hope brakes, but not at an obscene level. Overall I would say the durability of the 8.P Performance pads has been well within my expectations. They have been relatively easy on the rotors as well.

There are really only 2 times I have noticed noise from the Performance pads. One, if I overheat the system and need to resurface the rotors. I chalk this up to life. Second, occasionally on wet morning rides I notice a bit more noise until I put some heat through the system. I know, I live in SoCal how wet does it get? Think marine layer mist / fog. The extra moisture in the air will create a bit more noise. If its’ bothering me I might drag a brake for a corner or two at the beginning of a descent to get some heat into it.


Magura Race vs Performance Pads Review. Pad detail photo.

Magura 8.R Race Pads

I tossed in the Magura 8.R Race pads just before going to ride in Aliso with the guys from BikeCo. A handful of quick stops to bed them in and we were off.

Right off the bat I felt more power, but I figured that was because of the pads being fresh rather than at the full wear limit of my previous 8.P Performance pads.

I started to think there might be something to Magura’s “maximum” dry bite rating before we even hit the trails. If only I had video for comedy relief… I slipped a foot bunny hopping up a curb, damn near smacked the back of Joe’s Alchemy, somehow grabbed a handful of front brake and ended up doing an out of control nose manual. After what seemed like forever, likely 2 seconds and three feet (but, we were going uphill so 3 feet took a lot of energy right?) I got the back end set back down. I tried to stop laughing and start the climb…

We dropped into Five Oaks in Aliso Woods and I quickly noted the extra power on the 8.R Race pads. I actually felt that I had to slightly modify my riding position to accommodate the extra stopping forces, particularly on the front brake.

The combination of extra front brake, aggressively high front air pressure, a 2.3″ front tire as well as fast, slick, wind swept Aliso trails gave me quite the thrill of a descent! It was a day of remembering to just let the bike roll rather than folding over and thump through the lines.

8.R Race versus 8.P Performance

The 8.R Race pads allowed me to roll on and off the brakes more quickly. While this might not be critical in pleasure riding I can see where they get the Race name as every little bit would add up on an enduro race run.

I did notice a bit more noise on a morning ride with the Race pads. If you really prefer not to hear your brakes the Performance pads do have plenty of bite for most riding.

As I only have a few rides on the Race pads I cannot yet comment on their durability. Magura’s graph has me expecting the 8.R Race pads to wear sooner than the 8.P Performance. It will be interesting to watch the wear. In order to better understand the wear I put a set of each on my bike. I hope to remember to rotate them to give me the best idea on the comparative durability. More to come on that.

The other comparative I’m interested in is the Fading graph. As mentioned I don’t have a ton of rides on the new 8.R Race pads and haven’t been down anything really steep and long enough to produce notable fade. I suppose I can deliberately overheat them, resurface the rotors and swap pads to compare.  If I get the urge to sneak out on a couple rides during work hours I will go do a marketing test I suppose!

Ready to order your Magura pads? Check out the 8.R and 8.P pads here.

Questions? Chat with our expert staff about the best brake setup for your riding. provides the best spec, setup, tune and pricing in MTB.

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