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Magura’s RT 8TT is the first hydraulic brake for road triathlon bikes—and it really does deliver better braking performance than cable-actuated brakes. Although the RT 8TT can stop with more force than cable brakes, its ability to modulate stopping power is its biggest advantage. Every subtle movement of the lever, whether squeezing the rim tighter or letting go, has an immediate effect on braking force. The connection between rider and brake is unparalleled. Just don’t expect MTB disc brake-caliber stopping performance, however. The RT 8TT doesn’t quite measure up to the strength of disc brakes, but it’s a quantum leap forward for road brake performance. Bonus: The complete system weighs less than almost all cable setups.
Why hydraulic brakes?
Less squeeze, more stop
Although they feel solid, a tight squeeze on cable brakes stretches the cable and compresses the housing. Hydraulic systems transfer all the torque from the lever straight to the brake.
The sugar in sports drinks can gum up cable brake housing and prevent the cable from sliding smoothly—all it takes is a few drops. A hydraulic line, however, is completely sealed. Dunk it in Gatorade and the brake will still function like new.
Twisted lines are OK
Many tri bikes with hidden brakes have tightly twisted cables to keep them from jutting into the wind. Tight bends in the housing create friction between the cable and housing, sapping brake force and preventing the brake from smoothly releasing. Hydraulic brakes are unaffected by a twisted line.