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I waffled for so long on the MT5 vs MT Trail based on the lever (I never saw the MT5 HC when shopping). Went with the long levered MT5 and glad I did. I guess the clamps end up a little further inboard, but longer levers give more power and more modulation in exchange for more lever throw. I like to run my levers pretty far out and use those cheesy 'sticky fingers' style brake lever grips for some insulation from aluminum lever heatsink effect on cold rides, so maybe that helps with the feel of the lever compared to the HC, or at least just means the 2 finger lever suits me very well. I've used the MT Trails on a test ride and like to think I could feel the decreased power of the shorter lever on the front brake but might've been down to poor bed-in/set up (rear brake was definitely less powerful, but to be expected with 2 fewer pistons).
They do take a long time to bed in, and I get plenty of the gurgle noise on hard stops with 1 piece rotors. I'd also noticed that on cold rides I sometimes needed to warm up the brakes with a pull or two to get working properly, but this seemed to go away as the pads bed in more. I think the "30 stops" recommendation is sort of the minimum needed to get the brakes working safely, but the brakes seem to keep bedding in and getting better for a few rides after that. Maybe I've just been lucky but I've found bleeding easy and trouble free. In all, the best brakes I've used.
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