I test rode the MT5s against the MT7s at my friends shop test fleet on the weekend. Both versions have really good power and are easy to modulate. The MT7 was OEM-specced with the reach adjust screw from the MT5 (you´ll need a T25 to adjust reach, but can put the lever much closer to the bars).
The calipers look great on both brakes, but the MT5 levers have really a utilitarian look to them. They seem to be the AK47 of brake levers. They look super shonky and cheap, but they work.
The MT7 lever is a piece of engineering/manufacturing art though. Feels smoother and sturdier, looks much sexier.
Goes to show how different ergonomics are for different riders -- the new Magura levers feel awesome to me where as I find the Shimano (pivot point) feel like the hook isn't bike enough as you get close to the bar.
The MT7 is definitely a much higher end looking MC (same as Saint/XTR vs. Zee/SLX). I would love to see the picture of the brake your friend has with the reach adjuster from the MT5. I have tried the MT6, which does not have tool free reach adjust, but it is just a set screw driving the same hammer mechanism as the MT7 and the reach is not any closer (again, I have small hands).
It makes sense how the MT7 will deliver identical leverage on the MC piston at any lever throw (because of the hammer), but I didn't notice a difference in power from the MT7.
Definitely the MT7 is SEXIER though.
If I'm honest part of the reason I'm still thinking about/trying to justify the MT7s to myself is that they would look blingier on the Nomad that I'm building up, I'm just not sure that its enough to get over the price difference for me. What do mean by the BAT changes where the lever throw starts? That sounds the same as a reach adjust to me…
Reach adjust affects where the lever blade sits (static). BAT, like Servo Wave adjuster from Shimano, affects the lever throw vs. pad engagement point.
Like the Servo Wave adjuster from Shimano I think most people find BAT has a relatively minimal affect or lever feel and probably leave it in the firmest setting. Having tried the MT5 and MT7 I can almost justify the price of the MT7 (for you large handed folks) for the sex appeal, but BAT wouldn't have me opening my wallet.
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