Greatest disc rotors for mountain biking

In order for you optimum stopping energy out of your brakes, be sure to have the disc brake rotors for mountain biking you’ll be able to afford.

Together with the lever and caliper, the rotor is a vital and, some would argue, a very powerful element of a brake system. It’s the half the pads clamp onto, it dissipates warmth and in addition creates the leverage and energy required to sluggish you down. So it’s vital that you just discover the perfect disc rotor on your mountain bike that you could. 

Aztec Alloy Metal Floating Rotor

Reasonably priced and appropriate with most disc brakes available on the market

Materials: Alloy metal | Dimension: 160 and 180mm | Bolt sample: 6 bolt

Because of the modular development of a floating rotor they’re usually costlier however Aztec bucks this development with its reasonably priced Alloy Metal Floating rotor. It’s practically 40% cheaper than the Swiss Cease Catalyst Professional, though it does are available in restricted sizes – Aztec is just providing this one in 160mm and 180mm. 

It has stainless-steel braking floor and a machined alloy provider in a six-bolt sample. Like most floating rotors the braking floor expands barely because it heats up, which helps dissipate warmth to forestall warping and brake fade. The Aztec disc is drilled for 6-bolt and is appropriate with most disc brakes available on the market.

SwissStop Catalyst Professional Disc Rotor

Pricy, however unbelivably exact

Materials: Chrome steel and aluminium | Dimension: 140, 160, 180,  203 and 220mm | Bolt sample: 6 bolt or Heart Lock

Swiss Cease makes a number of the perfect third-party rotors available on the market. The Catalyst Professional is a two-piece design a top quality SUS410 chrome steel brake observe and riveted to a light-weight 7075-T6 sequence aluminium provider. It is available in 6-bolt or Heart Lock fitment and is available in 140, 160, 180, 203 and 220mm, though the worth proven right here is for the smaller two sizes, the 220mm diner plate is a whopping £79.99.

Nonetheless, you might be getting an unbelievably exact rotor with wonderful put on attribute and warmth dissipation. Add a set of SwissStop pads and that is the final word brake have improve.

Clarks Light-weight Stainless Metal Floating Rotor

Nice finances brake rotor

Materials: Chrome steel | Dimension: 160, 180 and 203mm | Bolt sample: 6 bolt

You probably have a finances hardtail or suspension bike and harm the rotor and want a alternative, you’ll be able to go far mistaken with Clarks Light-weight Stainless Metal Floating rotor. It’s created from a barely cheaper grade of chrome steel and the provider is painted fairly than anodised but it surely’s obtainable in 160, 180 and 203mm and 6-bolt sample.

In idea the floating design has all the advantages talked about beforehand, however the warmth dissipation isn’t fairly pretty much as good, and it could actually ding a bit too simply, however it’s an absolute cut price. 

How we take a look at

When testing a disc brake, we at all times run the inventory rotors just because the brake is designed to make use of them. We run the identical measurement rotor entrance and rear and clearly file the load with that measurement. We’re equally constant relating to evaluating energy, chunk and really feel of the brake, enterprise repeat stops utilizing the identical bike, tyre and tyre are stress. Throughout testing we gauge the straightness of the rotor and match it to a number of completely different hubs to examine tolerances, and compatibility.

Disc brake rotor spinning

Are disc rotors all the identical?

Primarily there are two varieties of disc rotors – one piece and two-piece. The previous is the most typical and is just a round piece of chrome steel with all of the mounting holes, and so on machined into the floor. Because the identify suggests, a two-piece rotor consists of a provider, often aluminium, and stainless-steel braking floor. The rationale for the aluminium element is it’s lighter, stiffer and the additionally acts as a warmth sink. 

Each one and two-piece designs are interchangeable, though you usually see the latter on costlier disc brakes.

How are disc rotors made?

The vast majority of one-piece disc rotors are laser lower from stainless-steel. This clean is then warmth handled to make it more durable and maximise its corrosion resistance, earlier than being floor completely flat (straight). On a two-piece design the connected braking floor is made in the identical method and the alloy provider can be CNC machined. The components are often with riveted collectively.

Shimano’s Ice-Tech rotors look much like common rotors, however they’ve a barely completely different inner development. The corporate describes it as a ‘clad’ rotor and which means it has an aluminium core, sandwiched between two stainless-steel braking surfaces. The aluminium is lighter and higher at absorbing warmth, which might cut back brake fade. 

Why are rotors chrome steel?

It’s naturally corrosion and warmth resistant, two stuff you need with any brake system that’s uncovered to the weather. 

Photo showing disc brake rotor on Forbidden Dreadnought mtb

Do mountain bike brake rotors come in several sizes?

The commonest rotor sizes are 160, 180 and 200mm, though we’re beginning to see larger 220/225mm rotors for eBike use. There’s extra mechanical benefit with an even bigger diameter rotor, so better stopping energy however clearly extra weight too. 

Though most producers have a 200mm choice, Shimano provides a 203mm, which we predict is a little bit of throwback to when rotors have been measured in inches (203mm is definitely 8in) however this isn’t constant as a result of a 160mm rotor is 6 1/4in for instance. To a point it doesn’t actually matter as a result of should you use the suitable adapter any caliper will work with any rotor. Third celebration brake producers are additionally fairly good at providing most sizes – Hope for instance provides 200, 203, 205, 220 and 225mm rotors.

What’s a floating rotor?

That is the place the chrome steel braking floor isn’t joined to the aluminium provider however is allowed to ‘float.’ When the rotor heats up the rivets permits for a certain quantity of growth and in addition imply the braking floor received’t warp. This design additionally heats up lots faster, which is nice as a result of brakes and pads have an optimum working temperature, so the earlier they attain that the higher. 

What’s a vented rotor?

Hope is likely one of the few brake producers to make a vented rotor. It makes use of the same provider to a floating rotor, the distinction is the braking floor is created from three layers of stainless, that are joined utilizing a vacuum brazing course of. Inside fins assist channel air across the braking floor and Hope claims this will cut back warmth build-up by 15%. 

Vented rotors do weigh much more, and you will want a devoted caliper to run them.

Why are rotors completely different thicknesses?

It’s all about stiffness. An even bigger disc is extra versatile, so extra mass provides rigidity. Once more, it provides weight however we determine should you want this a lot brake energy, we suspect you’re going to be much less involved about that anyway.

How do disc rotors connect to the hub?

Both through 6-bolt or Heart Lock. Because the identify suggests, six-bolt rotors include six small Torx or hex fasteners that allow you to tie the rotor to the hub. Heart Lock has a splined interface and makes use of a lock-ring to carry the rotor in place. Adapters obtainable to transform one to a different.