Back in November 2012, BikeRadar showed you Kettle Cycles' SiCCC carbon fiber disc brake rotors. With an actual weight of just 55g per 160mm rotor – half as much as Avid's latest stainless steel HS1 – the company promises that its rotors are lighter and perform better.
The common argument against carbon fiber disc rotors for bicycle applications is that they don't work well given the relatively minimal workload. Sure, they're used in Formula 1 cars, but they also have to heat up considerably before they provide any appreciable bite.
Kettle Cycles says it's cracked the code with a proprietary blend of carbon fiber, ceramic, and silicon carbide. This supposedly provides immediate stopping power even when cold or wet. The carbon fiber provides the strength, grip is generated thanks to silicon carbide's highly abrasive nature, and the ceramic is included to dissipate heat.
Even wear is claimed to be much better than with standard stainless steel rotors, despite compatibility with all pad types, including "sintered metal, organic, semi metallic, Kevlar, ceramic, and resin". The solid brake track should reduce pad wear in muddy conditions and, if Kettle Cycles' claims hold true, the ceramic component of the rotor should keep temperatures reasonable under heavy use.
Our ultralight SFL version landed on our doorstep this weekend and retails for US$99/£65.90 to US$179/£118, with black anodized titanium hardware included. Size options include 140, 160, 180, 200, and 203mm diameters. A slightly heavier two-piece version built around a molded carbon spider starts at US$89/£58.66. Worldwide shipping is available for US$19.99/£13.18.
Stay tuned for a first ride review, and for more information visit Kettle Cycles.
Kettle Cycles has managed to keep the brake track thickness to a standard 1.9mm