If you’re a fan of disc brakes and need to replace a rotor or go bigger to increase mechanical leverage, or indeed smaller to save weight and don’t need the extra braking force, here are six we’ve tested and rated for you.
The best disc brake rotors
Shimano RT86 Ice-Tech
• Price: £40 / $50 / AU$70
The sturdy forged Ice-Tech spider gives great rigidity and durability, while helping to keep weight for a six-bolt 160mm example to 113g.
An alloy mid-layer sandwiched between the braking surface’s outer stainless steel layers reduces pad fade, for instant bite and grip-testingly powerful retardation with no evidence of fade, just a mildly tortured squeak.
Braking Disk Wave S3
• Price: £44
Braking’s unique semi-floating design combines the integrity of fixed rotors with the warping resistance of floating rotors.
Made of 1.75mm competition grade steel, and our 160mm six-bolt example weighs 118g. Performance is impressive from the start, with a firm bite and easily modulated, seemingly limitless power, and they’re superbly consistent and quiet in the wet.
Hope Floating Disc
• Price: £40 / $58
These have an aluminium carrier, with six colour options, riveted to a laser-cut, heat-treated stainless steel braking surface to dissipate heat.
The carrier is thin but still rigid, helping a 160mm six-bolt rotor weigh only 102g. A wide braking surface maximises brake compatibility, and with organic RWD pads we found strong initial bite and progressive, powerful stopping.
SRAM Centerline X
• Price: £57
SRAM’s Centerlock-fitting 160mm Centerline X weighs 120g, and also comes in a six-bolt fitting.
The design is strong and they remained true. Initial brake bite is tenacious, and from there on you have the easily modulated choice of precise, fuss-free braking, or aggressive, arm-tensing stopping. It’s consistent in all conditions too, but they’re not cheap.
• Price: £30 / Check site for shipping to USA and Australia
The Alpine only comes in a six-bolt fitting, and Superstar says it’s not compatible with Centerlock hubs.
It consists of a 3mm thick 7075 alloy carrier with a 2mm stainless steel braking surface with dimpled, thin alloy inboard fins to shed heat. Our 160mm rotor weighed 124g, and although lacking instant bite, these proved to be powerful performers.
• Price: £35 / $50 / AU$60
These have a beefy alloy centre with a stainless steel braking surface attached by six rivets. They’re the heaviest here, but 127g for a well-priced 6-bolt 160mm rotor isn’t bad. They always stopped predictably with good, but not urgent force. We’ve found other highly perforated designs to howl at times, and these were no different, but it’s not too intrusive.