Our mountain biking cousins have long understood about pad and rotor combinations and now SwissStop’s tech is available for the road, too.
The SwissStop Catalyst rotors are made from high-grade SUS410 stainless steel for the brake track, running on a lightweight 7075-T6 aluminium spider.
The brake surface is 1.85mm thick on the 140 and 1.8mm on the 160mm; thicker than the SRAM Centrelines they replaced (1.6mm) with a super-smooth machined surface and rounded edges.
SwissStop claims that via the combination of design and material used its Catalyst rotors have class-leading thermal management and shorter stopping distances than its rivals when combined with SwissStop-compatible pads.
The RS pad was designed with roadies in mind. Its organic compound is mated to a slim back plate (1.6mm thick), which means more pad material for the weight, so they should last longer than a standard pad. The compound was developed to combine longevity with performance while maintaining low noise.
I’ve used the Catalyst and RS pads in wet and dry conditions and have come away impressed.
The rotors are heavier than either SRAM or Shimano at 119g for the 140mm and 138g for the 160mm, compared to Shimano’s Dura-Ace Ice Tech Freeza Centre-Lock Rotor 94g (140mm), 106g (160mm) at £64.99; or SRAM’s Red Centreline 2 106g (140mm), 119g (160mm) at £69.
I’m happy to live with a few extra grams because the SwissStop’s rotors have stayed arrow straight even after plenty of use. The feel at the lever is excellent with a ‘softer’ feeling contact.
Fitting the pads is simple, but I did need to make sure they were properly spread before fitting the wheel on the initial setup.
Wear seems good over the few hundred miles I’ve run them so far. The most impressive thing is the lack of noise even when braking from high speeds after a long descent. Quiet running like this is worth the purchase price alone.
This SwissStop combination is definitely an upgrade, even if you do add a few grams.
SwissStop Catalyst Rotor and Disc 34 RS pads details
- Brake surface: The Catalyst rotors use high-grade SUS410 stainless steel in a combination of design and material that’s optimised to reduce heat build-up
- Carrier: The rotor’s braking surface is connected to a central spider made from lightweight 7075-T6 aluminium to keep the weight down
- Disc pad: The RS pad material is an organic compound that provides plenty of bite and feel, it’s also thicker than on standard pads because the metal back plate is thinner
- Rotor: £57
- Pads: £27