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Hey all,

I would like to tell you about my ongoing dilemma. I (90 kg ready to ride) run a Shimano Saint brake setup on my Rocky Slayer along with Shimano RT-86 203 mm brake discs and H03C metal pads. The power this combination delivers is very nice, but I keep warping the rotors. I have had 4 rotors with this setup and after a few rides, I am punished with a metallic noise of a warped rotor turning inside the caliper. I used to bend them back with the Park Tool tool.

I was so annoyed, that I took the RT-86 rotors off and purchased a set of Trickstuff Dächle HD steel rotors with 2.05 mm thickness. They don´t offer the sheer aggressive bite, which the Shimano setup does, but they are quite close. Now, three weeks after the swap, the front rotor is warped and gives me that annoying noise while riding.

Is there any good brake setup, which is powerful enough to compete with the Saint - H03C pad - RT-86 rotor combination and is more resistant against warping?

I looked at Hope and Magura discs, but I don´t want to waste more money on something that doesn´t really work.
 

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bigger rotors are more likely to warp.

if your rotors get exposed to rapid heat cycles, they'll be more likely to warp. such as if they get hot on an extended descent and then get splashed in a stream crossing, but not exclusively this scenario. anything that causes rapid (and uneven) heat cycling can do it.
 

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Are you discoloring the rotors as well? Turning blue from heat that is.

It might be worth trying some larger rotors.

In fact, going to a TRP DHR-Evo might be a good solution for you if just larger rotors alone don't work. They run 2.3mm thick rotors to resist warping, and give more heat capacity (besides offering them in 223mm sizes). If reviews are to be believed, they're one of the top DH brakes right now (up there with Hayes Dominion).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's the ice tech, man. Run the 76's, problem solved.

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I may give them a shot.

bigger rotors are more likely to warp.

if your rotors get exposed to rapid heat cycles, they'll be more likely to warp. such as if they get hot on an extended descent and then get splashed in a stream crossing, but not exclusively this scenario. anything that causes rapid (and uneven) heat cycling can do it.
Ah well I use the bike for enduro riding. Just normal use I would say. Sudden heat drop is not likely to occur. Whenever I go down, I have to take quite some time to pedal back up.

Are you discoloring the rotors as well? Turning blue from heat that is.

It might be worth trying some larger rotors.

In fact, going to a TRP DHR-Evo might be a good solution for you if just larger rotors alone don't work. They run 2.3mm thick rotors to resist warping, and give more heat capacity (besides offering them in 223mm sizes). If reviews are to be believed, they're one of the top DH brakes right now (up there with Hayes Dominion).
No, they are not overheating. I am not sure if I can fit a 223 on my Rock Shox Lyrik (too much leverage for the brake mounts?) and furthermore a 2,3 mm rotor may be a very very tight fit. The 2,05 Trickstuff rotor was already a pain to set up with the required play.
 

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I may give them a shot.

Ah well I use the bike for enduro riding. Just normal use I would say. Sudden heat drop is not likely to occur. Whenever I go down, I have to take quite some time to pedal back up.

No, they are not overheating. I am not sure if I can fit a 223 on my Rock Shox Lyrik (too much leverage for the brake mounts?) and furthermore a 2,3 mm rotor may be a very very tight fit. The 2,05 Trickstuff rotor was already a pain to set up with the required play.
The Lyrik is certified for 223mm rotors, as are most of RockShoxes 35mm stanchion forks.

The two suggestions I had are separate, although they could be the same.

You are correct, the 2.3mm thick rotors are too thick to work in your shimanos. To use those you would need the TRP brakes designed for that thickness (the DHR EVO, and DHR Trail). The increased thickness would add heat capacity, and would resist warping better. This was in response to your question of "if there was any good brake setup that could compete with your Saints, but resist warping more".

However you can totally find other brands 223mm rotors, and use those. Galfer, Trickstuff, Magura, Hope, SRAM. All of them make 220 or 223mm rotors in either 1.8mm, or 2.0mm thicknesses that would work just fine with your current brakes. These larger rotors will ALSO resist overheating better than the smaller 203mm rotor, due to a larger surface area to dissapate heat, and a larger thermal mass that also takes longer to overheat.

However all of this was under the assumption that your brakes warping was due to overheating, which you say you're not doing. In which case, then the increased rotor size probably isn't the solution (but thicker rotors still could be). Are you somehow hitting, the rotors to make them go out of true? Because typically rotors don't usually go out of true by themselves if its not heat related afaik.
 

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Ice tech rotors warp because steel and aluminum cool at different rates. The 76's are fantastic rotors. Japan knows steel, has for a very long time.

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I'd give the resin pads a try before you switch brake systems, as those Saints are rock solid. I personally get better brake performance with resin pads- quicker stopping, no noise, less heat build up, and my rotors do not turn blue from heat as they did with metal pads. Admittedly shorter pad life- sometimes only 3 weeks if I'm living right and riding daily. (I only weigh 188 lbs / 85Kg) Good luck!
 

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I'm not a Shimano engineer but I've found that the Icetech rotors are subpar to some of the other rotors I've tried.

First, if you're the type that murder the brakes, consider upsizing your rotors, assuming your setup allows for it. For example if you're using 180mm rotors, try 200 or 203mm. If you're on 200/203mm, consider 220/223mm rotors. Larger rotors have more weight but they offer more braking leverage. This means a 223mm rotor will need less force to slow the bike than a 203mm rotor setup.

I use 223mm Galfer rotors (2mm) up front and 203mm (1.8mm) rotors in the back with Hayes Dominion A4's on MTX red label pads which are ceramic. I only use 1.8mm in the back because 2mm will have some issues with clearance (it'll fit but if they get hit, there's less room before hitting the chainstay).

Also, the type of pads you use matters. Sintered pads are notorious for holding in heat as they're more heat conductive than kevlar or ceramic based pads which are thermal insulators.

Discobrakes makes the Ceramic Pro pads, which are their softer compound, are silent, work almost no differently when dry or wet, and appear cleaner because the brake dust is white. However they're frequently out of stock on popular brake brands but you never know.

Gorilla Brakes offers 2 types of Ceramic pads. I've only used the Ceramic Nanotech pads which seems like a harder compound but I'm not sure. They also have an Enduro Ceramic but never tested them.

UK riders had me try Uberbike Race Matrix pads which are a kevlar blend. They make a kevlar grinding sound but they're quite good nonetheless.
 

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Another thing I forgot to mention is caliper maintenance. A lot of bikes that come my way are often in need of caliper piston balancing/cleaning/lube. When pistons don't hit the rotor at the same time, there's bias on which pistons are doing more work than the others.

There's a few videos out there to show you how to clean and lubricate the piston seals then clean everything up with isopropyl alcohol. Then you have to watch the pistons move out when you squeeze the lever. It's common for some pistons to move out faster than the others. If you see that, push the faster piston back in a little then try again until the pad surface hits the rotor as close as you can get it to being even across all pistons.

With Shimano calipers, I often find one side of the caliper pistons move out more easily than the other. If you see that, push the eager (faster) side back in a little then try again until the pistons move out uniformly.

When only 1-2 pistons (on a 4 piston caliper) are pushing the pad against the rotor, you create mini hotspots because the pad surface isn't making uniform contact via pressure across the entirety of the pad surface.
 
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