See other failures under 000.html.

Shimano disk brake rotor "melts"

Note that the material did not liquify; but it got close enough to a liquid state that it changed shape.

I have yet to craft a full report regarding our TRP HD/RD, but here's the cliff notes. Brake works great! Stopping power very good, modulation seems much better than the Avid BB7 and an overall design that just makes sense to me.

Important to note for those using Shimano ICE Tech rotors - the aluminum core compound of the rotor braking surface can actually melt! We had rotor issues on Mt Ventoux last week. No melting of any caliper related parts and no boiling of hydraulic fluid. But the rotor was toast! I'll post pictures up later.

I will say that the rotor failure very likely due to user error in that I used mostly rear brake (against my better judgement) saving the front brake. Now I'd be the first to tell you that this is not the best way to brake on a long descent. I was given some bad advice (to which I followed) to use the only the rear disc to brake and save the front rim brake for emergency stopping if the rear disc faded quickly. Now the logic may be that this would be the "safest" way to descend in that you will be able to safely stop. Safety at the cost of burning up your rear brake is probably a good hierarchy, but in retrospect, I feel that I could have used both brakes like I normally would have and then stopped to let the brakes cool down if they began to fade. Instead, the rear rotor got so hot that it melted...

It sounds like fiction but it is not, here's a photo

[DSC_0054.jpg]   [DSC_0047.jpg]   [DSC_0046.jpg]   [DSC_0045.jpg]   [DSC_0044.jpg]  

Selected text from follow-up postings:

The german "Bike" Magazine (MTB) undertook a test of a number of Disk-Breaks in its May- or June-Edition. They found, too, that the Shimano ICE Tech Rotors when tested for heat tolerance do fail quite early because of the aluminium core melting...


I referred to exactly this magazine ("BIKE"), but the article you offered a link to is from 12/10, i.e. December 2010. There was another test in June this year (BIKE 06/13) where again a range of disk brakes were tested. Shimano xt-brakes were testet with Ice-Tech rotors and their performance (in terms of heat-resistance) again was very disappointing: They then tested the xt with the shimano steel rotors, but that improved the performance only marginally. In other fields of performance like modulation or brake-power the shimano fared well, but in the field "heat-resistance" the xt with Ice-Tech rotors scored only 1/6 (160mm) and 2/6 (180mm). They wrote: "It has problems even with a 75kg man". The slx was tested with steel rotors and scored badly, too, becaude of early onset fading: 2/6 (180mm) and 3/6 (203mm).

I´m in the process of building up our new (first) tandem and the Shimano brakes with Ice-Tech looked very attractive to me, but obviously they do have a heat problem. I´m pretty much decided now that I will use a Magura.

Sorry, I can´t offer a link, but that issue of the magazine should also be trouvable at dropbox under "Bike 2013 06.pdf"

We just completed a tour of the Rhine / Mosselle rivers in France and on a descent from one of the castles we managed to melt a Xt ice tech rotor. Actually two of use did it on a 200 meter elevation loss 15% grade descent. I had a standard ice tech rotor and Hy/Rd caliper. The other tandem had a special machined Ice Tech saint rotor with the extra aluminum cooling fins and they melted the rotor and cooling fins. He was using a Bengal caliper. We are both experienced at steep descents. I replaced the rotor with a two piece Hope rotor and had no further trouble. The Hy/Rd worked very well although cable tension is critical for optimum performance.