Author Topic: Are ice tech rotors worth it?  (Read 842 times)

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Offline coop3422

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Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« on: January 10, 2018, 07:05:39 PM »
Last year I did a bunch of upgrades on my bike, one being the brakes. I picked up some Formulas RO's on pink bike locally, but got screwed since the front piston is seized. The guy said he'd take a look, haven't had time but not holding my breath.

Instead of having them repaired, I'm thinking of just buying a set of XT M8000. CRC has them for $116 CAD an end. They also have a package with ice tech rotors, but I was wondering if they really make much of a difference. My bike has 203mm rotors, I'm assuming the originals from 09. My bike is an 09 specialized Pitch Comp. Trail riding with some downhill resorts too. Are the rotors worth the extra $80?

Thanks

Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 08:41:46 PM »
I've been on 8" ice tech rotors since they came to market, and they are the only rotors I've run that haven't warped. Ever. 5 different 7-9" travel DH bikes, 20-30 riding days a year, for years. And I'm a hack who burns up a lot of brake pads haha.
I'm sure other rotors have caught up, but I'd buy then again for my DH bike.

I've owned Formula the Ones (on DH bikes), a friend jas ROs and I currently have XT m8000s on my carbon Trance. Obviously brake feel/modulation is a personal thing, but in terms of stopping power and fade the ROs are in a different universe than those XTs. My Ones are nearly as powerful as my Saint m820, with similar modulation and zero fade, and the ROs feel even stronger. I see brake fade on relatively short DH sections with my XTs on my trail bike. And, in terms of stopping power, they aren't anywhere near as strong as my old Ones.
For a bike that is going to see DH bike parks, the RO is far better IMO. And it's still light enough for XC.
I only stopped riding my Ones when Trident? (whatever shop in BC that used to work on them, Manitou etc) stopped fixing them years ago. The guys at Calgary Cycle told me last fall that S4 suspension in Quebec services Formula brakes in Canada now. I'd contact them to see what a rebuild would cost before dropping money on new brakes. I absolutely hate my Shimano brakes, and my hatred urges you to consider other options if going new haha
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Offline Longlivetheride

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 09:48:33 PM »
Last year I did a bunch of upgrades on my bike, one being the brakes. I picked up some Formulas RO's on pink bike locally, but got screwed since the front piston is seized. The guy said he'd take a look, haven't had time but not holding my breath.

Instead of having them repaired, I'm thinking of just buying a set of XT M8000. CRC has them for $116 CAD an end. They also have a package with ice tech rotors, but I was wondering if they really make much of a difference. My bike has 203mm rotors, I'm assuming the originals from 09. My bike is an 09 specialized Pitch Comp. Trail riding with some downhill resorts too. Are the rotors worth the extra $80?

Thanks


Ive been a big fan of the Shimano systems i think for the bike you are doing depending how much you weigh. You could run a 180mm a be happy or 203 from 180mm rear.

The formula thing is a funny one. Trident in BC was the distributor for them but then Formula opened up their own office in Canada which shut down what felt like a year later after opening. They are a nice brake but i found hard to get parts for and incosistent inventory ven though some brands like Rocky, Norco and some other brands were specing them as OEM  . Once in the shop i had a customer bring in a set of formulas 4 and they were sealed shut and when we opened the bleed screw the rubber internal bladder tried to escape (which was a tiny 2mm hole) . From talking with formula they are pretty sensitive about the dot fluid used and can cause the rubber seals and bladder to swell making the brake lever useless and require complete replacement.

I have been overall very happy with Shimano the ice tech rotors are a welcomed upgrade and hold up the best of any rotor i have seen in a while


If you can get a new caliper for a descent price or be able to service the RO caliper they are nice brakes
 

 

Offline coop3422

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 10:13:38 AM »
Hmmm, sounds like it might be worth trying to get these RO's fixed then, eh? When I picked them up he had two fronts, which I thought was strange. He said they all worked, he just picked them up for parts. He was surprised when I told him my shop sad the piston was seized and offered to bleed and look at them. Think I'll exhaust that route then before buying new ones. The rears are on and work fine, even with worn pads.

I've been on 8" ice tech rotors since they came to market, and they are the only rotors I've run that haven't warped. Ever. 5 different 7-9" travel DH bikes, 20-30 riding days a year, for years. And I'm a hack who burns up a lot of brake pads haha.
I'm sure other rotors have caught up, but I'd buy then again for my DH bike.

I've owned Formula the Ones (on DH bikes), a friend jas ROs and I currently have XT m8000s on my carbon Trance. Obviously brake feel/modulation is a personal thing, but in terms of stopping power and fade the ROs are in a different universe than those XTs. My Ones are nearly as powerful as my Saint m820, with similar modulation and zero fade, and the ROs feel even stronger. I see brake fade on relatively short DH sections with my XTs on my trail bike. And, in terms of stopping power, they aren't anywhere near as strong as my old Ones.
For a bike that is going to see DH bike parks, the RO is far better IMO. And it's still light enough for XC.
I only stopped riding my Ones when Trident? (whatever shop in BC that used to work on them, Manitou etc) stopped fixing them years ago. The guys at Calgary Cycle told me last fall that S4 suspension in Quebec services Formula brakes in Canada now. I'd contact them to see what a rebuild would cost before dropping money on new brakes. I absolutely hate my Shimano brakes, and my hatred urges you to consider other options if going new haha

I'm surprised you're not a fan of your XT M8000's. Every where I read, they get glowing reviews. Only down side seems to be modulation, which is personal. I was looking into Guide R's, but the reviews are pretty bad and they're more money than the XT's.

Thanks guys.

Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 09:36:56 AM »
I dislike my XTs for two reasons: one - modulation on the XTs sucks compared to every other brake I've owned in the last 10 years. the second reason is the amount of maintenance that my Shimano XT and Saint brakes require.

the bite point on my Saint m820s tends to start wandering all over the place before the end of its 3rd riding day. and it's not hyperbole - the last 4 times the inconsistency started was in the afternoon of my 3rd riding day (after a fresh bleed). my best run on my Saints has been 5 full days between bleeds. once it starts, I can literally go from pulling the levers right to the bars before the pads bite on one corner, to having full lockup after 0.5mm of pull on the next corner. and everything in between. the front brake is always worse than the rear, but both start doing the same thing within a run or two of each other. it's a wonderful trait to experience on one of the most powerful brakes on the market.
I've had them into Calgary Cycle numerous times, even gave Bow a shot at them. sent them away and Shimano told me there was nothing wrong with them.

the inconsistency/sponginess happens with my XTs after 2-3 weekends, but not to the same extreme. certainly nowhere near as dangerous, and it's far more gradual. but IMO 3-4 bleeds a season is unacceptable for the small amount of ride time I put on my trail bike. my Ones went almost 3 full seasons between bleeds on a damned DH bike, and I rode a metric itshay ton back then. even my Elixirs could make it a full season on a bleed, and they're Elixirs!

my maintenance beef is certainly compounded by the fact that most, but not all, of my friends have had the same experience. two close friends (husband and wife) bought the exact same trail bike that I have, and both of them have experienced worse inconsistency issues with their XT 8000s than I've had. one of my wife's best friends ha XTs on his enduro bike, and he's a solid 60lbs heavier than me, yet his XTs have been flawless. he absolutely loves them.
it's no different with the Saints - I know several people who ditched their Saints for the same issues I have, yet a couple of locals I see quite a bit at KH claim to go an entire season without bleeding theirs.
it's a bit baffling, but my experience with Shimano brakes has been largely negative.

so YMMV...
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Offline coop3422

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 01:48:52 PM »
Great insight, and thank you. Not knowing when your brakes are going to bite would be too sketchy for my liking. I'm going to try to get the guy to re-bleed my front, as per his request. Then he'll find the piston is indeed seized, and I'll go from there. Kind of ittshay, but I guess it's only $200 lost on them if it doesn't work out and I have to buy something else entirely. The issue is, at that price point, The Guides seem to have even worse reviews than the XT's.

Offline Longlivetheride

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 04:09:50 PM »
Ive been overall pretty happy with the saints and XT's i have run. I would Agree with unholysabage that the bleeds seem to happen more on the saints then they have in the past. I usually do 3 bleeds a season on the downhill bike and about the same on the enduro each time lubricating pistons and checking hardware for unnecessary wear. some shops are very good about caring for the fluid and not leaving it exposed and some are not and can have an effect on the quality of the bleed

Offline Anskiere

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 05:28:00 PM »
I love my XTs

Offline soulindk

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Re: Are ice tech rotors worth it?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2018, 03:20:06 PM »
I have Shimano Zees on my DH and I have not been happy with them. It doesn't matter how many times I bleed them, each brake is very different from the other and one will usually go right to the bar before there is any power.

I've been considering getting a set of Hopes for my DH.

As for rotors, I couldn't comment much because of the huge amount of inconsistency between my brakes from one ride to the next.
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