New Part Review – Alligator Serrated Brake Rotors

by Brian Mullin on March 30, 2007

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I wanted to save some weight on brake rotors so I looked into the Aluminum, Steel and Titanium versions that are made by the after market suppliers. I have never tried any of the after market brake rotors so this was going to be a fun and interesting experiment. I first looked into the Aluminum versions. The Aluminum version are very light weight and very expensive, for example Stans Al rotors are $95 each (ouch) and weigh 59 grams. His do have a special coating so if you were to go with a AL version I would use his. I have never used them so I can only go by hearsay on the forum and elsewhere. It seemed to be a hit or miss proposition. Next I looked at the Titanium versions which were light and only somewhat expensive, for example $55 and 80-85 grams. Of course there is a wacko version made by Carbon-Ti that is Titanium with a carbon inner piece and it is very light weight and extremely expensive $440 (wow!) and 62 grams. I’ll take two! Again from my researching there also seemed to a hit or miss proposition. So I decided to test out a steel version. I poked around and found a version distributed by Alligator Cables from Taiwan. I am not sure if its actually made by Alligator or A2Z or someone else, it tends to get a bit blurry who makes what. The techno babble is “Alligator Serration Disc Brake Rotor are High Grade Stainless Steel Disc brake rotors. Precision engineered to achieve high strength, and superior heat dispersion.” The 160 weighs 92 grams and the 180 weighs 113 grams. They actually weighed 91.8 on my triple beam scale. The triple beam scale (old school) is accurate down to .1 grams but can be a bit more tedious to use. I got it from an old friend and I did not ask what it was used for originally. The rotors sort of look like a Martial Arts throwing star or perhaps a power saw blade. I am glad the teeth are not sharp! I think they look kind of cool. I ordered a pair of the 160mm’s for my Ibis Mojo and have been testing for about 2+ weeks. I had a fairly fresh pair of the Kool Stop Aluminum backing plate XTR brake pads (9 grams lees then the normal versions) to test the new rotors with. It didn’t take to long for the everything to set in. I was amazed how much power the rotors gave me. And they seemed quieter then my XT rotors. They did make a ever so slight chatter noise sometimes but it was very subtle. I think that has more to do with the shape of the rotor then anything. When they got wet they did squeal like most rotors but they dried out extremely quickly. They dissipated heat and modulated extremely well and have incredible stopping power. They don’t seem to lock up as easily and can be feathered for use in technical sections. That was where I really liked them, I could feather the brake ever so slightly when in tough rock gardens and the shock wouldn’t dive on me. I saved 34 grams per rotor over my XT rotors, not to shabby!

Conclusions: Great place to save weight. The rotors modulate well, have great stopping power, great heat dissipation and the best part is that you can feather the brakes. Highly recommended.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

glovemtb October 31, 2007 at 11:11 am

Thanks for reveiw Pastajet. I will order a pair when I start putting together my Moj Sl build. 😀
glovemtb

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MG December 20, 2007 at 3:10 am

Great little write up. Do you happen to know what a set of Magura Marta SL or Avid 160mm Rotors are coming in at?

Thanks, Mark

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DrG June 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Avid Rotors come in around 105 – 108 grams for G2 and G3 clean sweeps 160mm.

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