Ashima PCB – First Look

by Brian Mullin on October 11, 2009

While I was at the Interbike 2009 show, I dropped by the Ashima booth, and had a nice conversation with the main man of Ashima, Wayne Moore. Wayne had on display a set of their new PCB brakes, and some colored rotors. The lightweight AiRotors brake rotor now comes in red, black, blue, yellow, and white! I got a trick set of the red ones to test out, and I must say that the colors really add to their uniqueness.


Initially, Ashima had recommended running the AiRotors in a reverse direction in comparison to other rotors, so instead of the struts rolling against the direction of rotation they go with it. The reasons were that the AiRotors lightweight struts perform significantly better under tension, since under compression, they are subject to bending forces. After some more research and analysis, Wayne decided that the normal rotor direction performed better, so “reverse was worse”.


Their new brakes are very radical and innovative. The PCB or PanCake Brake has no pistons, and instead operates using a diaphragm seal.


The design is very simple, lightweight, and has very thin calipers (25mm). The piston less design, gives an excellent response, simpler manufacturing, and has an equivalent area of a 20mm piston. The PCB just became a Design Award Winner at the Eurobike Show, so congratulations to Ashima for that achievement. A split pin with a center spring keeps the pads held against the diaphragm covers.


The red piping aids fluid transfer between the sides of the caliper, and should help with cooling. Wayne gave me a beta sample to test out and review, so it will be interesting to see how they perform? My short trip up and down the street after installation showed some promise, so I can’t wait to thrash them on some steep local terrain.

Ashima PCB measured sample spec
Front:
weight -185.9 grams
hose length – 29 inches
Rear:
weight – 209.9 grams
hose length – 57.5 inches


I really liked the PCB color combination with the red piping and accents, since it really worked well with all the red highlighting and my red/black DT Swiss EXC 150 fork on my Ibis Mojo.


Wayne has another brake in the works, the 4 pot APVS (Ashima Power Valve System). It has four pistons comprised of two pairs of axially mounted pistons. When the brake lever is lightly pulled (initial braking ), two 14mm pistons are engaged, and as a more progressive and firmer force (higher loads) is applied two 22mm pistons engage. It means it has the equivalent of 26mm pistons. This design results in better modulation with less pulling force. The red piping (same as the PCB) aids fluid transfer and cooling. The design sounds very trick, and I can’t wait to see how it performs on the trails.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin October 23, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Any updates on the new Ashima brakes? How do they perform? When are they going to be available to the public, and price point? Thanks, KevinK

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet October 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

They are still being prototyped, so no word on release date nor pricing, and I am not at liberty to release any performance info as yet. I will update asap.

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Taras December 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Who sells the AiRotors in colors in the US? I can only find them in plain steel.

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Pippo January 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm

excellent review as usual, even though you disclosed few details about the performance. i hope you'll write something more or post your considerations after a stress test with these brakes. regards

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet January 14, 2010 at 5:51 am

Taras,

In the US you might have your LBS contact or order from J&B Importers, that is the distributor.

Pippo,

As soon as I can release more information I will do so, and thanks for the interest!

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Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 3:22 am

Where is detailed review?

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet March 29, 2010 at 3:31 am

I crashed and broke a prototype set, waiting on the replacement set…

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Anonymous April 30, 2010 at 12:27 am

Brian,

Can you give us more info about these brakes? Price, release date, whatever you can tell us, please?

Thanks

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Hector June 17, 2010 at 5:45 am

Any news on the brakes? I am feeling kind of anxious :p. I really would like to get these brakes.
Thanks

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet September 3, 2010 at 6:26 am

Hector,
I will talk with Wayne (the main Ashima guy) at Interbike

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Giuseppe September 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

brian, please check my blog gpiersantelli.blogspot.com: there's a full product review of ashima pcb — unfortunately in italian, but google translate can help 🙂
http://gpiersantelli.blogspot.com/2010/08/test-ashima-pcb-pancake-brake.html
http://gpiersantelli.blogspot.com/2010/07/anteprima-impianto-frenante-idraulico.html

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet September 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thanks, I am meeting Ashima next week at Interbike and he is giving me the latest PCB to test

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Micah Zabaleta September 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I have a set of PCB's I picked up at my LBS here in the states. They are nice so far, however i read on their website they have a new diaphragm that makes a world of difference to the response of these. The site also says they will offer the parts to upgrade for other people who have already purchased. Awesome bit as far as customer service, now i just need to add Taiwan to my international calling plan… Let the people in charge know when you see them at interbike, their apparent attention to customer service is greatly appreciated in a time when less and less companies seem to hold such values.

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