Who switched up from 200 to 220 rotors on their full power 50pd E-MTB. XTR 9120 brakes with SRAM HS2 rotor?

mtnbikerva1

Member
Mar 19, 2022
32
9
Mid-Atlantic
Who switched to the 220 rotor?

Thinking of trying the latest SRAM HS2 2.0 thick rotor with the XTR brakes.
Wondering if the thinner and smaller and soft? Shimano ice tech rotor is under sized for the job of slowing down and stopping the PIVOT Shuttle AM FULL CX Race, 50 pound bike? Will the ice tech wear thin fast, and is it smarter to replace with the thicker and better? SRAM HS2?
Am I correct and assuming that the SRAM HS2 rotor will work great with the Shimano XTR brakes?
What should I know, it is my first E-bike?
I have a history as a cross country racer, and gravel, road rider. Also loved riding my KTM 300XC. Ran out of people and places to ride it. But man it is FUN!!!

Me 180-185 kitted rider.

My riding is in the Appalachian mountains and surrounding area so I’m riding all different types of terrain surfaces, and weather.

Your wisdom is appreciated.
 

mtnbikerva1

Member
Mar 19, 2022
32
9
Mid-Atlantic
There must be more than one person that went from 200 mm Shimano Ice tech rotors to 220mm Shiman/SRAM HS2/ Galfer, etc.
Terrible pads to buy?
Great pads?
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,166
2,100
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
There must be more than one person that went from 200 mm Shimano Ice tech rotors to 220mm Shiman/SRAM HS2/ Galfer, etc.
Terrible pads to buy?
Great pads?
Have Shimano M6120 callipers with Shimano D03S pads and M6100 levers. Silent one finger braking, plenty of feel. No point in mucking around with brakes and pads when they're better than me. Which they are.
 

shep

New Member
Nov 4, 2023
111
65
In a field
My stock SLX 4 pots are great.
Don't seem to burn them up yet.
Does thicker rotors change the amount of piston return travel?
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
192
Park City Utah
I haven't gone up to 220. I'm on a 47 pound Elite 3 and it's just not that hard to get it stopped. I did run HS2's on my G2 brakes on my donut bike and have run Ice Tech on those as well. They all worked fine but they have differences in feel and sound. Ice Tech rotors seem to warp a bit more for me. And piston position tends to self regulate, so having a rotor that is 0.2mm wider isn't going to make much difference. Kind of like throwing unworn pads on.
My son has a Ripmo with Shimano brakes and SRAM Centerline rotors. That's actually a pretty nice combo!
 
Last edited:

Planemo

E*POWAH Elite
Mar 12, 2021
595
699
Essex UK
The pistons would not have to extend as far. which is a good thing.
No they don't. Our hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting and therefore pad to disc clearance is dictated by master cylinder size/design, not the disc thickness. For exactly the same reason, you shouldn't be having to pull the lever further the more your pads wear.
 

mtnbikerva1

Member
Mar 19, 2022
32
9
Mid-Atlantic
No they don't. Our hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting and therefore pad to disc clearance is dictated by master cylinder size/design, not the disc thickness. For exactly the same reason, you shouldn't be having to pull the lever further the more your pads wear.
So are you saying the pistons do not extend out further when either a thicker disc or less wear, is used or the pads are thicker or less worn?
 

shep

New Member
Nov 4, 2023
111
65
In a field
The pistons would not have to extend as far. which is a good thing.
Yeah I get that but they have a return distance that is set.
Surely the thicker rotors will mean a closer running gap thus resulting in less space for dirt clearance.?
To me this would sound like a problem for warping and general grinding if the brake doesn't clear after each use.....
 

Planemo

E*POWAH Elite
Mar 12, 2021
595
699
Essex UK
So are you saying the pistons do not extend out further when either a thicker disc or less wear, is used or the pads are thicker or less worn?

I'm not sure I understand your question.

In short, the gap between the pad and the disc will be the same irrespective of disc or pad width. As pads wear, yes the pistons do come out further, but the on/off clearance remains the same.
 

Planemo

E*POWAH Elite
Mar 12, 2021
595
699
Essex UK
Yeah I get that but they have a return distance that is set.
Surely the thicker rotors will mean a closer running gap thus resulting in less space for dirt clearance.?
To me this would sound like a problem for warping and general grinding if the brake doesn't clear after each use.....

The return distance of the pistons between the lever being on or off is indeed set.

If you fit thicker rotors without retracting the pistons beforehand then yes of course the gap will be smaller. But we don't fit new discs or pads without retracting the pistons. So lets assume we fit a 2mm disc in place of a 1.8mm one. We retract the pistons as far as possible which for most calipers gives you excessive disc/pad clearance. We fit everything up then we pull the lever (sometimes a few times), the pistons advance and at some point will clamp the disc. We then release the lever and at this point the SET return distance occurs. The caliper and lever have no idea that theres a 2mm disc fitted instead of a 1.8mm one.

The only time a wider disc becomes a problem is if the caliper itself physically doesn't have enough clearance in the disc slot that runs through it (sometimes happens) or if the pistons, even when fully retracted, don't give enough clearance for the pad disc interface with the lever not pulled (rarely happens IME).

Both the above possibilities generally only arise for discs over 2mm. E.G. I would wager the 3.3mm hope vented discs would be a no-no for pretty much every caliper other than Hopes own.
 

Stihldog

Handheld Power Tool
Subscriber
Jun 10, 2020
3,080
4,283
Coquitlam, BC
Our senses seems to tell us when it’s time for a change. We may never find that “happy place” but we keep searching. Braking, suspension, grips, peddles, saddle, geometry …so many combinations.

Shortly after my Shimano rear brake failed, I switched to MT7’s. 220mm Magura rotors front and rear. I found that I was sensitive to the modulation of braking so I changed the rear rotor to 203mm Magura. That was a noticeable difference. Better modulation, less rear tire dragging, better stopping. But if the weight of myself and/or my bike was more or less…my braking configuration would likely be different.

I experimented with different pad compounds and found that a mixture of resin and metal was suitable for my type of riding. (Magura Performance).

I bleed my brakes more than I adjust my suspension. 🤷‍♂️
 

mtnbikerva1

Member
Mar 19, 2022
32
9
Mid-Atlantic
Our senses seems to tell us when it’s time for a change. We may never find that “happy place” but we keep searching. Braking, suspension, grips, peddles, saddle, geometry …so many combinations.

Shortly after my Shimano rear brake failed, I switched to MT7’s. 220mm Magura rotors front and rear. I found that I was sensitive to the modulation of braking so I changed the rear rotor to 203mm Magura. That was a noticeable difference. Better modulation, less rear tire dragging, better stopping. But if the weight of myself and/or my bike was more or less…my braking configuration would likely be different.

I experimented with different pad compounds and found that a mixture of resin and metal was suitable for my type of riding. (Magura Performance).

I bleed my brakes more than I adjust my suspension. 🤷‍♂️
Which Shimano brake failed but part and why? Why are you bleeding your brakes all the time? What brake pads have you used and did any of them fall apart or perform poorly, it’s good or bad on the different brake pads that you tried?
What is your approximate weight? What bike are you riding? What type of terrain are you riding? Tires?
Thank you.
 

Stihldog

Handheld Power Tool
Subscriber
Jun 10, 2020
3,080
4,283
Coquitlam, BC
Which Shimano brake failed but part and why?
Not sure what model. Could have been excessive heat from a very long decent. Calliper, pistons and rotor were all very hot. Newish brake pads were over heated after and likely garbage.
Why? Operator abuse. (Me)
Why are you bleeding your brakes all the time?
Usually every 4-6 months I do a ‘mini-bleed’. Small bubbles rise to the master cylinder and make the levers feel spongy. My theory is; Over continuous braking a small amount of mineral oil escape's past to pistons. This is necessary to also lubricate the seals. The oil may be replaced by some air. If the seal are worn out over time, more oil will leak and more air will enter. For the amount of times I use the brakes during a single ride …a few drops of mineral oil added to the system is not a big deal every 4-6 months.
What brake pads have you used and did any of them fall apart or perform poorly, it’s good or bad on the different brake pads that you tried?

I use Magura preformance brake pads(4) twice a year. Sometimes three times a year. Same Magura rotor(s).
What is your approximate weight? What bike are you riding? What type of terrain are you riding? Tires?
72kg. Trek Rail 9.7. Fire roads, steep terrain, loam, rocks, roots, creeks, snow , a jogger almost, and most things infront of me. 29”x2.6” Maxxis Assigia. CushCore in the rear only. 24psi.
 

Oakhills

Member
Jul 27, 2022
62
30
Oakland, California
I had 220mm SRAM rotors and went to the XTR 200mm icetech. Noticeably more braking power with no heat related fading. Longevity, not sure yet as I’m only on second set of pads for these rotors. I also use H03C metal finned pads with Saint calipers.
 

Husky430

E*POWAH Elite
Jul 8, 2019
614
1,024
Glasshouse Mts - Australia
There must be more than one person that went from 200 mm Shimano Ice tech rotors to 220mm Shiman/SRAM HS2/ Galfer, etc.
Terrible pads to buy?
Great pads?
I went from Ice-tek 200mm to Hope floating 220mm rotors and thought they had more power and a bit more modulation. They were coupled to Saint brakes which have great stopping power tho not too much in the way of modulation, sort of felt either on or off, so were a bit better with the larger rotor. The same rotor is now on my current bike after selling the older bike, so their longevity is good too.
 

mustclime

Active member
Apr 19, 2023
296
194
New Jerzy
I highly recommend the thicker 220mm rotors for anyone that likes to stop when they hit the brakes. 2 down sides, they weigh more and being larger they are closer to rocks and stuff on the trail. Once they are bedded in they are the best brake upgrade you can do.


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