The technical virtuoso at Ashima, Wayne Moore, had a couple of interesting multi layer rotors on display in his booth at Interbike 2011, including the Matrix and Spider Rider. He is always poking around with new brake designs and lightweight brake rotors, and I was surprised at the simple design of the AiNeon rotor. The AiNeon is a two-piece brake rotor, that is comprised of a stainless steel outer ring attached to a colored aluminum spider.
The use of the aluminum carrier and their lightweight rotor design, keeps the weight at a uber light 72 grams (measured at 71.3 grams), making it one of the lightest two-piece rotors on the market. According to Wayne, the power should be comparable to their AiRotor, with improved heat management due to the higher conduction rates of the aluminum spider. The outer ring looks exactly like their new Ai2 rotor, with the same cutouts and wavy braking surface, which I have been recently testing. In another weight saving design, the current model uses just 3 rotor bolts, which was a practice done by many weight weenies. I presume that a 6 bolt version will be following closely, since not everyone likes to run their rotors in that manner? The AiNeon will only be available in 160mm and 180mm sizes, with Red, Blue, Black and Gold aluminum spiders, and come with 3 titanium bolts. The 160 will be released at the end of April, and the 180 will follow in late May, and no word on pricing as yet?
I wonder if the trick Matrix and Spider Rider rotors that I saw at Interbike will ever see the light of day? The Matrix performs the same sort of trickery as the Shimano ICE system, combining steel and aluminum together, using each of their unique properties to make a well performing rotor. The Spider Rider is meant for the Freeride and All Mountain riders, and uses the same basic design as the Martix, but with a slight twist, it sandwiches in the steel a short distance into the aluminum carrier, creating a blend of lightness, strength and heat dissipation.