Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
I have been extremely lucky to have had an exceptionally long term test period with the Ashima AiRotor. They are one of my favorite products I have used, not only because they work excellently, but they are a credible weight weenie disc brake rotor.
During my first foray to Interbike in 2007, as I wandered around in a daze, I came upon the KCNC booth, which Wayne of Ashima was sharing with Jacky of KCNC. I was having a great conversation with Wayne, and then I became extremely intrigued when he pulled out the beta version of the AiRotor. They looked wickedly cool, and then he did what any self respecting weight weenie would do, he put them on a scale for me. I immediately knew I had to have some for testing!
The AiRotors come in 140mm, 160mm, 180mm and 203mm sizes (soon a 185) in the ubiquitous 6 hole IS interface. They are made from 410 stainless steel that have a special high grade improvement, and they are heat treated to HRC 42. HRC is the Rockwall Hardness Scale, which is a hardness scale based on the indentation hardness of a material. An indentation hardness correlates linearly with tensile strength of metals. HRC 42 correlates to a tensile strength of approximately 194 ksi. The rotors are also double ground for superior flatness.
The AiRotors are now available in the colors, Red, Black, Blue, Yellow, and White!
Ashima was a West Semitic goddess of fate related to the Akkadian goddess Shimti (“fate”). The name Ashima could be translated as “the name, portion, or lot” depending on context. Wayne likes to call it “without limits”. In the Hebrew Bible, Ashima is one of the several deities protecting the individual cities of Samaria.
The expatriate Brit Wayne Moore is the main man at Ashima. Wayne himself was a designer/project manager with the US based parts supplier Teleflex Automotive, and 4 years ago he was on his way over to China to start a new job with Ford. He stopped in Taiwan to visit his wife’s family and ended up staying to help out with Ashima, which was the family business. Ashima itself was set up by his wife’s siblings who already had over twenty years experience making rubber braking products. Wayne had some disc brake technology experience while working for Teleflex, and he brought that expertise into the Ashima business.
The company has had exceptional growth over the last couple of years. They have the capacity to manufacture 1 million brake pads/month (rim or disk), and since 2008, they have sold over 70,000 AiRotor discs, wow! They have a couple of very innovative and exciting hydraulic disc brakes coming to market shortly, the PCB (PanCake Brake) which is piston-less and the 4 pot APV (Ashima Power Valve System). The PCB just became a Design Award Winner at the upcoming EuroBike Show, congrats to Ashima.
Now he just needs to practice up on his Mandarin!