Ashima sent along a set of their new 2012 Ai2 lightweight rotors for testing to coincide with its product launch at the Taichung Bike Week, which is taking place in Taichung Taiwan this week. Ashima has been making some very trick lightweight rotors for quite some time, and I have used their AiRotor product since it was in its beta stage. In direct comparison to the AiRotor, the Ai2 rotors are 20% lighter, have larger cutouts and a more wavy and undulating pattern, and the struts are steeper and have been additional bracing.
The Ai2 rotor looks leaner, and the 160mm version weighs about the same as the AiRotor 140mm version, and getting close the uber weight weenie Scrub rotors. They only come in 160mm and 180mm sizes, and should be available in early 2012, and although no pricing was given, they should be very affordable.
Measured Specs (160mm):
- AiRotor – 84.2 grams
- New Rotor – 66.6 grams
I have yet to test the rotors, so I can’t comment on how the cutouts, new pattern and lessened braking surface will work in real world riding? I assume that they’ll work pretty well, since the Wayne Moore, the designer and guru behind the Ashima braking products, tests them to extreme levels and pushes their paradigm “without limits.” I am still interested to see their very trick Matrix rotor when it’s finally released.
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 latest iteration has crimping to hold the steel braking surface and aluminum carrier together, and may have a retrofitted plastic fan between the hub and rotor, to provide a small cooling effect.
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