Ashima AiNeon


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.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • Mindless says:

    Three bolts? Stupid.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Interesting to note that Steve Peat uses only 3 bolts on his rotors, as do many pro racers and DH riders. It wasn’t long ago that 3-4 bolts were the norm? I prefer 6 myself though!

  • Mindless says:

    Nobody cares what a professional with equipment serviced by mechanics uses. Selling three bolt rotors to general public is profoundly stupid.

    Hubs are not designed to be loaded like that.

    • Vince says:

      Mindless- I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you’re not just trolling for bait. Sadly, a very large percentage of the people riding mountain bikes DO care what a professional (blah blah blah) uses. A Pro will subject their equipment to abuse that the vast majority or riders would never consider.

      Yes, they do have their bikes serviced after every race. But any smart rider also does a pre-ride check, as well as some form of maintenance, to keep their investment running smoothly.

      Are you sure about the hub designs? I’d love to hear the technical info that supports your statement. I’ve run 3-4 rotor bolts on my DH and all-mountain bikes without a hitch.

      I’d be more inclined to believe the rotor bolts themselves are the weak link, rather than the hub.

    • Bike4now says:

      In what world do you think the majority of riders don’t care what pro racers do? Tons of riders run 3 bolts only, with zero problems or effects. Never once have I had a problem on either my freeride bike or xc bike. dating back 12 years, to when I switched from v-brakes to disc. I would be interested in seeing your engineering statistics to back up your claims though. You must be basing your claims on data, right?

  • Pudding says:

    Simple answer to the above which appears to be turning into a prove it with engineering terms none of us really understand but talk the talk sounds clever and knowledgeable.
    Shown a formula for engineering stresses, completed in a lab, under lab conditions would read like hieroglyphics.
    Best just leave that stuff to those that can conceptualize it. 😀

    Proof of the pudding is in the eating(hence pudding user)
    Im not suggesting anyone try to digest one of these but instead buy a pair and put them to the test yourself,riding the conditions and speeds you normally do at your favorite trail.

    Before you do google pics of weight weenie rotors that have collapsed while under load.

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