Review: Dirty Dog Web disc rotor

Dirty Dog Web rotor - on bike 2

In order to bring some of their unique and bombproof rotors down to more accessible prices and lighter weights, Dirty Dog MTB have recently released their first stamped product:  the 160mm Web rotor.  Where previous Dirty Dog products have taken full advantage of the creative freedom laser cutting allows, the Web is built in the same way as most rotors on the market.  Click through to see how the Web has fared after several months on the bike.

Spider!

Because it’s their first stamped product, the Web is so far only offered in a 160mm diameter, unfortunately keeping a matching set from being an option for anyone who’d like to run a bigger brake on the front wheel.  Less unfortunately, Dirty Dog’s other offerings are only available in 185mm and 203mm diameters: Avid-only sizes that Avid themselves have phased out.  It’s not the end of the world, but budget for an Avid adapter if you’d like to go that route.

With the provided (hooray!) hardware, the Web rotor weighs in at 120g.  To put that in perspective, I threw 160mm Formula R1 (80g) and Oro (130g) rotors and hardware on the scale.  The Web’s weight alone isn’t going to get anyone too excited, but is competitive with other $40 options.

Mounting each of the two Webs sent to the rear wheel of a different bike, they were both reasonably (though not perfectly) true.  I was able to get them going with a minimum of rubbing and they’ve stayed about the same since day one.  From the first ride, the Webs’ looks were polarizing.  Suffice it to say that you’ve probably already decided if they’re for you- or not.  Despite my usual ‘several hard stops’ bedding in process, I’d have to describe the Webs’ break-in period as exciting, with not nearly as much power available as I’d come to expect from Shimano XTR or Formula R1 brakes.  The relatively large spans of unbroken rotor seem to keep the rotor from grabbing properly at the beginning.  After several weeks, they’re much better- but performance still isn’t quite on par with most factory rotors.

For a first effort with a new production technique, the Webs work well and will add a bit of character to any bike.  The weight and cost are reasonable.  The size limitations and somewhat reduced performance, however, will rule them out for many riders.  I think that, with a bit of work (and a 180mm option, please), Dirty Dog could be on to something.

marc

www.dirtydogmtb.com

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