Ashima’s known for lightweight brake rotors and their pistonless PCB hydraulic disc brakes.
Carrying on that tradition, Wayne showed us their new D-Matrix multi-layer rotor. It’s their answer to Shimano’s Ice Tech for XC weight weenies. At just 60g for a 160mm, they use a carbon structure to reinforce the alloy carrier with a steel braking surface that’s bonded on then mechanically hooked into the carrier. This extra step is to address any concerns about the braking surface warping off the alloy under extreme heat.
There’s a DH version in the works that uses a top-secret grooved construction to attach the steel surface to the carrier for better heat transfer to the carrier. He showed us, but we couldn’t take pictures. It’s pretty wicked.
These things are normal. It gets wild after the break…
Small edges are “pinned” into the alloy carrier as a back up against de-bonding. The rotor is stock as a 6-bolt design, and the CenterLock adapter is a two-piece add on.
There’s two things on display here. The first is the rotor – it’s the two piece DH design that has a full steel contact ring that sits on an alloy carrier. How they connect is the “top secret” part (it’s pretty slick), but the other key difference is the distance between the steel and the alloy. Where many two-piece rotors have steel legs that run 1/3 to 1/2 way down to attach to the carrier, Ashima’s prototype puts the alloy carrier right up against the contact area. Wayne says this provides quicker, more complete heat transfer. There’s also a LOT more contact between the steel and alloy with this design.
The obvious (and second) part of what you’re looking at is the fan blade. This version currently tests as cooling about 5° to 6°. They’re messing with differed blade profiles to try to get it to about 10°-12°. If they can get those numbers, it becomes meaningful and worth consideration for production.
That’s all well and good, but:
He’s also working on a compressor-type air pump cooling system. This project is just getting started, not even into testing yet. The caliper sits within the slot on the right in the right hand photo and prevents the unit’s rotation. As the hub turns, it spins the compressor blades like a turbo, which forces air directly onto the caliper.
Ashima joins Hope Tech, Trickstuff and TRP in the mechanical-to-hydraulic remote reservoir. Ashima’s unit has developed from their road brake adapter originally designed around hydraulic rim brake calipers. These guys (all of them) better hurry up…we’ve heard rumor that this time next year we could see actual hydraulic shift/brake levers from at least one major manufacturer.