Found: Alligator’s Prototype Carbon-Kevlar-Ceramic Disc Brake Rotor

prototype Alligator carbon kevlar ceramic disc brake rotor for mountain bikes

Remember when we used rim brakes for mountain biking and ceramic brake tracks were the ticket for improved wet weather stopping power? Well, Alligator showed us this prototype carbon fiber disc brake rotor at Interbike with ceramic inserts.

While they were mum on details, the ceramic bits likely offer two benefits: all conditions braking friction and heat dissipation. Ceramic is often used as a heat mitigator in electrical applications, and it has a history of use on rims for better, more durable braking friction.

We didn’t get to weigh them, but they felt light. And the “wow” factor is off the charts. Could be just the thing for road bikes!

Related by name and parts type only, check out Gatorbrake’s equally radical goods from last year’s Eurobike here.


St.John - 09/28/12 - 10:51am

The rotor looks damn similar to the one developed by Alien Machinery we found on the Eurobike:
Skip down to Alien.

Psi Squared - 09/28/12 - 11:01am

We’ll see. The typical weakness of ceramic brakes is that they don’t brake as well when cool ad they do when hot.

brakes are brakes - 09/28/12 - 11:08am

Cool rotors, probably might be a nice idea for wicked descents where you might be laying on the stoppers for extended periods of time without having a chance to let them things cool off. And I’d say just the thing for on- OR off-road, because tiny, poor heat management rotors on ANY bike is a bad idea if you plan on stopping effectively. This might help those weenies get the much needed reliability in stopping power that they might be realizing they actually need, versus a handful of grams saved.

Simon Syefigh - 09/28/12 - 11:17am

“…and the WOW factor is off the charts!”

Yes, and it is the sole driving force for BikeRumor. WOW!

I bet you folks think you’re “insiders” who are “progressing” the “industry” with your crazy fluffing of whatever makes your lizard-acquisitive brain go “WOW!”

In the future, our bikes will do the ride for us, and we’ll sit at home watching the thing on our wrist-computers! We won’t even have to get sweaty, tired or possibly injured and we won’t even have to maintain our bikes!

Collin - 09/28/12 - 11:18am

Ceramic is an insulator, not a heat “mitigator”. The benefit or ceramics is light weight, and extremely high melting temperatures..

Mindless - 09/28/12 - 12:34pm


Steel works just fine, thank you. Even better – steel aluminum sandwich in Shimano “ice” rotors.

That is all that is needed.

tj - 09/28/12 - 12:37pm

They managed to get the words carbon, Kevlar, and ceramic all in one product. They’ll practically sell themselves based on that alone.

Chris - 09/28/12 - 12:44pm

@Simon Syefigh

You’re right. I’d rather these pages be filled with the new offerings from the big-box, Taiwanese made, giants. I want everything to be relevant to me and my bikes. All this interbike “fluff” is boring me so much I’m thinking about closing my laptop and going for a ride. Just one more look at what the “insiders” have seen though.

Jeremy - 09/28/12 - 12:46pm

Whoah – a rotor made entirely of insulating materials? Sounds like the worst heat-dissipation plan ever. 100% now goes into the pads/caliper. Not only a bad idea, it’s opposite the direction that the large companies are going, like the ice rotors that Mindless mentioned.

Yikes. Can just imagine these going on road bikes and seeing all sorts of new problems with lightweight calipers overheating.

Charlie B. - 09/28/12 - 12:54pm

Is the carbon spider bonded into the kevlar/ceramic braking area? Colour me nervous…

Canucklehead - 09/28/12 - 1:19pm

If the link St. John provided is correct about a 160 mm weighing 47 g – that’s roughly half of what the current crop of lightest 160 mm rotors weigh, and still less than 140 mm.

I have a 140 mm on the rear of my cross bike, and I’d much rather it be 160 mm. But there is failure concerns…

Andy - 09/28/12 - 3:24pm

Just cause you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Gregg C - 09/28/12 - 5:48pm

This might be the right answer for heavy braking. F1 cars use a carbon/carbon rotor with a carbon pad. They need huge amounts of heat to work properly (generate friction), like heat well beyond what would fade a normal car’s brakes. This may pair well as small rotors and long road decents may generate the heat needed.

Mindless - 09/28/12 - 6:48pm

..sure, and when you need to stop without preheating your break.. you can’t. Brilliant.

In any case, for insane weight weenies there are metal matrix brakes, on magnesium carrier, that are actually functional.

ds - 09/28/12 - 6:50pm

To Mindless – “That is all that is needed.”

How to stop any kind of evolution… Seriously this type of comment cannot be on this kind of web site.

It’s not if todays composites/ceramic are not adapted to low braking temperature that it will never have a future in cycling !!! And even if it’s not perfect I would enjoy testing one different piece of technology.

Matt - 09/29/12 - 4:01am

I read in an interview “Hope” tried making a carbon rotor once…. catastrophically failed after going down the first hill!

greg - 09/29/12 - 7:22pm

carbon/ceramic brakes (like on porsches, ferraris, etc) stop well, hot or cold. carbon/carbon brakes (like in f1, airplanes) require high temps to stop. two totally different animals, sharing our favorite word -carbon.

Josh - 09/30/12 - 7:08pm

Kill the messenger!

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