EB14: Jagwire Warms up to Disc Brakes w/ New Finned Cooling Rotors

jagwire elite cr1 finned brake rotor

Jagwire is jumping straight into the premium category with their new Elite CR1 vented 3-piece brake rotor.

The three piece design pairs a stainless steel braking surface with stamped aluminum fins pinned to them. Those sit on a forged alloy spider, which helps keep the whole thing very stiff.

They’ve benchmarked them against Shimano’s IceTech rotors, and they say performance is equivalent, even being a hair better, for the first 100 seconds they’re the same. And how often are you braking for 100 seconds? Performance, in their tests, refers to heat management. Theirs stayed a bit cooler during the first minute of braking…

jagwire elite cr1 finned brake rotor

It’ll come in 160mm and 180mm sizes to start.

jagwire elite cr1 finned brake rotor

Weight for the 180 is 147g.

jagwire elite cr1 finned brake rotor

The air scoops alternate directions to help pull heat out of the metal.

The key benefit is price. It’ll retail for 5% to 10% less than IceTech. Look for them to be €58 / $65 (160mm) and €59 / $70 (180mm). It’s also 6-bolt, which opens up mounting options.

They’ve tested it on lots of different brakes and haven’t yet run into any clearance issues caused by the finned air scoops.



mudrock - 08/27/14 - 7:41am

Another plus is they aren’t a laminate like the Icetech, so hopefully no melting issues like the Icetech had in that German test, sponsored by Tour mag i think.

wallymann - 08/27/14 - 8:51am

dont like the alternating scoops. maybe it doesnt matter at such a micro level. but conceptually you should be continually pulling cool air from one side and dumping warm air to the other side. in this case, you’re moving air back-and-forth from side to side.

granted maybe it doesnt mattter so much with such small scoops and such low speeds and temps. but in F1, MotoGP, etc, etc…airflow is managed carefully to maximize cooling.

the downside to the non-laminated design is that the interface between the rotor and the cooling appendage would be at risk to separate. even the slightest, tiniest gap or dirt or anything getting in there will impede the flow of heat-energy to the cooling appendage.

Tom - 08/27/14 - 9:05am

Looks good, but at only 5% less than Shimano, I don’t think many will be likely to experiment.

k - 08/27/14 - 9:21am

who has these problems? i ride huge descents and never have any issues with my regular ol steel rotors.

dlub - 08/27/14 - 9:26am

@tom. Unless they are running 6 bolt, and dig the freeza

Eli - 08/27/14 - 10:35am

Maybe use heatsink thermal paste like what is used in electronics to help transfer heat?

Dedge - 08/27/14 - 10:56am

The only heat transfer areas are the small stamps, it won´t help much in cooling the large breaking area.
Plus the scoops in alternate directions…

This rotor has not been studied for long.

CassMaster - 08/27/14 - 11:06am

@ Eli. Good thinking but That paste would spread to the rotors and contaminate your brake pads mighty quick. Most contain a mild oil to hold the silver and other components in suspension. Arctic Silver 5 MSDS http://goo.gl/XhHAFJ. (a well known thermal paste.)

dick lebolt - 08/27/14 - 11:12am

The picture shows a 6 bolt. I’m in!

nanci djreaux - 08/27/14 - 11:23am

“who brakes for 100 seconds?” when the local trail drops 1,700ft in 3.5 miles you brake for 100 seconds… and @k, i have no idea who has this problem. i mash on warped old formula rotors like it was nobody’s business.

John - 08/27/14 - 11:44am

@Tom: Agree with @dlub, the Freeza is currently only available in centerlock, but I still have bikes the with ISO disk brake (6-bolt) hubs from Salsa (OEM) and Chris King.

Androo - 08/27/14 - 11:46am


Looks like about 30% of the fins’ surface area is in contact with the steel. And aluminum has much higher thermal conductivity than steel, so it will have a disproportionate benefit.

I also don’t know if you can conclusively say that the scoops going in alternating directions is a bad thing. The way I see it, the scoops in one direction evacuate cooling air from one side of the rotor, while the alternate scoops evacuate from the other side of the rotor.

Presumably they have done more testing and evaluation than your cursory armchair analysis. Jagwire isn’t a tiny company.

JBikes - 08/27/14 - 11:49am

I agree with wallyman and many others.

I don’t understand this statement at all.
“They’ve benchmarked them against Shimano’s IceTech rotors, and they say performance is equivalent, even being a hair better for the first 100 seconds they’re the same.”

Anyway, on all these tests, how hard are they braking? I can probably drag brakes for a long time at low speeds and shallow grades. If I am braking at 1000W, the difference will be extreme. It be nice if they just gave us the rated power input for these brakes or at least the tests.

Keith - 08/27/14 - 12:19pm

Won’t the extra drag slow me down when I don’t want to slow down?

chasej - 08/27/14 - 1:23pm

I will definitely buy these as Shimano has chosen to only accommodate the Centerlock market with their Icetech.

Anybody who has smoked a rotor and pads on a long steep downhill (us fat guys and tandem riders) will want to get these. But they need a 8″/203mm!

Gillis - 08/27/14 - 2:23pm

@Jbikes, I believe he means that for the first 100 seconds the performance is better, after that its about the same.

@chasej, not sure if you’re smoking something other than rotors, Icetech rotors are available in 6-bolt.

CXisfun - 08/27/14 - 2:46pm

@Gillis: I think chasej is talking about Freeza rotors being CL only.

Dedge - 08/27/14 - 2:59pm

@Androo : I work on thermal projects for Airbus aerospace group…

JBikes - 08/27/14 - 3:49pm

I’m an engineer, work with engineers. Know lots of engineers that make/made incorrect assumptions and decisions.
I’m not saying what you said is false, I just don’t like people stating “I am a” or “I work…” to show intellectual superiority while discussing a complex subject where the only thing to inspect is a picture.

I’m assuming Jagwire’s benchmark test to the Icetech rotor was the same test, so the fins probably do something (or the test load isn’t high enough to matter). Whether that is because the scoops/design or not, very few of us can say. All we know is that it seems to benchmark with Icetechs for whatever load they applied in the test. For all I know, Icetechs don’t perform better than normal rotors. I’ve never actually seen the data compared to a same size normal rotor with equal cross drilling and the same brake load applied.

AbelF - 08/27/14 - 3:52pm

You can always get a centerlock to 6 bolt adapter.

AbelF - 08/27/14 - 3:54pm

Nahh, my bad. It apparently only works the other way around.

John - 08/27/14 - 4:12pm

@Keith: If only someone would invent some kind of levers, so you could, you know, turn on and off the whole braking thing whenever you wanted. :-)

WannaBeSTi - 08/27/14 - 5:01pm

For those who don’t know: Shimano does offer ICE rotors for 6-bolt. They offer them in an XT level and SLX level.

Keith - 08/27/14 - 5:33pm

@john: Hmmmm….you’ve got a good point there…;-) Thanks for seeing the humor in my post.

Gonzo - 08/27/14 - 5:34pm

I need these, I build big custom cruiser bikes, we do a ride down alpe d’huez in france each year, massively overheated my discs last year and had the scary moment of no brakes approaching a hairpin. The more faith you have in your brakes the harder you can push.

Mike Bechanic - 08/27/14 - 7:12pm

‘I just don’t like people stating “I am a” or “I work…” to show intellectual superiority while discussing a complex subject where the only thing to inspect is a picture.’

JBike nails it. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

William von Kaenel - 08/27/14 - 10:58pm

These could be great on tandems, which are the heat management canaries in the cage, but for this need to be in 203 mm.

Ripnshread - 08/28/14 - 1:07am

Could be cool…maybe they put thermal paste between the parts before riveting them together. My only armchair engineer (we are all armchair engineers cause even those of us who may actually be engineers in the cycling industry or other industries can not “know” without getting our hands on the product, lots of it, and testing it ourselves) comment would be that in my experience rivets wear out, and then rattle. Anyone remember Hopes early rotors?

Tom - 08/28/14 - 9:31am

Re the “centerlock only comments” between my wife and I we have 4 mtbs in the garage equipped with 6-bolt Shimano Ice Tech rotors.

Not quite sure where the idea that these are available only in centerlock originated.

dlub - 08/28/14 - 9:50am

@tom. You”re a custy. The idea comes from reality.

ACMI - 08/28/14 - 10:51am

Can I lighten up the discussion a little? A little OT, but what is that axle that he’s using? I’ve never seen that before.

Brad - 08/29/14 - 3:49am

This-”JBikes – 08/27/14 – 3:49pm”
One of the best comments I have ever read on this forum…

dedge - 08/29/14 - 5:55am

Well, if everybody like this way…

But as an engineer (what domain?) I though you knew the difference between conduction and convection. Here after some brakings, the aluminium part will expand more than steel, and the fins will float around their stamps. So the physical contact between aluminium and steel parts, very poor on static, will be even smaller when heated. You will have mainly a convection process, which is the least performant. So this is not optimal. Do not forget that after some use, the small space between steel and aluminium parts will be filled with dust, dirt, and water sometimes.
If you add that steel conducts temperature way less than aluminium, than you will see that the aluminium fan will remain very cool, and will not help a lot the braking area.
Plus the scoops that do not create a real ventilation flow that could evacuate away the heat from the steel band, and the vapor from the brake pads : take a look to Shimano Ice rotors, it clearly shows that an air flow is created when the rotor… rotate!

I would be suprised to see a thermal picture of the rotor during use, I am sure that the outer area will be a lot warmer than the inside.

Well, here is an explanation of my mind on this rotor.
I am ok with your point of view about people who claim more than they can really explain, and I should have started with this. But if you are as clever than you say, you should be ok with my mind.

Henry R - 09/02/14 - 9:36am

“Anyway, on all these tests, how hard are they braking?”

@JBikes – 08/27/14 – 3:49pm:
“For all I know, Icetechs don’t perform better than normal rotors. I’ve never actually seen the data compared to a same size normal rotor with equal cross drilling and the same brake load applied.”

Very good questions, why are so few people asking it?
Are the overload brakefading heat predictable enought to the user/customer?
German BIKE haven’t tested or written much about brakefades, which I find weird since they tests these really hard downhills with heavy load, and I usually see a modulation power rating, but not so much about the threshold.
Maybe it’s not so big of a problem my head likes to make? :)

Usually it’s an user-error, as it’s better to brake short and hard instead of dragging long and slow. I’d like to know how long time a 180mm needs to cool down 50 degree.

Too take an anedoctical story (which should NOT be confused as evidence), somebody told me that his IceTech suddendly stopped braking (quick brakefade), it didn’t have as graducal brakefade as the older steel-version has. Please note that he had a heavy load down a steep hill, so it doesn’t apply to many peoples.

Nick - 10/17/14 - 10:20am

Dedge is 100% right. The riveted-on cooling fins are pointless decoration on this particular rotor. I’d prefer the Shimano Freeza hands-down since the aluminum fins there start as a sandwiched laminate layer between the steel surfaces and therefore have a huge conducting area that’ll never be compromised by dust.

One thing that is laughable is that these Jagwire finned rotors were benchmarked against the Shimano Icetech rotors. First of all, Icetech rotors don’t have fins. The Freeza rotors have fins. Of COURSE the Icetechs will heat up faster. Secondly, a solid steel rotor (like these Jagwires) will have more total heat capacity than the sandwiched aluminum of icetech or freeza so yes, for the initial heating I’d expect the solid steel rotor to be a bit slower to heat up. Meanwhile, the Freeza is conducting that heat into its cooling fins at amazing rates while the Jagwire here is just heating further since its fins are largely decorative.

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