Since our first experience with Kettle Cycles’ SiCCC (Silicon Carbide Carbon Ceramic) brake rotors, founder Aaron Stephens has been very, very busy. And not just filling orders – he’s added metal brake pads designed specifically for use with the composite braking surface and reworked the adhesives and resins to make the rotors stronger.

The new 2014 F-Series rotors use a revised carbon / ceramic ratio that makes it much stronger. Their production process moves the rotor from the heat mold to a furnace, where they’re subjected to high heat for up to two weeks. In testing, the new version is as strong after one heat treatment session as the originals were after eight sessions. Furthering the strength gains are improvements to the ceramic bonding between carbon layers and final stage production methods.

Of course, rotors only need to be so strong, but by making them stronger, he’s able to grind them a bit thinner, letting them fit better in a wider range of calipers. The changes also seem to have helped Aaron catch up on production, too, and he’s come up with a few additional ways to improve forecasting and operation, all of which mean a better deal for you…

With Kickstarter orders done and the decision to discontinue the two-piece rotor design, production is running a bit smoother. But, being a small operation that’s hand made to order in house, any surge in demand can cause instant delays. The solution? Offer a bit of a discount for customers willing to wait. Simply indicate you’ll take a 40-day (promo code: 40days) or 60-day (promo code: 60days) delivery and you’ll get 10% or 20% off, respectively. Normal delivery time is currently 3-4 weeks.


When I first tested them, the braking performance was only about 3/4 of what I was used to. After much discussion with Aaron, the culprit was the brake pads. I’d heard he had wrapped up development on his SiCCC pads a little while back, but now we’ve finally got a set of those and the new rotors on the way for proper testing.

The SiCCC pads are a metallic formulation, but not standard metallic or semi-metallic pads. And they’re only for use on the SiCCC rotors, not traditional steel rotors. He’s got them in stock for the following:

  • Avid ’09-12 Elixir (all), ’10-12 XX WC, ’11/12 XO
  • Avid Juicy (all), BB7
  • Avid X0 Trail (4-piston)
  • SRAM Road Hydraulic
  • BFO + MAGURA Marta SL 09, Louise 07, Bat, Carbon, Julie hp
  • Formula (non oro)
  • Hayes Prime Pro/Expert
  • Hope 09+ Tech M4, 04-08 Mono-M4
  • Hope 09+ Tech X2, 09+ Race X2
  • Magura 2012+ MT series
  • Shimano G-TYPE/F-TYPE (M988/985/785/666/675/CX75)
  • Shimano M820/M640 (4-piston)
  • Shimano A-TYPE (M975/965/800/765/601/585)
  • Shimano B-TYPE (M575)  AND TRP HY/RD, Spyre, Hylex, Parabox 2012

All retail for $35 per wheel and use the stock return spring from the calipers. Note the SRAM Hydro-R and TRP road calipers among the offerings, which should make for a great addition to ‘cross bikes.

Lastly, he’s added the ability to have your rotors color coordinated with your bike. The center part gets sent off to a local painter where the braking surface is masked off before your choice of light blue, dark blue, red, green, white or black is applied. It adds $24 to $30 to the rotor price and 10 days to delivery time.


  1. And the advantage of using these carbon rotor/metal pads adverse steel rotors/metallic or resin pads are? My Shimano XT with semi metallic pads works really well and never fade so how will these make me want to switch brands of brakes? If I had SRAM it would swap in an instant; )

  2. I had the originals and once past the break in they worked awesome. However, with a new fork that used 180mm rotors it was too expensive of an upgrade so I went back to regular rotors.

  3. I got the second gens and they would not stop, did the required bedding with their pads. End result pads lasted 2 rides- going down hill the brake pressure was normal and trying to stop as the pads were grinding away was not fun. Called them 3 times to let them know my issue, each time they said no problem we will take care of you, it’s been over a year and have never heard from them again. Bad customer service. Rotors are now paper weights

  4. This is exciting stuff. Innovations like this is what will help to drive industry forward. Makes sense that the first batch weren’t everything to all people, but here’s hoping that Kettle Cycles manages to keep the march of progress going.

  5. I’d recommend you stay away from Kettle Cycles!!! We (Sovereign Cycle) were a dealer for their rotors with a fairly significant investment in stock. They were terrible and not just in the rain – they were frightening in dry conditions as well. I sent our entire inventory back to Aaron in November or 2013 and despite many efforts to get in touch – we’re still waiting for a refund. Consumers, consider yourselves warned; this is a shady business.

  6. would be great to see a company reward early adopters of new technology with some sort of discount upgrade program – i taste the pain of these riders

  7. These guys, and their products, suck. I had their kick starter originals and they were terrible. I bedded them over and over and they were worse then wet rim brakes. To top it off their customer service sucked. Never returning emails or voice messages. When I could get hold of someone it was always so and so isn’t here they’ll call you back. Eventually call them back, run around again. Repeat over and over.

    Finally got replacement rotors and they were exactly 2.1% better. Or basically they sucked just as bad in exactly the same way. No response from Kettle. They are sitting on my shop bench as a reminder to make sure that every time these guys up I make it known exactly how terrible they are and how badly they treated the people that supported them originally (Kickstarter funded).

    Boo Kettle!

  8. Oh and do not trust any of their “testing” claims. They very clearly do not apply any real form of testing to their process. Their propaganda has been proven, in practice, as completely without merit.

  9. I had 1st gen of the rotors and even with the new pads they DONT work!
    The CS is terrible as well. Definitely cant reccomend.
    Stay away from them!!!

  10. Warning. Unsafe brakes prone to massive fade. Plus they go out of true.

    Supported the Kickstarter campaign thinking these would be good on my race only wheelset. Used the pads they recommended but on descents had pad fad e and once ending with a dangerous uncontrolled exit off the track. Had done the same descent (fast XC but not a DH style track) two times a week for two year on Hope two piece rotors which are on my training wheelset and never an isssue. After about ten hours of ridding time the front 180mm was so far out of true it hit on the caliper mounting lugs and the rear 160mm rotor drags a heap. Plus like others have indicated they are devoid of interpsonal skills. Have sent my rotors back months ago. They sent a couple of one line emails back to me that barely make sense and the communication certainly has not explained what is happening.

    I will be spreading the word far and wide as to how disapointed I a with Kettle and their product.

  11. There are some crazy haters here so I need to voice an opinion. I’ve supported a few kick starters I believed in, this one has been my favorite. You kick starter guys realize kettle is a two man crew trying to innovate with zero resources? It’s easy to sit on your computer and hate and criticize though isn’t it?

    Man I’ve been riding these rotors since the day I got them, yea they took longer than I thought to get and gave me a few oh shit moments but after trying several different pads and breaking them in right they were great, on point even on some extra grimy muddy days.

    Personally I was satisfied with my rotors,two weeks ago though I put on their new pads and they are legit, truly sick! With the new pads they are all I hoped they’d be plus maybe a little overboard. I definitely grabbed a handful of front break and almost jacked my self catapult style over my bars. Dude if these guys survive all the negative jack@sses out there I see good things coming from them down the line. I felt like I gambled a little with my money at first but but at this point I’m a supporter, I hope these guys make it through the bullsh!t, I love seeing grassroots innovation. Aaron keep it up, you’ve got people out here behind you! I want another set for my cross bike, and make some for my Ninja while you’re at it! Keep it up guys!

  12. Anyone with half an clue of material science would know this is a sh1te idea. Ceramic rotors on a push bike, ha ha ha.

  13. I supported the initial Kickstarter campaign, and never received anything – at least you guys actually got something – they couldn’t even be bothered to reply to my emails. Awesome customer service. So glad I helped them get it off the ground…..

  14. Let’s see, failed deliveries, un-true rotors, brake pads not delivered, product that didn’t work. E-mails not returned.

    Sure, lets try them again…

  15. I had the gen 1 and a replacment c processed rotors which they were happy to replace for free. Tried every type of pad too and after a year gave up and went back to my xt rotors. The original rotors had 3/4 of the power. They did not suck, they simply weren’t great and bairly good. I also had a slow customer service which is a common complaint of a small company suddenly being influxed with a huge kickstater campaign. So I don’t blame them for the slow return times

    That said, I would still give them another shot. The ceramic rotors are not a new technology so it should work, they are simply new to biking.

    I credit these guys for trying to actually push, test, and improve on a new innovation in cycling, which takes a huge risk the them. Hopfully they can deliver on the promis this time.

    My caveat, fool me once…,

  16. I’ve got some of the 2nd gen c processed Kickstarter discs (ones with the stronger hub) used with Uberbike Kevlar pads and… I quite like them. The wait while they turned up sucked but I’m in aerospace R&D so I know things take time and don’t work first try sometimes.

    Got rid of the horrible vibration/squeal I had on my Elixirs. Pad life is ok. Some drag with new pads ‘coz the disc is thicker. Getting mud and grit on them sounds nasty until it wipes off (proper nails down a blackboard style). Much, much less fade than my old steel disc/sintered pad combo. Looks wicked on my black/gold Specialized Epic Evo (yeah I’ve got a Spec too, haters). Power is ok, but I’d have maybe gone 200/180 instead of 180/160 with hindsight. Shed a chunk of weight off the bike (about 150 grams if I’m remembering it right)

  17. Gotta wholeheartedly agree with all of the negative comments listed above. This is a really poor product and the company is not worth supporting in any way!

  18. My favorite bit of this article is “With Kickstarter orders done and the decision to discontinue the two-piece rotor design, production is running a bit smoother.”

    As an original participant of this fiasco, I still have not received anything from them. I consider myself out $165, fair enough. But for them to claim all orders filled gets my blood pressure up to say the least…

  19. I have a set of the first ones , they are so warped new that I could not use them , I can not believe they sent them to me

  20. I think these rotors were manufactured by Fisher-Price. They give them out with Happy Meals now so that you and your kids can play Frisbee.

  21. I jumped on board with the original Kickstarter campaign and ordered 4 rotors with hopes of using them at CX Worlds but did not receive them until the week after. Original rotors were warped and could not be tuned to work with Avid BB7 SL or TRP Spyre’s calipers and still had rotor drag/rub on Shimano XTR M985 calipers. Returned for c-processing and was rewarded with 2nd gen and carbon brake pads but the pads for the drilling of the mounting holes for the TRP Spyre calipers was way off and had to be reworked. Braking was very grabby and worked pretty well on XTR calipers and reasonably well with TRP Spyre but regardless of the caliper, anything other than very light action produced squealing that was loud enough to wake the dead! So after reading this and despite getting excellent braking from Shimano Icetech 6-bolt and centerlock rotors as well as having 10 Kettle carbon rotors and a bunch of carbon pads in a box in the workshop, I am still curious but will wait until there is feedback on the F-processed rotors.

  22. Dude, never again. After a year long saga ending finally ending with “c-processed” rotors and sicc pads I was left wondering “why did they even bother making these?”

  23. I really wanted to like them… so badly wanted to like them. But the reality is that my experience was just as bad as any other kickstarter backers. Less stopping ability than the rubber bung on the front of a roller skate, and fairly badly out of true from new. I don’t mind being out of pocket for a kickstarter program that I wanted to support, what bothers me is that anyone that actually tried the gen 1 rotors would realize they were horrible. Did you guys not actually ride these before you sent them out? I would have rather given the $180 and received nothing rather than receiving these abortive root pig rotors.

  24. the paint on them looks stupid, irregardless i have never been interested, and from the sound of the customers that did support them…they ended up getting screwed.

    this company is going to have a tough road ahead with all the negative comments. it is one thing to have a defective product or a product that really doesn’t perform/function properly, but to have terrible customer service, well that is not OK. maybe just turn out the lights and close up shop.

  25. Where there is smoke, there is fire. In this case a huge inferno. I too bought in to the kickstarter campaign knowing it was new ground.

    The prior comments were spot on, Kettle should provide every dissapointed buyer, which is the bulk of us with a significant, if not free set to lure us back. I found the braking to just so so, biggest problem were they weren’t true when brand new. That is BS.

    This is one my super negative Bike Rumor inspired purchases. Actually the only one that has been a complete stinker.


  26. I held out buying a set until I felt they had things sorted out with the performance. I finally purchased a pair once the pads were released in June. I gotta say this rotor/pad combo is the best I’ve ever had. They’ve had a very rough beginning but it seems maybe these guys finally got it right.

  27. My set is setting on my work bench. I can’t believe how terrible the braking was. Granted, I’m a bit spoiled by my XT brakes, but these are straight up dangerous. I love the thrill of mountain biking and pushing my limits, but I’m not trying to make it any more dangerous by eliminating my ability to stop when needed.

  28. John Stein whos hating? The truth is I spent some serious cake through kickstarter to get some carbon rotors and they are warped, They cannot be used , they should check to see if the product is useable before shipping if they cant do that they shouldnt take my money…alot of people here called them to get thier originals replaced and still had a alot of probs, I said what the hell if they cant send me straight rotors , Im not waisting any more time with them , thats what happened , no hate, I moved on and enjoy riding my bike.. btw the new ones look ugly..just sayin

  29. Mr Stein, My experience is that Kettle have sold me something that should not have gone to market in the first place. A major emphasis of the marketing was that they could handle a lot of heat. I was told to use std Shimano resin pads. Initial contact felt good, poor was always poor and on long descents I had massive pad fade. From thier own info

    “… performance is available instantly: no warm-up needed. Hot or cold”.

    With only moderate use I now have carbon fiber tacos. The front went so out of true when used for the last time the front wheel had to be run with the disc on the drive side so the wheel would spin and I could ride back to the car park. We are talking brakes here. I expect them to be safe. These items were not ready for market. “Hater”, heck I backed them and hoped the best for this product and up start company. If their support worked and they would communicate with me I might persist. I have attempted to contact these guys and am yet to here back from them – it’s been months.

  30. Got the 1st generation ones backed from Kickstarter, still having them in my 26er married with XTR Race Brake set and normal shimano pads. The discs are diferent from all others i have tried before, what should be more than expected, this is a product pushing in to the development of new braking solutions.
    Despite the lower braking performance i still feel good in having supported this guys in to developing a new solution. And never had a problem stopping my bike!
    Think they should have writen somewhere “only for riders under70kgs”.
    Later i got the C processed version, wich i use in my 29er, with Formula R1 Racing brakeset, normal formula pads too, got the specific pads from kettle free but never instaled them, still in the box.
    By these days i receyved 3rd pair for a friends bike. Each version looks more feined than the previous, also an extra 10g in each rotor.
    Sometimes i ride my friend bikes and instantly note the extra braking force, but i still love my SICCC rotors!
    Love the way they acelerate my bike when i hit the brake lever!! Ironics…
    I´m a kind of guy who loves going from point A to point B in a weelie, weeling shoes clipped in, so somehow i fell safe with these mass-crew-ultra- disapointing rotors!
    They are different from all the pack, why should they behave equal?

  31. I was part of the kickstarter and have had the original and the C processed rotors in 180. With any pad besides the Siccc pads they will not stop you. They have about 50% total stopping power. I was one of the first to send my rotors back in and get the 2nd generation rotors and they where not any better. In fact they where warped out of the box. My hubs are not warped and I used a dial gauge to cut run-out. I used the rotors on 2 bikes off and on for 400+ miles between the sets. It is impossible to true them and I got tired of the rubbing, so they sit in a box now.
    I run XTR race brakes and also received the the Siccc pads that I had to pay for. These where a night and day difference in performance. They just worked! The grip was excellent and the stopping power was 95-100% I cant speak to how long they last because the rotor rubbing got to me and I took them off.
    I used regular XTR resin pads on the back to balance the brake forces.

    Better stopping than any other brake on the market period! The transition for rotation to lock and back is accomplished with almost no increase in static friction. This means that you don’t have to let off the brakes to unlock them, they just start turning at the same brake force once traction increases.
    They stay cool and are quite. I regularly overheated my old avid CR’s with 180 rotors and the Siccc rotors stayed cool.
    Super light.

    THE BAD:
    Warped out of the box! Not much good if you use them.
    Stock pads are unusable on the front.
    Customer service is spotty to say the least.
    I now have paperweights that I have to pay to get replaced.

    I have talked with Kettle several times and while they are trying to get out a good produce, they seem overwhelmed and under staffed.
    I would love to use them but they are not going to get any more of my money.

  32. John Stein said

    “You kick starter guys realize kettle is a two man crew trying to innovate with zero resources? It’s easy to sit on your computer and hate and criticize though isn’t it?”

    Not zero resources John. They had *our* resources pledged via kickstarter. Very probably averaging north of $150 per person. They indicated that their product was worked out, tested and effective. It was not.

    I won’t bother to add my miserable experience as it’s pretty much in sync with the others listed. The point is they earned the negative feedback.

  33. 3/4 of normal braking power? Wow….yours were better than mine. I felt like I had half the braking power, and they were so ineffective that I took them off my cross bike after two rides. This was after bedding them in very carefully. On a mountain bike they would be truly awful. Maybe they would work for someone very light (I am 175lbs) on a non-technical course.

    It would be nice if they sent the new pads out free or at a significant discount to all the original owners. I would like to try them, but my experience with the initial product is so bad that I don’t feel like paying to be disappointed again.

  34. I ran a 203 on the front and 18o on the rear of a cross country bike. I have the first gereration rotors and fount that that soft organic pads seemed to work pretty good after the bed in period. put a lot of miles on them but was unhappy about when they went out of true. switched to a 29er with formula brakes R1. to tight of tolerance so I cant get them to work. called aaron he was going to send me some pads. Never happened. I guess it is just a small company and can’t keep up with demand. hopefully they will fiqure it out because I’m not very happy with steel rotors either. I do some really steep long downhills and when the sic rotors working they never fadded

What do you think?