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Question for the Weight Weenies!

Posted by Jeremy Yang On April - 8 - 2009

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Is there ever a line where the price to weight loss ratio is too much for the wallet to handle? I’m just throwing this out there for the weight weenies to chime in on and if you think “just lose some weight from the engine” instead… well I hear ya already!

I came across a company called Scrub Components that does rotors for disc brakes. Their rotors are pretty cool looking and their weights are really good. A 160mm 6-bolt rotor comes in at whopping 52 grams. Very impressive to say the least. Also impressive is the price: $145 for ONE rotor without bolts. Putting matching 160mm rotors on a bike cost $290! That doesn’t count the cost to switch to organic or resin pads which are a “must”. Add those in, but re-use your existing bolts and your total cost comes out to $334 before shipping.


Alligator Serration Disc rotor

Compare that to Alligator Serration rotors. The 160mm version weighs a decent 92 grams, not portly by any means but no where near as light as the Scrub counterparts. The price, though, is where it shines: $12.98 per rotor via pricepoint.com. Although forty grams heavier than the Scrub Component rotors, the Alligators are less than 1/11 the price.

If you’re doing the math, each gram you save upgrading from the Alligators to the Scrubs cost $3.85. Not too shabby when I put it that way, but multiply that by the 80 grams you save and it comes out to an extra $308 before shipping. Is the 80 gram weight loss really worth the extra money?

By the way I’m not picking on Scrub Components. They’re made in the USA and their users seem to like them. I’m only considering the weight and cost aspects of these components. For all I know Scrub rotors could be the best ever and Alligators could be so bad I wouldn’t put them on a bike thief’s ride.

7 Responses to “Question for the Weight Weenies!”

  1. Randall says:

    Jer,
    My experience with Alligator rotors has nothing to do with weight. The ones I bought for my rig weren’t circular per say. More of a subtle oval. Either that or the rotor wasn’t the same thickness all the way around. I got a strong pulsating feeling when pressing on my BB7s. The Avid rotors might bend and rub, but I know they will give me a consistent stop. As for the weight, ah who cares about 50 grams….

  2. Joe says:

    $145(52g) vs. $12.98(92 g)? hmmm… especially in this economy?… ;)

    BTW, you’ll make up that weight difference (and them some) once you put your water bottle in the cage or put on your camelbak.

    I personally would go w/the Alligators (or stock rotors) and put the difference towards a lighter wheelset or lighter componants like cranks, pedals, etc…

  3. Khoa says:

    I just bought the Alligator rotors last week. I haven’t ridden with them but they look cool and saved me 4 grams over my Hope rotors. Haha
    I think the best bang for the buck would be to get lighter tires and tubes. Tubes are the cheapest way to drop grams in my experience.

  4. Ghost Rider says:

    Lighter tubes, tires or wheelsets would be the most cost-effective (and just plain effective) solution. I ain’t skimiping on braking ability. If you really want to save brake weight, replace the hardware with Ti bolts or aluminum rotor bolts (these last are probably not such a great idea, of course).

  5. Khoa says:

    I have Ti Bolts for the disc rotors and calipers while they do save weight the cost per gram is not really worth it. Ti is not that much lighter for small bolts. In the old’en days a Ti axle would save a lot of weight over a steel axle.

  6. RL Policar says:

    I think its crazy to try and save grams…ride nakit! All that clothing has to be at least a few pounds!

  7. Rubber Boy says:

    If you race, especially for living, losing grams is a priority. 80g is a lot.
    However, some of these 3rd party rotors don’t work that well. Scrub, like all of them, is a hit or miss. If they don’t do the job right, you might as well ride without rotors and save another 100g…

    As for Alligator, they might be too aggressive with their wind-cutters. The main players (Avid, Hope etc), don’t go that far with removing material from the contact surface, and must be for a reason. Aligator are reported to decrease stopping performance and bring about pulsing issues. Some people swear they eat their pads.

    As a Avid user I would upgrade to G3 or X rotors. The difference between the Gator and G3 is 10g and G3 are certain not to affect performance. You can get them for $10 more than the Gators. The X rotors are not the best bang for the buck; they will take you back $45 and with 7g reduction the weight is equal to the Gator. However, you also received a set of Ti bolt with it that will save more weight.

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