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  1. #1
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    HSX v HS1 rotors

    Just built a second wheelset and am looking at rotor options.

    I've got some Avid HSX rotors on one wheelset which I really like. Performance and modulation wet or dry is great and very fade resistant to boot.

    I'm inclined to get another set for my new wheelset, but the HS1 rotors have the exact same braking surface, are cheaper and lighter!

    When I bought the HSX rotors, the HS1 didn't exist. I also don't need the Ti bolts that the HSX rotors come with.

    Any reason to buy the heavier, more expensive HSX rotor? Is it supposed to shed heat better? Does the alu spider make it stronger or less likely to "warble"? Anyone ridden both?

  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
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    Alu is more conductive. If you bed in your rotor and touch the steel arms on a HS1, they'll feel cool, but the braking track will burn through your thick finger skin in an instant. The alloy carrier helps carry a little of that heat to keep temps down even a few degrees. On motorcycles, such conductivity sometimes that leads to premature hub bearing failure, but I highly doubt that becomes an issue on mtn bikes, as the heat typically stays in the braking track and is more likely to transmit to the pads and to the pistons and hydraulic fluid.

    The way I understand brakes, at lower temps abrasive friction is what slows you down. At higher temps, it's adhesive friction. This is where bedding in and heat management play a role in stopping performance. Without a good bed-in, you will likely experience brake fade and soon your fingers will get tired from squeezing the hell out of your brakes for more power and eventually, you'll start using 2-3 fingers and wrench on that lever.

    I highly doubt that the alu spider makes it less likely to warble. The warble is sometimes caused from an uneven bed-in, where the material from the pads didn't get deposited evenly on the rotor. With the deposits on the rotor and your pads kind of "smoothed" out, it rubs like nails on a chalkboard. The imperfections on the rotor surfaces causes the variations of the sound resonating off the rotor.

    That all said, unless you're regularly pushing your limits, the odd occurrences of brake fade won't kill ya, unless that one odd occurrence happens when you're going down a trail carved on the face of a steep mountain and there's lethal exposure and 1' off the trail is a 200' plummet. Go with the cheaper HS1. They're on eBay for $35 shipped from China for a pair of 160s, but no clue if they're authentic or passed QC. The alloy carrier on the HSX probably don't really offer a very significant increase in performance. It's just for those looking to extend their performance even just a little and are willing to pay a little extra. For some, it's worth it if they anodize the carrier in a color that matches their bike.

    I'm no expert. This is just info I picked up from doing research after finding a set of Avid XX brakes for a good price. My front HS1 warbles, but I don't care because I got it for a good price. I could wash it and very lightly sand the rotor and brake pads and bed it in again, but w/e.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 12-14-2011 at 07:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    ...

    I'm inclined to get another set for my new wheelset, but the HS1 rotors have the exact same braking surface, are cheaper and lighter!

    ...
    I think you have that backwards. The HSX is lighter than the HS1.

  4. #4
    Trail Ninja
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    Depends on the size of the rotor. I think the 140 and 160 HS1s are lighter than the HSX versions. The HSX cost is partly higher due to the ti bolts, though you can get some cheap off PricePoint.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyjack View Post
    I think you have that backwards. The HSX is lighter than the HS1.
    You would have thought so, but my 160mm HSX rotors weigh 98g and the 160mm HS1s I've seen on scales weigh 91-92g.

  6. #6
    rebmem rbtm
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    From another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by drivengsxr1000 View Post

    warning on Avid 180mm hsx heat sheding 2pc rotor

    i bought these brakes as an upgrade and on the rotors there is this warning

    "this brake is intended for cross country and trail riding only. Not intended for lift access riding, downhill or aggressive all mountain use, head owners manual first"

    WTF is that all about, do i need to buy new rotors the bike is made for all mountain... did i just downgrade?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    You would have thought so, but my 160mm HSX rotors weigh 98g and the 160mm HS1s I've seen on scales weigh 91-92g.
    I don't have any HS1's to check, but I'll be pulling my HSX's (and XX brakes) off my bike tomorrow for good, so I can weight them.

  8. #8
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    I went back and checked the weights of some of my other sets. My original cleansweeps weigh 100g each. The Cleansweep X's weigh 90g. I had assumed that the HSn's would follow the same patter, but perhaps not?

    My HS1's weigh 90 and 100 (don't know what caused the difference in weight within the pair, but I checked them twice). I don't have a set of HS1's to compare to.

  9. #9
    Trail Ninja
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    I don't have HSX rotors, but I just weighed the 160mm HS1 and 160mm CSX and the hardware individually a moment ago. The black bolts pictured below are the steel ones that came with the HS1 rotor and the metallic ones are the Ti ones that came with the CSX rotor.






    Avid certainly shaved some grams, but I have some even lighter steel bolts from another set, with a triangular head. The CSX rotor have a magnesium carrier too, instead of alloy, so I dunno if that has anything to do with it. I'm not a weight weenie, so I'm keeping the Ti and CSX on my bike cause I like the look and I've had better luck with the G3 CS design not warbling. I still can't manage to hook up at 185mm rotor on the front end of my bike and get it to be drag free though.

    Also used this as a chance to play with my camera. Looks like the HS1 shot got the most detail out of them, but it's the only shot I took with the flash on.

  10. #10
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    I've just got 4 HS1 rotors in. They all weigh between 98 and 99g for a 160mm rotor. Not sure why some people have them in the 88g range. Perhaps there are two thicknesses available. The ones I have are 2.0mm thick.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    I also don't need the Ti bolts that the HSX rotors come with.
    Why in the world does the HSX come with Ti bolts? Is it just me, or does anyone else think that that's completely ridiculous?

    Especially since there's a photo of even lighter steel bolts earlier in this thread...

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