The disc brake test in the December issue of the German BIKE magazine caused a sensation: The Cross-Country as well as the Trail version of Shimano’s new XTR disc brakes came off badly. The fading test in the laboratory as well as during the practical test in South Tyrol produced total failures. Bicycle expert Dirk Zedler, the competent engineer for the test, explained that the system had run hot so that the aluminium core of the rotor had melted and consequently been severly deformed. Furthermore, he advised that the connections of the brake lines had revealed seal problems.
The flagship – put to the test
A surprising result that made Shimano to consult the renowned test institute Velotech.de to carry out independent tests of the new XTR disc brakes. The damage as described in the BIKE magazine had, after all, never occurred during the tests in the company, underlines Harald Troost of Shimano Europe. The test institute Velotech set to work and carried out the laboratory tests in accordance with the own firm disc brake standards as well as with the DIN EN 14766 and GS standards. For reference purposes, the Saint disc brakes from Shimano as well as two models from competitors were tested, as well.
All norms and standards complied with
As announced by Shimano, the Cross-country as well as the Trail version of the new XTR disc brakes exceed by far the safety-relevant norms and standards and this independent of the rotor diameter or the type of brake pads. It was stated that the requirements according to DIN+ standards had been exceeded three times. Damage as occurred during the tests by BIKE did not occur in the Velotech.de laboratory and Shimano’s statement that the service temperatures of the brake system can clearly be reduces by means of the rotors with aluminium core and the brake pads with integrated cooling fins could be confirmed in the laboratory.
So, it’s word against word and test laboratory against test laboratory. The last word in this matter will actually have the specialist shops and the consumers, as the price level and the claim of Shimano’s XTR group as high-end product will not allow for any shortcomings and especially not for safety-relevant ones.
Author: Laurens van Roojen