Frequently Asked Questions (Brake FAQ)
- Why go to a bigger diameter disc?
- Laser cut vs. stamping
- Why the Wave® pattern?
- Do holes in discs help?
- Stainless Steel vs. Nylon or Rubber line
- Does Galfer make brake calipers and levers?
- Who does the testing on Galfer products?
- Do you make an oversized motocross rotor?
- Why do your front sportbike line kits not follow the stock routing?
- What brake pad material should I use?
- What is the difference between your line kits?
- What is the difference between your rotor options?
- Who can I call if I have more questions?
1. Why go to a bigger diameter disc?
Bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. A bigger diameter disc does provide more power and better cooling (because any particular point on the disc spends more time in the cool air dissipating heat buildup) you do end up with less modulation (brake control). Traditionally, downhillers, free riders, and tandem riders can all benefit from larger diameter discs. However, riders who spend more time in technical situations need to be aware that the larger diameter disc (like a lower bottom bracket) has a better chance of being struck and damaged by a boulder, tree stump or similar object. Take a look at motorcycles and the diameter of their brakes. Most motorcycles run a larger (or dual) front brake rotor setup.
Galfer uses only 420 or 410 stainless steel for all of our brake rotors and it’s all about the memory! What do we mean by that? Metals have memory which means that when you heat up a piece of metal and it expands, good memory characteristics allow it to go back to its original shape without much deformation from the original shape. It’s as simple as this: It goes back to its original shape and specs faster.
3. Laser cut vs. stamping
Stamping is great when you are doing mass production of tens of thousands of rotors. This is because the stamp itself is VERY expensive to make, but after the initial expense, it can quickly produce rotors that are relatively good quality. On the other hand, laser cutting requires minimal initial expense other than a few hours programming time to make sure the laser follows the desired pattern. This allows you to easily and cheaply change the design after testing if the need arises. Because the programming time is all that is required for a completely new prototype, Galfer has the ability to do small batches of custom rotors to meet the needs of our clients. Galfer can do an infinite number of combinations of diameter, bolt fixing pattern and Wave® pattern. We can even cut your company logo or name into a rotor design. Laser cutting provides the most consistent cut quality and leaves the rotor substantially flatter than stamping.
4. Why the Wave® pattern?
Admit it! You’re interested in Galfer Wave®s because they look cool! We like the way they look as well but believe it or not, there is quite a bit of thought that went into our patented technology. On a normal round rotor, the leading edge (think toe-in) of the brake pad is in contact with the entire height of the blade as the pressure is applied. Because the contact covers the entire height of the blade heat buildup takes much less time to occur and you end up with heat related problems like brake fade, thermal lockup, and inconsistent braking performance. What the Wave® pattern does is take that leading edge of contact between the blade and pad and constantly move it up and down, thus minimizing heat build up and its inherent problems. Cool air is also introduced in greater amounts. In addition, through centrifugal force, any foreign matter is thrown clear of the outer rim of the blade and doesn’t get lodged in the pad material.
5. Do holes in discs help?
Well, it depends what you mean by “help”. Holes in the “blade” of a disc (the part that the brake pad sweeps over as it is in motion) will save a bit of weight but contrary to public opinion, they do not help to cool a braking system. Notice on Moto GP motorcycles and most race cars, there are no holes on the rotors. There are actually situations where holes can be detrimental to your braking. In muddy conditions, dirt gets trapped in these holes and proceeds to chew up pads that, in turn will chew up rotors because of the constant uneven abrasion between the pads (which have the dirt imbedded in their surface) and the rotors, which get gouged to heck by that dirt. If you’ll notice, if there are holes in a Galfer rotor, they are never round. They are usually oval, teardrop or cylindrical in shape so that foreign debris is directed away from the rotor via centrifugal force.
6. Stainless Steel vs. Nylon or Rubber line.
If there is one item you can get that will make an instant, noticeable improvement to your brake feel and performance, switching to a stainless steel braided line is it! When you squeeze your brake lever and force fluid through the hydraulic line to the caliper, the line expands under pressure. This means that a good portion of the effort you put forth from your hand DOESN’T get to the caliper! It makes the line expand. By switching to a stainless steel braided brake line, you restrict the lines expansion characteristics. This means that your hand pressure goes directly to the caliper.
7. Does Galfer make brake calipers and levers?
Not for bicycles. In the past, Galfer has made billet aluminum calipers for a few motorcycle observed trials applications but that is about it. Galfer products are specifically designed to make your current braking system better, regardless of their manufacturer.
8. Who does the testing on Galfer products?
We do! At Galfer we like to joke that we are world-class riders, but we know what the truth is! We’re slow compared to some of our sponsored athletes. That’s why we sponsor some of the finest riders on earth before releasing our brake products to the general public. Teams like Maxxis Racing and Santana Tandems for our bicycle products, Yoshimura Suzuki superbike team for our road motorcycle products, and AGP racing for motocross, and World Trials champion Dougie Lampkines thrash our stuff on a regular basis. And we feel that if those guys love our stuff, then you will too!
9. Do you make an oversized motocross rotor?
It depends on what you mean by “oversized”. There are a couple of companies who do a 270mm rotor kit that requires a bracket to reposition the caliper. This was a great kit 5 years ago when stock front MX rotors were 240mm and the jump to 270mm gave a definite increase in power. Today, the OEM’s stock sized rotors are 260mm (only a 5mm difference in rotor radius) and the power difference is almost nonexistent. When you factor in the extra cost of needing a caliper bracket, it doesn’t make any sense to go to one of these particular oversized kits. But we do make a 320mm kit for most modern motocross bikes that are to be raced on the supermotard circuit. We also carry Brembo master cylinders, brackets, and calipers for Supermotard applications.
10. Why do your front sportbike line kits not follow the stock routing?
Almost all of our front line kits are 2 line systems that have both lines exiting from the master cylinder and then going down to their respective calipers. We have found that this type of routing allows for shorter lines, which allows for a firmer brake feel. Read more brake line installation information.
11. What brake pad material should I use?
All of our brake pad materials are made with you and your riding style in mind. Take a look at our brake pad section to help determine which pad material will be best for your type of riding. To help you make your decision, check out our brake pad friction chart, or watch our video guide to brake pad compounds below. You can also give us a call, we would be happy to go over this with you 1-800-685-6633.
12. What is the difference between your line kits?
All of our line kits are application specific, meaning not all of our brake line options are available for every bike. For a list of what brake line kits are available, take a look at our brake line section. To help determine what kit may be best suited for your bike and riding style, check out our brake line kit video below or give us a call 1-800-685-6633. Once you’ve purchased your brake lines, be sure to read our brake line install tips.
13. What is the difference between your rotor options?
All of our rotors are application specific, meaning not all rotor options are available for every bike. For a list of what types of rotors are available, take a look at our rotor section. To find out what rotors are available for your bike and to help determine which will be best suited for your type of riding style, check out the video below or give us a call 1-800-685-6633
14. Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
If you have further questions, please feel free to Contact Us.