Shimano and SRAM Disc Rotors exchangable?
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  1. #1
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    Shimano and SRAM Disc Rotors exchangable?

    Hi all,

    My son has a Giant TCX SLR that came with Shimano 105 Disc (140mm Rotors), I have a TCX Advanced that has SRAM Rival 1 (140mm Rotors). I wonder if I could use my wheels on his bike without having to change the disc rotors, and vice-versa. Sorry for the newbie question

  2. #2
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    That would be pretty easy to just try and DO IT! ...to see if it would fit. Don't test ride it down a mountain on the first ride.
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  3. #3
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    Yes you can use them... however, it's highly likely you'll get brake rub. You may have to re-center your brake caliper when you swap wheels.
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  4. #4
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    I was looking at giant's website and maybe the disc rotor that comes on the Shimano 105 equipped TCX SLR are Giant's own disc rotor, part of the Giant Conduct Hydraulic Brake system. May not be Shimano at all....

  5. #5
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    The answer is maybe. The brake track area is different from one manufacturer to another. Make sure that the pad contacts the rotor completely and does not over hang.

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  6. #6
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    They are definitely designed to work *best* when used as a system. All of the manufacturers will say no, only use their pads/rotors together. I've seen plenty of bikes where they were mixed and no one has died yet.
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    I am using the new Shiman Dura Ice rotors on my new rims with Sram brakes. No problem execpt that I had to recenter my brakes which was probably due to the new wheels.

  8. #8
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    Generally yes. I have two sets of wheels for my CX bike, which are both Sram rotors, but I swap the wheelsets without messing with the brakes at all. I also straight swapped a set of new Sram rotors in for the stock Shimano rotors on my road bike, no adjustment needed.

  9. #9
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    Spacers are also available from Boyd Cycling ( and others ?) if needed to change the offset on the discs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    They are definitely designed to work *best* when used as a system. All of the manufacturers will say no, only use their pads/rotors together. I've seen plenty of bikes where they were mixed and no one has died yet.
    Interesting.

    On a slightly different subject, I know awhile back you said not to "cross fluids" - not to use DOT fluid in a Shimano system or mineral oil in a SRAM system. Do you know why this is?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interesting.

    On a slightly different subject, I know awhile back you said not to "cross fluids" - not to use DOT fluid in a Shimano system or mineral oil in a SRAM system. Do you know why this is?
    I did? The systems are designed around their respective fluids. I'd guess you could get away w/ mineral oil in a SRAM system but if you put DOT fluid in a Shimano system you'd ruin all sorts of stuff in a heartbeat because it's a much more corrosive liquid.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I did? The systems are designed around their respective fluids. I'd guess you could get away w/ mineral oil in a SRAM system but if you put DOT fluid in a Shimano system you'd ruin all sorts of stuff in a heartbeat because it's a much more corrosive liquid.
    Interesting? So I guess DOT has a higher boiling point (I think that's why it's used in cars) at the expense of being more corrosive?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interesting? So I guess DOT has a higher boiling point (I think that's why it's used in cars) at the expense of being more corrosive?
    And it has a lower freezing point as well.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interesting? So I guess DOT has a higher boiling point (I think that's why it's used in cars) at the expense of being more corrosive?
    No, mineral oil and the DOT that is used in bicycle brakes has a nearly identical boiling point, sometimes the mineral oil BP is actually a few degrees higher. The DOT I use in my car and moto is much higher, but not the stuff that SRAM use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I did? The systems are designed around their respective fluids. I'd guess you could get away w/ mineral oil in a SRAM system but if you put DOT fluid in a Shimano system you'd ruin all sorts of stuff in a heartbeat because it's a much more corrosive liquid.
    Corrosive? Maybe to paint but if that were true, automobiles would be losing their brakes and crashing all over the the place. Rubber parts have to be compatible with the fluid. That's the real issue.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    No, mineral oil and the DOT that is used in bicycle brakes has a nearly identical boiling point, sometimes the mineral oil BP is actually a few degrees higher. The DOT I use in my car and moto is much higher, but not the stuff that SRAM use.
    Hmmm. It sounds like SRAM could use anything, but chooses to spec DOT fluid (probably their own) because they can charge more for it?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Hmmm. It sounds like SRAM could use anything, but chooses to spec DOT fluid (probably their own) because they can charge more for it?
    Definitely not. You don't think SRAM actually make their own, do you? It might be formulated to their spec, more likely they just determined what they needed and bought it. Brake fluid w/ 'normal' boiling point temps is cheap...really cheap. It's only the super high boiling point race fluid that's expensive.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Corrosive? Maybe to paint but if that were true, automobiles would be losing their brakes and crashing all over the the place. Rubber parts have to be compatible with the fluid. That's the real issue.
    Yes, corrosive. Mostly to paint and surface finishes. It's got ingredients to make it non-corrosive to the metal parts in the system. Not hard to make parts that aren't affected by it. If you use parts ( o-rings/seals/internal parts) that are made to work w/ DOT fluid it's not an issue.
    Last edited by cxwrench; 05-10-2019 at 06:45 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Definitely not. You don't think SRAM actually make their own, do you?
    Good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    It might be formulated to their spec, more likely they just determined what they needed and bought it. Brake fluid w/ 'normal' boiling point temps is cheap...really cheap. It's only the super high boiling point race fluid that's expensive.
    Understood.
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