Can You Use Sram Rotors With Shimano Brakes?

If you’re a mountain biker, you know that the brakes are one of the most critical aspects of your bike. Brakes are what allow you to manage your speed and come to a complete halt when necessary. 

There are several brands and styles of brakes available, and one common concern among mountain bikers is whether they can use SRAM rotors with Shimano brakes. 

Well, the good news is you can use SRAM rotors with Shimano brakes. However you need to first check if certain requirements are met and we’ll explain all about it in this post.

Let’s get started

Requirements for Using Sram Rotors With Shimano Brakes

Before you try to install them you first need to make sure that these requirements are met:

Also read: Center Lock Vs 6 Bolt Brake Rotors

Proper Diameter

If you wish to use SRAM rotors with Shimano brakes, ensure the new rotors are compatible with your present setup.

You won’t need to adjust your setup if the diameter of the SRAM rotors matches that of the current Shimano ones.

If you wish to upgrade to more oversized rotors, you must install the required adapters.

For example, if you now use 160mm Shimano rotors and wish to upgrade to 180mm SRAM rotors, you won’t be able to do so since the rotors would not fit.

To convert from 160mm to 180mm rotors, you’ll need an adaptor that relies on the disc mount on the frame and fork.

Requirements for Using Sram with shimano

The solutions are as follows:

  • International Standard (IS). Bolts screwed perpendicular to the mount secure the brake calliper to the frame and fork. This is an outdated standard that will not be found on current suspension forks. A +20 IS to Post Mount adaptor is required if you have IS mounts and wish to move from 160mm to 180mm rotors.
  • Mounting a Post (PM). This is the most popular disc brake mounting configuration. Bolts go directly into the mount to secure the calliper. A 20mm post mount adapter is required if you have PMs that are built to run 160mm rotors by default and wish to upgrade to 180mm rotors.
  • Flat mounting (FM). This is a relatively recent disc mount that is popular on road bikes. The mounts are sleek and unobtrusive. Flat mounting can only accommodate 160mm rotors.

Also read: Why is my disc brakes pulsing?

Hub Compatibility

The rotor you’re installing must be compatible with the wheel hub.

Currently, there are two options:

  • Bolt-on hubs. The rotor is bolted to the hub.
  • Centerlock hubs. Shimano’s proprietary technology is at the heart of centre lock hubs. The rotor is locked to the hub using a lock ring similar to that of a cassette.

You’ll need a bolt-on rotor if you have bolt-on hubs.

If you have a centre lock hub, you have two options:

  • Install the centre lock rotors.
  • Using an adapter, install bolt-on rotors.

Rotor Thickness

The thickness of the rotors should be considered as well.

SRAM rotors are 1.85mm thick, while Shimano rotors are 1.8mm thick.

Because SRAM rotors are significantly thicker, you must change the calliper position to minimise brake pad friction.

Pros and Cons 

Using Sram rotors with Shimano Brakes comes with both pros and cons. 

Also read: Shimano Tiagra vs 105

Some pros of using Sram rotors with Shimano Brakes are:

  • There is no need to purchase new rotors. You won’t have to buy new rotors if you have new Shimano brakes and your current SRAM rotors are compatible. Instead you can use this money to buy new pads, for example.
  • Extra options. If your bike store is out of Shimano rotors, you can use SRAM rotors, giving you another option. SRAM rotors will work as a great substitute for Shimano rotors, with Shimano brakes. 

The con of using Sram rotors with Shimano Brakes is the Increased likelihood of brake-pad overhang. And I am pretty sure it voids the warranty (not 100% certain).

Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of using sram rotors with shimano brakes:

No need to buy new rotorsBrake pads can overhang
An extra optionVoids Warranty

Are Shimano and Sram Rotors Interchangeable?

Have you ever gone on a ride and discovered you forgot to carry an extra set of rotor bolts? 

Perhaps you’re looking to upgrade your brakes and want to know if Shimano rotors can be used with SRAM callipers.

The good news is that Shimano and SRAM rotors are interchangeable, so you can use either with either calliper. 

This interoperability is fantastic news for riders who wish to mix and match components to obtain the greatest performance possible. Don’t worry if you’re ever in a pinch – you can use any type of rotor on your bike.

Will Shimano Xt Brakes Work With Sram Rotors?

Shimano Xt brakes will work with Sram rotors – in a nutshell. Many mountain bikers use a combination of Shimano and Sram components on their bikes, and the two products are interchangeable. If you want to improve your brakes and rotors, you may mix and match to obtain the best of both worlds.

Can I Use Any Rotors With Shimano Brakes?

Shimano brakes are intended to be used with Shimano rotors, but they will work with rotors from other manufacturers as well. If you use another manufacturer’s rotor, you may not get the best performance out of your brakes.

Certified bike mechanic based in Orlando, Florida. With over 15 years of knowledge and experience in the industry, I can help you diagnose issues and fix them.

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