Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

It’s a steel!

Posted by Tony | January 27, 2011 | 10 comments so far

Having just bought a set of Hope Hoops with Stan’s Crest rims I realised that – doh – I needed some new rotors. No problem I thought, I’ll get some G2/G3 Avid rotors like the one’s currently on my Trek.

So as usual I checked Merlin/Wiggle/CRC and – are you sitting down – the Avid rotors are list price £49.99 each (well according the Wiggle anyway). The best price I found them at was £23 each (Merlin) or £35! (Wiggle).

Well you can get a bling Hope floating rotor for that (£30) and clearly there is much more production gone into a floating rotor. Plus you can colour co-ordinate if that’s your thing, as it is for some Moles – Andy.

This just seems to highlight how arbitary MTB part prices can be. Although to be fair to Avid, Shimano XTR centrelock rotors are the same list price. However the Avid rotors are a laser cut sheet of stainless steel much like other rotors in the £20-25 each catagory, nothing fancy.

So – being a tightwad – what to do? Well checking around further I came up trumps with Superstar. Bargaintastic as usual. Two rotors (one 185mm/one 160mm) wavy rotors for £21.49 including p&p. They are round and seem fine!

I know that Superstar deal directly with prodcution factories, sell off the net with low overheads, but this seems one of those strange pricing situations. How can a plate of laser cut stainless steel cost be so variable. It’s a steal (apologies to all – Matt’s pun).

Although to add final bizarre twist I forgot the rotor bolts and I had to pay £5.99 for two sets of 6 bolts! As much as one of the rotors.

EDIT The front “185mm” superstar rotor is definetly undersized on my Trek. So maybe not so much of a bargain after all. Although strangely the rear 160mm is fine. I shall be “talking” to Superstar


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  1. Dave says:

    Doh! I’ve got rotor bolts coming out of the garage having blinged a few!

  2. Tony says:

    Doh, Doh, Doh! In that case anyone want to buy some unused rotor bolts.

  3. Dazzler says:

    Surprise Surprise, we’re ripped off, not just Great Britain but all over the world. How can a push bike cost £6.500 & we can buy a car for the same price. It’s not that I can’t understand, I can very well understand, When you look into the prices & what the cost of the making the items are, you’ll be amazed. I know company’s have to make a profit, but come on don’t rip the people who love the sport off. here is an example, how can i buy a set of brake pads & discs for a ford car both sides, for the same price for two sets of XTR pads. work that one out. I’ve also found out how much the importer gets for a Giant top end MTB. it’s shameful I feel. I’m not going to say as I can’t get that person into trouble, as I’ve found out how small the cycle industry is & news goes’ around fast & can bite you in the back side.
    But it just goes to show what is going on. I’d better stop as I could keep on on on on.. I guess I’m just getting old. Oh & by the way, has anyone thought that 10 speed on a mountain bike is the wrong way forward. It won’t last as long so we’ll be buying more chain ect, ect more cost. Grumpy old man from Cape Town….

  4. pIJ says:

    Materials used? My Hope rotors rust, so must have a higher iron content, hence friction, than the cheapo ones. I’m guessing Avid and Shimano use Unobtanium for theirs. Sponsored riders only please.

    There’s that place down in Godalming – they do pretty cheap but good brake stuff. Discobrakes I think they are called. I tend to use them over Superstar, Wiggle etc.. Mainly because they give you stickers. I love stickers.

    Bet if you have a sort out of your bike stash, you’ve got a good handful of rotor bolts!

    Tight wad? The Moles? Come on – you lot are keeping the MTB economy afloat purely through your own efforts. “New Stan’s rims on Hope hubs” there’s £300 for you, and you’re carping on about a tenner extra for decent rotors?

    But then bike building is like that – you’ll shell out on a bijou frame, hoops, forks or a 200g Ti railed saddle, then it comes to the end of the build and it tends to become “how much!” as one starts to scrimp and bitch about things like cables, bar grips or tyres. How many of us have spent a wedge building a bike, only to sift through our used tyres to get it going right at the end?? Or rob other bikes of silly things like stems or seatposts??

  5. AndyW says:

    Be interesting to see how well they last. Seen some impressive failure pictures of superstar rotors.

  6. Tony says:

    Well spotted Matt! The writing is the same as my Avid. The Superstar ones just have “Superstar” and a arrow.

    I sometimes understand the complexities of business (I hope!) being part of a company that manufactures widgets – yep we still have some in the UK. Cars are a strange example – insanely cheap / low margin for a machine with thousands of parts – lots of car companies make no money. Bikes are fairly standard mark up for business – which I know seems like a lot outside the bike business. However plenty of LBS struggle to make money.

    I guess my point is, to make a rotor you need a sheet of (hopefully high grade AndyW!) stainless steel and a laser cutter. After that it’s how pretty you want your patterns are etc… Therefore the list difference in price is down to what you think you market can absorb and Avid hence are pushing the limits.

  7. Dave says:

    That looks like quite a meaty bike Andy but still an impressive rotor failure. I’ve used Discobrakes through ebay (also is the same lot) and I think the 203mm on the 5 are from them. No issues with them and when I rode it the other week I did remark on how effective the brakes felt! I have a Superstar rotor on the Mary I think, seems OK but then I’m not really into pointing things downhill for long periods at high speed. I think I might think again on a DH bike but having said that the 203 are well chunky (and heavy)

  8. pij says:

    Cheap as chips… I just bought a new camera, discounted on-line. Popped into town to get a memory card for it. Only £70 bloomin’ quid for something the size of a fingernail. I needed a stiff drink after that. At least with a rotor you can see, and kind of understand, where the money went.

  9. Tony says:

    See the Edit now at the end of the article!

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