UAE Emirates Tease Prototype Carbon
Shared in the official announcement of Carbon-Ti becoming component supplier of UAE Team Emirates for UCI World Tour road racing, are some new prototype ultralight carbon-carrier centerlock disc brake rotors. With what looks like much of the same core floating carbon+steel tech as their 2nd-gen 6-bolt rotors, these gen3 centerlock rotors will finally be able to lighten up your lightest modern road, gravel, cross, and even XC wheels with center-lock hubs…
Update: Carbon-Ti has now officially launched the new X-Rotor SteelCarbon 3 rotors. More info below…
Long attracting the attention of mountain biking weight-weenies, Carbon-Ti has been making 6-bolt carbon rotors for many years. We’ve been openly hoping for a centerlock version for years, ever since we saw them update their lightweight X-Hub SP with a centerlock interface to save weight.
Now, thanks to a "new partnership for the 2023 cycling season" as "an official supplier of the UAE Team Emirates", Carbon-Ti has teased a closer look at their next rotors and given us a glimpse at some of the other tech the team are racing.
Carbon-Ti officially is referring to them as "new center lock X-Rotor SteelCarbon 3 disc brake rotors, which will be released on the market soon". But they clearly are still attached with a 6-pin carrier, a protective spacer, and an alloy lockring. Just now there is a reshaped carbon carrier that is continuous around the common 6-bolt interface, likely for safer compatibility with both 6-bolt & centerlock mounting.
The new rotors carry the same X-Rotor SteelCarbon name as their predecessor – confirming the same basic tech – just with a #3 added for this third generation making the switch to centerlock, or Center Lock as Carbon-Ti calls it. In reality, it seems that what makes these officially centerlock is the fact that Carbon-Ti will now make them available with an approved 6-bolt to centerlock adapter.
The new carbon carriers have a bit more material to them, suggesting they might weigh a couple of grams more than gen2. They also look to be more or less made from a similar 90° alternating carbon weave. But… all of the UAE Team Emirates rotors seem to have curiously been sanded after the carbon was finished, buffing the raised spots in the weave.
Otherwise, the outer "semi-floating" stainless steel braking surface of these prototype 160mm discs appears to share the same shape and cutouts as the current gen 2 rotors. They also use the same titanium rivets with Carbon-Ti's name laser-etched on them to isolate the braking surface and its heat buildup from the carbon carrier.
Besides the new rotors, the Colnago V4Rs race bikes of UAE Team Emirates were fitted with Carbon-Ti X-Carboring EVO chainrings that mate hard-anodized aluminum toothed rings onto a carbon fiber carrier to shed weight & increase stiffness over the stock Shimano Dura-Ace rings.
Their ENVE SES 4.5 aero wheels are also bolted on with machined alloy X-Lock EVO 12mm thru-axles.
Carbon-Ti says their lightweight components have already been raced by Tadej Pogačar during Amstel Gold Race and Tour of Flanders victories this season. We already knew he was a weight-weenie, spotting the Darimo seatpost on his prototype Colnago last summer. We’ll be curious to see what other gram-shaving tech Carbon-Ti will have for him next.
Update: Now that Carbon-Ti has officially unveiled the new X-Rotor SteelCarbon 3 rotors we have quite a bit more details, including a new carbon carrier, new braking surface, and new centerlock mount. The rotors are now available for 185€ in 6-bolt and 220€ in centerlock configurations. Check out the full details here.