Functionally, XT SM-RT86 Disc Brake Rotors stop equally in comparison to Shimano's apex XTR line. That's because of IceTech, a shared technology on both models. The difference between the two lies in a slightly lighter XTR spider that's reserved for gram-obsessed racers. Weight difference aside, the XT rotors provide the same cooling benefits to help your brakes stay frosty and on point when you're testing the ragged edge for extended periods of time.
In reality, most of us aren’t going to feel the benefits of a few grams lost when they're so centrally located to the hub. However, what we are going to profit from is the three-piece Ice Tech Rotor. It is essentially two pieces of steel optimized for friction sandwiched over an aluminum core.
This means Shimano is utilizing the high thermal conductivity of aluminum, where other manufacturers solely use steel throughout the braking surface. Additionally, the quicker cooling alloy core more efficiently transfers heat to the alloy spider. The resulting cooler operating brakes will last longer and provide more consistent stopping in the most trying conditions.
- A workhorse brake rotor for XC, trail, and all-mountain use
- IceTech steel/aluminum sandwich dissipates heat
- Aluminum spider further contributes to heat management