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MTB Brake Discs: What is the ideal and recommended thickness?

In MTB, discs that vary in thickness from 1.9mm to 2.2mm are normally used. But there are also excesses, such as 3mm discs: what is the ideal thickness?


The thickness of the disc determines many characteristics of the product: resistance, type of use and quality in general. Ok, it's not an absolute value but it determines a lot of the record.

The thickness of the discs is not standard but is around 2mm in the best products, up to 3mm in the most extreme models, even if this value is perhaps exaggerated. In many discs we find engraved the minimum wear value tolerated by the product, i.e. the minimum thickness beyond which the brand does not take responsibility for any breakages (usually it is around a wear of 0,5mm from the original value).

th disc wear limit
We can read TH=1.5: this is the minimum thickness tolerated by Shimano

If we are below this value, the disc must be changed immediately to avoid risking a situation like the photo below 🙂

broken shimano brake disc

RECOMMENDED VALUES

If you want to have a quality disc that can give you an advantage in terms of components, we recommend avoiding thicknesses under 1.8mm, especially in gravity disciplines, where the thickness must be at least 2mm to avoid having a disc that is too fragile.

The thicker the disc becomes, the better the performance in terms of temperature: it takes longer to heat it up and it holds the axial thrusts better (so it bends less). In my opinion, however, with a well-made structure equipped with a rigid hub, there is no longer any need for all this thickness. So currently we have abandoned the question of the three millimeter disc: too much for the bike world. And I would like to point out that it is the disc hub that makes the difference, not the thickness itself.

BCA'S THOUGHT

Sharp question to Andrea Brioschi of BCA: does approaching 3mm in the MTB sector have any advantages?

PROJECTED IMPACT

It's right to think "the thicker the disc the more resistant it is" but excesses are never good: when you use 1.9mm/2mm in the XC field and 2.2/2.3mm in the Enduro field it is more than sufficient to have high-performance and suitable for the type of use.



Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').

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