Ben has been testing out the Galfer aftermarket floating rotors to see if they offer any advantages over the standard SRAM Code setup.
Galfer might not be top of your list of MTB brake manufacturers, but with a long heritage in motorsports and top riders like Sam Reynolds, Reece Wilson and Kenta Gallagher using them, they might be a good alternative to the main hitters.
I fitted a pair of Galfer 203/180 mm floating rotors to my long term Merida 160 test bike fitted with SRAM Code brakes this summer. Initially running them with the existing SRAM pads and then replacing the pads with a pair of the Pro Compound Race pads.
Most of the first few months were boiling hot and bone dry with trails running scary fast, baked hard under the unusually hot British sun. On smaller local trails there was no discernible difference between the standard SRAM rotors and the fancier floating Galfer rotors. We fitted them and they just worked like any other disc after a short bedding in period.
It was only when we hit Bike Park Wales and Revolution Bike Park in 30 degree heat that the improved heat transfer properties of the floating design could be truly tested. Under these conditions The Code brake with SRAM pads and Galfer Discs were totally solid and dependable and didn’t suffer from any fade or pumping up due to excessive heat. It is very hard to say if they performed much better than normal rotors, but I felt they offered a slight performance advantage under these conditions.
What do we think?
Overall the Galfer floating disc rotors are great performers and also look pretty smart with the coloured detailing on them. For Alpine riding or lots of uplift laps they offer some small braking performance advantages over standard discs.
As for the race pads, I am not sure how many people really need this product given its expense and short life-span.
It might be handy in the toolbox for a last minute change before a DH race run if the old pads wear out, but for normal riding these are not a great option for UK trail conditions.