AbsoluteBlack Raven SL worlds lightest center lock brake rotor for XC and trail mountain bikes

AbsoluteBlack has introduced what they claim is the lightest CenterLock rotor in the world. The Raven SL uses FEA analysis, extensive heat treatment and a two-piece design to tip the scales at just 95g for a 160mm rotor.

By comparison, Shimano’s IceTech XTR’s 160 comes in at a claimed 160g. That weight is possibly including their lock ring, which AB’s weight does not, but it’s still an impressive gram drop.

The weight savings are just the beginning, though. AbsoluteBlack’s rotors use some serious top shelf materials, and the outer friction ring is replaceable, making the upgrade cost more bearable knowing you can replace a worn rotor fairly inexpensively.

AbsoluteBlack Raven SL worlds lightest center lock brake rotor for XC and trail mountain bikes

The Raven SL’s floating design lets the braking surface expand as it heats up, reducing the likelihood of warping. Rather than riveting them to the carrier, they’re bolted on. AB says the benefit is twofold: More surface contact area between the rotor and carrier for better heat dissipation (and, presumably, helps keep it stiff), and it allows you to easily replace the rotor.

AbsoluteBlack Raven SL worlds lightest center lock brake rotor for XC and trail mountain bikes

The design was created using 3D CAD software with integrated Finite Element Analysis and required more than 200 hours of work to balance the low weight with the strength required to bring kamikaze riders under control.

The spider is solid billet CNC’d 7075 T651 aluminum, anodized black. The rotor is martensitic 420 stainless steel that’s ground, heat treated and laser cut to save weight but retain a fairly large braking surface area compared to other ultralight rotors we’ve seen. The bolts are custom M4 6/4 titanium.

They’re recommended for XC and Trail riding and have a rider weight limit of 198lbs (aggressive use) to 231lbs (casual use…because, you know, these are perfect for weekend warriors!). MSRP is €161 for the complete rotor and replacement friction rings are just €40. They’re based in the UK but will ship anywhere. We’ll update with US$ pricing as soon as we hear back from them. They also offer the Raven, which uses the same materials and spider but with a less-chiseled braking surface to come in at 105g.

AbsoluteBlack Raven SL worlds lightest center lock brake rotor for XC and trail mountain bikes

At present, the rotors are only available in 160mm sizes, with 180mm and 140mm on the way.

AbsoluteBLACK Raven SL center lock brake rotor lock ring

The lock ring is equally gorgeous and comes in at just 5.7g (claimed). It’s available separately for €18.50 and can be used with any CenterLock rotor (but not CenterLock adapters).

That’s all well and good, you say, but I don’t use CenterLock rotors. Sit tight. Their website shows some black ceramic coated titanium ISO 6-bolt rotors coming soon that weigh in at just -wait for it- 49g for a 160mm and 40g for a 140mm. If you’re counting, that’s lighter than Ashima’s new Ai2 rotors and Scrub’s RaceDay.


  1. The idea of a weight limit for a brake rotor is pretty ridiculous. It smacks of the same faux professionalism that litters his site. Outside of brake rotors that he’s just now getting to market, what has he done to attest to his expertise?

  2. Look awesome! 40g for 6 bolt rotors! That is over 60g savings per wheel with better braking performance in dry and especially wet conditions.

    Pricey but may come down with time.

  3. As a 120 pound student of metallurgy and mechanical engineering i find these absolutely awesome. (and the ceramic coated ones even more awesome) Miles out of my price range though, at least for the next few years.

  4. @craigsj
    Im just spit balling here
    but my guess is the weight limits has to do with the fact that they are only 160mm rotors
    in general larger riders should be using bigger(not weight weenie) rotors of at least a 180 up front and a 160 in the back.

    the screwed on friction ring just looks like asking for trouble right there, im a big fan of more material to grab on to because more power and slower to fade. Rotors is never a place i would save weight on my mountain bike, in my book ultra light cranks make more sense than ultra light rotors

  5. Light weight in a brake rotor is one of those things that I’d hesitate to go for. If they weren’t so heavy, cast iron rotors would be the way to go. They provide way better braking that stainless steel and Ti. Alas, cast iron rotors ain’t exactly light. If anyone’s into motorcycles, they’ll find cast iron Brembo rotors (say, 360mm) squeezed with Brembo’s GP master cylinder are very nearly as grin inducing as stepping into an orgasmatron for a few minutes.

  6. Why no one makes front and rear specific rotors (diameter aside)?
    Surely the forces involved are very different at each end of a bike.

  7. Has anybody seen the economy lately.200 big one for a rotor is a bit much and then add a weight limit on top of that,cant see it! Is this what we have to look forward to on road bikes?

  8. If you’re over the weight limit on these rotors it’s time to look elsewhere, like yourself, to shed some weight if you’re really into counting grams. I’m not saying no one should be a clyde, but if you are over 231 lbs fully loaded but want to shave some weight somewhere, I know a better place to start than your rotors…

  9. 95 g is light?
    Their IS rotor should be 49 g, DT Swiss IS-CenterLock adapter is 29,5 g. That would mean 11,5 g lighter…
    Just wondering…

  10. “By comparison, Shimano’s IceTech XTR’s 160 comes in at a claimed 160g. That weight is possibly including their lock ring,…”

    So a cycling industry writer cant’ find out if this is true or not? How hard would it have been to weigh an IceTech rotor without the lockring and then avoid this “possibly” stuff. Yeesh.

  11. we should really focus on improving braking performance and not weight so much…i for one would love to develop a method of using Iron rotors, as the performance increase would excellent and it would be a cheaper material than stainless as well. all you would really have to do is add a coating to the surfaces not in contact with the pads. i know they do this on automotive applications, it can’t be that difficult. maybe it’s just the fact that a bike user might stash their bike away for a month or season and the rotors could end up looking horrible with so much rust accumulated.

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