Wren Sports’ new Metal Matrix disc brake rotors are formed from a combination of aluminum and silica, with a special process that ensures even dispersion of the silica into the molten alloy.
The result is a material that’s basically like stone, with a very high coefficient of friction that dissipates heat way more rapidly than steel.
It’s then poured and cut as a plate. The material is so hard, it can’t be machined like normal, so they’re having to laser- and water jet cut them for now.
So what’s the point of all this?
At just 56g, it’s half the weight of a standard steel rotor, but with claims of better performance, both in terms of bite and heat management.
The rotor above is an early sample that’s been anodized, but founder Kevin Wren said the braking surface’s pattern made a lot of noise. The new design at the top of the post is quieter, but takes a lot longer to cut, which drives up costs. So, they’re still in development. Eventually they’ll be able to manufacture them using a fine blanking process, which will bring the cost down to competitive levels against standard steel rotors.
Wren used to do product development for Cannondale’s Coda, Bell Sports and others. Now he’s looking to build his own brand with these rotors as the launch pad.