Review: Galfer Shark Disc Rotors - Pinkbike

Review: Galfer Shark Disc Rotors – Pinkbike

Remember Shark Bites? They were the colorful fruit snacks the cool kids brought to school in the ’90s, gleefully chomping the heads off miniature hammerhead and great white sharks while those of us stuck with hot lunch poked at our mystery meat. That doesn’t have anything to do with this review of Galfer’s latest rotors, other than the fact that most of my shark-related memories seem to revolve around those gummy snacks…

First seen between the tapes on the World Cup DH and EWS circuits, the Shark Disc rotors are made in Spain, where they are laser cut from stainless steel. The unique shape is claimed to offer a lower operating temperature and improved braking power compared to other options on the market.

Shark Disc Details

• Thickness: 2.0mm
• Material: steel
• Sizes: 180, 203, 223mm
• 6-bolt only
• Weight: 180 grams (203mm, 6-bolt)
• MSRP: $95 – $131 USD

The ‘Shark’ moniker comes from the fins that extend underneath the braking surface, where they’re intended to act as heat sinks to further aid in cooling. The rotors are 2 millimeters thick, keeping in line with the trend towards thicker rotors that has been gaining momentum recently. For example, SRAM’s HS2 rotors are 2 mm thick, up from the 1.85 mm thickness of their previous Centerline rotors. TRP has rotors that are 2.3mm thick in their lineup, and Magura has had 2.0 mm rotors in their catalog for decades.

The idea is that more material allows for better heat dissipation, and makes the rotors less likely to warp under high temperatures. They’re also a little less likely to bend when you slip off a skinny or smack into a poorly placed rock.

Along with the increased thickness and shark fins, Galfer went all-out with the laser cutter and zapped out 324 holes and 27 larger cutouts to help with air flow and clearing dust, mud, or water from the braking surface. All those holes also help shave weight, although rotors aren’t that high on my list of places I’m worried about a few extra grams. The 203mm rotor weighs in at 180 grams, 20 grams lighter than a 200 mm SRAM HS2 rotor. There’s also a circular cutout near the 6 mounting holes that can be used to hold a speed sensor magnet for riders on e-bikes.


I tested the Shark Disc rotors on several different bikes, all with SRAM’s Code RSC brakes and metallic pads. I’d already been running 2.0 mm thick HS2 rotors, so there was no need to re-set the caliper pistons to gain clearance for the Galfer rotors. That’ll likely be necessary if you’re bumping up from a 1.8 mm rotor, but the process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. If you’re going to be replacing your pads at the same time, twisting a flat head screwdriver between the old pads should push the pistons all the way back in, or if the pads are out a plastic tire lever can be used to make sure they pistons are fully retracted.

Compared to the HS2 rotors, the Shark Discs do have a slightly grabbier initial bite (no pun intended), which will be appreciated by riders looking for a little extra ‘oomph’ from their brakes. Even though the width is nearly identical to the HS2, the Shark Disc’s design allows it to grab on more tenaciously when the pads first contact it – it’s similar to the difference in initial feel between metallic and organic brake pads.

The rotors have remained quiet and consistent on long, steep and extra dusty descents, including ones that require prolonged bouts of very heavy braking. The conditions this summer have been extremely dry, but on the few occasions I did ride try the Shark Discs in the rain they’d make a little noise until the water cleared and then remained silent after that – I never found them to be overly loud .


+ Strong initial bite, consistent performance
+ Unique look

Pinkbike’s Take

The biggest hurdle for riders interested in these rotors is going to be the price – at $119 USD for the 203 mm version they’re twice as much as SRAM’s HS2 rotors. They do look cool, so there’s that, and they are slightly grabbier, but that’s still a hefty price tag for a piece of steel. Price aside, they work very well, and could be a good upgrade for riders who want something to make their bike stand out from the crowd. Mike Kazimer

#Review #Galfer #Shark #Disc #Rotors #Pinkbike

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