Heat is the enemy of braking performance. Whether you're descending a long mountain bike trail or carving steep switchbacks on an alpine road, the longer and harder you brake, the more heat that builds in the brake system. As heat builds, braking power fades, resulting in inconsistent and weak stopping performance.
Shimano’s ICE TECHNOLOGY brake components help manage and reduce heat buildup so you can ride with confidence. ICE-TECHNOLOGY rotors, brake pads, hoses, and pistons work together, keeping the system cool and reducing brake fade for better braking in all riding conditions.
Brake fade describes the reduction or loss of braking power due to excessive heat in one or more components in the braking system.
The fundamental function of a brake is to convert kinetic energy into heat energy. In the case of disc brakes on a bike, the rider’s forward motion is slowed down or stopped when the brake caliper grabs the rotor. The friction created between the brake pad and the rotor slows the rider down.
Fade occurs when stopping demands are higher than the brake's ability to dissipate heat. On a bike, this usually happens when the rider encounters challenging conditions such as a long and steep descent that requires sustained or heavy braking.
Since brakes convert kinetic energy into heat energy, and too much heat causes brake fade, then a braking system’s capacity to manage heat buildup becomes critical to its performance.
ICE-TECHNOLOGY components use high-quality materials in precise locations to reduce heat buildup for better braking performance. This leads to better control over the bike and allows riders to carry more speed for longer into corners — better braking = later brake points = more confidence and control and, ultimately, more speed.
Shimano ICE-TECHNOLOGY Components
ICE-TECHNOLOGY helps eliminate brake fade by reducing and managing heat throughout each brake component. Shimano employs ICE-TECHNOLOGIES across the full braking system for better, more consistent stopping performance.
ICE TECHNOLOGY rotors are constructed with a three-layer sandwich design comprised of a finned inner aluminum surface and stainless steel outer surfaces. The finned aluminum layer increases surface area and encourages more airflow across the rotor. With this improved radiation performance, the ICE-TECHNOLOGY rotors achieve a lower surface temperate of 300˚C compared to the surface temperate of 400˚C for non-ICE-TECHNOLOGY rotors.
ICE-TECHNOLOGY brake pads feature an aluminum radiating fin that improves heat dissipation through the system. Available in resin or metal compound, the brake pads have a two-layer aluminum and stainless steel construction. Together, these elements provide rapid heat diffusion, which lengthens maintenance intervals, provides longer pad life, and reduces brake fade and noise while riding.
ICE TECHNOLOGY pistons use an oversized design that transfers hydraulic power directly to the brake pad. The piston’s ceramic construction helps reduce heat transfer through the system, providing efficient stopping power without fade.
In a braking system, heat management is essential at every step since heat transfers between all connected components. ICE-TECHNOLOGY banjo hoses reduce heat at a critical point in the system where heat is transmitted from the brake’s caliper through to the brake fluid.
Shimano ICE-TECH FREEZA
Shimano adds an extra layer of heat protection to its premium XTR and DURA-ACE rotors with ICE-TECH FREEZA technology. ICE-TECH FREEZA rotor construction uses the same three-layer sandwich design as ICE-TECHNOLOGY rotors; however, the inner aluminum surface is covered with heat-dissipating paint. Together with the aluminum finned design, the painted surface of the FREEZA rotors delivers supercooling forces for even more reliable braking performance and lighter operation under all conditions.
Whether you’re a racer looking to eke out every last bit of speed, or simply looking to enjoy your next trail ride, good brakes are essential for control over the bike. Shimano's ICE-TECHNOLOGY brake components deliver unparalleled heat management so you can brake with consistency and confidence, no matter the terrain or conditions.