The SM-RT53 rotor should be used together with resin pads. If it is used with metal pads, the pads will wear out very rapidly.

from Shimano BR M-416 disc brake manual

How do I know if a rotor is compatible with organic pads prior to purchasing? Is it true that all rotors are?

How do I know if a rotor is compatible with sintered pads prior to purchase? Why not every rotor?


2 Answers 2


Q1 & !2: Yes all rotors I have ever come across are compatible with resin/organic pads.

Q3: Read documentation/website of manufacture, or trust info on the site you are buying from. From shimano anything in the 5x (or lower) series is not sintered compatible (AFAIK) while anything in the 6x (deore) or higher series is.

Q4: Not sure. Initial thought is abrasion on the rotor, but it could be to do with heat build up in the sintered pads being bad for the pad life also.


I have to say I never consider which pads I'll be using with rotors when I buy either. I buy organic for best stopping power and metallic for longest life (kevlar somewhere in the middle).

For mountain biking, the weather and type of mud/grit you're riding on is a FAR greater killer of pads than a rotor; you can easily get through a new set of pads in a few hours in sandy and wet conditions.

  • I've never gone through pads quite that fast, but yes, I agree that pads and rotors don't really need to be paired very carefully.
    – stranger
    Sep 17, 2014 at 15:44
  • 3
    Organic does not have the best stopping power. Sintered does. The only advantage resin has over sintered is the modulation (and arguably less noise). The long life of metal is not the reason to buy them, their performance in wet and damp conditions and greater bite is. Note: If you ride them in conditions which do not kill resin super fast, IME, they tend to eat as much money in disc wear as they save in pad costs, in resin killing gritty dampness they may well be a money saver)
    – user20209
    Dec 10, 2017 at 2:08

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