I just bought some replacement brake rotors for my Shimano hydraulic system, the box says they are for mechanical brakes, anybody know if this should effect it??

  • 1
    What model rotors? You should be fine, no metallic pads though of course.
    – MaplePanda
    Mar 11, 2021 at 15:40
  • 2
    @MaplePanda Why no metalic pads? Mar 11, 2021 at 16:10
  • 2
    rotors are treated differently depending on their application (price!). There will be a stamp on the rotor although can't remember what specifically it is. Heat treated rotors will be harder and less susceptible to wear from the harder metallic pads. You can use metallic pads on 'resin only' rotors and the best case scenario is they wear down very very quickly. Worst case is the extra head generated cracks or warps the rotor. Basically don't do it by choice.
    – el_oso
    Mar 11, 2021 at 17:39
  • @el_oso the fact that the rotors are going to vary in quality (and probably method of construction) by price could be worth an answer if you want to give it a go! That said, if the rotor sizes line up, you could use a fancy Dura Ace or XTR rotor with the cheapest and crummiest mechanical disc calipers if you wanted to, for whatever reason.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Mar 11, 2021 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


There is no distinction between mechanical and hydraulic in terms of rotor compatibility per se. The manufacturer may be trying to get at something else in a clumsy and arbitrary way. They could be saying it's a direct replacement for the rotor that comes in some other brake set they produce, or they could be falsely equating mechanical brakes with using only organic pads, or it could be a dainty ultralight rotor and this is their way of cautioning against subjecting it to the generally higher (debatable) temperatures that might be encountered in a hydraulic system being used in a more demanding brake application.

The compatibility distinction you want to make sure you're not on the wrong side of is using metallic/semi-metallic pads on a rotor for organic aka resin only. But it's not clear that's what you have if that's the only verbiage they give you to work with.

  • 1
    It's particularly odd as mechanical brakes often come with metallic pads
    – Chris H
    Mar 11, 2021 at 18:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.