I think it is fairly natural to be skeptical of emerging technologies so it was no surprise when many people assumed we were simply selling high temp traditional epoxy based carbon laminate, cut to a rotor shape. The truth we felt was clearly spelled out in our name. SiCCC
, Silicon C
eramic, and C
arbon Fiber. I understand it's hard to believe that a little startup could be producing product similar to that of Brembo, but its not an impossible notion especially if you compare $/gram compared to Carbon Ceramic brakes available for automotive applications. This is not to say we are selling a Brembo like product, our chemistry, and manufacturing process had to be very different to fit the form factor required for a bicycle, but they do sell the closest comparable product.
Obviously we have a vested interest in protecting our IP(I do mean our IP, as in we own it, not filed by someone else and licensed) and keeping things a trade secret for as long as possible. Those 18 months we get to wait before our patents are published are very valuable. Yes Shimano, and SRAM can purchase our rotors and reverse engineer to their hearts content, but the process we take to get to that composition is unique, and therefore will remain a secret.
We really had hoped to expound more in both video and text, but the kickstarter success meant we had to focus 100% on production. This meant 14+ hour days of manufacturing. We hope to do a better job in the future detailing the advantages of our material and goals for the future, but currently our focus has been on manufacturing, a lot of people took a chance, and it is our goal to fulfill orders before trying to sell more through marketing. We had some setbacks, bounced back, and are on track, and we appreciate the patience. I fully accept critics, and even skeptics as part of the deal, but the cynicism helps nothing. We started as 2 guys who's goal was to design product which made for a better ride, this does not mean we are owed anything, this does not mean we deserve anything, it just means were passionate cyclist like the rest of you.
Here are some photo's which you have likely all seen, but require explanations:
In this photo the rotors are seen glowing red. This is part of the manufacturing process and was simply posted to show that this is not normal epoxy, as obviously there are no epoxies not even thermoplastics which can withstand the heat required to make carbon glow red. I won't explain what part of the process this is, or why we do it, but suffice to say its required to create a product which can withstand temperatures far in extreme of the friction created on even the most rigorous descents. We have yet to see, and do not expect anyone to experience a glowing red rotor in any real world situation, as cool as it might be, most pads can hardly handle those temperatures.
This picture is of a dyno run at 1500w. We are a small company and we needed a multi purpose test rig which allowed us to do both road and bench testing. We created a bench dyno and a road rig by using a trike and a custom built brushless hub motor. In this picture the rotor is being brought to over 800f and held at this temperature through pulsation, and then cooling times were recorded. We also tested failure, but were unable to reach a point at which failure could be accomplished with the friction capable from a bicycle tires traction patch. Our tests were similar to EN/DIN with the exception being we tested at a higher wattage, but that was simply because we had no method of limiting to a lower wattage accurately.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSnJ9ahl5pQ
This video was recorded more as a gag than anything else. I was joking around about the composition of our rotors and suggested we should load it up in a die grinder and cut some metal. I did and this ended up happening. Like a grinding wheel, when the rotor hit the aluminum core of the ICE Tech it deposited material on the SiCCC rotor. Nothing really interesting here, just what guys do at 2am working late to amuse themselves.
I appreciate your time and will do my best to answer questions.
Co-Founder Kettle Cycles