Ashima’s radical semi-composite PCB (Pan Cake Brake) is super-light for
any money, but actual braking performance and feel means it’s worth waiting for
its imminent replacement.
At 328g for a full 180mm front setup, the PCB is one of the lightest hydraulic brakes on the market, despite costing less than half the price of most super-light options. This is partly due to a composite master cylinder and the unique
pistonless calliper design but Ashima’s super-light cutaway Airotor, alloy rotor bolts and a really light cutaway mount adaptor also help
Unfortunately there’s a lot of wobble in the lever blade
from new, and the square body and fixed underside hose exit make it really
hard to sync with shifter pods. The alloy rotor bolts need utmost care not to
round out, too.
Ashima’s “unique” squeezy lever feel and serious lack of modulation
also failed to find any fans among our testers and it’s well below par on power
even before torque drops as temperature rises. The good news is that there’s a
totally new brake in the pipeline which will hopefully fulfill the
potential of a promising idea.
This article was
originally published in What
Mountain Bike magazine.
What’s the score with BikeRadar reviews? You can find a full
explanation of our ratings here.
The PCB has turned over 100 years of disk braking history on its head.
Ashima re-invented the hydraulic brake by making the seal do the work of the piston. The patented diaphragm technology delivers the performance of a traditional 21mm piston system….but in a significantly reduced package, making it….as flat as a PanCake!
Seal expansion is prevented via a diaphragm shield which is manufactured from heat retardant engineering plastic and protects the seal form the heat generated by braking. Although with the use of a high temperature performance rubber the seal itself can withstand temperatures in excess of 400degC…so the cap only serves to enhance the thermal endurance of the system putting it above or on par with traditional brakes.
Ashima PCB…. setting the standard!