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Exalith Brake Pads

protoproto Posts: 1,482
edited February 2016 in Road buying advice
Bought a pair Cosmic SLRs off a clubmate, the ones with the Exalith brake track. Mavic state that matching Exalith brake pads must be used.

Anyone know what is so special about them? I was rather hoping to use them on a bike equipped with Swisstop Yellow or Campag pads.

Posts

  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,839
    from what i was been told tonight they are extraordinarily good in the wet
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • peteonepeteone Posts: 152
    There are 2 different versions, mk1 used green pads and the mk2 uses black pads. Not sure what the difference is between them or if they are cross compatible. They are a harder compound and I have heard of people using normal pads in them without issue but personally wouldn't risk it.

    I have a set of new campag exilath pads for sale if you're interested.
    Cervelo R3
    Giant TCR SL
    Ibis Tranny
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,806
    Exalith is a Mavic ceramic coat, which is much harder than bare aluminium alloy. It therefore requires a matching brake pad. You can use any other pad, but you might have issues with premature pad wear, squeaking/squealing and possibly lower braking performance. If you spend extra for a superior brake track, t's worth matching it with the best pad for the job (assuming that's the Mavic's one). That is not saying that another pad might be even better
  • protoproto Posts: 1,482
    Thanks for the replies.

    The Exalith track looks to be hard anodised, much like any other rim* (I think), and of course has the unique 'file pattern' surface texture. I've used them with Campag brake pads for a couple of rides, and braking seems effective but nothing exceptional. Not tried them with Swisstop. My problem is that I do swap wheels around and I'm trying to find a pad that will work on any rim. If the Exalith pads are harder I'd be concerned they'd destroy my conventional Ksyriums.

    Hmmm, might have to use the Cosmic SLRs for everything! Or just get another bike.

    * I'm guessing most rims are anodised as opposed to hard anodised, the difference, as I understand it, being the depth of the oxidised layer. Typically 10-15 microns for anodsing and double that for 'hard' anodising. Process to achieve the result is different but the layer is the same, i.e. Aluminium Oxide. I'm no metallurgist, so correct me if I'm, wrong.
  • The main problem with your above plan is if you don't want to scratch the Exalith surface to bits, don't use it with pads you have used on a normal alloy rim. Wether you choose to use the Mavic pads, make sure you at least have a dedicated set of pads for the Exalith rimmed wheels.
  • charlie_potatoescharlie_potatoes Posts: 1,917
    What am I missing here? it only takes a few seconds to change pads?
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • protoproto Posts: 1,482
    About Exalith

    It just happens that I know a little bit about Mavic's Exalith process; it is an industrial process that, has mostly been deployed in high performance applications including aerospace, defence, motor sport, Formula 1, turbochargers, yacht racing and within plasma generators for the semi-conductor industry.

    Components to be treated are immersed in a special liquid electrolyte and then subject to a very high electrical voltage (potential difference) that causes millions of tiny "discharges" or sparks on the surface of the component. These discharges generate very high temperatures which cause the surface of the material to be converted into a hard, dense ceramic.

    When I say "very high temperatures" we are talking in excess of 15,000 deg Celsius or hotter than the surface of the sun although the heating effect is so local and transient that it doesn't affect the mechanical properties of the underlying aluminium.

    The Exalith treatment is most accurately described as a "surface conversion" treatment rather than a coating. The process converts the surface of the existing aluminium into a thin ceramic layer that is very hard, very wear resistant, thermally stable and very resistant to corrosion. The Exalith coating is tightly bound to the underlying aluminium and will not peel or flake off. The result of this is that, even in dirty, sandy conditions the good looks will be retained and Exalith rims should last significantly longer than ordinary aluminium rims.

    From this review:
    http://www.azini.com/news/2011/mavic-exalith-review
  • Mike CottyMike Cotty Posts: 57
    proto wrote:
    Bought a pair Cosmic SLRs off a clubmate, the ones with the Exalith brake track. Mavic state that matching Exalith brake pads must be used.

    Anyone know what is so special about them? I was rather hoping to use them on a bike equipped with Swisstop Yellow or Campag pads.

    Hi Proto,

    As has been noted above, the Exalith treatment process results in a rim that's extremely hard and wear resistant. Mavic developed specific brake pads to account for this, so that riders could get the maximum braking performance from the rim in all conditions (especially in the wet) and also a high level of durability from the pad. Whilst you could use a standard pad, overall braking performance will be sacrificed and it's likely you will find that the pads wear out very quickly due to the harder surface of the rim.

    Hopefully switching pads to gain the maximum performance advantages of the Exalith rim won't be too inconvenient.

    Ride safe and enjoy!

    Mike Cotty
    Mavic Community Manager
  • protoproto Posts: 1,482
    Thanks all. It would seem I'm now in the market for some Exalith brake pads!
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    I think I have 2 as new pairs of exalith pads (campag fit) in my spares box. In box me if interested-very good price, they where used for 3 rides
  • Can wheels with standard aluminium brake surface be used with Exalith pads from time to time?.I'm thinking of buying Mavic wheels that need Exalith pads,i'll change the pads to Exalith if I do buy the wheels,but I've a 2nd set of wheels with an aluminium brake surface that I'd like to use every so often also.
  • No. The last thing you want to do it pick up a bit of alu brake track in the pad then transfer to over to the Exalith rim = bye bye lovely dark grey treatment, hello big silver lines.
  • No. The last thing you want to do it pick up a bit of alu brake track in the pad then transfer to over to the Exalith rim = bye bye lovely dark grey treatment, hello big silver lines.
    Cheers,looks like I might have to keep a spare set of shoes handy if I want to switch between wheels,a pain,but what can you do.
  • alex222alex222 Posts: 598
    No. The last thing you want to do it pick up a bit of alu brake track in the pad then transfer to over to the Exalith rim = bye bye lovely dark grey treatment, hello big silver lines.
    Cheers,looks like I might have to keep a spare set of shoes handy if I want to switch between wheels,a pain,but what can you do.
    I would think that just changing the pads would be a quicker job than changing the shoes.
  • alex222 wrote:
    No. The last thing you want to do it pick up a bit of alu brake track in the pad then transfer to over to the Exalith rim = bye bye lovely dark grey treatment, hello big silver lines.
    Cheers,looks like I might have to keep a spare set of shoes handy if I want to switch between wheels,a pain,but what can you do.
    I would think that just changing the pads would be a quicker job than changing the shoes.
    I'd have thought screwing off and switching shoes (pad/and housing ),would be much more straightforward than swithcing the pad only.
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