Are you a professional cyclist who is looking to upgrade their MTB? Well, mountain bikes are wholesome, but with the manufacture of new parts, users are tempted to upgrade. When changing or upgrading the wheels, one cannot help but think of enhancing the braking system. If you are not a mountain biking amateur, you must have heard of 6 bolts and centerlock. Both are rotor types, but the real question is which one provides the best stopping action and impeccable performance. Wondering whether you should upgrade to 6 bolt or stick with centerlock? We will sort out the matter for you in this 6 bolt vs centerlock article. Our experts did a deep analysis on both rotor types; let’s dig deeper!

Overview of 6 bolt

6 bolt is the most commonly used rotor or disc type as it is readily available at a lower price. The steel braking surface is the best in improving performance and durability. Also, it has predictable stopping power, making it safer and more effective to use. We like how it has impeccable stopping power, which gives the user more control. One thing that most people love about the 6 bolt is it is lighter, and there are no specific tools required for its installment. Let’s have an overview of its specifications:

1. Item weight

For some bikers, rotor weight plays a pivotal role in the ride’s stability and performance. Hence, they prefer 6 bolt over centerlock. They are comparatively lighter and more readily available at a lower price. However, the hub you use with the rotor also impacts overall weight. On average, you can expect 6 bolts to be more than 100 grams. The aluminum material is exceptionally lightweight and helps in dissipating more heat for efficient performance. Theoretically, if we compare centerlock and 6 bolt, 6 bolt is significantly lighter. Hence, mostly a biker choice for the very same reason.

2. Cost effectiveness

As a rider who goes for multiple races, the cost is an important driving factor that you must keep in mind. If price is a concern for you, then 6 bolt is an exceptional choice. It is cheaper than other rotors, and you can make them work with metallic and resin pads. They are cost-effective, and you will only notice the temperature going up when riding downhill.

3. Installation and maintenance

As someone who has never delved into technical things, you may want a rotor that is easier to install. 6 bolt is easy to install as you do not need any specialized tool to fix it. When servicing, you may need a little more time to dismantle the wheel and rotor. However, you save money on tools because you only need a 6mm Torx key to install them.

4. Availability and braking efficiency

The six-bolt availability is readily available in the market and online if we talk about the six-bolt availability. The braking performance of the 6 bolt is fast and pretty efficient. It is best suited if you go around the town and not for an aggressive riding adventure. They come with multiple braking options.

Overview of Centerlock

Centerlock is one of the best when going on complicated ventures. It has a high heat ventilation design which works exceptionally well to provide powerful impact. They are not the most lightweight, but they are more durable than the 6-bolt rotor. One of the most significant advantages of centerlock is that it allows you to switch to 6 bolts. The centerlock will not bend in normal circumstances and works seamlessly in various conditions. On top of that, it is pretty easy to install, and the process is faster than most brake replacements. Let’s have an overview of some of its specifications:

1. Item weight

Centerlock is a heavier replacement that tends to intimidate a lot of bikers. It can be lighter or heavier depending upon which SRAM or Shimano adapter you are using. Sometimes, the adapter and rotor balance out the weight making it slightly lighter.

2. Cost effectiveness

One of the things that you must consider when switching to centerlock is the price. It has heavier parts which make it slightly more expensive than 6 bolt. However, its ultimate costing depends on what material, manufacturer, value, and category item you purchase.

3. Installation and maintenance

Among many other excellent things in centerlock, we find it highly maintenance friendly. You indeed need more tools to install and maintain it. However, the process is a lot faster and less complicated. You need a 24mm fork key and a 6mm Torx key to assemble the centerlock with brake pads. The tools are a one-time investment, making them cost-effective in the long run.

4. Availability and braking system

Unfortunately, centerlock is not readily available in the market. You may find the beginner-level centerlocks easily, but the high-end level is hard to get hands-on. Talking about the braking system. It works exceptionally well with different kinds of braking pads. Its well-ventilated braking system makes the heat dissipate pretty nicely.

What are the differences between 6 bolt and Centerlock?

There are quite a few differences between 6 bolt and centerlock that must not be overlooked. Here they are:

  • 6 bolt is readily available in the market, while centerlock is hard to get hands-on.
  • You need fewer tools and more time to install 6-bolt, but more tools and less time to install centerlock.
  • You can easily switch from centerlock to 6 bolt, but it is impossible to go from 6 bolt to centerlock.
  • 6 bolt is cheaper and does not require SRAM hub or installment, but centerlock is expensive and requires a SRAM or Shimano adapter.
  • 6 bolt is less heavy than the centerlock as it is nearly 100 grams.

Which one is better?

If we look at the braking performance of 6 bolt vs centerlock, there is not much difference. However, we prefer centerlock over 6 bolt because it is long-lasting and high-quality. If you are a rider and need a constant braking system replacement, you may opt for a 6 bolt. It is readily available and cheaper; hence, you would not have to spend much.