Yes, you can use SRAM rotors with Shimano brakes because the diameter of SRAM rotors and Shimano rotors is 1.8mm and you can easily swap both of them with each other, and also you can swap Shimano rotors with SRAM rotors but make sure the size of both rotors should exactly be same ( 180mm+180mm) (220mm+220mm). the difference comes in between the calipers and brake pads of both of these brakes, brake pads of a new setup might confuse you by rubbing too closely with the rotors or too far from the rotors, then you have to install 20mm adapters to make both of these brake setups compatible with each other.
The rotors need their proper central attachment with the hubs and if you have placed a single millimeter left or right side from the recommended place then it would misbehave with the brake calipers in their functioning.
Difference Between Shimano And SRAM brake Pads:
The diameter and thickness of Shimano brake pads is is thinner compared to the SRAM brake pads, although it shows that their brake pads are not compatible with each other it does not mean that you would samp both of these pads with each other, the difference comes in riding thick pads would response better and does not become hot as compared to thin brake pads, although it is possible you can replace Shimano brake pads with SRAM brake pads and vice versa.
You just need to adjust the correct angles of both pads by maintaining the calipers of both brakes so that the angles of both pads should be accurate to increase the braking power and performance of the pads of both calipers. if it’s not correcting and accurate the angle of the pads and calipers then there are small washers that are installed with the adapters which can decrease the distance of the brake pads and rotors for better working, make sure the size of washers should match with the pads and rotors, smaller or bigger size rotors would also work negatively and affect all the braking system for both Shimano brakes and SRAM brakes with their rotors.
Larger diameter brake pads would not make a better relationship and are not compatible with the thinner diameter rotors, because after installing them for the braking purpose, the brake pas would not stay accurately with the rotors and these would not hold the rotors precisely, as a result, this non-compatible setup would affect badly all the braking system of your wheel and starts arising irritating and unpleasant voices for the braking area, even the valve of braking also decreases on aggressive and hard terrains.
Difference In Rotors Of Both Brakes:
There are two kinds of rotors and the difference in their edges, rounded and non-rounder rotors. those rotors which do not have round edges would decrease the lifespan of the brake pads, while those rotors which have rounded edges do not cause any effect on the rubber pads and they will become useless according to their recommended or given life from the company.
Difference In Adapters For Shimano And SRAM Brakes:
Smaller or larger-sized adapters would work fine for rotors of Shimano and SRAM brakes, they need to be adjusted properly but the difference comes within the screws and bolts of the adapters, larger sized adapters have larger screws and smaller-sized adapters have smaller-sized screws, and larger sized screws would not work on the smaller sized adapters and vice versa.
Which Setup Is Noisy?
Shimano brakes with SRAM rotors are not noisy and the rotors remain quiet in dry and wet terrains, but SRAM brakes with Shimano rotors are noisy in wet and rainy trails, but if the setup is new with new rotors and brakes then these would also work fine, the problem comes when the SRAM brake and Shimano rotors become old over time.
Shimano And SRAM Rotors With Resin And Metallic Pads:
SRAM rotors work with both resin and metallic brake pads without any issue but Shimano rotors would not work with both of these pads, these would only work better with resin brake pads and are non-compatible with the metallic brake pads.
But if you are looking for compatible metallic brake pads with the Shimano rotors, then there are V brands of brake pads that are compatible with the resin and metallic brake pads and also with the Shimano and SRAM rotors, these brake pads are available with the different sizes, you can buy the exact sized brake pads same as that of the size of your brake rotors.
Sintered Vs Organic Pads:
Shimano brakes have their own Shimano rotors and SRAM brakes have their own SRAM rotors, the difference comes when you are interchanging them with each other, you have to check the rotor if it’s compatible with sintered or organic pads, then install the same compatible brakes for better functioning.
there are two types of rotors,
- center lock
- 6 bolt
SRAM rotors are easily installed and are compatible with both center lock and 6 bolt, it shows that these rotors would also install on both center lock and 6 bolt hubs easily. but Shimano rotors are not compatible with the 6 bolt hubs, these are only compatible with the center lock hubs and these are non-compatible with the 6 bolt hubs.
If you want to install 6 bolt rotors on a center lock hub, then it is a non-compatible setup but it can easily be made compatible with the help of adapters which are available in mechanic shops and online stores, you have to buy rotor and hub sized adapter for braking.
What Is The Common Problem Of Using Shimano Rotors With SRAM Brakes?
Shimano rotors have thin widths as compared to SRAM rotors due to which the SRAM calipers would not stay accurately with these rotors and the angle of the SRAM rotors are lower than that of the rotors, now you have to make them compatible with each other, there are small sized washers with 1.5mm to 2mm of range, install them under the lower surface of the SRAM brake pads and calipers to decrease the distance of the rotors and the calipers, in this way Shimano rotors with SRAM calipers would work exactly fine and much better by the addition of these small sized washers.