Let's face it -- accidents happen, especially on the mountain. And if you're running any of the Hayes HFX 9 series brakes, we've got you covered if a lever blade goes bye-bye. The Hayes HFX 9 Lever Blade is your savior from purchasing a whole new lever assembly in the case of catastrophe. The blade is forged from aluminum, and as we're sure you know, provides predictable modulation and dependable braking power.The Hayes HFX 9 Lever Blade is only a replacement blade for the Hayes HFX 9 series. It is available in one size and in the color Silver.
Strengths: what strengths? i seriously doubt if its meant for DH.
Weaknesses: 1. Pistons can stuck when the time comes to rebuild it
2. Under real pressure it leaks from EVERYWHERE and i do mean EVERYWHERE
3. The bleeding tap was a stupid idea from Hayes it can be blown and the tap base on the lever can easily be torn on a crash
4. NO adjustments other than the one with the alen screw behind and under the lever which is ->
5. the most stupid place to put the only adjustment on these brakes because a portable alen key just wont fully rotate
6. NO modulation, NO feeling and NO feedback. you either hit them hard to stop or learn how to ride without them
7. no matter how pro you are at brakes..you could be working at Hayes factory you will NEVER bleed them properly first off
8. Hayes pads suck at everything...they dont last and they make a lot of noise.
9. Brake pads are ridiculously expensive
i could be going on and on so read the review
I got these for my first bike which was an plain mtb not a DH about 3 years ago and boy they were great. awesome stopping power. Then i changed my game and got a used iron horse yakuza frame and put all the stuff on it.
After 2 years, 3 rotors (oh how they bend), a new lever adjustment screw(which was stuck and the hex was worn), a broken piston (after it got stuck) and 3 blown bleeding taps and a rebuild in a master cylinder.... i switched to stroker ace.
These brakes are NOT for DH... seriously... if you find your self in a tough spot like going down fast on rocky places and you need to press for hard brake (remember no modulation) after a while the caliber actually leaks from the where the two caliber parts join together, not to mention the bleeding tap on the caliber which bleeds for no reason.
The bleeding tap on the lever is the most stupid idea i have ever seen on brakes, it feels like pin the donkey game... there is NO screw you just have to tap a plastic pin in a rubber part on the lever the same way you would tap the cork on a wine bottle (wtf hayes?). When you need to bleed you just pull the tap off... with your fingernail.....
The adjustment for the lever height is under the lever, which makes the adjustment a pain in the a** if you are looking for a fine tuning, and remember the pads run out fast on these brakes. Also if it happens for the lube behind the screw and inside the master cylinder to wear off, just go ahead and rebuild (which means more bleeding) dont force the alen key inside the screw or you will have to get a new screw as well.
NO modulation, NO feeling and NO feedback 'nough said.
For anyone who is interested: i tried them all.. the Goodridge sintered pads are the best. they last three times as long and they dont make much noise.
If you are looking for good brakes for anything else than DH/FR and harsh conditions in general buy these, if not well its a waste of time every time you rebuild, rebleed and waste of money for the rotors, the brake fluid and the brake pads. I would recommend these to someone who would get them used in good condition for light riding. At least they seem to be working better than elixir under rain and mud.
I had to upgrade to the ace's to finally get amazing braking power, I actually brake less and i finally understand what it means to modulate and why it is so important.
No disrespect to Hayes they make pretty good brakes its just that the HFX9HD is not one of them.
Bike Setup: Morewood Izimu, Boxxer RC, Stroker Ace,
a Weekend Warrior
from Sacramento CA
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2012
Strengths: The bike stops when you want it to. What more is it supposed to do?
Weaknesses: The rotors warp easily and drag on the caliper/pads
If the rotors didn't warp they would be great. I would say that they are certainly powerful enough, modulation is good, I think it gets better as the years go by and they break in more and more. They have never failed me. They are older and newer stuff like Codes and XT's obviously outperform the Hayes 9, but for how long they lasted me with only a warped set of rotors which is easily replaced I think they're pretty good. No need to replace them until they fail you, which in my experience isn't likely.
Similar Products Used: Hayes mechanical (not so good) Shimano XT (Excellent)
Bike Setup: 2006 BIGHIT truvativ hussefelt, holy roller front nevegal rear, Marzzochi EXR Pro.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fayetteville, NC USA
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2011
Strengths: Pretty good power and decent modulation
Weaknesses: They are bit on/off when under heavy braking load
For years these brakes were the standard in downhill and freeride. I don't understand how. They are decent brakes but lack true stopping power and modulation. I took these off my wifes bike because she complained they pulsed and release while going downhill. I didn't believe her but once they were on my bike they did the same thing. I've gotten use to them but they don't have the power of my Magura Julies or my Shimano LX's. I would only recommend these if they were on a very discounted sale or were on the bike when I got it. Either way I would replace them with a set of Julies once I got the $90/wheel jensonusa.com wants for them. The fact that these brakes routinely go for 100-150 per wheel baffles me. These brakes haven't failed me yet but I wouldn't feel confident taking them to a downhill run.
Similar Products Used: Shimano LX, Hayes Mechanical, Sram Code, Magura Julie
Bike Setup: '06 Giant Reign 1 Fox 36 fork, full XT 10 spd drivetrain and Atomlab Pimp wheelset
a Cross Country Rider
from Farmington, Ut, USA
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2011
Weaknesses: poor heat disapation, break easy.
While coming down a mountain trail I laid down my bike at around 2mph in a very tight switch back the crash was certainly nothing to write home about. When I got up and tried to proceed down the single track I noticed that I had lost all power in the front brake. Further inspection reveled that the small plastic bleed stopper had somehow disappeared in the crash. I checked the lever and there was no damage but yet the master cylinder was leaking profusely on the ground. I still can’t figure out how the brake bleed plug fell out it is beyond me how it could have come out but none the less there I was with hydraulic fluid running all over the ground!
Ok. . I thought I can get the part and replace it, rebleed the brake and the brakes will be back in working order again. WRONG!!!!! the brakes are damn near impossible to bleed clean of air unless you buy the Hayes special bleed kit!!!! That in and of it’s self was enough to scrap the brakes!
So I buy the bleed kit and insert the bleed adapter into the rubber bleed hole and bleed the brakes as directed in the instructions. After I was finished I went to pull out the bleed adapter and wouldn’t you know it the adapter tears out the rubber part that it inserts into!!!!!! So now their is no way to seal up the hydraulic fluid!!!!! FU#%!!!!!
Can you say pissed as Hell!!!! What a piece of SH##.
NICE ONE HAYES YOU LOST A COSTUMER FOR LIFE WITH YOUR CHEEP SH*$. I have vowed to never buy another Hayes brake in my life!!!
The reason I gave these brakes only one star was because they look like brakes! Don’t waist your money!!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 28, 2011
Strengths: They have slowed my bike down for a couple of years. As with most disc brake systems they work relatively well in wet or muddy conditions.
Weaknesses: They constantly are rubbing and squeaking and need re-adjustment. As of lately my rear brake line has leaked, was repaired and bled and then needed bleeding again after a week, and now needs it again. I bought the Hayes Pro bleed kit thinking that it would be more economical since this is turning into a chronic problem, but the process seemed very complicated and the included directions were unclear and the illustrations a joke that made it more like a guessing game. I returned the kit for a refund and will be looking at new brakes. Maybe other brands are just as hard to do maintenance on, but I'm reasonably mechanically inclined and these are a PIA. I have had it with Hayes!
I wouldn't recommend these brakes. After trying to mitigate the problems with another Hayes product, their bleed kit, I think I'm just about done with them.
Similar Products Used: Avid cable disc (forget the model), V-brakes
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Superlight with some upgraded stuff.
from Seattle washington USA
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2011
Strengths: Stopping power, looks, big rotors, no maintenance
Weaknesses: Hard to fill/bleed, no settings
Great bang for your buck brake! The only "pita" is when you go to change fluid or bleed them. The knob on the caliper is actually where you fill it, and the plug at the top on the levers is the bleed hole. I changed my fluid in mine today and took me about 5 mins to do the job.
It makes me sick to read bad reviews on great products that people do on this site. Most people writing bad reviews are kids or really don't know how to use the product so things go bad.
Bottom line..... Buy them and ride them for years and be worry free!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2010
Strengths: Strong braking. Good in wet. Easy to adjust and set up.
Bit of squeal with new pads. Kink in rear hose.
Had these on my "Downhill" bike and was pretty happy with them. Came up on the second hand market with 160mm rotors so bought them for my XC bike. Great stopping power and pretty lightweight. Takes a few rides to get them dialled in. Probably much better for xc/ all mountain riding with a good set of rotors.
Strengths: Good brakes for a very long time. I just upgraded to Hayes Stroker Aces, but these were strong and worked great for a very long time for me.
Weaknesses: Lever pops out if you wreck wrong and you have to replace the washer in the master cylinder/lever housing.
These were great brakes for a long time. Only had the handle come out once, during a hard wreck. I had wrecked plenty of other times and not had issue, so I would say that this was a "freak accident". They were strong and reliable, good modulation. There are better brakes out there now, but I am going to give them a 5/5 because they are very good for the price. Usually you can find good deals on them used.
Weaknesses: break easy, I have had 2 set sof these, broke the washer when my lever was forced out too far by a fall; $20 to get the washer to fix it, what a joke. My first set leaked, I should have bailed onHayes, but...On my brand new pair 3 mo of riding and they are in the shop to be bled, I really do not recommend these
get shimano or hope, or blow the $250 you saved with Hayes in the shop fixing your Hayes.
from San Francisco, California
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2009
Strengths: Never have leaked. strong if you really crank them,
Weaknesses: rotors are VERY easily warped, not very grippy, unpredictable, terrible heat dissipation. Completely impossible to adjust, always fussing and squeaking and rubbing and b$#%ing and whining.
Absolute RUBBISH. Simply cannot stand up to heavy use... heated up to the point where i had to put ice cubes on the calipers to cool them down. i cannot adjust them, and im German... very flimsy rotors; they bend at the drop of a hat. i hate these brakes
a Weekend Warrior
from Gold Coast - Australia
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2008
Strengths: Solid bombproof design, easy servicability and lots of aftermarket non OEM parts available....
Weaknesses: Expensive aftermarket parts (OEM).... Pads are pricy compared to current modles and rubber diafram breaks easily, shotty hayes tubing, Goodrige or Hope cables the way to go when getting a set....
There a good set of anchors, modulation is the key and a spare set of pads a must when out. There isnt much adjustability in their design and this shows with squeel and shuddering when not properly setup.... Lots of time setting them up!!!! needs to be kept clean and serviced for best performance and when they work they sure as well do!!! Good value for money in todays terms. But would possibly stay with Avid due to their weight savings and blingy attractivness....
from Lincoln, United Kingdom
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2008
Strengths: Excellent brute force, out-of-the-box stopping power. After 3 years I'm still on the original pads (though that probably says more about my riding habits than anything else!) Good wet-weather performance, and generally low noise. They appear to be very cheap to buy, at least compared to their immediate competition in terms of stopping power alone.
Fast fitting (no shims, etc.) and can be ridden without ever adjusting. Good, solid (heavy :D) and straight-and-true discs, too.
Unlike some brakes, they feel exactly the same between rides (e.g. no mystical loss of power overnight), though their feel can change dramatically during a ride itself
Weaknesses: Very poor modulation! Coming from the (temperamental) Hopes to these was a very tricky adjustment! They are generally quite rideable, but it takes very fine finger control to extract any form of modulation. The rear's 8" rotor means it's almost impossible to modulate, however.
Descents can be hit-or-miss, I find the front brake "ramps up" very quickly after a few bursts of deceleration and any sustained braking causes fade and the dreaded lever-sponge-effect, probably due to the fluid "gassing" at high temperature (it is only DOT4, after all.) A "quick" bleed fixes the sponginess though. (The Hayes manual recommends a semingly backward way of bleeding that can also be hit-or-miss; I'd recommend following a method after your own experience on this one.)
Additionally, the ramping alludes to some kind of heat dissipation issues, which Hayes claim the 8" rotors were used to alleviate. The excess heat will cause your pads to glaze over, especially with the stock, hard compound pads. Sometimes the wet pads and disc can really howl (think bedding-in a hope brake) but it's no biggie.
One final whinge about the mounting and adjustability of the calipers. Basically, you mount the caliper and pull the brake on full and tighten the bolts up. Excellent for speed of setup and numpty-friendly use, but rubbish for fine adjustment. The caliper castings aren't particularly high-tolerance (they are castings, after all) and it's almost impossible, with my calipers, to get a caliper position which doesn't rub the pads or the caliper body (!!) on the disc, despite the trueness of the discs. You're left with having to hand-adjust the caliper position, which is a nightmare as the design of the caliper mountings doesn't lend itself to alignment by hand at all well. You'll need an extra pair of hands or a jig of some sort to get the position right and prevent the bolts from shifting the caliper as you tighten them (compensating for this prior to tightening has proven near impossible!)
Kudos to Norco for putting these chunky, bombproof and powerful brakes on a "cheap" bike, they really do allow the rider to go at some pace with the confidence that you will slow down with some gusto, even if it is only once or twice per ride!
That said, they lack any finesse on the fine-control front and sustained descents (assuming you're the type to brake at least occasionally) can murder the fluid and pads; both of which are easy enough to remedy between rides, though.
If you're into riding the sort of downhill that lacks any real technical element, or you just like riding fast and stopping even faster, then these brakes, given their price, are probably ideal. As soon as you need a dependable, flexible brake with good, sustained lever feel and even an ounce of modulation, then these brakes will come up short eventually; probably sooner rather than later. I would recommend fitting these to some semi-burly wheels, they really are brutal (thanks to the lack of modulation) and can chew through hub bearings in record time as well as screw up spoke tension, just like any powerful disc brake.
A true fit-and-forget (assuming they don't rub) brute of a brake that really is good value for money.