Ultralite titanium hardware kit
Carbon fiber lever blade
Magnesium flip-flop design master cylinder allows lever to be mounted on either side of bar
Two piece master cylinder allows lever tobe removed without removing shifters and grips
"All-weather" pad compound
Kevlar hose available in silver or black
System weight 378 grams
a Cross Country Rider
from Orange County, CA
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2006
Strengths: -Great stopping power -Easy installation -Solid modulation
Weaknesses: -Lever instability! The things flop all over the place and cannot be tightened. -Throw adjustment: There is a small allen bolt inside the lever that constantly "adjusts" itself (in my case, causing the lever to stiffen dramatically) and is impossible to get to using any type of multi-tool.
While I really love the stopping power and modulation of these things, the lever problems simply make them not worth the trouble.
Both levers are extremely "floppy," and there is literally no way to tighten them so they don't bounce around and rattle all the time which is just annoying.
If it were just the annoyance of floppy levers with these brakes, I could live with it however, the throw adjustment and the fact that it never stays in once place, is just too much to handle.
On my left (front) brake, I am constantly having to mess with the tiny bolt after rides due to the fact that the bolt, somehow, tightens itself thus causing the lever throw to stiffen (i.e. move away from the grip) significantly. This is an especially horrendous problem when dropping down long, technical descents due to the facts that: A) a long reach causes serious hand fatigue after just a few minutes and B) it can be very dangerous as the lever has actually been out of reach on two seperate occasions (fortunately I was able to ride through both times without serious incident...barely though).
On the right side, the bolt sticks in just fine but it stripped out VERY easily and now can't be adjusted at all without someone tearing the whole lever apart and rebuilding it. Fortunately the lever is in an adequate (not great) position so I can live with it.
I've talked to a lot of people who've had/have these brakes and this seems to be a VERY common problem and the only solution I've heard (from multiple people) is to use red "Lock Tight" (they say that's the only one strong enough to hold it) on the little bolt but, if I do that, I'm right back to the problem I'm having with the right lever in that if I lock it up permanently and don't quite like it after riding it, I'm stuck with it.
Bottom line: there's a reason brake manufacturers develop "on the fly" throw adjustments and market them all over the place and these brakes seem to be the poster children for all of those reasons.
I WOULD NOT buy these brakes again and - unless you like having constant problems trying to adjust your brakes - I would not recommend anyone else buying them either.
Similar Products Used: -Shimano XT disc brakes -Magura Louise brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Simi Valley
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2005
Strengths: Wow where do I start, super powerul, absolutly incredible lever feel, lightweight, no brake fade, wavy rotors, look amazing
Weaknesses: NONE, for anyone who has their lever creep in on them just loctite it and you'll be fine
So far my absolute favorite brake on the market in my opinion. I prefer them over the Shimano Discs, mainly becasue the stoping power in much nicer, and the lever is awesome. I demoed a bike w/ XTR and they wer noisey and didn't have a lot of power compared to the hayes. Go with Hayes you'll never go back, simple set up, great performance, outstanding product. Once you try them you won't go back
Similar Products Used: None-first disc, but going to buy it for the rear
Bike Setup: Coming soon-Dean Colonel with full Hayes, mostly xt
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2005
Strengths: Super dependable,light weight, stong power, good modulation, bombproof carbon levers.
Weaknesses: Slight need of adjustment when pads wear down.
These brakes are the most dependable out there. Get the new cams (with the slot on the top) from Hayes and you will never have problems with the reach screw moving again. You can leave your bike upside down and it won't require re-bleeding. When new, rubber band a bottle to the handlebars and make sure the bleed hose is at the bottom, go up and down three times with the fliud and enjoy the maintenence free ride. I'm waiting for a long term test report before I try the Camino's. You really can't go wrong with the Mag Plus!
Bike Setup: Yeti 575 cross country 6inch rotors, Yeti ASX 8inch rotors.
Mike from PA
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2005
Strengths: Weather proof. Relatively light weight. Ease of alignment using the Hayes bracket...no shims! Serviceable and easy to find parts. Carbon lever feels nice. Minimal squeal if set up properly. Good power. Modulation... my opinion on that is modulation is in the finger, not the brake.
Weaknesses: Took me 3 careful bleeds to finally get the air out of the new lines.
These are very nice xc brakes and I would buy them again. I know I'm posting after only 3 months of use so the very important matter of durability is difficult to asses. I'll repost in a year or so if they fail me.
Out of the higher end disk brakes these are not the lightest. A lot of that comes from the type of caliper adjustment system/bracket Hayes uses. I'll take a few grams to not have to deal with shimming brakes like Hopes that require those little circular beasts.
Compared to the Minis they are a bit heavier. Hope's just look very well made and Hope did have great customer service. Hope's bleed very easily. My biggest issue with the Hopes was they would loose too much power when riding in water and muck. During one particularly wet race they began to fade and ultimately a pad fell out. I'm not exactally sure what caused this but the "fade issue" occured on much more than one sloppy ride. It became such an issue I took them off. They were very finicky when trying to get them set up "just right" using the shims.
Compared to the Avid Mechs they are more set and forget. Mechs are very forgiving in the set up department but due to the caliper design your pads wear unevenly and this requires an occasional adjustment. Of course cables on the Mechs require frequent maintenance in riding in wet weather. The Mechs are heavy.
Bike Setup: Yeti ASR-SL w/ X.0, FSA carbon components and wheels
from Albuquerque, NM
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2004
Strengths: Light, looks good, stays fairly cool
Weaknesses: feel at lever
I like them a lot, after a year of use they have yet to bother me. My only issue is that it's hard to feel when the pads make contact with the rotor. I don't know what this is caused by, but with lots of other hydraulic brakes you can feel the contact like an off/on switch. Modulation is average, I just like a little feedback through the levers.
Similar Products Used: hayes and avid hydraulics, h. and a. mechanicals
Bike Setup: KHS fetish, boxxer and romic d. Halo SAS rims with hope hub front and woodman hub rear. 8" rotors
from Pasadena, CA
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2004
Strengths: respectably light, parts are easy to find (not to mention inexpensive), tough as nails, plenty of stopping power
Weaknesses: wish they had a 1 piece caliper (hence: the El Camino)
i bought these to replace my marta SL's (which were great brakes) because of the ease in serviceability and much less expensive parts. i can replace pads now for about $15 as opposed to $30+. moreover, the hayes are sturdier, so im more confident that theyll hold up for the long haul.
Bike Setup: 2004 Fisher Sugar Race XO/XT/SID/Stan's - 24.5lbs
a Cross Country Rider
from Salt Lake City, Utah
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2004
Strengths: Good stopping power and modulation. Relatively maintenance-free. Durability.
Weaknesses: Lever reach adjustment screw constantly backs out, causing brake lever to slowly creep in toward H-bar. This happens every ride, and is a big problem!!!!!!!!!!!! I have also had problems with the front brake squealing more than it should.
I have a real love/hate relationship with these brakes. On the plus side, they've been reliable stoppers and have been pretty maintenance-free (with the one major exception that I will explain below). They have good stopping power and modulation. However, on the minus side, these things have a major design defect! the set screw (push rod) that adjusts the lever reach constantly backs out, causing the lever to progressively creep inward toward the H-bar. This happens during the course of EVERY ride, and requires that I periodically stop and re-adjust the reach. If I don't, the lever will actually begin to hit the H-bar grip at the bottom of its stroke. THIS IS A REAL PAIN!!!!!!!!!!! I've tried locking it in place using blue Loctite, but that hasn't worked. I even contacted Hayes about the problem, but got NO response. These would be great brakes if it wasn't for this major problem. For the cost of these things, this type of thing shouldn't be an issue. Anyway, this could be a 5-star product, but due to the major headache of the lever creep problem, and the non-existent help from Hayes customer service, these brakes only get a 2! Let's hope the new El Caminos have licked this problem.
Similar Products Used: Magura Louise, Simano XT and XTR discs, Hayes HFX Mag.
Bike Setup: Titus Switchblade w/Fox TALAS fork and shock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Santa Barbara
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2004
Strengths: Stopping power and cost.
I'm not sure what to expect from a disc brake for durability but mine went after 2 years. Maybe thats normal considering I ride two or three 20-30 mile rides a week. The modulation was good and maybe could have been better had I decided to replace my brake fluid more often. But with these hydraulic systems it seems you become satisfied after attempting 2-3 bleeds before getting it right.
My only reserve is my riding buddy had the same brakes and one of his is leaking after about 1 year. Luckly he had an older type on his hardtail to use as he troubleshoots the leak.
I replaced my Hayes with Formula B4 Pro and after a year they are holding up. I'll wait and see if they last 2 years? The rotors were tough and provided good braking for 160mm. Only on long downhills 4-5 miles did I notice any fade.
I have another bike the I just put Magura Marta SL and haven't much ride time on those.
All the hydraulic brakes Hayes, Magura and Formula are a pain to bleed and get lever firmness. I'm now thinking its the nature of these small hydraulic systems.
I give the Hayes a good rating because while they did work the performance was good. Again, I'm not sure how long a haydraulic bicycle brake is suppose to last but maybe two years is good. For $199 a set it was a good deal.
Similar Products Used: Magura Marta Sl and Formula B4 Pro
a Cross Country Rider
from Wyoming, USA
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2004
Strengths: Well Made, good feeling lever shape, Carbon lever doesn't freeze your fingers in the cold, generally good power, no significant weight gain over XTR v-brakes, had them for a year with very few problems.
Weaknesses: Overall feel at the lever is a little wooden when compared with other systems, but doesn't seem to effect power; power fades a bit when heated up on long, steep decents; rotors seem to sing or chime at certain speeds, but probably has more to do with harmonics in wheel/tire than the brake system itself; Ti hardware makes set-up a little more difficult due to Ti washers spinning and moving calipers upon tightening(Lightly grease the washer face that contacts the bolt, solves problem)
Overall These brakes are reliable, powerful for xc system, and stay in adjustment quite well. One long descent near Antelope Butte by Jackson Hole caused the rotors to turn blue and brakes to squeal wildly while reducing power to an alarmingly low level. Trail had alot of switchbacks on a steep grade so brakes were a must. Problem came from talc-like dust in brake pads from an incredibly dry summer and dusty conditions. I think any system would have experienced this problem. These brakes have served me quite well for more than a year, and actually outlasted several other parts. All Hydro systems are expensive, and you get what you pay for. These are well worth the money.
Similar Products Used: Shimano XTR's, Hope Mono M4's, Hayes HFX-9's, Hayes HMx-1's, Avid BB Mechanicals, Magura Louise'...(Shop Mechanic)
Bike Setup: Dean Colonal Ti Frame, SID, XT/XTR mix, Hugi/Mavic wheelset, Race Face Deus, Thomson, Selle Italia Flite, Maxm Bar
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle, WA USA
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2004
Strengths: Consistent, powerful, light weight.
Weaknesses: Modulation inferior to that of Hope Mini's. Clunky design.
I do 2-3 advanced cross-country rides/week in rocky, often wet conditions. These brakes install easily, work consistently and require minimal maintenance (after 3 mos.). A couple of years ago I switched out the stock Codas (oh my god those were crap!) for a Hayes on the front and a Hope Mini on the rear. Because the Hayes performed so well and required so little maintenance, I replaced the Minis a year later with the Hayes HFX Mag Plus. Unfortunately the Minis would fade on long muddy rides and replacing the pads became a hassle. I wish I could have kept the Minis however - they have the best modulation and just as much power as the Hayes. But, because reliability is paramount when you ride hard and often, I had to part ways with the Hopes. I just wish the Hayes had more finesse on the steep, rocky, loose stuff where you don't want your rear wheel to lock up.
Similar Products Used: Hope Mini's, shimano XTR, Coda (worst ever!)
Bike Setup: Cannondale Raven 4000SX, C. King Hubs, Velocity/Mavic rims, mostly XTR.
from beckley, wv, us
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2004
Strengths: easy to work on (bleeding, set up, etc) These brakes stop!!!!
I bought these brakes to replace a pair of formula b4 pro's. The hayes weight a little more but for me the performance is worth it. I have put these on my bike and forgot about them. As for everyone complaining about the lever screw coming loose, maybe I got lucky because I have not had a single problem. These brakes have been in nothing but mud since I bought them and I haven't had a single problem. My only complaint is the price.
Strengths: Great modulation, light (the only thing on my bike that is), stopping power is awesome with 8" rotors....
Weaknesses: Carbon levers....I like them, but somehow I managed to grind the clear-coat off of one of them, so now I worry about flaking carbon fiber. I put clear nail polish on it to prevent it, but if the clear-coat didn't last long I don't think that nail polish has much chance.
An awesome pair, but the levers aren't quite as durable as some alloy ones would be. Other than that, there are no other flaws.
I walked in the door today from work and there is a little yellow puddle (about the size of 5 quarters) near the front wheel of my bike! I just put a new Fox fork on my bike (I know the oil is blue) so I have to assume its the brake. THe caliper was not wet and the brake lever feels exactly the sa ... Read More »
I'm trying to decide between these brakes. I've read reviews and while the Hayes score a little lower over all, it seems in tha long term people are happier. These will be my first disc brakes and I do a lot of city riding and trail riding. They are going on a Kestrel Edge with '04 SID Race forks. I ... Read More »
I ordered a set of these brakes and am wondering what adapters I need in order to run them on an 04 Marzocchi Marathon SL? What about the rear on a frame with IS mounts (Salsa Bandito)? ANy help would be appreciated,
XCRead More »