The Secret Life Of A Hayes V-series Rotor

Feb 14, 2011 at 0:07
Feb 14, 2011
by Mike Levy  
 
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We take a closer look at how a Hayes V-series rotor begins life as a massive roll of steel, and becomes the finished product that their new Prime brake system uses.


The Secret Life series lets you look beyond the packaging and flash to see what it takes to bring to life the products that we use.




The Secret life of a Hayes V-series rotor


The stainless steel is purchased in a large continuous roll; like toilet paper, but without the perforations or 2 ply thickness.

The stamping press straightens the strip through rollers, then stamps out the shape. It’s a progressive die, meaning the rotor geometry is created by stamping the part multiple times with various dies. One hit removes material in the center for the hub, one punches out the cooling holes in the rub area, one creates the ‘spokes’ in the center, etc. The last hit is the one that punches the rotor out of the strip. Like making cut-out cookies, the rotor goes on for further processing and the rest of the strip is recycled.

The Hayes V-series rotor in various stages of production. If you thought that making a rotor was a quick and simple process, you thought wrong.
The Hayes V-series rotor in various stages of production. If you thought that making a rotor was a quick and simple process, you thought wrong.


Then the critical dimensions of the rotor are machined. Things like the mounting holes and the lobes that locate the hub.

After that the rotor is ED coated. The whole rotor is essentially painted black. This keeps the “as-stamped” surfaces (those created from the stamping process that do not get machined or ground afterwords) from oxidizing.

The stainless steel we use is called martensitic stainless steel. It has very high strength, is heat treatable and machinable, but does not have the best corrosion resistance, compared to other grades of stainless steel. The ground and machined surfaces of the rotor have a very smooth surface finish, almost mirror-like, which keeps oxidation (rust) to a minimum, but the rougher as-stamped surfaces will begin to show red rust over time if not protected as the high amounts of iron in the stainless begin to oxidize or rust.

The rotors are ground to the proper thickness and flatness. This removes the ED coating off the part, except for the as-stamped edges.

Two pieces become one when the steel braking surface is riveted to the aluminum carrier
Two pieces become one when the steel braking surface is riveted to the aluminum carrier


Then the rub area of the rotor is heat treated to increase hardness and reduce the wear rate. The heat treat is a special, proprietary process that maintains the flatness of the rotor.

The rotors are then ready for use. Bicycles are of course lighter than most all other vehicles with disc brakes, but in the ultra weight conscious bike industry, the mass of the rotor is minimized creating extreme usage conditions that match or exceed the harshest motor racing environments.

Temperatures reach over 1000 deg F in the rub area, but remain much cooler at the hub. This creates a thermal stress as the rub area expands with heat, but the hub area doesn’t. The rotor needs to be able to allow this expansion, but still remain flat and return to its original form when cool. All this in addition to the brake torque loads.

After a lot of work, this is the finished product. This V-series floating rotor is used on the new Hayes Prime brakes and is available in 140, 160, 180, 203, 224 mm
After a lot of work, this is the finished product. This V-series floating rotor is used on the new Hayes Prime brakes and is available in 140, 160, 180, 203, 224 mm


www.hayesdiscbrake.com


A brake rotor is a simple looking part, but presents a formidable design challenge. Did you learn something new today? Let's hear what you think - put those comments down below.
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97 Comments

  • + 13
 this hayes rotor looks better than most avid rotors!
  • + 3
 Not the new avid clean sweep X rotors....
  • + 3
 I agree with Farrellb, those cleansweep rotors look great
[Reply]
  • + 12
 wow, 224mm rotors
  • + 1
 Yeah thats what I though too!
  • + 2
 it seems excessive...
  • + 1
 Depends man shimano had a brake that had 2 rotors 3 pads a water cooling system and 4 pistons some would beg you can never have excess.
  • + 3
 nine inch rotors
hayes have had the, out for ages :s
  • + 1
 and they are super popular...
[Reply]
  • + 6
 To be honest, as the Hayes HFX was on the market they were quite good for that time. But since then Hayes only came ou with crap brakes such as the El Camino and the Stockers. They got overtaken by other companies like Avid. Less hassle and wheigt and more stopping power... and this insn't the holy grail of making rotors. That's only how rotors are made, also by other companies.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I've used Hayes for years now and have been totally stoked on them! My brakes are ridden on the wet and greasy North Shore, dry and dusty Kamloops, and the millions of laps ya get at Whistler. They are strong, feel wicked and have been very good to me. Hayes...you're slowing me down! ha ha
  • + 1
 I agree mate. I had the HFX9 for years, then got a bike with the Stroker Trail. Super easy to maintain and bleed and are so robust. Have had no problems. When I did ride a bike with AVIDs I found them a little too spongy or is that modulation they call it and Shimano I found them too grabby. Maybe that was the set up, I don't know. But to be honest I am extremely happy with Hayes and if they keep progressing and stepping up the game I will stay with them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I definitely did not learn anything- but it looks like Hayes has learned to rip off Hope- This article sells it like it is their process- I had Hope Rotors like these on my bike back in 2004. I agree with most on this post, if it is a Hayes it is not likely to work anyway
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Wouldn't it be better if they got the brake to work right first before adding a fancy rotor?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just out of curiosity, why are aluminum carriers always riveted / pinned to their steel counterparts? And are the aluminum carriers stamped into shape as well? Can't imagine the tolerances on those machines! Sweet final product!
  • + 2
 its very hard to weld alu and steel most of the time impossible because stell has a much higer melting point than alu so its easiest to rivit / pinn
  • + 5
 After welding you would loose floating effect.
  • + 1
 Yeh if you look hard between the Steel outside and the alu spider, there is a gap. This gap closes when heats due to expansion , Hope this Work out for Hayes! i heard they had problems with there last brakes
  • + 4
 You can't weld steel to aluminum.
  • + 2
 @DH-Til-I-Die surely when the steel rotor heats up and expands, it moves slightly away from the carrier?
  • + 1
 its most likely due to cross metal contamination and weight saving and a few other things
  • + 2
 Jokermachine, you can, i have seen it done. Though a rather expensive process and only viable for a few manufatcturers.
  • + 1
 heres some info
www.twi.co.uk/content/kspw002.html

its probably closer to something like say soldering/brazing rather that actual welding
  • + 1
 but that article goes on to say there are other methods such as friction stir welding
which was used when making the ford gt Smile
  • + 1
 you can NOT weld alu > steel the properties are completely different, the temp of alu is half of steel and has no iron..
also friction and brazing/soldering are not welding as such, its more a joining method. welding melts the materials together.
also hayes brakes never were the best even being around for so long but this could finally be a step in the rite direction?
  • + 1
 http://www.triplate.com/?pagina=home_intro


trying to find a more informative link, but i was talking about this style
  • + 1
 to say it yes you can and like connen31 sayd its expensive and yes the aluminium exspands diffrent than steel...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hayes are sick, i have had codes and tons of other brakes and there all shit, way to much matneince and pads go like none other, my hayes nines have lasted years with only one pad change and thats with races every weekend. i love hayes and cant wait to get the new ones.
  • + 4
 U gotta check out the Saints...
  • + 2
 "the pads have lasted years with... racing every weekend" you're either going really slow or you never stop
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice step forward on rotor tech. Floating rotors have been used in sports bikes for a long time. Not to sure if Shimano had been trying to head in that direction with their center lock idea however it’s about time it was properly brought over to the MTBer’s.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I only asked 2 questions, and know I noticed, that whole my comment got deleted.

Will ask again.. price? Are these better, that Hope, or Avid.. and others, or not?

Planning to buy new brake discs, would be good to know the answer.
  • + 1
 Try Shimano Saint or XT brakes,
Great power,low weight and easy fixing. And XT are also not so expensive.
The other really interesting brake is Formula The One but it;s not cheap at all. Still the lightest and one of the most powerful downhill brakes on the market.

Cheers
[Reply]
  • + 2
 hey Mike

good article

can you do a follow up on how the aluminium carrier is made?

any plans for articles showing how the brake caliper or lever is made?
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Wow! Thats quite the process and look pretty sweet all said and done
  • + 20
 wow...heyes can make a rotor...wooooow...now lets see the brakes...cuz the last 2 i had i didnt even bother selling..they just went strait to garbage...
  • + 2
 i saw them on the mid 2010 catalogue, and then they disappeared, and now i think you can only buy the discs with the brakes, too bad
  • + 4
 Haha, toss on expensive pads, upgrade levers(straitline), and have it bled PERFECTLY... and a hayes brake can be passable.
Then you find an avid brake for $40 on here, and toss the hayes to the back of the toolbox.
  • + 4
 I dunno, the prime brakes look like higher quality than the old ones. Only problem I've ever had with strokers is a shitty/non-existent return rate in a lever, and they did some tweaking in the lever for the primes, so hopefully thats fixed.

I'm gunning for hayes to take off again
  • + 7
 They may very well have stepped up there game? But why would I take a chance? I'm happy with my current stable of products from Avid.
  • - 11
 hayes fucking suck
  • + 2
 i have had avids and magura's and hayes, and the ones i still use on all my bikes are an old hfk mag purple, works great and has great feel too.
  • + 0
 i love avid products dont get me wrong, but sram = the man, and i really like supporting the smaller companies that are trying to make a name for themselves
  • + 4
 Who are you saying is the smaller company? Hayes? Hayes group, which is Hayes, Manitou, Ringle, Answer products. They are a fairly big company as well. They make some great products, but I wouldnt say are a small company
  • - 1
 The finish of that rotor looks like cheap 20$ msrp im selling in a bike shop... They willl never change «god bl*ss the cheapness»
  • + 2
 2 words. Shimano Saint!
  • + 8
 Dont know why people hate on Hayes... My Hayes 9's are 4 years old, never been bled and they work god like.
  • - 10
 You also ride a haro and a kona stinky, your opinion doesn't count. Since you probably suck and havent ridden a good brake anyways.
  • + 15
 I like how you can assume a person's skill by what bike they ride... Perhaps if I told you what shoes I wear you might be able to tell me how well I can walk? Or what drum sticks I use will be able to define my skill. Or maybe the motorbike I ride... The list can go on forever. Your opinion is based on nothing but pure vanity. Having a good bike doesn't mean a rider is good. Having a not so good bike doesn't mean a rider is crap. I'm going to take a leaf from your book and say that the way you put yourself across on the internet makes you a complete moron.
Oh, and i've ridden Juicy 7's, Hope Mono M4's, Moto V2's, Juicy 5's, Strokers and a got the chance to ride a Formula The One. So my opinion counts just as much as every other person on this site.
You are the epitome of bikers who think that if they splash $$$$ on a bike it instantly makes them better. It doesn't. And it doesn't make you any 'cooler' either.
  • + 10
 hehe - unhallowed 0. Haroman666 1. truth bomb
  • - 7
 Not really. Anyone who prefers Hayes 9's to all those, is a retard. I hate to be so blunt but it's true. They are dull, unresponsive, pieces of crap that most people have the intelligence to remove when they purchase the bike and sell for gas money.
And Kona's are grom bikes, awkward geo, crappy suspension. They are cheap entry level bikes, ridden by entry level riders.

I never once said spending loads of money makes you better.
I've probably spent less on building my Wildcard than you have on buying/building your stinky. It's a better bike and allows me to be a better rider.
  • + 6
 I bought Hayes Stroker Ace brakes to replace my nighmare 1st generation Avid Codes. I know for a fact that the Hayes have trumped the Avid in reliability in my own case. I also have an old pair of Hayes 9's that I have had to put on my AM bike to replace the finicky, moody Juicy's. The Hayes 9's had more power and were never bled over 7 years I have owned them. I've had great brakes form both Avid (the new 2011 Codes are incredible and I have a pair of Juicy 7's that will not seem to die) & Hayes. I love my Hayes Stroker Ace more than any other brake I have owned.
Sure, I've read plenty of negative reviews on all of these products, but I've had some great experiences with both brands so far.

Unhallowed needs to figure out that any product under any name has a bad apple or two in the bunch. I'm no fanboy of any brand, but in 2 circumstances, Hayes has come through when Avid has failed. Unhallowed is posting pure fanboy, or even worse, elitist drivel. This guy has to be under 17 years old.
By the way, the Banshee Wildcard is pretty much the same thing that Kona is making - Go figure.
Cool to see how those rotors are made!
  • + 3
 The article was cool, always wondered how much of the rotor is machined vs stamped. Now I know. Unhallowed, your banshee uses exactly the same suspension configuration as a Kona. It is a rocker linkage actuated single pivot design, simple and effective if not the most advanced on the market. I ride a Kona so I might be biased but it isn't a terrible bike by any means. I have ridden a bunch of my friend's bikes and can't say that I'm any faster on a Demo than I am on my Stinky. If you want to be a brand whore be my guest. Your posts make you look ignorant and that is fine by me.
  • - 1
 I never said the type of suspension was different. Anyone who knows anything about suspension will tell you that you move one pivot 1mm and the whole bike will feel different. I've owned and had extensive riding time on a number of stinky's and the Banshee version is just straight up better. Good for you.
  • + 4
 I have never ridden a Banshee but I suspect you haven't ridden a Kona either. I know for a fact that most people who actually give a Kona a fair shake are pleased with its performance. I may not be a P.Eng but I have spent quite a lot of time manufacturing/fabricating custom suspension parts for my car as well as my motorcycle. In the process I have had to spend a considerable amount of time reading through journals and texts relating to mechanical dynamics as well as taking 3 mechanical engineering courses during my degree. Looking at drawings for your wildcard frame compared to my stinky frame the main pivot placements are identical which is the pivot that controls pedal input and axle path. Unfortunately for your bike however it suffers from a higher linkage ratio which actually makes the shock work harder to control the motion of the wheel. The short chainstay length on your bike translates to a smaller radius (and therefore more front-moving) axle arc. It may make your bike more maneuverable but a Kona will be generally more stable at speed. I would love to give your bike a try at some point if you will allow me to. I am taking 5 months of vacation this summer and would be more than willing to fly myself and my bike to wherever you are. I will even bring my shock with me so I can run my own spring-rate, luckily our bikes use identical shock sizes.
  • + 3
 Ridden a Kona recently is what I intended to clarify.
  • + 4
 Unhallowed, the more u speak the worse it is...ur first comment was the most stupid comment ive ever seen in my life..saying to someone that his opinion doesnt count just because he rides a stinky is not a very clever thing to say...by the way, who pays for ur bikes? daddy? or mommy? get some respekt man...i mean, kid...
  • - 2
 I've owned 4 konas. Ridden several more. I live on my own and buy my own bikes. You guys are actually retarded. I'm the same age as you dude, dont get all high and mighty on me.
  • + 4
 so dont get all high and mighty on others...simple
  • + 5
 man, if Kona is so terrible I would've thought you wouldn't have bought 4 of them. I know if something sucks I don't buy 3 more.
  • + 0
 I don't know many 13yr olds who can afford to buy $10,000 DH race bikes.
I made do with what I could afford when I was younger. It was also before I knew any better.


Why don't you go spend some time in the forums, talk to people who have been biking all their life and listen to the horror stories about kona and hayes and all the crappy parts and companies out there.
  • + 3
 Apparently you are a bit of a slow learner if it took you 4 Konas to realize how terrible they are. Your position is completely indefensible, accept it. I don't like Hayes brakes either, but jumping on haroman666 because he ride a Kona and had the audacity to share his personal experiences makes you look like a "retard" as you so eloquently put it. Admit it, you thought you would get a bunch of props because you were Kona bashing and it back fired. FAIL. Go ride your Banshee Stinky and come back when you out grow your douchebag phase..
  • + 4
 "I made do with what I could afford when I was younger."

Okay, so i'm a university student... The little money that I have goes on living costs and alcohol. Being able to afford to buy a Kona 4 years ago was lucky enough for me. The fact that it was my first full suspension MTB meant I was at least being modest in my purchase. If i'd gone and done a yamy and decided I need the best of the best to do 4ft drops then i'd accept that I was a f*ggot that sucked. But no... I, for once, would like to blow my own trumpet and proudly say that I have gone far on the so called "mediocre" bike I own and I shred as good as, if not slightly better than other riders who have spent twice the amount on their bike than I have.
I invite you to go to my video channel and watch the small compilation I put together the other day which includes all the riding footage of myself that I have, and then please tell me that my Stinky makes me a shit rider. 5 metre drop in Leogang... youtube it... Look at the bikes people do it on. Then look at the bike I do it on and tell me that a Stinky is shit and makes me "suck". I'm not saying doing a single drop makes me good but it represents a portion of what a Stinky is, and what a Stinky, when ridden well, can actually handle.
I thank all you other guys for your support. Even though I see people hating on Kona all over this site, i'm glad you can relate to my situation in this one instance.
  • + 2
 Right on dude, props for stickin up for your brand
  • + 2
 yeah bro.... f*ck the forum warrior tough guys..
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Big whoop, hayes are honest to god the WORST brake systems on the market, they have a terrible feel, no power, they boil in a second, and are impossible to bleed correctly, avids on the other hand, perfect lever feel tons of power, they're light they look good, and bleeding them is simple and foolproof, code 5's were an amazing set of brakes, cr's were meh, but the new code r's are the best system on the market hands down.
  • + 0
 Really? I just got a set of Elixirs for my bike to replace my Hayes 9s and so far I've had the opposite experience. My Hayes came bled properly from the factory and never had an issues slowing my fat ass down, my Elixirs are good but not a ton better than my old HFXs and are absolutely impossible to bleed even with the Avid bleed kit. Twice at home and twice in the shop and my levers still feel mushy.

I'm stoked to see Hayes coming out with a modern brake, I will definitely agree that the Stroker wasn't exactly their best effort. Never had a chance to try the Aces though.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Shimano stepped the game up and moved it forward with ICE tech compared to floating rotors IMO. I am running a 160mm XTR ICE Tech on my Dh bike with no issues at all. Code caliper with the tabs cut off the pads.
  • + 1
 The alu part of the Ice Tech rotors actually melted in Bike's testing, both during the lab test and trail testing.
  • + 1
 Well, I have not melted! Mine as yet and have been using them for a few months of lots of downhill riding. The back of many pads are made of aluminium.
  • + 1
 Yes, they were used as well in the test.
  • + 1
 Do you have any reference to a video or report?
Would be interesting to see the recipe: temperatures, forces, durations, pad type etc. for the event.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Alot of work just for a rotor! tup
Cant wait to see the new Hayes line up in the flesh, they look really good.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 never really been that keen on hayse brakes myself but sure will be interesting to check their new line up out, looking alright.... for hayse Razz
  • + 3
 Hope all the way.
  • + 0
 ye sillybansee would never buy anything but hope in the brake department myself :L
  • + 1
 yea they look alright the new rotors are a bit cooler in my opinion too but man 224 thats a big rotor for a bike !
[Reply]
  • + 0
 my tektro mechanical disk brakes did a better job compared to my hayes stroker. i'll never use hayes ever again. shimano or avid for me, thank you.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The Aluminium Carrier is a different outer shape in the manafacture photos to the final image. Are they different versions ?
  • + 1
 The photos used are just example photos to give you an idea of what is going on.
  • + 2
 aluminium carrier is probably just stamped out all these processes are pretty simple and basic
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All you haters obviously haven't tried the Stroker Aces. Sick, strong, reliable stoppers!
  • + 1
 ya i got stocker aces on my dh bike and there sick
  • + 1
 Yeah, the Aces rock. I'm running the Grams on my all mountain bike and am very happy with them as well.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The photos of manufacture are not the prime rotor, the profiles are all different......
  • + 1
 its an example probs
  • + 1
 You got it, just example photos to show what's going on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cool, but I'll stick with my Formulas.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 different shape in different type ( 4 bolts)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Il just take the rotors, thanks you.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 possibly something to replace my trusty old hayes nine?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 it sucks, SHIMANO for ever!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I threw off my Hays and went with a sweet set of avid.
[Reply]

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