Review: Hayes' New Dominion A4 Brake

Jul 8, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  

What if everything you knew about mountain biking was wrong? It's happened before (#26forlife). It's no secret that when disc brakes were first developed, the mountain bike landscape was a lot different. Hayes can vouch for that. They were the top name in disc brakes back then, and, like every contemporary brake maker, their technology evolved forward from that point based upon assumptions that may or may not be correct today. The reality is, the sport has ramped up exponentially in a relatively short time, which begs the question: Has disc brake technology kept pace?

Hayes took that realization to task. Before they even considered what their new Dominion brake would look like, their design team began gathering fresh data based upon contemporary riding styles. DH and enduro bikes were wired for data acquisition, and while real-time testing was going on, engineers back in Wisconsin began evaluating materials, friction pads, and piston volumes vs leverage rates. The mandate was simple: develop a best-in-class brake, free from past assumptions - with the only timetable being to get it right the first time.
Hayes Dominion A4 Brake

Purpose: Trail, enduro, DH
Caliper: Forged aluminum, four-piston, dual-bleed ports
Lever: Forged aluminum blade and master cylinder, reversible, split clamp
Pads: Semi-metallic (standard) or sintered metallic (aftermarket)
Adjustments: Blade reach, pad contact
Fluid: DOT 4 or 5.1
Rotors: D-type resonance-cancelling 6-bolt design, 1.9mm thick, diameters - 180mm/160g or 203mm/200g
Adapters: Discreet (tested) or "Peacemaker" direct mount for SRAM or Shimano shifters
Weight: 310 grams (Front, including hose and hardware, no rotor)
MSRP: $229 USD / €235.00 per side, plus rotor - $49.99 USD / €51.00
Contact: Hayes Brake

bigquotesWe actually created a brand new data acquisition system and totally re-evaluated braking, so this is a full tear up, from rotors to friction material - we ended up changing everything, based upon what we learned.Eric Schutt - Hayes

Two views of the Dominion master cylinder. The forged-aluminum lever blade has tactile indents in its face and fits one or two fingers comfortably. They can be flip-flopped left or right.

Dominion Disc Brake Basics

According to Hayes, the new Dominion A4 brake was conceived as a development project. Without a target production date, the design team had the time to dive into every mechanical aspect of the basic disc brake, but where to begin? Ride testing and data acquisition answered that question.

Beyond the test laboratory: Hayes wanted to know where, when and how modern riders used their brakes before they designed a new one. Only real world data could tell them that. - Hayes image

Using pressure sensors on the levers and hydraulic lines, in conjunction with GPS positioning and acceleration data, Hayes engineers could track when, how hard, and in what manner riders braked into corners and for any combination of gradients. That data and feedback from Hayes' athletes indicated that feel at the lever was equal to, and perhaps more important than braking power. The consensus was a light lever pull with a precise engagement point, and a predictable and powerful ramp-up in braking force were the key targets.

Cutaway of the Dominion master cylinder shows the friction-reducing guide ring (white band). The reservoir is large so there will be little or no chance of pumping air into the system when the pads wear to their limits. - Hayes image
Lower internal pressures: Hayes also discovered that today's riders didn't squeeze the levers as hard as their predecessors, and that led to a complete redesign of their lever-blade ratio and also, the hydraulic leverage ratio created by the differential piston size between the master cylinder and the calipers. Lower internal pressures allowed Hayes to reduce friction in the brake lines, and in the master-cylinder and caliper passageways. Reduced internal fluid pressure, in turn, also lowered seal friction throughout the system.

Reducing friction: Further reductions in friction came from suspension technology. Hayes engineers added a glide ring to the master cylinder piston, which made a measurable difference, as did using ball bearings at the lever blade pivot. The Dominion lever's action is feather light and butter smooth.

Precise engagement: A special master cylinder seal, combined with an adjustable push-rod was developed to ensure that the master cylinder's engagement was absolutely consistent. Each lever is set at the factory so the master cylinder cup seal sits on the edge of the bleed port/engagement point.

This graphic shows (left to right) the master cylinder return spring. The cup-seal (black) is set at the edge of the reservoir return port (red) for instant engagement. The plastic glide ring (white) and the piston (yellow).- Hayes image

Adjustable reach: Dominion levers have a sturdy integrated reach-adjustment dial that does not stick out where it can be smashed in a crash like SRAM and Shimano. There is a dead-stroke adjustment hidden in the lever's push-rod clevis, but it is secured with a grub screw. As mentioned earlier, the dead-stroke is set at the factory to line up the edge of the piston's cup seal with the reservoir's fluid return port. Messing with the factory setting can only increase the lever's dead-stroke, so it's probably not something you'd want to do.

Stiffer hoses: Haye's K2 hose is said to be 8% stiffer. It's Kevlar-wrapped to prevent ballooning and to maintain the same feel between the left and right levers. The slight expansion of the brake line can be experienced in most systems as a softer feeling rear brake, due to the longer hose.

The lever rocks on ball bearings and its integrated reach-adjustment dial is easy to operate with or without gloves.
Hard to see, but there is a factory-set dead-stroke adjustment tucked into the push-rod clevis.

Less squeeze effort equals more braking force (red line). - Hayes image
Less dead stroke and an immediate transition to a linear increase in power (red line). - Hayes image

The Dominion's forged-aluminum A4 caliper is equipped with two ports so the four-piston unit can be isolated from the master cylinder and bled separately.

About the A4 Caliper

Most innovations and improvements are inside the Dominion A4 brake caliper. It's a two-piece aluminum forging that houses four aluminum pistons. The fluid passageways are engineered to bleed air easily, and to further enhance that an extra bleed port was added so mechanics seeking perfection can use their double-syringe kits to evacuate the caliper separately before moving up to the master cylinder (simple to do). The banjo hose fitting is angled, which makes for a cleaner installation, and the brake pads are bottom-loading, so you can change them out with the caliper in place, once the wheel is removed.

New square seals: Like all good brake calipers, the A4's pistons don't slide inside the cylinders to clamp the rotor. They are suspended on a stretchy rectangular seal which allows the pistons to advance and retract without sliding friction. Eventually, when the pads wear beyond a certain point, the seals creep in a little, which allows the caliper to self-adjust. Obviously then, stretchier seals will allow the pistons to retract farther and provide more space for the brake pads to clear wiggly rotors. Hayes worked double time on both the seal design and the elastomer material to maximize the return stroke.

DOT 5.1 fluid: Hayes has extensive experience building brakes that operate on DOT and mineral fluids, The decision to use DOT 5.1 fluid was based upon two factors: High-quality DOT fluid is universally consistent and available, and its all-temperature performance gave Hayes the feather-light lever stroke that they were searching for. Hayes says DOT 4 fluid is also compatible.

The central bolt that retains the pads doubles as a stiffener for the two-piece caliper. Hayes claims that the A4 is the stiffest caliper they have made.

Two brake pads: Factory brake pads are semi-metallic and labeled T106, and aftermarket brake sets will be shipped with a second pair of stronger-stopping T100 sintered metallic pads. The review brakes used the T106 pads.

Crosshair adjustment: Dominion A4 calipers can be micro-adjusted to perfectly center the brake pads over the rotors. Each side of the caliper has a small Allen grub screw that lines up with the caliper fixing bolts. The fixing bolts are snugged down with the caliper pulled outwards, so the inner pad is rubbing on the rotor face. Using a 2mm Allen key, the grub screws are turned in until there is no pad contact with the rotor and then the fixing screws are torqued to spec. It's quite effective and takes the guesswork out of centering the caliper.

Hayes' D-Series rotors are 1.95 millimeters thick and patterned specifically to self-cancel vibration harmonics.

D-Series Rotors

"Modal Resonance Cancellation" describes a web cut-out design that blocks the natural resonant frequency of the new D-Rotor. Hayes also worked out the relationship between the rotor's natural tendency to vibrate at a particular frequency and the shape of the pad, so that the two components will cancel, not create new harmonics. If that all works as planned, Dominion brakes should not howl, which is a good thing.

D-rotors are thicker than most, at 1.95 millimeters (similar to Magura), which in my experience, helps keep the brakes cooler and the rotors running straighter. The surface finish has been scrutinized to facilitate a quick and thorough break-in period by ensuring that the pad material is more evenly distributed onto the rotor's friction tracks. D-rotors are available in 180 and 200mm diameters, in a six-bolt pattern.

Ride Report

Setup and first impressions: Initially, Hayes installed the Dominion brakes on a Diamondback Release that I have been riding for most of the year. Hayes assured me that my brakes were production models, fitted with standard, T106 semi-metallic pads - with the only caveat being that they were still fussing with the metallic black paint finish on the master cylinders, and that their marketing department was pushing for a mirror polish on the calipers and lever blades. I prefer the "factory team" finish like you see here - with some of the forged aluminum's irregularities showing through the polished and gold-anodized parts. A mirror finish broadcasts every ding and scratch, while these test brakes still look great after two and half months of careless use.

Early on, I had to remove the Dominion brakes to photograph the Diamondback with its original SRAM stoppers. That offered me the opportunity to install them myself - which went without a hitch (Disclosure: I did not bleed the brakes during this review). While Hayes admits that they included the possibility that users could adjust the engagement point, the official word is to leave it alone. The master cylinder's dead stroke is so short, that you'll never need it anyway. Use the reach adjustment to tune the engagement to the most comfortable point in the lever's stroke and leave it there. The ah-ha moment came when I used Hayes' Crosshair pad-alignment feature. I wish every caliper had a similar micro-adjustment.

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Feel and ergonomics: As promised, the feel and action of Dominion brakes are enviable. Lever feel is comfortable with or without gloves and its action is smoother than Shimano's or SRAM's best. The two-finger blade is short enough for seamless one-finger operation, and the master cylinder's in-line spring provides just enough back pressure to maintain communication. The contact point arrives firmly, precisely at the same point, and with just enough damping to ensure you won't initiate an unwanted skid. Squeeze force and braking friction increase in direct proportion, from initial pad contact to maximum braking. The entire system operates quietly, right down to the subdued "click" the levers make on the return stroke - all of which, made braking so intuitive that I had to remind myself periodically to pay attention in order to collect impressions for this review.

Power and modulation: I never give my brakes a thought when they are working perfectly. In fact, the only times I do think about my brakes is when something isn't right. The surprise front wheel push when Shimano XT pads smack the rotor face like hammers, or half way down a big descent when the SRAM Guide's lever-blade starts squeezing my middle finger against the grip. This part of the review is going to be short, because only good things happened.

Modulation was wonderful. Braking power tracks squeeze pressure at the lever all the way to lockup. Perhaps more important is that the brake releases instantly. If you do lock up a wheel inadvertently, the release feels equally responsive and linear. There is no "elastic lag" caused by ballooning hoses or flex in the system to increase the distance that the lever has to travel before the pad breaks free from the rotor.

I reviewed the softer, semi-metallic pad compound, clamping 180-millimeter rotors and never found the end of the Dominion's stopping power. Less hand pressure is required to bring the brake to lockup compared to SRAM Guide or Shimano XT (I did not try direct comparisons with Shimano Saint or SRAM Code brakes), and although you might think that the reduced squeeze pressure would erode modulation feel during maximum braking efforts, the opposite was true. The Dominion's predictable pad contact and proportionate braking response provided next-level control during maximum braking events, especially where traction was iffy.

Heat performance: Without adhesive temperature recorders, I can't make specific claims. I regularly use two sustained descents for review bikes, however, that drop over 2500 vertical feet and stress brakes pretty hard. The verdict was that the Dominion's engagement point never wavered, and my arms and hands were more relaxed than I can remember them being at the bottom of the hills. In my experience, every organic or organic/metallic pad will fade to some degree when temperatures reach the point where you can smell them. In this case, any fade was negligible, because the brakes felt consistent top to bottom.

Technical Notes

What could be better? It seems that with all of the engineering that Hayes put into their ground-up brake design that they could have come up with a better looking adapter than this one. Or, better yet, a caliper that fits 180mm rotors and directly mounts to standard frames and forks. I'm dreaming here, but if the industry could get together on that one it would clean up the bike a lot.

Hayes admitted that the Dominion was not the lightest brake out there, but compared with Shimano XT and SRAM Guide RSC (both use aluminum lever blades) it is competitive. The weight of a front brake and a 180mm six-bolt rotor is roughly 458 grams for XT, 529 grams for Guide RSC, and 470 grams for the Dominion A4.

My only other suggestion is that, in the future, Hayes offer a dedicated one-finger lever. With their squeeze-force-to-stopping-power ratio, one finger would be enough for all but the most wicked gravity runs - and with the addition of their sintered pads...?

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Dominion brake is a winner in every sense, and it had to be if Hayes was going to get another chance at redemption. Throwing out convention and starting from scratch must have been a tough choice for a brake maker that has been in the game longer than anyone else, but it proved to be the right decision. If you are in search of a good brake, start with this one.RC

Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

  • 153 0
 Those little grub screws to centre the caliper should be compulsory on all brakes
  • 20 1
 Absolute genius design feature I agree!!!
  • 9 2
 Tempted to bust out the drill. Be a easy mod. But my hatered of grub screws stops me
  • 3 2
 why no1 invented this before? ;o
  • 8 0
 @MordFan: Hayes came out with this quite a while ago, I know the Prime pros from 2012ish had it.
  • 2 0
 @markg1150: use small bolts?
  • 5 1
 @markg1150: But it is not really a grub screw, is it? It pushes against the bolt for adjustment, but once the caliper bolts are tightened it is just that that keeps the calipers in place. The small screws do nothing anymore. It is a bit like the headset cap bolt.
  • 5 10
flag Pavel-Repak (Jul 23, 2018 at 12:18) (Below Threshold)
 Does it do anything else than align the caliper? Because if so, then I think it's unnecessary as I can get pretty good results by leaving the bolts loose and squeezing the lever.
  • 12 0
 @Pavel-Repak: Good for You! But I'd love to see these screws in my brakes ;o
  • 2 0
 @Pavel-Repak: i was thinking about adding grub screws myself several times, but caliper setup is so easy these days thats its not needed. maybe back in the day with magura gustav or 1st gen formulas, that was different story Smile
  • 1 0
 @S851: Magura Gustav is a floating caliper design so it is supposed to be free to slide. You wouldn't want these grub screws on these!
  • 65 0
 I can remember Hayes being THE brakes to have, so it’s great they are back with something a bit different. Be good to see how well they hold up.
  • 6 0
 It wasn’t that long ago... And most of those brakes still work.

Only thing I’ve always wondered is, why the reservoir UNDER the master cylinder? Hayes has almost always done this. I don’t even understand why/how it works, let alone why Hayes has always defaulted to this arrangement.
  • 10 1
 The first disc equipped bike I rode back then had Hayes, and the power was unreal. Coming from centerpull, then v-brakes, the power was outrageous. I’m stoked to see them back in the game as well. Just wish they were mineral oil. I can’t stand dealing with DOT fluid.
  • 4 0
 @Apfelsauce: because when you crash most of the times what is above the bars goes head first to the dirt
  • 40 1
 WHY do all brakes not have the cross-hair grub screw type caliper adjustment? Seriously? As a mechanic, that's probably my favourite feature of this brake!
  • 20 0
 Would have to wait for more reviews, but I suddenly want a new set of brakes. Good on you, Hayes.
  • 17 1
 Give us the power of Shimano brakes. No changing bite point. A lever that works in all temperatures without seizing or leaking. Simple effective brake bleeding. Pistons that do not get stuck. Forget about the twiddling knobs. Give us powerful brakes that are consistent in performance that are easy to bleed.
  • 12 0
 Yep those days are long gone with Shimano who used to have the easiest to bleed brakes with most consistent performance. I hope Hayes kicks the shit out of both Sram and Shimano because they both need to have the shit kicked out of them by someone's brakes who can mass produce and take OEM market share... The ONLY thing shimano cares about.
  • 2 0
 @Sshredder having had all the same problems as you (for over a decade), and particularly noticing that anyone who solved most / all of the issues never matched the peak stopping force of Shimano brakes, I finally found one that did. It literally address every single concern you've listed, and I had my first lift season with zero brake problems and brought my bleedkit home unused. It's called the Trickstuff Direttissima. They've got long wait times and the price certainly isn't for everyone. (:
  • 1 3
 @uuuu: Magura solves quite a few of those problems and have much more power then shimano's, these also have more power then shimano but i like magura so...
  • 18 2
 so whats the problem with the levers?
i dont understand why companys would design a more than one finger specific lever for such a high level brake? Are there still people braking with two fingers?
  • 7 2
 Eh. They are a little long, but I don't think I'd mind. There may come a moment when you're very relieved to be able to fit a second finger fully on the lever. It's happened to me.
  • 10 1
 Some people (including successful pros) brake with their middle finger and it tends to sit better in 2 finger levers. I guess too that a lot of less confident riders will use two so it opens up the brake to everyone. Only disadvantage for one finger folks is moving them inboard which is minor
  • 7 0
 Longer leaver means more leverage thus more modulation so I guess they just throw in an area for a second finger to open up the brake to more potential buyers like the ones said above.
  • 2 0
 I have such stumpy fat fingers that I have to run my levers close to the bar with instant bite point. If I try and use one finger for heavy braking or when there hot I get the lever trapping my hands and fingers and not getting full power. Probably why I prefer shimanos for instant power and lever shape. Gimme long skinny regular sized hand and fingers ect I'd use one finger happily.
  • 1 0
 Yes, but I'm not one of them.
  • 2 0
 it's not really a 2 finger lever, sram levers are much longer and nobody talks about that
  • 14 0
 I still have hayes mags, even a purple hayes on a few bikes alive and well, albeit not as good as today's brakes. Wound be nice to see them back I the game
  • 4 0
 They were great, my 2001 brakes were still bringing me to stoppies every time I had to stop for the lights back in 2011.
  • 8 1
 Purple Hayes stills holds its own against many brakes today! Solid,powerful brakes.
  • 1 0
 actually the body lever form is pretty similar to the mags ,the blade looks like a shimano XT ,just some few upgrades where done if you see both body levers on a comparison hehe
  • 7 0
 Have wanted Hayes to be back in the game with a good brake for ages, their customer service was always second to none, used to love my old hfx mags with the flat bladed lever but they lacked stopping power for steep downhill stuff. Wonder how these compare to hope v4's?
  • 4 1
 ive been running hayes brakes from when i had my 1st hydraulic disc brake ,mainly by the great affordable price of a second hand brakeset , i have since then(2014) the stroker rydes , bleed some stroker trails and ace's for a friends that got these saved in a cabinet for more than a year mainly by the usual issue the blade develops from time to time which is sticky levers because the piston inside the body gets dry and the inner coil is not meant to push the lever out when the piston have alot of friction due to humidity and dust since these brakes didnt use to have a kind of booth or dustwiper, it is just a seeger ring that keeps the inner piston secured from popping out of its place,great simple and reliable design besides the dustseal need,another thing is the main piston being made from metal not the usual plastic crap nowadays brakes are made of,in the piston just goes this cup seal and an o-ring ,my friends aces got them dry and broke away, just a simple aftermarket o-ring from a seal store at the right measures in the inner /outer diameter and the brakes where alive again after some long time being in a dirty cabinet so from that part i can tell you hayes brakes are great quality stuff ,once bleed and ready i decided to test them in my normal trails, damn the 4 piston Ace's are beasts for a brake to be honest,the 2 piston trails where just great too unfortunately they didnt have enough meat in the pads to test them properly,just a garage ride but they stopped solid, the aces felt like u could do trials and stop a motor bike haha huge stopping power ,after i send them back to my friends i definitely wanted to buy my own stroker ace's and so i did actually i bought a brakeset at a great price on the buysell tab of pinkbike just because the rear brake got a big crash that cutted the hose,must have been a huge gap because hayes factory hoses are pretty solid and reinforced with kevlar , another stuff i love from hayes is the OEM parts and interchangeable ability you have, just bought a whole 1900mm hose kit with fittings,orings and newer mounting bolt and new purge allen piece as well as the rubber booth for 15$! now my aces are coming back to life for a bike project i have. the center screws where included in the hayes prime's model since some few years ago and just the users that got this brakes could enjoy this feature,i have on plans to buy primes too definitely,hayes its a great brand for brakes ,never got problems with mines ,just some drops of dot fluid in a syringe for when the inner piston gets sticky and the lever blade would be buttery smooth again in the case of the strokers and thats all,solid brakes over the time.
now with this new line i only can expect the best from hayes since they make great stuff.
  • 36 1
 @carlomagno: there is no way anyone read this whole thing
  • 9 0
 @hugh-janus: I did only because you pointed out that no one would
  • 5 1
 @vtracer: that makes me happy
  • 3 0
 @carlomagno: An entire essay dedicated to brakes, and hardly a full stop used. If this was intentional, you've made my day!
  • 4 0
 Moto tech brakes at mtb at last, I believe it's worth it and justifiable price. as it looks well engineered and thoughtfull from an engineering perspective, without to much acronyms and less plastic where it matters, well done
  • 6 0
 Very interesting. Would be cool to see hayes back in the game. More competition leads to better products across the board.
  • 4 0
 Have been running a set of Stroker ACEs and Trails now for five years and on four different bikes and both sets have performed great. They are easy to bleed and rebuild/work on.
  • 3 0
 Combined my ACEs with Superstar metallic pads and Shimano's XT floating rotors - incredible increase in performance compared to original metallic pads and Hayes non-floating rotors. Great brakes that needed 3 or 4 bleeds for the 5-6 years i had them. And i've been stupid enough to continuesly drag the rear one on loooong extreme dh-runs - and they still performed. Smile
  • 3 1
 Was a big fan of mt Aces. Not sure that the XT’s I replaced them with were an upgrade really.
  • 10 4
 Hayes still make stuff???
  • 4 0
 Stuff that makes you go fast...
  • 1 0
 @karoliusz: Or slow... all good ;p
  • 2 0
 I used to love my Hayes brakes, I still have thoughts that my El Caminos were some if not the best brake I owned to date (but that’s purely based on nostalgia). I’m now torn between these and the new Formulas (I run hope on my other bikes and fancy a change). HELP!!!
  • 5 1
 I'm sorry, I'm still hung up on the fact that you still use 2 finger braking...! I haven't done that since the V brake was invented!
  • 2 0
 These do look like they might be the brakes that put Hayes back in the game. Love the grub screw! I only hope that Hayes has taken some of their engineering know-how and put it into making the bleed process somewhat user friendly. I'm pretty sure they have always thought bleeding brakes was a two person job, or at least a job for a three armed person. That has been one of my big issues with them over the years, but if they fixed that, all is forgiven!
  • 3 0
 These seems like a great direction for MTB braking to take. Lever feel is soooooo important, but has been left out of the conversation of most brake manufacturers' and their marketing. A new day is dawning, finally!
  • 2 0
 I’m super jazzed about these! I used to have Stroker Trails with 203mm rotors and they could stop a freight train. Not to mention I bled them once in 3 years with flawless results. Sadly, I sold that bike with them on and got first gen code RSCs that worked fairly well but had some of the squishy issues that many others had. Then moved to XT’s (m8000) that have been nothing short of a headache for me and have been looking for a replacement ever since. Maybe these are the ones!
  • 2 0
 i'm confused by this comment: "Or, better yet, a caliper that fits 180mm rotors and directly mounts to standard frames and forks."

i've got these mounted to my frame and fork with 180 post mount with no adapters at all... or is your definition of "standard" frames and forks 160 mount?
  • 1 0
 Love the caliper position adjustment. Some bikes/brakes are just fiddly as hell when you go to lock down the caliper mounting bolts. All of the bikes I'm riding these days are no problem, but there's been a few that I had to mess with forever to get the pads parallel with the rotors. This setup almost makes me wish I had one of those problem bikes to try it out on.
  • 1 0
 I have ran Hayes on and off since the mid 90’s when I saw them in the QBP catolag at the shop I worked at and had to try them! Always been a super durable brake. Had them on my xc and dh bikes with thousands of NW miles. Great to see them back in the game.
  • 1 0
 So does the factory-set dead stroke mean that it does not require any sort of bite point adjustment? The inability to adjust for pad wear is normally a deal breaker for me, so if they can get around that with their system I'd still be interested. Sounds like a phenomenal brake.
  • 6 0
 The square seals around each caliper piston self-adjust for pad wear. The configuration of the square seal determines the space between the pad and rotor. The dead stroke is the distance the lever-blade has to travel from full extension to push the master cylinder's piston cup beyond the reservoir bleed port. Until that point, the piston can't pressurize the caliper pistons. Hayes pre-sets it as close as it can be. Any closer and the cup seal would block the port and cause the system to pump up when it got hot. So, no need for the BP adjustment, unless you need the dead stroke to be longer (which can be done).
  • 2 0
 This is a good question. @RichardCunningham is this adjustment intended just for initial factory adjustment or is it to be used to accommodate pad wear? I find the bite point/dead stroke adjustment most useful on my Guides to adjust for pad wear.
  • 6 1
 @tcmtnbikr: Never needed it for the Dominion brakes.The lever hits so consistently that pad wear was never an issue. If the caliper pistons failed to reset exactly the same distance from the rotor, (hasn't happened yet) all you'd need to do would be to turn the reach dial one or two clicks to get the lever to engage at your chosen spot. It's a one-hand, on-the-fly adjustment.
  • 1 0
 I've had a love/hate relationship with Hayes over the years, owned several sets. Always liked their modulation, and they were very quiet. On the other hand, they lacked power and were impossible to bleed.

Regardless, I'd like to try these just because of the alignment screws and the angled banjo seat... so simple yet genius!
  • 1 0
 Interested to see how this turns out...Hayes used to the brakes to own...until you found out there were 3865987643963598764398756435 better brakes out there that still sucked after being rebuilt. Looks like they're doing a ton of testing...which is always nice to see.
  • 1 0
 I was a big fan of Hayes brakes in the early 2000’s. All my mates took the piss, but my Mags and HFX 9’s were super powerful. They stood up to the Alps better than the Hope Mono brakes they were running.

The Stoker brakes were pretty crappy aside from the Aces which seemed to be their downfall. They mostly just vanished after that.
  • 1 0
 Ok @HayesBrakes you now have some awesome products between these brakes and the Manitou forks please please please find someone in the UK that gives a shit about your products to distribute them.

I love my mattoc forks and would even find a way to go boost front wheel to get a new pair of the latest forks on my bike but they don't seem to be available here.
  • 2 0
 Chain Reaction Cycles sell them cheap. I just bought my kid some mattoc’s and I’m super impressed with them.
  • 1 0
 I’ve ridden these for a few weeks now as they came with a Reactor that I bought. Having tried SRAM and was not a fan I was always an avid Shimano break person but these have honestly changed my mind. They are simple to set up and a joy to use on the trail with no inconsistency showing at all in the messy UK weather. The power is great but really well controlled the ergonomics of the lever is spot on for one finger braking. They don’t have the big makes status but they should have as they are seriously underrated. I honestly can’t fault them at all.
  • 5 1
 Oh man RC, that #26forlife roast...
  • 6 0
 @mtbikeaddict And, then there's Brandon Semenuk...
  • 1 2
 @RichardCunningham: Yep, undoubtedly the worlds MOST stylish, GOD like rider an a lot of other of the worlds top free riders must be wrog...........
  • 2 0
 They look pretty good. At 93kgs I want to know how the power compares to codes, zees, saints or curas - brakes I'm currently using or have recently used.
  • 4 0
 cross hair adjustment - GENIUS
  • 5 5
 You lost me at dot fluid. I have gone through so many brakes over the years almost every avid/sram brake from 06’-15’ was on formula for a while and hopes and every one of those brakes had to get rebuilt every 6-9months due to the fact the mat the dot fluid kills the rubber washers. Finally I gave in and went to shimano saints. These brakes have been trouble free for going on 3 years with nothing more then changing oil once a year just cause I know it needed it and pads of course.
  • 7 2
 If you're using DOT with rubber seals you have a problem. DOT fluid brakes us EPDM seals, while mineral oil will use rubber. Generally speaking EPDM is regarded as a higher performance material with better performance over a large temperature range. And congratulations, you have the one pair of saints that don't suck durability wise. I'e got a pile of zorched shimano stoppers, but my hope and formula brakes are just fine years later.
  • 1 7
flag Krzymndyd (Jul 14, 2018 at 20:58) (Below Threshold)
 @tsheep: I have 3 pairs of saints! On my Glory, Reign and Trance. The ones on the reign are the oldest at 3 years and are the ones the get used the most. The ones on the Glory are almost 2 years old and the ones on the trance are just over a year old. Maybe you keep getting shitty look. And sorry for the lack of knowledge on Rubber vs EPDM vs Lambskin I don't care about the science behind my seals I just know DOT fluid on bike brakes suck. PS my really good friend who is a very high end pro rider has to get new hopes every 9-12 months due to the extreme heat we get where I live. The only dot fluid brakes to make it more then a year with out troubles were Formulas "one" brakes. The Desert Heat will kill all dot fluid bike brakes
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 Dated looking lever assembly but i hope (no pun intended) that these put Hayes back onnthe map, my old Nines were pretty reliable back in the day.
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 I agree with the pro-mineral oil comments. We are mountain bikers, even at the DH level, we are not boiling fluid. Why not use a fluid that is easier to stock, easier to handle, easier on skin, etc?

Other than that huge fundamental aspect of these brakes, they seem pretty sweet. If they do everything in the real world as they do on paper, (greater power at the same lever force, alignment grubs), they are a welcome addition.
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 I had Hayes brakes on my bike 12 years ago, they were awful.
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 They had the worst lever adjustment location under the lever! It was just a long grub screw that would bend easily and then strip out the 2mm opening when you tried to make an adjustment. But it was the best we had at the time and way better than the Vbrakes it replaced.
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 I’m sold but which ones, these or TRP G-spec Quads!???

I’m now thinking these although TRP should be good stuff judging by their rotors I have used.
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 Richard C = 26 hater (and often wrong about many things) if you can’t do somthing successfully become a teacher (or a journalist) ????

Great to see Hayes make a new product, my guess is that their shot at industry hydro brake domination has passed as there are many great products on the market with better distribution
  • 4 0
 Are you saying people that aren't good at things should become teachers? And/or conversely that teachers aren't good at anything else? Just checking.
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 If they don’t come in purple, what’s the point?
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 I'm buying a set of these as soon as centerlock rotors become available. Nice review, RC!
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 I would have liked to see the original hayse logo on the side...
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 Good read. Seems like there are a lot of good brake systems being released lately. My Shigura brakes should last me a while yet though.
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 so thse rotors are the same as centerline rotors...which still arent always quiet hehe
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 Didn't Magura have a sort of "crosshair adjustment" on their 2004 Louise model?
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 still riding Hayes 9.
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 Love that caliper adjustment - well done!
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 Loving it
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My bad. Shimano had some in the 70's
  • 2 0
 @makripper Hayes made disc brakes for Schwinn Sting Rays in the '70s as well
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 Are Hayes some kind of animal activists?
Because 'Dominion' has quite the meaning for lots of people in 2018.
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 And people still think the cross of Saint Peter is a symbol of the Antichrist. People are weird. I'm just happy Hayes is back.
  • 3 0
 @FrEeZa: Antichrist is a nice movie. Btw Dafoe's dick in the sex scene is prosthetic.
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