HAYES PRIME PRO BRAKES
A little upgrade makes a big difference
When we tested the $260 (per wheel) Hayes Prime Pro along with four
other brakes in our hydraulic disc brake shootout (MBA September 2011 issue),
the stoppers came in last because of an inconsistency in their power delivery.
Honestly, it didn’t make sense to us, or Hayes, who has been in the brake
business a long time. The problem was traced to an early batch of brake pads.
Hayes asked if we would like to try the Pro again with the new brake pads. That
is what we have here.
Tech Features: The Prime Pro Brakes offer tool-free, independent adjustment of both the
pad/rotor contact point and lever reach. Hayes uses a four-layer, low-expansion
hose from the master cylinder to the calipers which is tuned for the brake’s
precise mechanical and hydraulic ratios. These hoses attach to the calipers
with anodized aluminum banjo fittings that look like aftermarket upgrade items.
Nickel plated, titanium and anodized aluminum fasteners are used throughout the
system. Press-fit Titacon CL 500 bushings are used in the master cylinder body.
The master cylinder/lever assembly uses a split clamp so the assembly can be
removed without removing your handlebar grips, shifters or remote controls. The
sintered metallic brake pads are top loaded and secured with a bolt. Our
complete brake system with six-inch rotors weighed two pounds, one ounce. Hayes
offers five other rotor diameters (one smaller, four larger). Contact Hayes at
Field Test Results: The Prime Pro mounted up to our Pivot Mach 5.7 test
sled easily, and centering the calipers was a simple procedure for both the
front and rear. The banjo fittings make the Prime a prime choice for rear
suspension designs that require the rear brake hose routing to perform miracles
to reach the caliper. Nice. Up front, the large master cylinder/ lever combo
mounts just as easily, and it is nice not having to remove the grips to get
them in place. The lever on top of the master cylinder (which looks like a little
sun dial) adjusts where in the lever’s arch you want the brake pads to start
rubbing against the rotors. Crewers were all over the map on this adjustment.
Some liked instant pad contact while others preferred a little play. The beauty
is that the adjustment is easy to make and the lever delivers a very nice
range. The round dial inside the brake lever adjusts how far in or out the
lever sits from the handlebar. Larger hands liked the lever further out.
Smaller hands, closer in. Again, a really simple and fast adjustment. These
tool- free adjustments come at a price. The master cylinder/lever assembly is
very large. Break-in is ultra important. If you rush this process, you will
never experience the full potential of this brake. Go find a stretch of flat
trail, or better yet, a paved road. Get up to 10 to 15 miles per hour and
squeeze the brake slowly until you almost come to a stop. Repeat 50 times. We
are not kidding. What you are doing is matching the brake pads to the rotors.
It took 15 minutes and about two miles of road to complete this engagement
Reprinted from our March 2012 issue. Like us on Facebook