Fifteen years ago nearly every disc brake on a bike was a Hayes. The company pioneered open hydraulic systems and the ‘post mount’ standard. The company returned to the brake market with the affordable – if not particularly powerful – Radar.
We took a first look at the Hayes Radar brakes in April 2014, and have now had the time to put them through their paces for a full review.
The two-piece bar clamp and ambidextrous design make for easy lever fitting, while the ‘Crosshair’ caliper uses 2mm hex screws imbedded in the mounting slots to ensure accurate sideways positioning.
Compared to mildly corrosive DOT fluid, Hayes’ Venom mineral oil is more paint- and eco-friendly and doesn’t absorb water over time either. Hayes cover the Radar brake with a lifetime leakproof guarantee, and sintered pads as standard mean much better lifespan than the resin pads typical in cheap brakes.
The lever is solidly mounted and at 458g it’s mid pack in terms of mass.
Lever feel is blunt and wooden though, with minimal modulation ‘squeeze’, and power is weak on the trail and on our dyno (70m/s2 for a 50Nm lever pull) even with the largest 180mm rotor option. The pads are Hayes specific too, but at least they’re cheap.