Hayes Radar brakes review£60.00

Affordable comeback from previously ubiquitous brake manufacturers

BikeRadar score3/5

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.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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