We've been closely following the development of Hayes' new Prime disc brake, and now we've finally got a set in the office for testing. Could this be the stopper that puts the American company, who've lost ground to the likes of Avid and Shimano in recent years, back on top in the highly-competitive brake marketplace?
The Prime is said to be 20 percent more powerful than the current Stroker Trail, as well as offering improved modulation thanks to a more progressive feel at the lever, which gives more power later in the stroke.
The new master cylinder features tool-free pad-contact adjustment in addition to the reach adjustment found on the Stroker, a new two-piece bar clamp with titanium bolts, a more comfortable lever and press-fit bushings to combat lever slop. At the business end, the new two-piece calliper features improved venting, a rotating banjo and top-loaded pads.
The Prime is available in two versions: Pro (seen here) and Expert. The cheaper Expert (£129.99/US$175 per end) uses steel and aluminium hardware, a standard hose and one-piece stainless steel rotor. Claimed weight is 415g.
Upgrades on the Pro (£149.99/$209) include a smattering of titanium bolts, a new four-layer 'premium' hose and a new two-piece steel/aluminium floating rotor which is said to be stiffer and lighter (110g, claimed, for the 160mm version) than the one-piece design. Claimed weight is 385g.
You can read more about the new brake in our first look. Watch out for a review of the Prime in Mountain Biking UK magazine soon – click here for details of how to subscribe. Hayes brakes are available in the UK via Hotlines.