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  1. #1
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    Avid Mech vs. Hayes Hyd.

    Looking for some opinions please. Can someone please compare experiences between Avid mech (203mm Front x 185mm Rear) and Hayes Hydro. (203mm Front x 160mm Rear).

    I'm putting these on a Heckler and don't do alot of DH, but will on occassion. I have the Hayes now and they are OK (160mmx160mm), but was considering the Avids or running the 203mm on the Hayes in front.

    Thanks for the time.

  2. #2
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    Trouble with Hayes

    Quote Originally Posted by Helibee
    Looking for some opinions please. Can someone please compare experiences between Avid mech (203mm Front x 185mm Rear) and Hayes Hydro. (203mm Front x 160mm Rear).

    I'm putting these on a Heckler and don't do alot of DH, but will on occassion. I have the Hayes now and they are OK (160mmx160mm), but was considering the Avids or running the 203mm on the Hayes in front.

    Thanks for the time.
    I've had LOTS of trouble with Hayes, both performance and customer service wise.

    My Avids work great.

    The first set of Hayes I bought in either 98 or 99' - installed, blead once, rode for 3 years with nary an adustment. One day the pad fell out of the front caliper and the little pin that the pad clips onto was ripped out by the rotor-requiring a new piston.

    Changing out an old piston for a new is easy. From that point though the brake never worked right again. They had a marked decrease in stopping power cold or hot. When hot the levers pumped up like crazy. All signs that air is in the lines...

    So, I blead, reblead, changed the pads, changed the rotor, changed the hose and changed the bladder in the lever (master cylinder) all for nought. The symptom were as before

    I sent the brakes back to Hayes and they told me nothing was wrong with them. And sent them back to me in the same condition.

    I ended up giving them away.

    I bought a new pair of Hayes through the classified here. Same exect story as above

    A friend of mine gave me a pair of Avids and I haven't looked back since.

    The worst that's ever happened is I rode them 6 hours in the mud in a complete downpour and the cables got gunked up.

    Better than I can say for my friends that I was riding with. While their pads were completely worn from the mud, I was able to use the piston adjusters to offset the wear and still had brakes.

    I just upgraded from 6-7" rotors (don't tell Shiggy I said that) and these brakes kick arse.

    In my 5 years working as a bike mechanic and another 4 years in the industry I've had several types of brakes(don't get me started on Grimeca!) and worked on many more. I've found Avids to be much simpler and very effective.

    Take care

  3. #3
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    I had a set of 2001 Hayes Mags which replaced a set of Grimeca System 8 brakes. Don't ask about those! I always thought the Hayes were pretty good in comparison until I rode my friends bike with Avid mech's. More power, better modulation, everything. I also have Shimano XT 4 piston on my freeride bike which I also like and have more power with the 8" rotors. Bottom line the Avid's are the best mech brake out there and are better than a lot of hydros. I wouldn't however give the same endorsement to Avid hydraulics.
    Quote Originally Posted by imridingmybike
    I've had LOTS of trouble with Hayes, both performance and customer service wise.

    My Avids work great.

    The first set of Hayes I bought in either 98 or 99' - installed, blead once, rode for 3 years with nary an adustment. One day the pad fell out of the front caliper and the little pin that the pad clips onto was ripped out by the rotor-requiring a new piston.

    Changing out an old piston for a new is easy. From that point though the brake never worked right again. They had a marked decrease in stopping power cold or hot. When hot the levers pumped up like crazy. All signs that air is in the lines...

    So, I blead, reblead, changed the pads, changed the rotor, changed the hose and changed the bladder in the lever (master cylinder) all for nought. The symptom were as before

    I sent the brakes back to Hayes and they told me nothing was wrong with them. And sent them back to me in the same condition.

    I ended up giving them away.

    I bought a new pair of Hayes through the classified here. Same exect story as above

    A friend of mine gave me a pair of Avids and I haven't looked back since.

    The worst that's ever happened is I rode them 6 hours in the mud in a complete downpour and the cables got gunked up.

    Better than I can say for my friends that I was riding with. While their pads were completely worn from the mud, I was able to use the piston adjusters to offset the wear and still had brakes.

    I just upgraded from 6-7" rotors (don't tell Shiggy I said that) and these brakes kick arse.

    In my 5 years working as a bike mechanic and another 4 years in the industry I've had several types of brakes(don't get me started on Grimeca!) and worked on many more. I've found Avids to be much simpler and very effective.

    Take care

  4. #4
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    Thank god I went with the Avids

    I chose the Avid discs nearly 3 years ago due to their cheap cost, & I have to say going into their 3rd riding season-man, am I glad I did! It just seemed like a no-brainer to me. I could of never afforded the hydraulics & all the headaches that went with them.

  5. #5
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    Been there, too. Avid avid avid avid avid avid avid! I run the setup you're looking at ... it's great on my ht ...

  6. #6
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    if you already have the hayes and they are working then why spend the money to swich to the mechs? I'd continue using the hayes and change the front rotor if you need to.
    "Physics is timeless. Marketing and bs never lasts. Thats been proven time and time again."
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  7. #7
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    Thought it was only me.....

    SOB.....I went through Formula 4 Racing and BEAUTIFUL Hope M4's , nothing but problems. Ended up in Moab and the Hopes crapped out on me again. Bought a full set of Avid 205's front and rear and have not looked back since. Only problem I have is trying to get my 35 pound pig on a diet. Every 1/3 pounds make a difference and the Avids a about 1/4 to 1/3 pound heavier.

    Later Mon.

  8. #8
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcan
    if you already have the hayes and they are working then why spend the money to swich to the mechs? I'd continue using the hayes and change the front rotor if you need to.
    I second this - just get an adapter and the rotors you want. If you don't like it, you can use the same adapter/rotors with the Avids later, so nothing lost.

  9. #9
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    Do the weight weenie elsewhere

    You can easily make up for the gained weight of running Avid mechs. by just resorting to lighter (but still plenty strong...I'm a Clyde) components elsewhere. It's easy to make a set of light but VERY strong wheels. Carbon seat post, bars and spacers are simple and effective. There are GREAT lightweight saddles out there. Full Metal Jacket cables drop another load of weights.
    All in all, it's pretty simple to get the weight back that's lost when running Avid Mechs(approx 280 grams more than XT hydros)
    Don't do anything I wouldn't do if I weren't in your shoes.

  10. #10
    hands up who wants to die
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    what's the weight diff on the Full Metal Jacks? I didn't know that there was much weight difference in cables/housing. I use the cheap stuff, since none of it lasts more than 6 months for me.
    fill me in!

    thx
    -rob in NY

  11. #11
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    rpet:
    I don't know the exact weight difference between say Flack Jacket or anyone else's standard housing and full metal, but I'll tell ya this...the section running from the caliper to the union on both the front and rear is WAY lighter than regular housing and tons stiffer. Some say this decrease of housing compression leads to DECREASED modulation on Avid mechs. I say bull. With virtually no housing compression, my lever "feel" is always the same, and I have grown to know what to expect when I grab the lever. They may require a finer touch that hydros, but are far from being "on-off" lightswitch-like as some have said.
    I'm sure someone knows the actual weight diff. Full metal jackets have thin SS tubes...here's my bike with them showing:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't do anything I wouldn't do if I weren't in your shoes.

  12. #12
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    Whoa - I had no idea what those were - the stiff straw-like thing is crazy!
    Thanks for the pic.

    Don't know if they would work too well for me. I crash a lot; bike flies off the trail into trees and stuff; it would probably get bent/smashed.

    Interesting idea though; Avid is a cool company.

    -rob in NY

  13. #13
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    Hayes Hydros

    I have a pair of 2001 Hayes Hydros. They were on my FR Hardtail, and have now been transfered to my new Heckler. The only problem I ever had with them was a little drop of break fluid coming out the top. I was new to Hydros so I took them to my LBS who fixed the situation for me. That was in the first couple of months with them. I have not had one problem since. They stop like crazy, are easy to adjust, and are pretty simple in design. The only maintenance I have done to them outside of regular washes on the bike is one set of new pads. Cool Stops!! They work like new again with the new pads. I've used them for a few days of chairlift runs with little problems. I did have a bit of reduce stoppign power, but I attrribute that to 6inch rotor trying to slow a 210 lbs rider on a 35 lbs bike, going like stink over rocks the size of a baby's head!! I've never notices them pumping up or anything, and even after the rotors are hot enough to sizzle a drop of spit, they have remained totally straight. I don't anticipate trading these brakes for anything unless they suffer crash damage.
    The more you give'r the more fun you have!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpet
    Whoa - I had no idea what those were - the stiff straw-like thing is crazy!
    Thanks for the pic.

    Don't know if they would work too well for me. I crash a lot; bike flies off the trail into trees and stuff; it would probably get bent/smashed.

    Interesting idea though; Avid is a cool company.

    -rob in NY
    LOL!!! Hey...I have been known to crash a few times myself! And these have survived all of them intact. There is a bit of "give" to the "full metal system", and when push comes to shove, the regular housing they are linked to allow movement.
    The rear one has been tweaked before, but straightened easily. In a set they also give you enough for a replacement if one should kink badly. BTW, there is a poly sheath inside the SS tube for friction reduction. The joining "unions" that the tube and housing are mated to are covered in heat-shrunk tubing to seal the system. The instructions suggest running full length standard housing all the way to the back tube to avoid areas where dirt can enter, but I went and ran the cables through the regular welded on stops on the top tube to keep it lighter, and so far no noticable grunge problems, and I ride in PLENTY of crappy wet conditions. Even if they do get gunked up, it'd be no harder to clean and relube than std. cable housing.
    Last edited by DakotaJockey; 02-24-2005 at 09:27 AM.
    Don't do anything I wouldn't do if I weren't in your shoes.

  15. #15
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    Ditto. Hayes rock.

    I know this is an Avid lovers thread, and from what I've tried they are good. More modulation than Hayes Hydros, but no where nearly as powerful. I like one finger stopping power.
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  16. #16
    hands up who wants to die
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    I've always had one finger stopping power with my 185 avid mechs w/XT levers and cheapo cables. I would never ride any brake that require 2 fingers.
    In fact, I have long fingers, and set my brake lever so far inwards, that I have a hard time even using 2 fingers... but I've never needed to with these Avids (3 seasons on the same set).

    My friend's Hayes Mags (6") seem to be one-fingerable too. I don't like them as much though, because they are completely on/off feeling and perpetually dragging on the rotor. Plus, if you use a singlecrown fork, those hoses get broken/split unless you drop mad $$ on upgraded lines.

    I'm switching out the rotors to 200mm front/ 160 rear this season for more intelligent weight/performance distribution..

    -r

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob68
    I chose the Avid discs nearly 3 years ago due to their cheap cost, & I have to say going into their 3rd riding season-man, am I glad I did! It just seemed like a no-brainer to me. I could of never afforded the hydraulics & all the headaches that went with them.
    Not true. The Hayes HFX-9's hydros are cheaper than the Avid mechanicals (JensonUSA wants $120 for the Avids and $99 for the Hayes). Remember too that the Avids don't include the brake lever or cable.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helibee
    Looking for some opinions please. Can someone please compare experiences between Avid mech (203mm Front x 185mm Rear) and Hayes Hydro. (203mm Front x 160mm Rear).

    I'm putting these on a Heckler and don't do alot of DH, but will on occassion. I have the Hayes now and they are OK (160mmx160mm), but was considering the Avids or running the 203mm on the Hayes in front.

    Thanks for the time.
    I had a set of Hayes a few years ago, and they were constant trouble. Bough a used set of Avid mechs and I could not be happier. In my experience they have just as much stopping power, though not the silky feeling of hydraulics.

    On the other hand, If your Hayes are working fine, why switch?

    FWIW, I ride a Heckler, and the 160mm Avids have done fine for me.

    Kapusta

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helibee
    Looking for some opinions please. Can someone please compare experiences between Avid mech (203mm Front x 185mm Rear) and Hayes Hydro. (203mm Front x 160mm Rear).

    I'm putting these on a Heckler and don't do alot of DH, but will on occassion. I have the Hayes now and they are OK (160mmx160mm), but was considering the Avids or running the 203mm on the Hayes in front.

    Thanks for the time.
    I love my hayes and don't have problems at all with them...most people need to learn how to bleed their own brakes because I do a better job then most LBS...

    anyway you state you don't do a lot of downhill...Then I would get the Avids...
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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