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  1. #1
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    Help! Hayes HMX-1s don't have braking power..

    I've always thought disc brakes would be quite powerful but in my "scientific" tests where I squeeze the brake as hard as I can and try to turn the wheel (front or back), it always seems to move.
    I tried this test with a $200 bike and the rim brakes wouldn't let the wheel budge.

    I've got new pads (w/ about 10 rides on them) but original rotors.

    Any ideas??
    TIA

  2. #2
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    Either a serious adjustment problem, an install error, pad glazing or, well, they are Hayes are they not?

    If you have more than 1-2 mm of pad clearance, this is too much and your brakes will run out of lever travel before they start working properly.

    An install error might mean that the caliper 'šam' can't work as designed. Only a problem when the pads get thin. You have new pads, I doubt this is a problem.

    Pad glazing, might be it. Take some scotchbrite or 200 grit wet&dry and scuff up the rotor and pads. Might fix it.

    But don't forget, they ARE Hayes. The calipers just aren't in the same league as Deore or Avid. Simple fact of nature.

  3. #3
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    What about optional aftermarket pads???

    Quote Originally Posted by Schtoojp
    Either a serious adjustment problem, an install error, pad glazing or, well, they are Hayes are they not?

    If you have more than 1-2 mm of pad clearance, this is too much and your brakes will run out of lever travel before they start working properly.

    An install error might mean that the caliper 'šam' can't work as designed. Only a problem when the pads get thin. You have new pads, I doubt this is a problem.

    Pad glazing, might be it. Take some scotchbrite or 200 grit wet&dry and scuff up the rotor and pads. Might fix it.

    But don't forget, they ARE Hayes. The calipers just aren't in the same league as Deore or Avid. Simple fact of nature.
    I've got Hayes mechs and hydraulics with the same issue. The brakes worked great...for a couple miles. Now it feels like the pads are glazed over. White knuckles don't lock them up. I wonder if they just chose poor organic pads and if a semi-metallic aftermarket would do better.

    By the way, my Avid mechs will endo like no tomorrow with just one finger on the lever. That is why my next brakes are Juicys.

  4. #4
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    clean up the rotor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexterdan
    I've always thought disc brakes would be quite powerful but in my "scientific" tests where I squeeze the brake as hard as I can and try to turn the wheel (front or back), it always seems to move.
    I tried this test with a $200 bike and the rim brakes wouldn't let the wheel budge.

    I've got new pads (w/ about 10 rides on them) but original rotors.

    Any ideas??
    TIA
    I have had chronic issues with my HMX-1 in the past couple years...I think I have them licked finally...as far as stopping power goes, I mine are the best they have ever been...

    I simply cleaned them up as best I could. The rotor may not look dirty, but even the slightest amount of oily film will contaminate the pads and ruin brand new ones. I think contamination root cause of most disc problems.

    1) Clean the rotors with rubbing alcohol. Never, ever use automotive stuff. (I made that mistake and I believe it caused all my issues).

    2) Like the other post said, give the pads a scuffing. It will clean off some contaminants and rough up the potential glazing.

    3) Again, like another post said, make sure there is little clearance between the pads and rotor.

    Last fall I almost threw my bike in the river cause I was so p%^$ed off at the vibrating, squealing brakes. I hated them, still do (high maintenance!!!!) if I go this summer and all is well, I think I have learned enough to make them work right.


    good luck

  5. #5
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    I hear you loud and clear!

    I tired EBC gold and EBC red.

    The gold were marginally better, but the pads were 'rougher'. Kinda like braking with a handful of sand in the brakes, with the obvious improvment.

    The reds were quite good, but I used them all of 3 seconds. And wet weather made them kinda unhappy. Fortunately, they were loaners so I didn't have to buy them. Prolly wouldn't have bought them, the gold were a better buy.

    As for the Avid. No comparison with the Hayes.

    The hayes had to be so perfect to get adequate braking, maybe matching a mid-high V-brake. But they did work in the wet.

    The Avid? I really don't care how it goes on there. It's made me lazy with brake setup because the &^$^%$%^$ thing refuses to NOT work! I play with the rotor, it still works. I touch the pads, it STILL works. I let some spray oil run amok, the &^$ things STILL *&^*&%&^% WORK! The rotor is not as well finished as the Hayes (my Avid rotor has runout, like most I guess. The Hayes rotors were perfect) but who cares when the brakes ALWAYS WORK!!!

    I would only go away from Avid if I needed superior modulation and not the outright power. Avid's have. In that case, Deore 515. Not as much outright stopping power nor stopping capacity, but the smoothest brake I have ever tried. Use one on the back of my bike and it's prolly gonna stay even though it's heavy, style free and kinda sucks in the wet. It's still a superior rear brake...

  6. #6
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    I have the same problem. Maybe your cables are plugged with mud... mine were. Did anyone try the kool-stop pads compared to the hayes pads? Do they have better braking power?

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