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  1. #1
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    Hayes HFX-9 brakes on the Dawg... are they that bad?

    I recently purchased (put on layaway), an 04 Dawg. Before I pick it up this spring, I want to make sure I have the LBS upgrade or swap out anything that might be a problem.

    I was reading the reviews on the Hayes HFX-9 XC hydraulic brakes that come on this bike, and it seems like these brakes have a lot of problems with them.

    Out of curiosity, how many of you have these brakes and have seen the same kind of problems that have been commonly reported? (lever adjustment screws constantly coming loose, leaking fluid, etc.).

    I also read that Hayes fixed these problems for the 05 model. Did anyone upgrade to the 05 and have better results?

    I'm really getting concerned about this based on all the horrible reviews I read, and I think I'll have the shop swap them for something better. Shimano XT maybe?

  2. #2
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    I'd buy anything but the Hayes - had an '04 Dawg Dee-lux and had constant trouble with the hydros. Finally switched 'em to Avid Mechanicals which were maintenance-free and thus great, but they do fade on long downhills. I'll be putting hydros on my next bike just not sure which ones, probably Avids, Maguras or Hopes. Good luck - the Dawg's sweet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian
    I recently purchased (put on layaway), an 04 Dawg. Before I pick it up this spring, I want to make sure I have the LBS upgrade or swap out anything that might be a problem.

    I was reading the reviews on the Hayes HFX-9 XC hydraulic brakes that come on this bike, and it seems like these brakes have a lot of problems with them.

    Out of curiosity, how many of you have these brakes and have seen the same kind of problems that have been commonly reported? (lever adjustment screws constantly coming loose, leaking fluid, etc.).

    I also read that Hayes fixed these problems for the 05 model. Did anyone upgrade to the 05 and have better results?

    I'm really getting concerned about this based on all the horrible reviews I read, and I think I'll have the shop swap them for something better. Shimano XT maybe?
    Me:
    2003 Specialized BigHit Comp with HFX-9s. Both levers constantly migrating back to the bar. When I went to Keystone, I normally readjusted everytime down. I sent them back to Hayes when I adjusted fully out and the levers would freeze. They changed the c clips, and put an upgrades mastercylinder in them, but the migration continued. Sold bike with brakes
    2003 Yeti AS-X with HFX-9s. Levers migrating, same problems. Pain in the arse

    Friend:
    2003 Kona Stinky Delux with HFX-9s. Same problems.

    A shop in Denver suggested adjusting the lever adjustment rod so the levers are all the way toward the bar, and then taking a pair of snipers and carefully clamping down on the threads, then readjust the levers to fit. I guess this takes the vibration out.

    FYI: The Hayes "SOLE" brakes are rebadged HFX-9s.

    My advice, look for a set of Mag levers. There is a reason why you see newer DH bike pics on here with older, beat up aluminum Mag lever bodies. They work.

  4. #4
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    so the problems are mostly in teh levers, and not the calipers?

  5. #5
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    Only the occasional adjustment screw backing out here, no other problems.

  6. #6
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    Try this

    backing the set srew out all the way and carefully putting blue Loctite on the treads using a toothpick. I did this to a friends HFX 9's and I don't think he has had any problems since. Just don't drip the loctite on any of the lever pivot points.





    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian
    I recently purchased (put on layaway), an 04 Dawg. Before I pick it up this spring, I want to make sure I have the LBS upgrade or swap out anything that might be a problem.

    I was reading the reviews on the Hayes HFX-9 XC hydraulic brakes that come on this bike, and it seems like these brakes have a lot of problems with them.

    Out of curiosity, how many of you have these brakes and have seen the same kind of problems that have been commonly reported? (lever adjustment screws constantly coming loose, leaking fluid, etc.).

    I also read that Hayes fixed these problems for the 05 model. Did anyone upgrade to the 05 and have better results?

    I'm really getting concerned about this based on all the horrible reviews I read, and I think I'll have the shop swap them for something better. Shimano XT maybe?

  7. #7
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    I have them on my 05 Stuff and I shuttled about 6,000 vertical feet last weekend with no fade and no other problems. They've also been trouble free through about 100 single track miles and many days of dirt jumping.

  8. #8
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    2004 Dawg

    Have the HFX-9s. Front has had zero problems, rear needed bled twice within a week of purchase. Both have been fine since.
    All the tweaking in the world to keep the caliper body on both front and rear from touching the rotor.

    MAGs or whatever they were called back in 2001(the other lever style) on my NRS 1, never a problem in over 3 years.

  9. #9
    Just roll it......
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    HFX 9 HD's on my Stinky.

    I've had no problems with the performance of my Hayes (actually, I'm quite pleased with them), but I've had the same issue as everyone else. The lever reach adjustment constantly comes loose - especially powering through runs at Whistler. Before you know it, you're grabbing a handful of brake and the lever's coming all the way to the bar. This why Hayes are changing the lever adjust setup with their new El Camino brakes.

    Granted, this takes 30 seconds to remedy with a 2mm allen wrench, but it's a total hassle to have to do it again and again.

    Someone else mentioned the blue loc-tite solution. I agree that MAY work. I tried it once and was SUPER sloppy with it and ended up having to pull my lever all apart to get it to work again. So, I'd take his advice and be very careful when applying the blue loctite. I'd let it completely dry and then adjust the lever where you need it and leave it. See how that works.

    You may also get some good advice in the brake forum.

    Cheers,
    EB

  10. #10
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    I'd say that the Hayes work fine. I have them on my '04 King Kikapu and have had little to no trouble whatsoever. Only thing I did was turn the adjustment screw so that some threads are exposed, put a very small drop of "green penatrating" loctite on the threads and then adjust the reach. Be very judicious with it. First time I did it, I got it into the pivot and it kept sticking. Operator error. After doing that, have not had to adjust them at all. Haven't had to bleed them either except to flush old fluid out. (I've been an auto mechanic for 18 years so I'm a little anal about maintenance on my bike). One thing I have noticed though, because of pad wear on the rear I have to pump the lever hard a couple of times to get the caliper pistons to adjust. I'm guessing this is due to the tight fit between the caliper piston and the square cut caliper seal. It's not a problem on cars because everything is much bigger compared as pertains to seal/caliper friction. I had Magura HS-22's on my hard-tail and loved them. I think the Hayes work just as well as anything I've ever used. I only brake with one finger except on the knarliest of hills. And I've never had a problem with noise or excessive rubbing. One other thing. Coming from an automotive background and a long time user of hydralic brakes, Avid users have lost their minds if they think Mechs even compare to Hydros. I get the same debate here all the time.

    Hydros for life...

  11. #11
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    I totally disagree, I have avids on my Coiler & Shimano 4pots on my Heckler & the difference is not that great. Avids stop very well. When I bought my Shimano's, I stuck with the 6" rotor thinking that the hydro's would put out the power to negate the need for the 8" rotor I have on my Avids...not so, I had to upgrade to an 8 for the XT's to achieve parity with the Avids. Now both provide the power I require.

    As for the HFX-9's, I have a friend who doesn't post on forums who has an 03 Stinky with those on it. He has had nothing but problems since the 1st month of ownership, with multiple bleedings, constant lever migration, c-clip damage that caused the lever to swing all the way out (beyond finger reach), caliper work, lever & resoivoir rebuild & finally lever replacement to the Mag style levers. They are still unreliable on-trail as the engagement point of the pads seems to change on DH runs with no power alternating with full engagement at irregular & inconvenient intervals. The guys at my LBS constantly harp on Hayes and will not use them on their personal rigs.

  12. #12
    Live 2 Ride
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    "Avid users have lost their minds if they think Mechs even compare to Hydros. I get the same debate here all the time."

    I think as well that mechanicals work just as good as hydros. I also think Avid makes a better hydro than hayes for that matter.
    My Bike: '19 Giant Talon 2 29er
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
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    To each their own.

  14. #14
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    Update... I contacted Hayes directly and they offered a fix for me

    They are sending me new adjustment screw bushings with nylon inserts . These are supposed to eliminate the problem with screws vibrating loose, as an alternative to using loctite.

  15. #15
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    hydraulics!

    you guys are morons. Hydraulic fluid can produce more force per area than a crappy cable can. The lever is pushing the fluid as opposed to a mechanical lever pulling the cable; much more force.

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