These new disc brakes for 2009 represent excellent value for money. They use the commonly available XTR pad shape so you can easily get both sintered and organic brake pads… in fact these are really the old LX calipers with a totally new levers sporting radial master cyclinders.
If you use rotors which are large enough for your intended application, the total available power is good. I used a 203mm front rotor and 180mm rear rotor for this review. With this setup, I felt that the action of the rear brake caliper was quite a bit mushier than the front and I put this down to the length of the rear brake line (both are non-braided hydraulic housing).
Regardless, modulation is spot on and I really like the adjustable reach levers. When it’s this easy to change the reach, it’s amazing how much you use this single feature.
I experienced some squealing of the rear brake which inevitably reverberated throughout the entire frame, but I put that down to one frame I tested it on (inadequate disc mount bracing or lack of rigidity on an older model Decathlon). Testing on another frame with a beefier disc brake mount revealed no issues whatsoever (Pro Lite Aosta).
The more I try different disc brakes out (Deore, Saint), the more I realise that Shimano does a good job here *gasp*. While Avid also make excellent brakes, their Code 5 model comes to mind, Hayes just is not in the same league anymore.