Its that time of year when I get to call up my good friends in the industry and see whats up and coming and possibly squeeze out some interesting tidbits about new products. I recently got a chance to talk with with Joel Richardson, Production Manager at Hayes Disc Brakes, which is always super fun and exciting. I enjoy talking with Joel because we speak the same language – Techish – and he’s a person who is super stoked to talk about new products in development.

Joel managed a bike shop in Wisconsin from 1994-1998 and as things go in this kind of business he ended helping Len Cabaltera (the original Hayes guy) with development of the Hayes Mag brake back in 1996.

“Len would come into my shop and ask for design and feature feedback on the prototypes. We had no idea what it would lead to. He hired me straight out of College in 1998 and I started in tech, hand bleeding brakes and answering phones.”

Joel moved around the company a few times before landing in his current position as the brake Product Manager.

Our conversation started out with a bit of small talk, chatting about the usual challenges riders have with disc brakes and set-up. It’s during conversations like these that new ideas are introduced and Joel and I actually came up with a few good ones – perhaps you may even see one or two in the near future, you never know. Anyhow getting into it, we talked a bit about technology and key product characteristics Hayes will carry forward and improve upon and even touched on some of the new stuff under development.


Above: a Hayes design that never went into production but got some serious consideration. Back in 2002 Hayes came up with a two piece rotor for Shimano’s centerlock hub design.

One of the most exciting new products at Hayes this year is the Prime braking system. Prime is the name of the eventual replacement for the Stroker brake line-up and the Prime Pro and Expert take all that is great about the Stroker – forged calipers, compact master cylinder design, and tool free reach adjustment – and make it even better. Prime brakes feature a new caliper design that can withstand a set of bigger pistons and allow you to change up the pads without removing the caliper thanks to a top-loading design. The new brakes also throw in a floating two-piece rotor for the icing on the cake.

The new Prime master cylinder design was put under heavy scrutiny during the design phase. Keeping the basic Stroker design, Hayes tilted the cylinder 10 degrees to maximize finger positioning and changed up the master cylinder internals to allow for easy position adjustments and pad placement. As if that weren’t enough, Prime brakes features a new hose design that minimizes expansion and improves feel while sporting a plethora of exotic materials to reduce weight – now that’s Prime!


A good bit of motorsports technology was put into the Prime brake design. These brakes will outperform all of the present systems that Hayes produces thanks in part to the largest pistons they have ever produced @ 26mm. Many hundreds of hours were needed to develop a brake that would feel consistent under the tremendous forces generated in the caliper. Early in the product development Hayes decided that the calipers needed to be forged to achieve performance expectations (just like the previous model Strokers).


Hayes takes product testing very seriously and one of the tools they use is a Dynamometer capable of testing real world situations such as high speed/high input and wet conditions, shock, and vibration, while monitoring hydraulic pressure, force, speed, torque and temperature. After the dyno test, Hayes slaps the brakes on real bikes rigged with data capturing tools for actual testing on the dirt.

Here’s more from my conversation with Joel.

So when can we expect the Prime for sale to the public?
Everything is pointing to a June 2010 release date.

How powerful is the Prime and where does it fit in the line-up?
It surpasses the power of the Stroker Ace 4 piston brake by 23% on average.

There are two versions here, are we going to see another model or two in the future?
You bet, we are investigating the possibilities for a carbon version.

Are you planning on matching the finish on the brakes to other components produced by Hayes group of companies?
Maybe you can find the ANSWER.

I noticed there are no weights listed yet, any clue as to how light these units will be?
Youre looking at about 385 grams for the Pro and approximately 415 grams for the Expert, give or take a few grams.

On the new Prime brakes I noticed Hayes is going with a two-piece rotor. How long has that been in the making? I recall there were rumors that you were thinking about that…
Back in 2002 there was consideration and work on a two-piece rotor but for various reasons it never made production.

Alongwith Prime, what other things are changed up for 2010?
The Stroker Gram now comes in all white with a white brake hose. The Stroker Ace has a revision on the friction material making it easier to burnish the brake pads while the caliper and brake lever now come in black. We also started selling the Stroker Ace tool kit as well as the Feel’r gauge to set up your brakes. In 2010 the familiar HAYES logo is back on our brakes as well.

Well folks, stay tuned for a product review or two of the new 2010 Hayes brake offerings. I’m not sure about you but I’m stoked to give the new Prime brakes a run for their money!

Hayes Company History

1972 Schwinn 200E Series bicycle disc brake
1993 Production of DiaCompe Speed Check Disk Brake
1997 HFX Mag
1999 – Cable Actuated Hydraulic
2000 – Redesigned flip-flop Mag MC 2 piece clamp, G1 Caliper 74mm post mount
2001 – HMX-1 Mechanical
2002 – HFX-Comp, HML Mechanical Levers
2003 – HFX Mag Plus, HFX Nine MC, G2 Caliper
2004 – HFX Nine Carbon, MX-1 Mechanical, MX-2 Mechanical, Wave Rotors
2005 – El Camino, Sole, , BFL Levers, V-Series 6 & 8″ Rotors
2006 – MX 3, V7(180mm) Rotor, SRL Lever
2007 – Stroker Trail / Ryde, Stroker Carbon/ V9 (224mm) rotor
2008 – Stroker Ace / Stroker Gram/ V5 (140mm) rotor
2010 – Now the PRIME

Hayes firsts

Flip/Flop universal lever design with 2-piece clamp master cylinder body

Three layer hose construction

Tool-free brake pad change

Magnesium master cylinder bodies

Bladder/cartridge master cylinder design

Ball socket caliper pistons

Flip/Flop radial master cylinder

Hayes industry standards

74 mm post mount calipers with slotted mount feet

203 mm rotor size

10 mm quick release hub rotor offset

15 mm 20mm thru and rear hub rotor offset

.070 thick rotors

Forward arcing rotor splines for thermal capabilities and strength

T25 low profile disc screws

# Comments

  • trek7k

    Looks like some top secret stuff is included in the brake lever pictured at the top. What’s with the pixelated area there? I noticed it on the Hayes website as well…

  • ChiliPepper

    As a user of the Hayes 9 and the Hayes Stroker Ace, all I can say is these brakes are solid as a rock and have plenty of stopping power by far. After switching over to the Strokers, I am totally pleased with the modulation, feel, stopping power, and ease of use for adjusting the pads. The Strokers were a bit tedious when first dialing them in, but well worth it in the long run. I look forward to these new Hayes brakes in the future. Thanks for the review element!

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