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Hayes’ top new Prime Pro trail brake promises unique
technology and titanium trim but it’s a heavy and rather disappointing unit in
use.

The Poppet Cam free stroke adjuster which lets you set bite
point is retained from the previous lever, as is the reach wheel. While it
still shares the same look as the previous Hayes Stroker, brake fluid flow into
the reservoir to cope with heat expansion is five times greater. Add titanium
fixings to reduce weight and it sounds a tempting option.

Unfortunately even with the Ti kit, the chunky master
cylinder and big two-piece bolted calliper still make it a heavyweight. The Poppet Cam lever is also extremely stiff to use from new and despite
claims of extra power from Hayes, both sets we’ve been testing are relatively
low on torque on the trail and dyno.

The rotor has a noticeable pulse due to
thickness variances and we also suffered slight fade well before other brakes
on the dyno. Reliability has been good otherwise and you get a free paint
protector sleeve on the hose, but the Pro isn’t our Prime choice.

This article was
originally published in What
Mountain Bike
magazine.

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