Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (13)

As a long time supporter of the use of DOT fluid for their disc brakes, the first Hayes brake based on mineral oil has arrived. While the company still believes in the use of DOT fluid for many applications, the fact that some OEM bike manufactures (mostly in Europe) are requiring mineral oil brake systems for their bikes has spurred the development of the Hayes Radar. The brake is the first to use the new Hayes Venom mineral oil, which like other mineral oil systems is non-toxic and safe for painted and finished surfaces.

The Radar is more than just a move to mineral oil however as the brake has been designed to use fewer parts and offer a simple, durable design. Fewer parts also means the system is easier to manufacture which ultimately results in a more affordable product. Expect the Hayes Radar to start showing up on complete bikes soon but we’ve got early report on their performance next…

Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (21)

Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (12) Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (11)

Positioned in the Hayes brake line up between the Dyno and the Prime, the Radar is positioned to compete with brakes like the Magura MT2, Avid Elixir 3 and Shimano Deore. Priced at $95 per brake (rotors and adapters not included), the brake still offers some impressive features for relatively few dollars. Using a 360 degree bladder in the lever, the flip flop design includes a split clamp for easy service or adjustment while the lever offers a tooled reach adjust through a 2.5mm allen screw.

The shape of the lever is nice an long meaning that riders that still prefer a 2 finger braking technique won’t be disappointed. If you prefer the 1 finger method though, they can be pushed inboard and work just as well. The threaded bleed port is located on the bottom of the reservoir, so the brake must be rotated upward for bleeding.

Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (20)

At the caliper things are fairly simple, but the brake still manages to include the excellent Crosshair caliper alignment system. If you haven’t used it yet, it may be one of the best things to happen to disc brake adjustment in a long time. With the caliper mounting bolts just slightly loose, and the Crosshair adjuster started in the out position, slowly threading the Crosshair bolts inward pushes on the caliper mounting bolts and allows you to perfectly center the caliper.

Using 22mm caliper pistons, the brake doesn’t provide the same power as the 26mm Hayes Prime, but it’s more than adequate. The calipers use the same brake pad as the Dyno Comp, but they come standard with a sintered metallic pad with Type 100 friction material which is an upgrade from the Dyno pad. The brake pads use a bottom load design that is held in place with a retention clip.

The Radars are meant to be used with the Hayes L-Series 6 bolt rotor which is available in 140, 160, and 180mm sizes which sell for $30-40 each.

The transition to the Venom mineral oil system does mean you will need a new bleed kit to use with the Hayes Radars. Hayes will offer a specific Venom bleed kit for the Radar and “any other mineral oil based brakes they may produce,” but we also found that the Jagwire Mineral oil bleed kit works just as well – just make sure to use the Venom mineral oil.

Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (15) Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (14)

Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (18) Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (17) Hayes Radar hydraulic mineral oil disc brakes (16)

On the scale, the Radars aren’t too bad especially considering the price.

On the Trail:

After a relatively painless installation process and hose shortening/bleeding, it was time to break them in. True to their word, the burnishing process for the pads and rotors was fairly quick. A few clicks with the 2.5 allen to dial in the brake lever and it was time to hit the trails. The Radars aren’t a brake that will blow you away with their incredible power, but they definitely work. First impressions indicate that the brakes are quiet, provide more than enough stopping power (mounted to a 29er with heavy wheels and tires running 160 rotors), and based on their appearance should be plenty durable. Considering that Hayes includes a Lifetime Leakproof Warranty, the Radars should be good for miles of great trails.

hayesdiscbrake.com

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Hoshie99
Hoshie99
7 years ago

My maguras have used mineral oil for years and work just fine – a small step to be more eco conscious and i appreciate not having Dot fluid as an additional toxic item in my garage.

j

beardedjeff
beardedjeff
7 years ago

Mineral Oil is so non-toxic you can feed it to orphans!

rhoop
rhoop
7 years ago

All of our cars, trucks and motorbikes utilize toxic fluids and here you are making a deal over a few CCs of DOT fluid in a bicycle.

Give me a brake. Ba – dum – dum.

slowride
slowride
7 years ago

I guess you dont need rotor bolts so they didnt weigh them.

You should read all the warnings on shimano’s mineral oil, hardly say its non-toxic.

Heffe
Heffe
7 years ago

How dare you try to be eco conscious!

cow town cyclist
cow town cyclist
7 years ago

Ridiculous. My shimanos freeze up when it gets below -15 C, and the packaging and shipping of mineral oil for bicycle specific systems probably creates more environmental cost than the risk of spilling a few cc’s of DOT ever will. This is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

abc
abc
7 years ago

I would rather take a DOT based brake over a mineral oil stuff any day:

-DOT is well controlled and its properties are well established
-DOT is cheap
-DOT is easy to find
-DOT mixes with water in case some enter the brake system so you don’t end up with uber dangerous brake fade such as with mineral oil (which doesn’t mix with water and hence make it gather at the caliper i.e. the worst place)
-it’s stupid to think mineral oil is less toxic than DOT

Drew Maito
Drew Maito
7 years ago

abc-
Well said, except for that last point. If one is a nerd such as I, one could compare the MSDS reports. DOT isn’t Ebola or anything remotely like, but it isn’t harmless either, whereas mineral oil largely is harmless.
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927364 – mineral oil
http://www.clearcoproducts.com/pdf/msds/specialty/MSDS-DOT-5-Silicone-Brake-Fluid.pdf
Anyway, mineral oil, DOT, I don’t care. What I want most is to stop in a controlled fashion when I choose, and that has everything to do with engineering, design, manufacturing prowess, correct setup, and regular maintenance, and little to do with fluid.

pfs
pfs
7 years ago

I don’t have enough excitement in my life. I suppose I’ll run out and buy some hayes brakes. Even better that they use a completely new system with new fluids. That will only make it more exciting when they inevitably fail…

Jeff
7 years ago

I just wish these brake manufacturers would make their brakes easier to bleed. I have Hope brakes on a couple of bikes, easy to bleed, on a couple other bikes with brakes from Avid, Formula, Hayes and Magura, you need special bleeding tools to get the job done, a complete pain in the arse considering every brake comes with brake lines long enough for 10″ travel suspension bikes

Nick
Nick
7 years ago

Bottom loading pad design? Yep, it’s an inexpensive brake.
That being said, I’d like to see how these perform, might be a nice, less-expensive option for people not willing to pony up to Shimano SLX brakes.

fast foreward freddie
fast foreward freddie
7 years ago

jeff,
shimano brakes practically bleed themselves. imo dot fluid sucks because of it’s hydrophilic properties not its toxicity.

Jeff
7 years ago

FFF, I never have tried Shimano brakes( owned them I mean) I know a lot of people like them though. Every brake should be able to be worked on without special tools to bleed them, I had a set of HFX9’s years ago, they were awesome brakes, but one of the first that you could not bleed without special tools

buriedundersnow
buriedundersnow
7 years ago

Bring back the 22mm standard.

Viking Mechanic
Viking Mechanic
6 years ago

Just In:

After a full seasons worth of selling bikes that come with Hayes Radar from factory, I can only tell you ONE thing about these: STEER CLEAR!

I have NEVER seen brakes that keep their fluids as poorly as these do… I’ve never had as many customer complaints on ANY bicycle component ever in my 5 years as a professional mechanic.