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Hayes CX5 disc brakes not much good...replacement?

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Hayes CX5 disc brakes not much good...replacement?

Old 03-24-17, 04:51 PM
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johngwheeler
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Hayes CX5 disc brakes not much good...replacement?

I have a Trek Crossrip Elite (2016) cyclocross bike, (although due to its weight and spec would tend to class this more as light-touring / commuter bike).

It has Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes, which have never been very impressive, even when brand new (the bike is only 2 months old). Yesterday I rode home on wet roads, and really didn't feel as though the brakes were doing enough to slow me me down on the descents - I just got the sensation that I was going too fast for the conditions and applying moderate to firm pressure on the brakes wasn't having enough effect.

Is this a problem with my expectations (I'm a newbie), braking technique (should I pull harder!), or are these brakes just not very good?

What options do I have for improving the brakes? Should I just replace them, and if so, with what? Better mechanical brakes or hydraulics? Is this simple to do?

Another option I have read about is to disconnect the second set of brake levers on the bar tops (interruptor levers?). I hardly ever use these, and someone told me that the mechanical brakes could be much better when attached to only one set of brake levers. How would I do this?

Thanks for any advice!

John
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Old 03-24-17, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
I have a Trek Crossrip Elite (2016) cyclocross bike, (although due to its weight and spec would tend to class this more as light-touring / commuter bike).

It has Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes, which have never been very impressive, even when brand new (the bike is only 2 months old). Yesterday I rode home on wet roads, and really didn't feel as though the brakes were doing enough to slow me me down on the descents - I just got the sensation that I was going too fast for the conditions and applying moderate to firm pressure on the brakes wasn't having enough effect.

Is this a problem with my expectations (I'm a newbie), braking technique (should I pull harder!), or are these brakes just not very good?

What options do I have for improving the brakes? Should I just replace them, and if so, with what? Better mechanical brakes or hydraulics? Is this simple to do?

Another option I have read about is to disconnect the second set of brake levers on the bar tops (interruptor levers?). I hardly ever use these, and someone told me that the mechanical brakes could be much better when attached to only one set of brake levers. How would I do this?

Thanks for any advice!

John
Sounds like your brakes simply need adjustment, if they worked well when new. Mechanical brakes are not self-adjusting for pad wear (which is one of the two major advantages of hydraulics, the other being modulation). So as you use mechies and wear down the pads with use, the travel distance of the pads and therefore the lever gets longer, and the brakes become less effective.
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Old 03-24-17, 06:54 PM
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Interrupter levers have no effect upon the braking action when they are not being used; the inner wire just passes right through them as if they were a part of the housing run. Look elsewhere for your braking woes.
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Old 03-25-17, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Interrupter levers have no effect upon the braking action when they are not being used; the inner wire just passes right through them as if they were a part of the housing run. Look elsewhere for your braking woes.
OK - interesting. The guy in the LBS was mistaken then! Your explanation of how it works sounds quite reasonable and I can see that this shouldn't affect the braking power.

I read another thread that suggested changing to TPR Spyre (?) brakes, which were considerably better in the author's opinion.

It is any impediment to fitting hydraulic brakes as a retrofit? Is there anything specific to the rotors etc.?

John
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Old 03-25-17, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
OK - interesting. The guy in the LBS was mistaken then! Your explanation of how it works sounds quite reasonable and I can see that this shouldn't affect the braking power.

I read another thread that suggested changing to TPR Spyre (?) brakes, which were considerably better in the author's opinion.

It is any impediment to fitting hydraulic brakes as a retrofit? Is there anything specific to the rotors etc.?

John
Means buying new shifter/brake levers and calipers=$$$

Or you could just turn the barrel adjuster, like you're supposed to, for free. The solution to dirty oil isn't to buy a new engine, it is to change your oil regularly.
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Old 03-25-17, 07:50 AM
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What are the brake levers/shifting system on the bike? They limit the choices.
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Old 03-25-17, 08:36 AM
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Road brifter, mechanical brake caliper.


So, how much have you learned about You doing the disc pad wear compensation as they inevitably wear..?


it is not done automatically.
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Old 03-25-17, 11:17 AM
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By the way , I liked the 2nd set of disc pads from Kool Stop,

better than the original ones in my Avid BB7 MTB discs..
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Old 03-26-17, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
I've migrated up through three sets of disc brakes and have only been happy with my current ones, Shimano XTs. I've had them for a few years and have nothing bad to say about them.
Are they mechanical or hydraulic?
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Old 03-26-17, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Sounds like your brakes simply need adjustment, if they worked well when new. Mechanical brakes are not self-adjusting for pad wear (which is one of the two major advantages of hydraulics, the other being modulation). So as you use mechies and wear down the pads with use, the travel distance of the pads and therefore the lever gets longer, and the brakes become less effective.
As I mentioned in my OP, the brakes were not great even when brand new, when I was testing the bike. I also tried a Trek FX3 with v-brakes, and these felt stronger than the Hayes disk brakes. The LBS said that they do get better with a bit of pad wear, and that they "would be stronger without the second set of brake levers on the tops". It wasn't a deal breaker though. I've since taken the bike back to the shop for a post-sales check up and they adjusted the brakes (this is only 6 weeks after sale). The pull is a little better, but they are still nowhere near as strongas hydraulic brakes that I've used.

Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Means buying new shifter/brake levers and calipers=$$$

Or you could just turn the barrel adjuster, like you're supposed to, for free. The solution to dirty oil isn't to buy a new engine, it is to change your oil regularly.
Ahh, I don't want to go as far as new levers and calipers....

The brakes have been adjusted by the LBS - a little better, but still not great. Maybe this is "as good as it gets" with these brakes.... They do work, maybe as well as designed, and probably better than old caliper brakes, but just not as well as I had hoped.

Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
What are the brake levers/shifting system on the bike? They limit the choices.
Shimano Sora.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Road brifter, mechanical brake caliper.


So, how much have you learned about You doing the disc pad wear compensation as they inevitably wear..?


it is not done automatically.
It looks like regular adjustment wil be necessary. Hopefully the bike is now "run in" after 6 weeks. I'll consider the Spyre brakes if I'm still not happy in a couple of months.

Thanks,

John

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Old 03-26-17, 08:59 AM
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I've been pretty happy with my CX pros, which I believe is just the lighter version of what you have. However there are a number of things I've found that will hopefully help you get them feeling right.

First, it took a very long time for the pads to bed in. I'm talking a few weeks and a couple hundred miles before I noticed the pads getting stronger. I'm not sure how much action yours have been through, but they might just need a little more time.

Second, I replaced the stock housing with the Yokozuna reaction cable kit. This immensely improved the lever feel and power under hard braking. I highly recommend going with this or any other compressionless housing brake cable kit. In fact, I'd never consider going back to regular compression type brake housing again.

Third, and as has already been suggested, make sure your brakes are adjusted correctly.

I wouldn't give up on the CX-5's yet. I've played with enough mechanical disc brakes to realize that a poor setup can make all the difference. Most the Spyres that come into our shop on new builds feel like trash due to the same reasons I covered.
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Old 03-26-17, 09:10 AM
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Since you are running Shimano brifters you will need a road set of calipers. I'd expect a set of Avid BB7s would work better than the Hayes but you almost never find a deal on the road version. They are expensive. You might try a set just on the front, that's where you would see the most improvement. They will need bedding in first.
https://www.velonews.com/2012/09/bike...-brakes_238519

I see a single caliper on Ebay for $40 so not too bad. Your current adapter should work and likely your disk would too.

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Old 03-26-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
Are they mechanical or hydraulic?

Hydraulic. I missed the fact that you have drop bars and brifters so my experience is not relevant.
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Old 03-26-17, 09:20 AM
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In a shopping mode get the TRP HyRd. a hydro caliper actuated by a cable.


their Spyre is fully mechanical, but again the pad wear compensation is You.

USA made Paul's clamper has big knobs that turn easily to keep the pads the ideal distance from the Disc..



happy shopping, maybe your friendly bike shop staff will get whatever you have, dialed in, better..





....
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Old 03-26-17, 09:24 AM
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cleaning the rotor/pads might give you that little extra, but hydraulic brakes are superior
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Old 03-27-17, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tayguer View Post
I've been pretty happy with my CX pros, which I believe is just the lighter version of what you have. However there are a number of things I've found that will hopefully help you get them feeling right.

First, it took a very long time for the pads to bed in. I'm talking a few weeks and a couple hundred miles before I noticed the pads getting stronger. I'm not sure how much action yours have been through, but they might just need a little more time.

Second, I replaced the stock housing with the Yokozuna reaction cable kit. This immensely improved the lever feel and power under hard braking. I highly recommend going with this or any other compressionless housing brake cable kit. In fact, I'd never consider going back to regular compression type brake housing again.

Third, and as has already been suggested, make sure your brakes are adjusted correctly.

I wouldn't give up on the CX-5's yet. I've played with enough mechanical disc brakes to realize that a poor setup can make all the difference. Most the Spyres that come into our shop on new builds feel like trash due to the same reasons I covered.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll give the CX5s a bit longer to bed in, and will have a look at better cables. I'll also learn how to adjust them properly. If I'm still not happy, then the TRP Spyre looks like it could be a possible replacement that doesn't involve lots of new parts.

As I said, the brakes probably aren't defective, and are no doubt better in the wet than most rim brakes, so simply learning the limitations and improving my braking technique will also be helpful.

John.
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