The 4-pot Hayes Dominion A4 continues the venerable brand’s return. Great to see them back in the mix when it comes to viable stoppers.
- Price: £199.00
- Rotor weight: 176g (203mm)
- Brake weight: 287g
- Tested by: Benji
I am of an age where I remember Hayes brakes being everywhere. Specifically the iconic noughties Hayes Nine brakes. For whatever reason, Hayes then seemingly disappeared. It returned a few years ago with Dominion brakes, but despite these being great brakes Hayes hasn’t managed to claw back market share.
The headline feature on the Dominion brakes is the Crosshair caliper alignment system. Essentially they’re grub screws that allow you to fine tune where the caliper sits astride the rotor after you’ve done up the main bolts. While it no doubt works, it’s not reason enough alone to buy these brakes. There’s noticeably more space between the pads and the rotor anyway so they are ironically very tolerant of mild misalignment.
Presumably related to this pad-rotor spaciness, the Dominions have a relatively large throw before they bite. And that’s even when the contact point adjuster is set to minimum, i.e. earliest bite point possible. Similarly, the lever reach adjust was never used as bringing it any nearer to the handlebar would have resulted in it hitting the grip. This combinations means there is limited useful adjustment.
Nevertheless I really rather like these brakes. The lever is really light in action. There’s plenty of power there. Plenty of consistency too. Same goes for modulation – these are very far from the metallic on–off Hayes of yore.
Perhaps the key USP of the Dominions is their relatively short lever. If you find that a lot of modern brakes have levers that foul up how you like your cockpit to be laid out (brakes, shifters, dropper remote), you should check out the Hayes Dominions.
The ‘features’ of the Hayes Dominion A4 are arguably red herrings, but this is a great brake for those not enamoured with modern mega-long levers.
|Tested:||by Benji for Issue 144|
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