Hayes Dominion A4

Hayes Dominion A4 disc brake review

by 2

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
Hayes Dominion A4
Hayes Dominion A4

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.

Overall

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.

hotlines-uk.com

Review Info

Brand: Hayes
Product: Dominion A4
From: Hotlines UK
Price: £199
Tested: by Benji for Issue 144
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Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Hayes Dominion A4 disc brake review
  • bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Love these brakes. Sorted out my hand and arm pain, the power gives me lots of confidence so I’ve stopped comfort braking. I’m offended surprised by some of your findings, so let me share my experience.

    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.

    They do run closer than SRAM. They were harder to align, despite the crosshair feature. And almost every time I refit my front wheel they end up catching audibly for a few mins. I’m yet to see how they deal with the dirty gritty water of winter.

    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.

    Mine are about the same amount of throw as my old SRAM G2 RSCs. The contact adjuster is set to earliest bite from the factory, IIRC they advise not changing it. I have my levers biting when parallel with the bar (so some way out), and there’s plenty of room to go. I’ve brought the reach in a bit more on the rear one to trick myself into using less rear brake, a habit that lesser brakes was letting me get away with.

    Perhaps the key USP of the Dominions is their relatively short lever.

    They’re the same length as SRAM G2 RSC from pivot to tip, IIRC.

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