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Hayes El Camino Trails

By Stuart M - Posted on 17 April 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Getting tired of the on going saga with the Juicy 5's. Does anyone ride with Hayes El Camino Trail brakes? Can't find any reviews on them other than whats on the Hayes site.


check this link for independant reviews

Those reviews are for for the El Camino which has been around for a while now. The El CAmino Trail is a much newer brake set, lighter and using smaller discs for a claimed increase in stopping power.

Thanks anyway.

Take anything you read on MTB review with a grain of salt.
It tends to get 2 types of reviewers.
1) Those who have just spent their hard earned savings and thus need to rave about how good the product is to justify the expense to themselves
2) And the vocal minority who have had a warranty problem and feel the need to bag the product out at every chance.

I haven't tried the new El Camino trail yet but I know my business partner had the El Caminos. When one of them had an issue and had to be sent back he put a Shimano deore on while it was gone.

You couldn't tell the different performance wise and if anything the deore had a better feel. Considering it was half the price.... He now runs Saint.

That said Wayne at Dirt Works was raving about all the improvements Hayse have put into this years line ups.

BTW Stuart what problem was you having with the juicy's again?

to have.

They stop on an absolute dime, not a problem unless like me you tend to like doing endos.

The problem is now two fold. Previously they clamp on mid ride, no rhyme or reason here, sometimes it was hot, other times it was mild. I use to just pop the wheel, a pain in the arse on the enduro with its derailleur protector set up, and lever them apart, what else can you do mid ride. The reservior caps show signs of fluid having escaped near the seals. This may have been me spreading the pads but in that I am only returning the pads out to where they should be it shouldn't be an issue. Checking on the forums, this seems to be issue with the quality of the seals. Many of forum threads and talking to Ian, suggest that I bled a little fluid out of the caliper end. This did give some relief but again its a sealed / closed system so I shouldn't have to be doing this.

Spent nearly two hours changing the pads the other day, should be no more than a ten minute job, and still couldn't get the pads to retract properly, even after bleeding more out of the system. Took it to my LBS, who at the moment shall remain nameless. Explained the problem and what I had done in detail. Also spoke to them about the probs I had heard with the seals, and was told this shouldn't be an issue, that sometimes the caps aren't tightened enough at installation but the boys would look at this when servicing them. Also told that sometimes grit gets in between the piston and housing and that the pistons might need to be replaced. So I'm expecting a service on them.

Picked it up yesterday, $25 for the service, apparantly there is nothing wrong with them, they just needed adjustment. When I got home I had a look to see if I could tell what had been done. It would appear the $25 service involved shoving a screwdriver between the new pads and applying enough force until the pads went further out, oh yeah, and chipping / damaging the edges of the new pad set all around. Time will tell if this has fixed it. My annoyance at this is hey I could have done that but I wanted them done properly.

So I'm now in a position where I am fairly confident that I will have a set of brakes that sometime in the near future will clamp on again, even the guy that gave the bike back to me couldn't tell me exactly what had been done but did say it was probably only a temporary fix. To fix the seals or even just tighten the caps, I have to strip the bars to get the lever assembly off, not a quick job. If I'm going to that much effort, and forking out the likely cost to get this done, then I think I would rather swap out to something that is alot more user friendly. The Trails use a smaller rotor, have pad adjustment (which I would think makes changing them easier) have tool free pad replacment, come pre bled ready to instal, have a split mounting system which means they can come on and off without taking anything else off the bars and I can get them to my door for under $400A a pair.

Only problem i've seen with them is the pistons sticking out.
This is usually over come with taking pads out jacking the pistons out a bit, spraying with silicon spray and resetting every thing.

As for new brakes... go for it. New bits are always good

"Hayes has killed both the Sole and the Nine brake models. The El Camino Trail model that was whispered about at Interbike will never come to be either. Instead Hayes is introducing the Stroker, Stroker Trail and Stroker Carbon. Hayes is saying adios to the days of two rotor sizes. You can choose between 140mm, 160mm, 180mm, 203mm and 224mm pie plates depending on your application. The lever boasts the 'world's first symmetrical (flip-flop) radial master cylinder with integrated reservoir' and a tool-free reach adjustment dial. I imagine we'll be seeing a set to test before too long. "

Link here:

both here and overseas so I think all those flips have finally gone to Cams head. It does have 6 and 7 inch kits, probably the 160 and 180 incarnation Cam refers to, as well as tool free adjustment. Oh yeah, and its been good enough for AMB to put on their trail tuned Prophet they are running as a long term test.

Maybe they just thought it was too good to send to the Canadians.


As an update, Jedi did you click on the link to see the Stroker lever? Either that thing is bloody small or both sticks out from the bars a hell of a long way and would like get snapped off on my first OTB.

and yep, I thought exactly the same thing...

Just for the record, I have a xc bike with Juicy 5s and a dh with Juicy 7s, and had zero problems with either pair...

comments about the teflon spray. Makes sense to keep the piston lubed particularly on our trails, but have always been concerned about using anything on the pistons for fear of degrading the seals.

I will try this though next time I clean the beast.

Hey, when are we going to ever see you on a ride with us?

I ride locally alot, so you've probably already seen me around - not a huge fan of big organised rides though, sorry, nothing personal, just me, shy I guess...

Plus I have enough trouble organising rides with my own mob! Smiling

Jedi have you checked your inbox recently?

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