Ultimate AM Spotlight: Hayes El Camino brakes

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At about 35lbs, the KHS AM2000 needed some good stopping power. Enter the Hayes El Camino Brakes.

Hayes El Camino

Power Adjustment Dial
Tool-free lever reach adjustment
Mono-block caliper
Concealed fluid reservoir
Hayes phenolic pistons
Weight:420g for the entire system

Hayes El Camino

My observations: I have owned 3 different types of hydraulic brakes and nothing feels like the El Caminos. As I came down on ‘The Luge’, the brakes didn’t fade and I was able to slow down with minimal effort. My hands were not tired of braking as with other brakes that I’ve used, and as far as I can tell, the rotors didn’t severely overheat.

I hadn’t mess around with the Power adjustment dial until recently, this little knob allows you to modulate the braking power Plus or minus 10%. I ended up staying at my current setting since I was already used to how the brakes behaved. Another cool thing is the Tool-free lever reach adjustment, not need for a hex or a screw driver, simply twist on the little knob.

Recommendation: I really love these brakes, the stopping power is amazing, the adjustments are easy to do and they also look bitchin’. At 420g, these brakes may not be ‘feather light’ for an XC rig but they are certainly light for AM and Freeride bikes. Do you need REAL stopping power? Get the Hayes El Camino.

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