Hayes CX-Pro lightweight mechanical disc brake for road and cyclocross bikes

Hayes’ CX mechanical disc brakes for road/cyclocross bikes become a complete lineup, topping out with a drastically lighter CX Pro.

We’ve reviewed the current CX-5 and loved it, and it gets a lot of love on OEM spec from brands like Ridley, Independent Fabrication and many more. But it’s not the lightest hunk of metal on the bike, so we’re pretty stoked to see it’s been on a diet.

The CX Pro gets heavily machined to drop a lot of weight. This is a very early prototype, but compared to the CX-5 there’s a lot of missing material across the top section, a new vent over the pads and a deep hole on the bottom. The mounting plates also get shaved thinner with a bit of material reduction leading up to them. Lastly, it alone gets a sweet alloy barrel adjuster with lock ring.

UPDATE: They’ll also offer Comp and Expert level CX brakes, with the CX Expert replacing the CX-5. The latest word from the Hayes folks is that only the Pro gets the additional machining and the Crosshair caliper positioning system, so changes to the other two remain to be seen. The rest of the post has been updated to reflect this update. More pics after the break…

Hayes CX-Pro lightweight mechanical disc brake for road and cyclocross bikes

A machined port gives the pads some breathing room.

Hayes CX-Pro lightweight mechanical disc brake for road and cyclocross bikes

An easily adjustable pad contact bolt helps keep things centered.

Hayes CX-Pro lightweight mechanical disc brake for road and cyclocross bikes

Crosshair caliper positioning system makes set up a breeze.

Hayes CX-Pro lightweight mechanical disc brake for road and cyclocross bikes

A heavy dose of drillium is applied to the bottom, too.

Retail isn’t set yet, and aesthetics may change a bit, but all three should be available in the fall. Weights aren’t final either, and we weren’t allowed to weigh this sample, but it feels much, much lighter than the current version.


  1. I had the very first generation Hayes disc on my mountain bike. It was VERY grabby with no modulation. They were still stopping motorcycles with it. So how does this change the road bike world? Somehow it looks like just one more to me.

  2. I’ve ridden BB5 , BB7 , Shimano.

    The CX 5 is hands down the best I’ve tried, best lever feel by far.

    Get’s my vote.

  3. Since i have lots of experience with CX-5 brakes and run them on my personal Ti Warbird i’ll comment my experience on these.

    In comparison to other mechanical brakes the CX-5 seems to have more pad movement for less cable pull, so lever feel can be very solid with short throw, this makes setup easy.
    They take a bit longer to bed in and grab from my experience, but they work well once bedded in. I will mention i was using a non-hayes two piece rotor so i am sure my personal results were different then the stock rotor.

    I am quite happy with the CX-5 brakes and will probably drop some grams when the pro comes out, unless it is really expensive.


  4. I thought mechanical disc brakes were for Walmart bikes? What is the benefit of having them on a cross bike? Not being a jerk, I’m just ignorant.

  5. TRP still beats Hayes and Avid. Why is noone else making a dual-piston mechanical brake? It’s not a new idea – Hayes did it in the past. And the TRP hy/rd makes hydro compatible with dropbar shifters.

  6. @mudrock – Weight, and the lack of market demand for cable-actuated discs. We’ll see what TRP’s new one weighs, and if it’s competitive, it might stand a chance. Disc brakes are porky enough for sensitive weight-weenie crossers, and when properly installed, the current crop of mechanicals actually stop pretty well, and when they don’t, it’s not because one since isn’t actuating.

    @RickyBob – The vast majority of cross bike components are not hydraulically equipped. That may change over the next few years, but for now, if you want discs and don’t want to buy a whole new group, you’re using mechanical discs.

    I suspect that cantilever and mechanical discs will last longer than the neophytes here expect, because the vast majority of cross bikes are sold at the 105 level, and it’ll be a virtual lifetime before hydro components reach that level.

  7. @Mudrock

    I am also excited to get a set of the Spyres to test out personally, but they wont be out till 7/2. (source QBP)

    Scrub was also designing a dual actuation mechanical caliper they had hoped to show this spring at NAHBS, but after a few redesigns it is still vaporware. Sram and Shimano might come out with lighter mech calipers since it would be a reasonably simple task, but i’d bet they are focusing the bulk of their engineers on the future hyrdos rather then dual piston redesigns.

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal having both pistons move personally, but it would be nice for pad clearance and setup. I always wonder if the simplicity of a refined single pad actuation could result in a lighter brake caliper design compared to the complexity dual.

  8. Gravity: mechanical discs will be big sellers on midrange cross bikes. It will take a while for hydro brakes to trickle down. The Spyre has been reviewed by BR and they weigh 50 grams less per wheel than BB7s.

  9. Ive got a set of shimano mechanical disc brakes. I cant wait to upgrade to to hyrdulics, when shimano release some. The biggest problem is cable stretch. Cant wait to see uys makewhat the big guys make in terms of top quality aero light weight discs brake systems.

  10. I’m running CX-5s on a CX build. The pads travel a little bit more than the other mechanical brake options, meaning more pad clearance. That was a huge concern of mine. Levers feel really good (SRAM). Good power, better than the rim brakes on my road bike.

What do you think?