Hayes Stroker Trail’s

I just read NSMB’s review of them and thought I’d share what I thought of them. Anyone on Mtbr who’s read my posts on brakes will by now know what I think of the Avid Juicy’s and 2008 Shimano XT brakes I had prior to the Stroker’s, they were awful and the problems were widely mentioned by other people and reviews, several of them are design faults. The Stroker’s are different though, they’re reliable and perform well all the time. I’ll get the negative out the way first, there’s only one, every couple of months the levers need a little oil to stop them from creaking on the joints and my rear brake lever used to rattle a lot but I’ve filled it up with grease now to stop it. Fortunately both my Trance and Trance X have these brakes and the levers are still smooth and silent on the Trance X. The good news is that the levers are considerably more comfortable than any previous Hayes brake and many others and really nice aftermarket ones are available now if you’re the rare person who doesn’t like them. The modulation is excellent so long as you use them right, you tap the brakes too fast and you’ll go straight over the bars even with 160mm rotors, so just be careful and the modulation is there. From my previous point you may have realised that these are very powerful brakes, I’m running 160mm rotors and a larger combo on the Trance X, you can easily lock either brake with one finger, much more powerful than XT’s or Juicy’s. There’s a noticeable difference between the brakes being cold and hot in power but no matter how much hotter they get they don’t loose any more power after that which leaves plenty. At first I did have some “turkey gobble” on both sets but it went away pretty much straight after they got muddy and the surface was scratched off the pads by the mud, they’ve been smooth and silent ever since. I’ve never had to bleed them and they always feel consistent. The reach adjustment is one of the easiest to use and has the widest range of the ones I’ve tried from Hope, Formula and Shimano and always stays in the same position. The mounting hardware is very easy to use and I much prefer it to the awful oval washers used by Avid which supposedly give better alignment if your frame and fork tabs are not properly aligned due to bad manufacturing which does happen from so companies though thankfully not Giant and Fox. In short I think these brakes are great and I’m looking forward to trying the new lighter Stroker Gram’s and more powerful Ace’s 4 pots.


Paul Petch said...

Good little review. I pick up a new ride next week (Marin Wolf Ridge) with Strokers and I hear alot of good things about them (and the bike!).

Lets hopw that they are not to powerful. I've been running 08 XT's on my other bikes this year and they are great stopper. Worse case I can just throw a set of these on the Marin.

I'm looking forward to testing the strokers.

p.s. long time reader- love your blog!

LordOnOne said...

I had a little spin on the Wolf Ridge (08) a few weeks ago. I think I needed to fiddle with the suspension a bit but didn’t have time, other than the suspension it was one of the best bikes I’ve had the privilege of riding, I’m sure you’ll love it.

I really wanted to like the XT brakes but sadly never got mine to work, Shimano couldn’t get them to work either. The sets on other bikes I’ve tried have been a delight to use.