Hayes Stroker Carbon Disc Brake System

DESCRIPTION

Hayes Stroker Carbon Disc Brakes 2010: Radial design, sculpted cast aluminum master-cylinder with integrated reservoir; carbon fiber lever blade with an indexed reach adjuster dial. Symmetrical, flip-flop lever design with removable bar clamp....

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 17  
[Oct 30, 2013]
Tyler Dunn

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Durable, stopping power, light weight, carbon lever, adjustable, cheap to maintain, zero issues

Weakness:

a little squeaky when wet, but all brakes are

I have had these brakes since 2009. I have never had a single issue with them. I have put them through hell on all types of trails. Never had a leak, never had a problem stopping when i needed to. Even thought the lever is carbon, you cannot snap it. After clipping trees, losing the bike in rocky sections, the levers always held up strong. No matter how hard you pull back on that lever, it will give. Love the adjustable lever position as well. if you can find these brakes somewhere online, buy them. You will not regret it

[Jan 30, 2012]
Vuco
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great power and modulation
No fade on my typical ride (10km ascent, 10km descent, 15km to get to the trail and home)
Less arm fatigue than other brakes that I used (Formula RX, Magura Louise)

Weakness:

None for now. Had a few rides, but the brakes were bought used.

One of the best AM/trail brakes. Even stronger than Formula RX (noticed less finger fatigue after same descents on same rotor size) that I've ridden in the last 12 months.

Enough power and nice modulation, lever feel is always the same, no rubbing when using proper rotors (Hayes's).

Similar Products Used:

Formula RX, Magura Louise, Shimano SLX M665, Code 5

[Apr 14, 2011]
bloody
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Excellent stopping power, great looking, good lever adjustment, nice feel.

Weakness:

Came with bubble in the line and misaligned pads. I had to bleed and refill, now they work perfect!

Other than the old XT discs, these are by far the best brakes I've ever owned. I have the 7" discs and they have unparalleled stopping power, look great and are ready when I am to whip around a switchback or come to a screeching halt... minus the screeching. The old Avids had a terrible tendency to squeal when wet in the mud, these make a grating noise, but nothing I can't handle. They will whine when they're getting warmed up or need cleaning, but nothing new there. Easy pad changing will make them easy to keep up to speed and installation was a breeze. I'd recommend them!

Four chilis for a value rating since they are a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano XT twin-piston, Avid Juicy 5, Juicy 7

[Mar 09, 2011]
tscanley
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Lots of Power, easy brake pad changing, adjustability, quality USA construction, durable, comfortable lever

Weakness:

a slight gurgling sound when engaged

After a full season racing as a CAT 1 XC rider, the Stroker Carbon was a great investment. I had been riding XT's for the last few years before upgrading to the Stroker Carbons. I had very few issues with the XT's, until I switched and realized what I was missing. The Stroker has a powerful and confidence inspiring feeling when engaged. I originally thought it had less modulation than the XT's, but after riding the Stroker for some time, I realized that the Hayes didn't have less modulation, they just had more power. The brakes will allow you to really push your handling skills on the trail.

I would advise on getting the organic pads to reduce braking noise. There is still a slight girgling sound, but it's really not an issue. The pads wear a bit quicker, but depending on the environment you ride in, they can last a full season or more.

Similar Products Used:

shimano XT, Avid

[Apr 13, 2010]
iusufachi
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Looks great, good stopping power

Weakness:

Aluminum backing plates transmit heat to the braking fluid causing drag. Poor rubber bushings in the lever piston mechanism.

These brakes have an excellent price/value ratio. I don't know if there is on the market anything better for that price. They do have some problems that, I believe, are shared with other Hayes hydraulic brakes. The bushings in the lever piston mechanism are of poor quality and can cause problems like the lever not returning all the way on its own. To change the bushings you have to buy the whole mechanism and this is not really a bargain. Another problem is with the backing plates. To reduce weight they made them from aluminum instead of brass like on the Trail. Aluminum conducts heat more than brass causing the stock brake fluid to boil under heavy repeated braking and causing the disk to drag between the pads. This can be fixed by changing the brake fluid. You can put factory racing brake fluid (for cars), but with the same specifications. That brake fluid boils at a much higher temperature and eliminates this problem.
To increase braking power you can also replace the rotors with Shimano rotors, the ones with the aluminum core. These help with the heat transfer as well, the disc cooling quicker, allowing better braking with significantly reduced fade.
All in all, I am glad I bought these breaks. They look and feel great. If you want better brakes you have to pay more.

Similar Products Used:

Hayes MX-2, Stroker Trail

[Apr 05, 2010]
J.J.
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Nice looking, light...that is about it.

Weakness:

Hard to bleed, lever feels soft. The rear brake still does not stop well. Had to send front to Hayes, getting ready to send off rear. Hayes said it was the hose for the front. Hope this fixes the rear.

I am buying the XT disc...

Similar Products Used:

Hope Mono mini, Juicy 7

[Sep 03, 2009]
Anonymous
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Totally awesome. Really smooth feel but still strong. One finger braking not a problem. You can depend on these to stop you. Reach adjustment makes it very easy for that fine tuning when you feel like it. Carbon levers feel pretty nice too.

Weakness:

May be slightly 'grabby'. Can skid if you're not careful. Plus carbon levers are a bit silly, would've saved my money and got the Strokers with normal aluminium, but I got them off eBay for half the price, so can't really complain. Plus, they match my carbon bars :P

Really great brakes, so powerful and easy to pull. I'm loving the added stability I can have with 3 fingers on the bars instead of 2. While they have a little tendency to be over-enthusiastic, I prefer that control to not stopping fast enough. As I said above I wouldn't have gone for the carbon version if I was buying normally, but now I have them, I wouldn't go for the aluminium, as the carbon does actually have a noticeably good feel to it. Plus it shaves that extra bit off the weight if you're into that. And if not that, carbon fibre just looks cool :D. I would highyl recommend these brakes.

Similar Products Used:

Hayes Sole, Tekro mechanical something

[Jul 01, 2009]
GoremanX
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

(complete front and rear 8" kit) Very easy to install, hoses are long enough, excellent brake modulation, pretty good stopping power, quieter than my old cable-actuated 6" system, carbon fiber levers look cool

Weakness:

Not a vast improvement over my old cable-actuated 6" system, 8" rotor did not fit on the rear of my 2006 Kona Hoss, tricky initial adjustment

I got a great deal on these by sniping an eBay auction in the last 5 seconds. $135 for the complete front/rear 8" kit is an awesome price. It's a brand new 2009 kit, and it included everything I needed for the installation, even the proper caliper brackets for my IS front fork.

Unfortunately, the 8" rotor is too big to fit on the rear of my bike's frame. It rubs up against the chainstay. I've ordered a separate 7" rotor and caliper bracket for the rear.

Other than that, installation was a breeze. Until I get the 7" rotor, I'm using the old 6" rear rotor and caliper bracket with the new hydraulic caliper, and it seems to function as intended.

One thing to note, the Hayes rotor calls for a torque of 6.2nm for the 6 bolts. When I tried to torque it that high, the bolt stripped through the threads on my Shimano Deore hub. I tightened all the other ones to 5.5nm instead. The hoses are a tad too long, but nothing terrible. Unfortunately, shortening them means replacing the compression fitting and nut at the master cylinder, and then re-bleeding the system. That means I need to buy more parts if I want to shorten the hoses (compression fittings, nuts, bleeding kit, brake fluid). Some reviewers of other Stroker systems complained about the hydraulic hose popping out under hard braking. To them I say: "DON'T RE-USE THE COMPRESSION FITTING AND NUT WHEN YOU SHORTEN THE LINES!!!" They're a single-use item, re-using them is a bad idea. This is true in all plumbing.

Adjusting the brakes so I didn't have over an inch of free-throw on the levers was a bit annoying. I had to pull on the lever without any wheel installed, so that the brake pads can close against each other, and then wedge them open just barely enough so the rotor will fit between the pads with a little resistance. It took a few tries, and was especially annoying on the rear wheel.

Once adjusted properly, there's no drag on the rotor, the levers engage the pads almost right away, and modulation is perfect. I have complete control over how hard I'm braking, from barely slowing to maximum braking power, all within half the throw of the lever. This is much improved over my previous setup.

Maybe my front rotor needs a little more bedding in, but I wasn't overly impressed with the new braking power. After using my old cable-actuated 6" system for 3 years, I was expecting this new hydraulic 8" front disc to be able to flip me over the handlebars. The truth is, it's only somewhat more powerful than my old system. Definitely noticeable, but not the monstrous braking power I was hoping for.

It's worth pointing out that I kept my old system perfectly tuned on an almost daily basis, which may be why it worked so well to begin with. One of the main reasons I bought a hydraulic system is so I can stop adjusting everything to perfection every time I come home from a ride.

Some reviewers complained about "bubbling" noises while braking. I've noticed no such thing. Everything is completely silent. Also, I can't imagine the rotor vibrating, it's a pretty thick and stiff piece.

Based on the price I paid, I give this a solid 5 flaming chilis for value. If I'd paid the full MSRP (which is twice as much as I paid), I might've made it 4 flaming chilis.

As for the overall rating, I'll give it 4 flaming chilis for now due to the underwhelming improvement I noticed, even after bedding the rotors for over 30 stops.

Similar Products Used:

2006 Shimano Deore cable-actuated with 6" rotors

[Jun 17, 2009]
t3biker
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light
Good modulation
Fair power
By far the best brake hayes have ever made

Weakness:

now superceeded bu the gram and ace brakes
the lever is not good for your fingers, avid placed the pivot the opposite way round (near the bar) much better
If you have massive hands this brake will be awesome for you!

Great if you have massive hands
Best hayes product!

Similar Products Used:

Practically everything

[Apr 07, 2009]
Anonymous
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Stops on a dime. One finger stopping is a new luxury for me that makes these brakes really nice. Levers are really nice.

Weakness:

When they get wet they make a sound that sounds like metal bubbling and is loud and very annoying.

I love these brakes. I think I can either change out the pads or the rotor to stop the noise and it should be all good.

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