Dave gives a run down of his Hayes Stroker Gram brakes…
From Dirt Issue 115 – September 2011
Words and Photos: David Jaquin
Ok I’ll admit it. I’m a Hayes virgin. I have run every other brand of brake going but Hayes stoppers have so far eluded my bars for what ever reason. That all changed though a few months back when Hayes’ Stroker Gram brakes turned up and went straight on my bike. First impressions were good; the lever blade appeared to be a good shape, straight forward two piston caliper, the no–tools pad replacement system is a definite bonus, and the Ti hardware makes it clear these are top line brakes. I also like the fact that the master cylinder sits perpendicular (90°ish) to the bars rather than parallel like so many other brakes. This difference may not seem like much to shout about but it really makes the lever actuation feel purposeful. Only a single digit is ever needed to give out full power down to the rotors.
Hayes have aimed to lose any excess weight from the lever assembly and have removed material from the master cylinder section that supports the lever pivot. Initially I did think they didn’t look that strong, but after a few scrapes along with the ‘ghosting’ of my bike into a tree they are no worse off. Hayes have proved their ‘finite element analysis’ has paid off and I can say these are some tough bits of kit.
There are some neat touches to these brakes and the ones that come in handy most are the tool free lever adjustment and patented pad removal. The dials mounted in the lever are easy to use with a gloved and they allow you to set the levers to exactly where you want them. Removing and replacing pads can be a pretty annoying and fiddly job on some brakes, but with these the simple wire clip mounted on the pad snaps easily over the piston’s central pin. Job done.
These particular brakes sit at the top of five offerings in the Stroker range and it shows. The Hayes Stroker Gram are 355g per brake with a 160mm rotor comes close to some of the lightest on the market, but these have proved they’re capable of taking some knocks. If you want to save some cash and don’t mind carrying around a bit more weight the cheaper ‘Trail’ versions are half the price yet apart from the weight offer the same features.
These aren’t the cheapest brakes out there but in my opinion they’re a worthy contender for your cash. They’ve proved to be super reliable whilst offering plenty of power with equal levels of ‘feel’. The great lever blade shape means they also offer great ergonomics, and it’s also good to know that if they ever do go wrong a full range of spares is readily available. What more could you need? A choice of black or white finish? Well that boxed is ticked too.Price: £199.99 per brake inc rotor Hotlines 01313 191 444 www.hayesdiscbrake.com