Hayes Stroker Trail Brakes

The new Stroker feels very different from the old Nines and Mags — different in a good way.

According to Hayes:

– The lever and caliper take up very little space on the handlebar.

– The new integrated reservoir and bladder handle fluid expansion 33% better than the Hayes Mag (which is a darn good brake). This compensates for pad wear and reduces lever pump on long descents.

– A whole lot of effort went into designing the lever.

– The aluminum adjuster dial uses a spring detent with positive clicks. Oversize metal bushings keep it smooth and durable.

– The insulated caliper helps control fluid temperature during heavy braking, which provides a more consistent feel under prolonged hard braking.

According to Lee:
As a member of the Hayes Test Program, I’ve been riding different versions of the Stroker since last year’s Sea Otter. I have raw prototype Strokers on my Enduro and the white production Strokers on my new Stumpy.

– The narrow perch lets me run my SRAM trigger shifters where I like them. The adjuster dial feels good.
– I really like the way the lever feels. It’s thin and minimal, and my index finger fits right at the end. The finger-spot is knurled for extra grip.

– I’ve spent a lot of years on Hayes Nines and Mags. The Stroker lever feels very different when pulled. I figured it must have something to do with the pivot placement and swing angle, and it does. Check this out:

So compared with the old Nine, the Stroker is 1. easier to reach, 2. has a simpler arc that feels more natural and 3. has a cool little pocket for your straining index finger. Under very hard braking, the Stroker lever feels very positive, very connected.

– The brakes work very well for aggressive trail riding and light DH. They have nice feel and plenty of power. I like to think I ride my Enduro pretty aggressively, and the Strokers are totally up to the task.

– On a certain downhill with a certain bald Marin resident, my prototypes overheated badly. But that protracted 33% grade was way outside the design intention of these brakes (and the brakes have since been refined.)

– The white looks cool!

To sum it up: I like my Hayes Stroker Trail brakes.


I had to ask Richard Travis, the Hayes product manager, where the name Stoker came from. Said RT: “Pedal stroke, stroker motors, hot-cranks/cams, and petrol chemicals somehow got me to stroker. I’m kinda a gear head type. Its the moto in me!”

14 replies
  1. Geert says:

    Hi Lee,

    I have two pairs of new hayes stroker trail brakes, which came stock on my Kona Kula dlx and Kona stinky. The brakes feel good and do wat they are supposed to do but… With both brakes I have the same problem. As an official product tester of Hayes brakes did you ever encountered the following problem? (And is there a solution?)

    The left brak lever (front) returns very slow when I squeeze it. It feels like ther is too much friction in the master cilinder or something. Any ideas how to solve this?

    I really like your site btw.

    Kind regards
    Geert van Iersel

  2. Jason says:

    Contact Hayes.

    The problem sounds like an issue they had with some of their Ryde/Trail brakes that went out with inadequate grease on the master cylinder orings. They will send you/shop out a kit with dot compatible grease to lubricate the master piston/oring. This lack of grease caused slow lever retraction.

    They created a service kit that consists of a small dish of DOT-4 compatible grease and a lint-free applicator swab.


  3. leelikesbikes says:

    This is from Richard at Hayes:

    If he’s from Europe tell him to call our German warranty office, we have a kit to lube the secondary o-ring. A small amount of early production brakes didn’t have o-ring grease on the secondary ring and a kit has been established to solve the problem.

    If he can’t get thru to our German office have call or email our US office thru our web site.


    Rich Travis
    Product Manager

  4. Marz says:


    I’ve been looking to swap out my El Camino’s for a while and have been considering the new Stroker. I have had over heating problems with the El Camino’s and can you say the Stroker is a bit or alot better at handling the heat?



  5. leelikesbikes says:

    I ran El Caminos on my P.3 with no troubles, but you don’t do very much braking on a DJ/pump bike.

    The Stroker supercedes the El Camino, so I guess it’s safe to say it’s a better brake overall.

  6. Bob Burnes says:

    Hey, Lee! Just had a few days to hammer on my new Strokers with the 5″ rear. Hayes really out did themselves on this one. You, Hayes, and the others on the testing team nailed these brakes!


  7. Dan says:

    “The lever and caliper take up very little space on the handlebar.”

    That’s a good feature, because my Louise caliper won’t fit at ALL on my handlebar.”


    But seriously, nice visual. These new brakes seem promising, especially after the disaster that was the El Camino.

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