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  1. #1
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    Hayes Stroker...Last straw!!

    Okay, for the record I hate these brakes and I had to vent.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to align the calipers only to have them *still* make all kinds of noises. My XT's are dead silent and required only the intial alignment.

    Also, my pads have developed a nasty habit of dropping out of the retaining posts. When it happens, the pads rub against the arms of the disc and make an awful noise and vibration. I have to stop and re-seat them after even small drops (think curb). It was only happening on the rear at first, but the problem migrated to the front as well. XT's are top insertion with a pin retainer...no problems at all.

    For the last straw I have also had a chronic mushiness that I have tried to bleed out at least 5 times and tonight I had it! I ripped the whole rear brake circuit off my bike and spent the next hour (+) disassembling the MC, reassembling and then smacking the MC body on the ground pretty hard (on a towel of course) to dislodge all the bubbles. Still doesn't feel as firm as the front brake. Hayes bleeding system is god-awful with that screw-in bleed fitting.

    After disassembling the MC, I'm convinced fluid is get passed the top o-ring as I can slowly feel it losing pressure when I have the lever mashed. The asymmetry between the front and rear travel, pad engagement and feel is irritating. XTs were a breeze to bleed and they are firm and symmetrical and have better power and modulation to boot.

    So, in comparison with the experience I've had with my Shimano XT's and these pieces-o-shite, I order a set of the old style Saints...hopefully my brake problems will go away.

    Thanks for listening

  2. #2
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    Well at least your going back to brakes that you like. For the record I had no problems with mine and there are many many others out there who have no problems with theirs. Granted, I sold mine to get Formula Megas but only because of a retarded level of upgrade-itis.

  3. #3
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    wow,and I was thinking of trying out the strokers...I've have my eye on the 2008,maybe its time to think shimano

  4. #4
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    29ERCAT - the noise / vibration issue is usually from improper alignment / installation. I wouldn't be so quick to throw out the option of hayes. I have a set of Avid Juicy 5s which no matter how much I adjusted them they wouldnt stop making noise. I replaced them with a pair of Hayes Carbon and it worked out nicely. My friend on the other hand, went from hayes ryde to avid ultimates and hasnt had issues/

    A lot of time it is just the installation and setup that is causing problems.
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  5. #5
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    Cue dogonfr chiming in on how AMAZING these brakes are, as he does in every thread.

    The problem is there were early adopters on this one. I have seen the noise and vibration from Strokers and it's there. Will they do this on every configuration? Hardly, but there is some potential to knock the Juicy off the podium, as far as noisy, vibrating brakes go. I am hoping it's really only a matter of changing compounds and perhaps slighly profiling of the pads.

  6. #6
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    Too bad.

    I like my stroker trails, except for the slow front lever return, which hasn't caused any performance issues to date. Installed them on the bike and have never had to adjust them.
    I have juicy 3s on a used bike I bought that have slightly better power, worse modulation, harder to set up and allways in need of adjustment to run drag free, which never lasts.
    After trying Hayes El Caminos I was reluctant to try newer hayes stuff after having run them allmost exclusively over my 15 years of riding but the Strokers have me happy enough to be looking for a set of Stroker Ace brakes to replace the J3s. good stuff IME but opinions and experiences do vary.

  7. #7
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    I would have to say I had the pad dropout problem as well. I traced it back to me not installing the pad all the way after bleeding, then it doing the fall out thing, then bending the post that the pad spring clips onto. That might be what here happened or not. My bet would be a bent piston.

    I called Hayes, told them I was dumb and bent my piston, and they sent me out 2 new pistons, a set of brake pads and one of the Master Cylinder lube kits. This was back in December or January of last year when they had first released. The one thing I could never get dialed with mine was on the front brake the lever travel to the bar was always longer than the rear brake. I tried everything. They always felt awesome, that is just a peeve of mine.

    Also the levers started to get a knock on full compression of the lever. A click if you will. When fully compressed if you let off the brake 1-2mm then pulled it back again they would click. To get rid of it I lubed the lever adjuster and the MC more frequently.

    Bottom line great brakes. The pad retraction on these things are ridiculously awesome. I don't even know if with the wheel off if you could pump the brakes enough to lock the pads together. The brake pads on these brakes stock are noisy, but they will also stop you faster than a bull moose seeing a lady bull moose in heat. And don't think they loose out on modulation because of this either. They just plain work.

    Also there have been reports of the hoses blowing off after cutting the hoses down to length. Most of the time that can be traced back to too low of torque on the threaded fitting into the lever/improper fit of the olive insert. I cut my hoses twice to ensure the proper length/accomodate possible frame changes, and never ever had my hoses blow off the lever.

  8. #8
    The White Jeff W
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    I rock the Stroker Trail on mine and have been pretty happy with them. Initially there was a bit of rotor rub but after the pads wore a bit it went away. A one point this summer the front went mushy. I tried bleeding using the directions on the website but just couldn't make it work. I eventually came up with my own method and it's firmer feeling than it was when new. No problems since.
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  9. #9
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    Wow sorry to hear about your bad luck with the Stroker but times like this are when falling back to what has worked for one in the past is the best way to go. Shimanos are awesome brakes also, as someone mentioned on the forums most brakes today are all excellent.
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  10. #10
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    Get them bled properly, assuming yours aren‘t in someway damaged then get a competent person to do it. I can’t really help you with the noise because I’ve got a newer set and one of the first production sets, both were noisy but after a little use it just went away which is definitely a first on any disc brakes I’ve had. Correctly put the retaining spring in and bend it back so it holds the pads in with more pressure. Set up is very easy on the Stroker’s and both my sets are brilliant…

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ia_ss157
    I would have to say I had the pad dropout problem as well. I traced it back to me not installing the pad all the way after bleeding, then it doing the fall out thing, then bending the post that the pad spring clips onto. That might be what here happened or not. My bet would be a bent piston.
    Upon closer inspection that is exactly what has happened. For the life of me I can't see how it would have happened except for the fact that shortly after I got them, I tried the EBC red pads and may not have seated them into the post seat all the way. The EBC springs are separate from the pad and have to be "installed"...I never really felt like they locked in as tight as the stock pads. For the record, the problem (dropping) was evident after I switched pads.

    Quote Originally Posted by EGF168
    Get them bled properly, assuming yours aren‘t in someway damaged then get a competent person to do it. I can’t really help you with the noise because I’ve got a newer set and one of the first production sets, both were noisy but after a little use it just went away which is definitely a first on any disc brakes I’ve had. Correctly put the retaining spring in and bend it back so it holds the pads in with more pressure. Set up is very easy on the Stroker’s and both my sets are brilliant…
    Always made sure the pads were pushed up and into the posts as tight and high as possible, but I really feel the EBC retainer springs were not up to the task. Also as far as bleeding...I'm pretty confident in my abilites there and the factory bleed that they had was *awful* on both sides (almost unusable). 1000X better after my first bleed, but my rear brake would always go back to being mushy...hence the multiple bleeds. Not sure if it gets more "competent" than that.

    Ironically, I was put in a position to have to remove my pads on the rear numerous times in order to bleed them, which in turn contributed to the bent piston post. User error...yes...but induced user error.

    The Stroker's (IMO) are *not* easy to bleed nor set up. Glad you like them but compared to my Shimano XTs and BB7s these things have been nothing but a disappointment out of the box. I had to set up my Shimano's from a completely dry kit and they pumped up tight and linear right away...no muss no fuss. That's easy and they stop as well as the Strokers on top of it.

    Look, I'm not trying to start an "anti-Hayes-Stroker" campaign...just needed to vent. Really, I wanted to love the brakes (my first set of hydros and my first "upgrade" for my Prophet), but reality has set in for me. No hard feelings...I'll get the pistons replaced and then sell them.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    Wow sorry to hear about your bad luck with the Stroker but times like this are when falling back to what has worked for one in the past is the best way to go. Shimanos are awesome brakes also, as someone mentioned on the forums most brakes today are all excellent.
    Thanks Dogon...I know these brakes have been good to you adn I appreciate the support. The Shimano's have been okay by me, so I'm sure I'll be happier...

  12. #12
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    It sounded suspiciously like you were using the wrong pads and now you’ve confirmed it, EBC’s retaining clip is crap and they don’t bother to get the tolerances close enough to give the pads a perfect fit, I know this because I tried their pads in some Avid’s and the pads just kept whistling because the air from the rotor and vibration from riding was bring the pads out and there was a noticeable click as the pads moved into position when I put the brakes on. I assume your using older XT’s and not the 08 ones because setup of the 08 XT’s is near impossible compared to the Stroker’s….

  13. #13
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    I have had enough problems with aftermarket brake pads to say they just are not worth any savings in price. I always and only use OEM brake pads. A lot less trouble.
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  14. #14
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    Me too. Never had good luck with EBC, from warped backing plates, to disintegrating compounds during rides. I can't believe they stayed in business so long, but they do OEM as well, to their specs.

    Their own stuff is absolute junk.

  15. #15
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    Ebc and aftermarket pads

    I have had trouble with 2 systems using aftermarket pads. My Juicy 7's had bad rubbing noise up front. I replaced the aftermarket pads with oem pads and it solved the problem without any other adjustments.

    On another note I just got some Avid Elixer CR's and I am very impressed. They feel like they will stop a train. The rear lever feels as strong and crisp as the front. They are super easy to get setup right and the reach adjust is very nice for big and small hands alike. They only make noise when they get wet but that goes away in just a few seconds.

  16. #16
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    I had the noise issues - the new Hayes dark compound version got rid of that.

    I had the hose blow off after a cable adjust... the olive wasn't on there perfectly when I tightened and blamo.

    So I redid it and just could not get the bleed right... they really are difficult to bleed. Hayes has a video on how to do it properly and unless you follow ALL the instructions, they just won't firm up.

    This winter I've been running small rotors (6") and the stock 'noisy' OEM pads and they are totally quiet now. When I put the 8" rotors back on they really make a racket (but not with the softer black pads from Hayes).

    So I guess compared to old Hayes which were easy to bleed and always quiet they are finnicky but nothing like what I've read about the Avids.

  17. #17
    DGB
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    A friend ditched his Stroker Trails too, he had nothing but problems with them. He also broke the retaining post on one of the pistons removing and replacing pads. As for aftermarket pads - he got a set of Goodridge sintered pads and lost the tiny retaining clips which are very finnicky and they didn't last very long. Bleeding was a pain and they always felt mushy no matter what was done.
    He got on to where he bought the bike and he sent them back to be looked at and rebled. The guys in the shop said they were a crap brake and were troublesome. In the interim, he switched to M775 XTs and he's never been happier. He's getting a new FS in a couple of weeks and guess what's on it - Stroker Trails. He says he's not even going to try them after the last experience.
    I told him he should give them a try as he may have gotten a bad set, but he doesn't even want to do that, he's going straight to XTs. Once bitten twice shy I guess!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGB
    In the interim, he switched to M775 XTs and he's never been happier.
    I did the exact opposite and my bad experience with the XT’s is backed up by a rather amusing letter from Shimano saying they inspected my brakes and couldn’t find the problem and couldn’t fix them either. They then went on to say that they would not offer me a warrantee replacement on the grounds that they could not find the source of the problem, therefore there was no problem even though they themselves couldn’t bleed them properly.

    The moral of the story is that I automatically don’t believe anyone who says newer XT’s are easy to bleed (or work better for that matter) and most people will agree that Hayes customer service is much better than Shimano so get on to them…

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