Hayes Stroker Trail brake review£149.97

Simple, dependable stopping

BikeRadar score2.5/5

The Stroker Trail brake is a very popular original equipment choice on complete bikes, and a solid if numb all-rounder.

Some extra metal in the master cylinder adds 50g over the Stroker Gram, but it's still competitive for its class and weight. The flip-flop split clamp lever makes it easy to set up, and Hayes deserve credit for pioneering and sticking to the post mount standard that everyone shunned for years, but have since adopted.

The long, curved lever has an embedded reach adjuster but it feels wooden and blunt, with slight lever wobble and rattle, and there’s no bite point adjuster. Actual braking performance and modulation is average in the dry but ranks higher in wet or cool conditions.

Where Hayes always score well is their dependable, predictable and reliable nature, and these Strokers are proving no different. Their weight is okay, too. The Stroker Ace's separate bracket (£14.99) and rotor (£34.99) add buying flexibility, but they’re expensive. The big pads last really well, making the Stroker Trail a great brake for those who prefer fit-and-forget over subtle finesse.

Dry brake test graph

Dry brakes graph stroker trail:
Dry brakes graph stroker trail:

Dry brake test graph for all brakes tested

Dry brakes all:
Dry brakes all:

Wet brake test graph

Wet brakes graph stroker trail:
Wet brakes graph stroker trail:

Wet brake test graph for all brakes tested

Wet brakes all:
Wet brakes all:

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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