Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
I have been out cranking and bashing away on a pair of Hayes Stroker Gram disc brakes for almost a year now on my Ibis Mojo. Although they are not the lightest pair of brakes I have used in the ever expanding weight weenie disc brake world, they are quite powerful, with excellent fade resistance.
Hayes Brake has been in the brake technology business since 1946, and their brakes are used on everything from all-terrain vehicles, bicycles, construction equipment, motorcycles, riding mowers, tractors, snowmobiles and utility vehicles. Their work was extended to the mountain bike market in 1997 when Hayes Disc Brake was formed, and this group eventually morphed into the vast Hayes Bicycle Group, which includes Wheelsmith spokes, Sun Ringle wheels, Answer bike parts and Manitou shocks.
Hayes Stroker Grams
The Stroker Grams is the lightest of the Hayes Stroker series (5 versions), and they have been designed and marketed towards the cross country riding user group. Each kit includes the brake, a rotor, a mini bleed kit, carbon levers, alloy backed pads (semi-metallic) and a full titanium bolt kit. They are available in 140, 160, 180, 203, 224 mm sized rotors, and come with an appropriate sized post mount adapter. The master cylinder and caliper are made with aluminum, and use Kevlar hoses, and Hayes high temp DOT4 brake fluid. They are only available in the Lucky Black color (soon a white version), which has a sort of cool looking speckled finish. To minimize weight, Hayes removed as much of the already minimal lever body as possible, and on the master cylinder, they used finite element analysis, removing as much non-structural and redundant material as possible.
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions of partial differential equations (PDE) as well as of integral equations. In a structural simulation using computers, FEA helps tremendously in producing stiffness and strength visualizations and also in minimizing weight, materials, and costs. In a nutshell, it does mesh discretization of a continuous domain (the body or structure) into a set of discrete sub-domains (elements).
My usual long term brakes have been the Magura Marta SL brakes. I have a set of the 2007 Marta SL’s and recently got a brand new set of the Marta SL Mags, which use the larger Louise brake pads and much improved caliper system. The Marta SL’s are my main brain comparison and cross referencing brake, although I have used most of the current lighter brake systems for short periods of time.
Although the lines were a tad long on my bike, I never did get around to bleed them (lazy), but they are supposedly easier to bleed then previous Hayes brakes?