The Good: 4-piston calipers. Great power. Lever adjustment.
The Bad: No modulation. Lacks contact adjustment.
This is the start of my third season with the same Hayes Stroker Ace brakes. Since purchasing them they have run countless miles of downhill trails, jumps and attempts to get some street tricks on. These are the strongest breaks I have run to date, often allowing me to wait until the lastmoment before making a quick squeeze on the lever the achieve my desired speed. These brakes make me feel faster than other breaks I have run. With four pistons, and a large pad, these things are born for long descents.
However, the technology of Hayes gravity brakes is falling behind. Almost every other company sells brakes with all the adjustments and power of the Ace, but add in brake modulation for better braking on lone and hard pulls, as well as pad contact adjustment point to help the rider find the perfect spot to start slowing down. This makes for a simple brake to set up,but leads the Ace to engage the pads early and hard in the lever pull range. Riders who tend to grip overly hard while braking will want to look elsewhere.
The worst part, is that Hayes has put much of the missing technology into their Prime Brakes, so why not carry it over into the Stroker Ace?
The bottom line is that while I personally feel like they fit into my riding style, I also believe that they are not a brake for everyone.