Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
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I've stroked my Hayes out a couple of times - it's no big deal.
1 - If you have a small gap, wedge something "soft" in there. I'd advise against a screwdriver or metal tool, for fear it may gouge the pads. I use the black spacer with wedge shaped edges that came with the bike (the item you're supposed to jam between the pads when the wheel is not in place to prevent stroking).
2- If you don't have any clearance, you'll need to work a thin sheet in there, like a credit card, then widen it with two credit cards, and progressively enlarge it.
I've been lucky to only have to deal with #1 (some gap present). The problem was after I widened the gap and inserted the wheel, the brakes rubbed more than usual. So I had to remove the pads, spread the pistons completely, insert the wheel, and operate the levers to rebalance the pads. It's not a big deal if you're in the garage, but not fun if on the trails.
When I remove the wheel, I always insert that black plastic spacer to prevent stroking. For some odd reason, I always find myself squeezing the brake levers when I'm moving my bike from from truck to garage, or when the bike is on the repair stand. It's like a natual reaction, and I don't think I realize I do it until it's too late.