SRAM Outlines Hydraulic Brake Replacement, Mechanicals in the Mean Time

As the latest development in the ongoing SRAM brake recall, SRAM posted an update today on their recall website outlining the brake replacement procedures. SRAM also put out a clarification on the recall itself, stating that while use in extreme cold may accelerate the failure of the brake’s seal, it is also possible the seals could fail in normal temperatures. Because of this, SRAM reminds customers that you should stop riding the brakes immediately. SRAM is still working on the logistics of the recall, but to get customers riding as soon as possible, SRAM will be sending out mechanical shifters and brake sets based on the trim level. Hoping to have the replacement mechanical systems ready by January 15, SRAM is recommending that customers work through their local dealer but will accommodate those who wish to install the brakes themselves.

SRAM states that they are making progress on the Hydraulic redesign, with their teams working through the holidays to find a resolution. Check out the replacement options after the break.

  1. Europe:
    • Through the customer’s chosen Dealer, SRAM will provide a mechanical brake system to replace the customer’s hydraulic rim or disc brakes.
    • SRAM also will provide to the customer an option of either receiving the new hydraulic braking system when the redesign is complete, or a cheque/check for EUR 150.
    • SRAM will provide a fair labor cost cash reimbursement to the Dealer for all installs.
  2. Asia:
    • Through the customer’s chosen Dealer, SRAM will provide a mechanical rim or disc brake system to replace a customer’s hydraulic rim or disc brakes.
    • SRAM also will provide to the customer an option of either receiving the new hydraulic braking system when the redesign is complete, or a cheque/check for US$ 200.
    • SRAM will provide a fair labor cost reimbursement to the dealer for all installs.
  3. North America:
    SRAM is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to finalize a comprehensive and approved solution. Here is what we can commit for customers as we work through this process:

    • Through the customer’s chosen Dealer, SRAM will provide a mechanical rim or disc brake system to replace a customer’s hydraulic rim or disc brake system.
    • SRAM will provide a fair labor cost cash reimbursement to the dealer for all installs.
    • SRAM will provide a voucher for product or cash reimbursement in an amount to be determined between SRAM and the CPSC.

Replacement matrix:

replacement matrix


Tim A - 12/20/13 - 12:03pm

19,000 brakes at, say, $400-600 each in cash and product to make right. That’s going to hurt.

Jose - 12/20/13 - 12:04pm

This is all well and great, is SRAM crediting dealers for their time to replace this pathetic excuse for a product?

SomeFawkingguy - 12/20/13 - 12:06pm

Can you keep the mechanical stuff once they hydros are “fixed” ? I want to get rid of my crux as soon as possible. The hell with disc brakes !

SomeFawkingguy - 12/20/13 - 12:07pm

@tim they only estimate 5,000 or so bikes are in the hands of consumers.

Aaronb - 12/20/13 - 12:08pm

Jose, did you actually read the article? Your question is answered right there

Francois - 12/20/13 - 12:14pm

Tim, those parts don’t cost Sram anywhere near that amount.

jose - 12/20/13 - 12:16pm

I did, but are they actually going to do this? They’ve mentioned it in the past with some of their other brakes/posts that shipped on bikes and weren’t bled.

How are they planning on accounting for the variances in shop hourly rates? Shop supplies, cables, housing? Bar tape? If I get a cheque for $12 I’m going to be pretty choked.

Kyle - 12/20/13 - 12:16pm

teams will be working through the holidays to find a resolution? really?

Zac - 12/20/13 - 12:23pm

To answer Jose’s question, yes, SRAM is compensating retailers to do the replacement for customers and it’s a fair and reasonable amount for the job. It’s been my experience as the owner at Cascade Bicycle Studio that SRAM is highly committed to customer service both Business to Business and Business to Consumer.

Robo - 12/20/13 - 12:23pm

Jose, they’ll probably do it like every other industry out there does when there’s issues like this-that happen all the time and no one but bike people lose their sh*t over-They’ll get paid whatever amount sram sram says and it’ll be up to the shop owner to distribute accordingly.

jose - 12/20/13 - 12:33pm


I’m just choked at how shitty this brand has become, had nothing but constant issues with their products these past two seasons. Bleeding brakes, defective posts out of the box, just brutal. How does an business of this size do such a poor job testing, spec’ing proper materials for their products.

Jib's Mom - 12/20/13 - 12:55pm

SRAM needs to slow down and get off the new model year mindset with their product and deliver product to the consumer when it’s actually been thoroughly field tested. Either that or else they just need to get out of the hydraulic game altogether. This round of failures with their hydraulic brakes comes right on the heels of all those early Reverb failures.

Slow down. Take your time. Stop relying on the consumer to sort your mess out.

Kenny - 12/20/13 - 12:56pm

It’s good to see SRAM stepping up in regards to both the customer and the local bike shops who have to do the legwork and labor. I’ll be following the cash reimbursement aspect closely.

Mr.Roboto - 12/20/13 - 1:17pm

Jose- SRAM has assured my shop that we will be reimbursed for our labor. Not in chains, as they did in the past, but monetarily. Initial estimate is ~$100, which is reasonable for a brake/shifter swap.
All my confidence in SRAM product is gone, but ill will keep an open mind when considering their future products. No grudges held. If they make something awesome again, like their 9spd mountain stuff, ill get behind it.

Mac - 12/20/13 - 1:19pm

Well, if you happen to decide to sell v1.0 of a new product in your shop, that’s the price you might have to pay. Don’t get me wrong. I got one of these bikes myself just because i like to try out the new stuff. But would I sell it yet? Probably not!
Guys, face it. Shit happens to everyone – usually on V1.0 more often. I can handle it. If you can’t just stay with the rim brakes for one or two more seasons.

NDE - 12/20/13 - 1:59pm

“I’m just choked at how shitty this brand has become”
I guess everyone forgot how much they love the 1×11 XX1 narrow/wide, yet SRAM

drew and not u - 12/20/13 - 2:56pm

Hey, as slow as january and febuary typically are for us bike mechanics, I welcome the $4,000 in reimbursement this recall is going to put on my ledger.

Yeah, it sucks that this happened, and it’s sad seeing my Crux on a rack, but they are definitely stepping up to the plate and handling this like the customer service pro’s they are.

Tim A - 12/20/13 - 3:09pm


Maybe not, but with ~$100 going to the shop, another $200 going to the consumer, mechanical shifter & brake sets going out the door, plus the cost to administer it all, it’s not hard to get to the lower end of that range. In any case, it’s going to be pricey

Platypus - 12/20/13 - 3:39pm

It sure is swell to see SRAM (pronounced with an “h”) step up to the plate and swing their baseball bat at the baseball that was thrown to them by the baseball pitcher, because in this day and age, at the end of the day, it takes all kinds to make the world go round and it’s good to see a company or CEO actually cop to a mistake and admit they messed up and really make an apology and fess up and take their lumps and make amends and say they’re sorry. I for one am glad we have folks like that in this blessed country we call America. I brings a tear to my eye and- oh wait, they make nothing here and callously exploit cheap labor? Forget everything I wrote earlier then.

King County - 12/20/13 - 3:58pm

Shimano had those faulty canti-brake spring covers. That had to be a bigger problem with a HUGE more amount of affected bikes. You could still stop the bike, but the point is that these problems are part of life. If you cannot handle it you come off as a crybaby.

Tom - 12/20/13 - 4:11pm

SRAM might as well just put two fingers up and say stop using our brakes and your not getting them back!
As it looks like they would get the same negative response what ever they do. Does nobody ever just look at the facts?
4th November SRAM realized there was a issue with a batch of there new hydro road brakes and issued a recall and replacement.
13th December The SRAM became aware that a few of their brakes failed in sub zero temperatures. After running some tests issued a recall on all of their hydro road brakes and told owners to stop using them. They admit they haven’t got an answer for the problem and acknowledge that they have put a lot of riders bikes out of commission.
20th December SRAM offer what I see is a very generous solution until they fined a fix, manufacture and distribute the new hydro brakes. They will also offer you a cash lump sum for the difference in product if you don’t want SRAM hydro brakes again plus credit the shop for doing the work.

SRAM have put a stop on a product they deem unsafe, it’s not like there are forum topics slating the product for not working and dangerous. Also no one has been hurt by the brakes failing. It has them taken them 7 days to come up with a short term solution so riders can get back out on their bikes. If done right a rider might only be unable to ride their bike for 2-3 weeks. I bet as well that if a rider can afford this new braking system there is a good chance they will have a second bike anyway.
I bet SRAM haven’t got an idea when they will get owners back out on a hydro system but at least you can still use your bike.
So in all looking at the facts I think SRAM have handled it very well, yes is shouldn’t happen in the first place but it as and been dealt with in the best way possible.

Matt - 12/20/13 - 4:39pm

Now can they please give us their plan on how they are going to address the problem with their XX brakes? Please!

harrochan - 12/20/13 - 6:12pm

poverty components gonna poverty

TT - 12/21/13 - 7:46am

hehehe, in Polish SRAM means SH*T. really, i’m not joking.

skipdapbaddamarangdoo - 12/21/13 - 12:43pm

The only thing that SRAM and Avid brakes stop is a good time.

greg - 12/21/13 - 4:23pm

it means the same in english, too.

bin judgin - 12/21/13 - 9:17pm

everyone forgets xx1, pike, reverb, etc.

like it or not, this breeds better products in the end. stop crying.

Mortimer - 12/22/13 - 7:33am

After weeks of hassle with a set of new XX brakes that would loose the bleed over night if left to sit or go to mush on a ride I have vowed never to use SRAM/Avid brakes again. Not that I am against their other stuff, but the brakes were pitiful.

Mason - 12/22/13 - 4:54pm

Not only are they going to credit the shop $100 when they swap the current hydros over to mechanical, they’re going to credit the shop an additional $100 when they replace the mechanical gear with the new hydros.

Kudos to SRAM. As a shop employee as well as an owner of red hydro, I’m very impressed and pleased with how they’re handling it.

MulletRacer - 12/22/13 - 7:18pm

Sometimes they just send free stuff to the shop to compensate for labor. Typically they will send 10 speed chains in my experience. Never seen cash.

bongwater - 12/23/13 - 5:38pm

Comments section is now closed on this post.

Mike - 12/26/13 - 9:21pm

I’m a little overwhelmed by the vitriolic negativity of some of the comments.

These Red 22 RHD brakes are just fantastic and so is the shifting. Shimano 9000 mech. is rated marginally better by many reviewers but I just have to believe it’s because the 2 levers are more familiar. Once I was comfortable with the double tap I quickly grew to prefer it. Which brings us to their “shitty” product, a few pennies worth of seals that are failing but inconsistently and somewhat mysteriously.

They are spending $ millions at retail for an interim fix to get everyone back on the road as quickly as possible and who knows how many more $ millions to get a permanent fix.

Beyond that the only thing they could do to please me more would be figure out how to produce everything in the States. And it will be a windfall for the local shops if they’re fairly compensated and I’m certain they will be, because gee wiz guys, do you really think SRAM is gonna screw the pooch again on this one and generate more bad will. After all, they’re a bit too small to be as tone deaf as Specialized.

richard - 12/30/13 - 6:14pm

I am still unclear on the outcome for US consumers. I have requested my bike shop get me the replacement mech set up they are offering. However I really want the hydro when they get it ironed out, however don’t feel I should have to pay for that. It seems like I will get the mech stuff and later if I want they will offer a voucher in order to get the hydros? What does that mean? I just don’t want to take delivery on the mech if it will keep me from getting the hydro for free down the road.

eric - 01/01/14 - 8:30pm

well gess I should treat brand new bike comps like a new car and wate till its been out for a couple years then they will have all the bugs out of them then

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