Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SRAM Force Brake Housing Failure

I had written a post a month back reviewing the story of a SRAM brake lever housing failure, belonging to an individual who maintained that when his mechanic called SRAM to find out what the issue was, the reply came back from the SRAM employee something to the like of  "oh yeah, we knew about that, you know...we injected some extra air in the part during molding...." SRAM didn't inform consumers that this incident had happened in the manufacturing phase and let the product sell. The brakes cost almost 200 dollars in retail value.

The comments in that post were also interesting. You should really read them. One individual who is an ex-Ciamillo employee wrote to me that something very similar in substandard manufacturing practices was happening with the highly expensive Zero Gravity Gravitas brakes. He was frustrated with the owner, who felt to him like all he wanted to do was produce more brakes without a care in the world for people's safety. He left the company shortly. Now those brakes sell for a staggering 875 dollars a pair!

Anyway, the story about the SRAM brakes is not a mere anecdote as now more pictures are coming in. So I thought I'd follow up on that last post.

Now the same housing failure happened to two other people. The power of my blog lies in being able to connect people's experiences across the world. One individual saw the post here in the U.S and wrote to me recently :

"The SAME thing happened to me! The plastic cover just shattered, a piece of it shot across the room. It was so odd. 20+ years of working on bikes and I’ve never seen anything like that."

Here's an image he sent me :

Another individual in Ireland could also relate to the incident. He had a similar nightmare with his SRAM gruppo, documented here. The characteristic housing failure did not escape him either.

"Brake cable goes inside the clamp, I adjust the brakes to where I want them. Put my torque wrench up and start twisting when pong!, something goes flying. Immediately I start scanning my torque wrench thing, crap I’ve broken my torque wrench. But no, the brake quick release housing has decided to give up. Firstly, the manual says tighten to 6-8nm. My torque wrench was set to 5nm. Yes I know it was light but I’d rather be safe on the initial setup of things, so I usually do a lower torque first then go back. Well in this case it didn’t matter."


Here's the image he referred me to.

The attitude the company has to such incidences is also interesting to learn. According to a blogger who raised this issue on their website, a SRAM public relations rep tracked the post down and allegedly barked at them via email, "Why are you talking such nonsense about plastic QR's breaking? The brakes still work. Please take the post back, people understand this is not a problem." 

I see. Without letting people know about the problem, obviously their understanding will be that its not a problem!

Please be aware of this issue and contact SRAM with your concerns. If they do not redress your problem, just shoot me an email and I'll try to help.


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