SRAM hydraulic disc and rim brake recall

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Massive replacement and reimbursement scheme

We liked 'em
We liked ’em

For those rushing out to pick up a set of SRAM hydraulic road discs on the strength of our Issue 86 review, we have some bad news.  Given the possibility of seal (and thus brake) failure during or after cold weather use, SRAM have recalled all 19,000 brakes extant and are advising owners to “STOP USE IMMEDIATELY:”

It has recently come to our attention that during last weekend’s Cyclocross racing in the US, in sub freezing temperatures, several failures were reported. In these conditions the master cylinder seals failed to hold pressure resulting in abrupt loss of brake power, and an inability to stop the bike. These failures are related to product that is outside the originally stated date code range and unrelated to the original failure mode. No injuries have been reported to date.

As a result of this new finding, SRAM requests that anyone who has a bike equipped with SRAM Hydraulic Disc or Hydraulic Rim Brakes stop using the bike immediately. All products shipped to date, and currently in the market or in inventory will be recalled.

Unfortunately, the hydraulic disc and rim brakes required the purchase of corresponding hydraulic brake/shift levers- which don’t work with cable-actuated calipers.  For this reason, SRAM will be replacing customers’ brakes and shift levers with mechanical versions until the hydro setups can be redesigned to work safely and reliably.  The recall will take place in three phases (European scheme shown):

  1. Through the customer’s chosen Dealer, SRAM will provide a mechanical brake system to replace the customer’s hydraulic rim or disc brakes.
  2. 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.
  3. SRAM will provide a fair labor cost cash reimbursement to the Dealer for all install.

Unfortunately, replacement mechanical systems will not be available until January 15, relegating many riders’ shiny, new disc-equipped road, ‘cross, or drop bar mountain bikes to laundry hanging duty for about a month.  While the situation is pretty awful on all sides, SRAM’s offer of cash for riders’ trouble and reimbursing shops for multiple brake setups and bar wraps is unique and will go some way to easing the pain.  Further, SRAM president Stan Day has stepped forward with an apologetic video.

It’s cold comfort for all those early adopters, but SRAM is at least being open and proactive in this case.  Anyone affected can find updates at

Comments (4)

    cheque? I want a postal order.

    Good to know they’re taking it seriously. Might be a pile of used cable kit in a few months time too :-p

    The cheque will be in the post. Royal Mail ok?

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