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Old 12-17-13, 12:34 PM   #1
uspspro
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SRAM recalls all hydraulic road brakes

This really sucks.

http://sramroadhydraulicbrakerecall....rom-president/

I was really liking the performance of this brake... Now I will have to change my whole setup back around (shift lever, brake caliper, cable etc)
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Old 12-17-13, 12:56 PM   #2
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That is a good letter from the president that admits up front to the many issues involved. Every time new products and technologies are introduced and the marketing machinery goes into full swing I have to remind myself that even good companies working hard will have a learning curve with technologies that are new to them. The letter is a first step and hopefully SRAM will follow through and take care of its early adopting customers.

There is a tradeoff with the thrill of owning the latest stuff on one hand and the boring proven products on the other. We the customers make our choice.
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Old 12-17-13, 01:01 PM   #3
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Unfortunately this will serve as a major setback for hydraulic road brakes systems that might serve the tandem market. I am just getting ready to switch to the Shimano Di2 hydraulic levers for the rear brake and may chose to wait a while as I have been an early adopter with TRD and that was a bust along with the Ice tech failure. At this point for me the Bengal and Hope rotor combo is the only thing that has not really had problems.
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Old 12-17-13, 03:07 PM   #4
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Haven't read of issues with the under the stem dual master cable to hydraulic conversion pieces.
Hope, Trickstuff & TRP..
Perhaps as function dictated their shape , they were less constrained stylewise..

but the seals not functioning when cold has some back story

with the shuttle Challenger blowing up..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-17-13 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12-17-13, 10:15 PM   #5
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If you aren't planning on riding in very cold conditions you could just leave them on.
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Old 12-17-13, 11:15 PM   #6
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I wonder why they decided to change the materials from the millions of mtb brakes that have worked just fine...
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Old 12-18-13, 01:03 AM   #7
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We investigated these failures and determined that the seal material we were using for the brake lever lost its performance characteristics in the extreme cold. We were able to duplicate the failure mode through testing.


Wow. I have worked in the field of engineering for over 25 years and sometimes you have to wonder what the heck is going on with some of the products that make it into production. Sure there is a learning curve with new technologies but that is what testing is for. If they were able to duplicate this failure mode (probably quite easily given the short time frame) than it would appear that the product was never properly tested over the appropriate range of environmental conditions. Given the critical nature of this component let's hope that this doesn't result in any serious bodily injury. The first issue with the supplier is more understandable but the seal failure would seem like something that should have been detected during testing. There are always more issues to a story than what is presented but, in any event, this will be a very costly lesson for SRAM, ... and it should be.

Last edited by wn rider; 12-18-13 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 12-18-13, 10:47 AM   #8
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If you aren't planning on riding in very cold conditions you could just leave them on.
Whoops, this just in. Guess not!

"Since the announcement of our pending hydraulic brake recall, SRAM has received a number of inquiries related to reported incidents of brake failures in sub-freezing conditions. Our analysis shows the cold temperature accelerates the failure of the seal, but that also the sealing could fail in normal temperatures. As a result SRAM would like to once again ask all individuals riding bikes equipped with RED 22 and S-700 Hydraulic Brake Systems to STOP RIDING bikes immediately."
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Old 12-18-13, 10:51 AM   #9
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Ouch! Talk about having dropped the ball on this!

Although trying to pick up the ball again, this will hurt them (and it should) both when it comes to perception and direct monetary losses.
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Old 12-18-13, 11:33 AM   #10
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Especially considering all the hype!

All sorts of Pro CX riders are using these, and many CX'ers bought bikes built around the HydroR disc setup.

Even the hydraulic rim setup is getting use throughout the Pro Peleton, with lots of hype and advertising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0uefbfdu0

Hopefully this will be resolved quickly and and effectively. I really like the product. The brakes are the best I have used for the tandem, and despite being a little unshapely in terms of the aesthetic, the lever shape is actually very nice in terms of ergonomics. The flat hoods transition nice with my bars, and the larger "nubs" which house the master cylinder are nice to grab, for a further forward aero position. The shifting is accurate and quick, and if I had an 11s compatible rear hub, I could be using an 11s 11-32 cassette from Sram!

Last edited by uspspro; 12-18-13 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 12-18-13, 12:38 PM   #11
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if I had an 11s compatible rear hub, I could be using an 11s 11-32 cassette from Sram!
This is exactly the setup I'm using. The Spinergy TX-2 wheels use a Hadley freehub body. I contacted Hadley about modifying my 10-speed freehub body. Instead, they sent me an 11-speed to swap out.
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Old 12-18-13, 02:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
That is a good letter from the president that admits up front to the many issues involved. Every time new products and technologies are introduced and the marketing machinery goes into full swing I have to remind myself that even good companies working hard will have a learning curve with technologies that are new to them. The letter is a first step and hopefully SRAM will follow through and take care of its early adopting customers.
+1. I'm not a tandem-er, but caught this thread and the letter is honest and forward-looking.
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Old 12-18-13, 05:20 PM   #13
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Over the past 30+ years we have been 'test dummies' for new stuff on the market, especially for tandems.
Ranging from proto-type tandems (Cannondale, Burley, Zona), tires, shifting systems (STI, DI-2), brakes, belt drive and even a c/f eccentric.
Some stuff worked out just great, others never hit the market.
Seems some companies are just in a rush to be 'the first' . . .
Pedal on!
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Old 12-19-13, 01:50 AM   #14
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Maybe all of those people who bought disc-brake road/cx bikes to use the hydraulic systems will switch to mechanical discs for a while and realize that they perform almost as well with none of the hassles of the hydraulic systems, and then they'll never want to switch back. Personally, I can't see the need for hydraulic braking on road bikes or MTBs when cable-actuated discs work great.

I love the fact that SRAM have admitted that they don't even know how to fix this issue and they have no timeline for when replacement products might be available!!!

When speaking to people about hydraulics for road bikes when these and Shimano's version were launched, more than one person I spoke to said that they be wary of choosing the SRAM version due to the bad reputation of Avid's MTB hydraulic brakes. They've been working on those for had many years and they still suck (at least in terms of reliability and maintenance).

Everyone was getting excited about the SRAM electronic shifting group, but given this nightmare I think a lot of people are going to be vary wary of any new technology introduced by SRAM in the future. Plus, the impact on their OEM customers on this recall is HUGE because so many ready-to-ship top-end bikes now cannot be sold for who knows how long - certain business relationships are going to be severely damaged by this mess. This is not only hurting SRAM's finances right now but could have an impact for a long time to come.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:46 AM   #15
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If this is a seal issue then I wonder why they do not use seals proven to work in the many other hydraulic brake systems for decades. Cost? Type of fluid? I am sure there is a reason just curious as to what it could be.
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Old 12-19-13, 09:18 AM   #16
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If this is a seal issue then I wonder why they do not use seals proven to work in the many other hydraulic brake systems for decades. Cost? Type of fluid? I am sure there is a reason just curious as to what it could be.
I don't know why they wouldn't just be using DOT4/5 as most others, or mineral oil as some others. But what is weird, is that it comes down to mostly temperature, so that when it cold, they stop working. It seems it may have something to do with not doing actual testing, since they so quickly was able to replicate the problem. I have to say I'm somewhat baffled how they could not test for cold temperatures, but that is perhaps just me.
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Old 12-24-13, 10:05 AM   #17
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Maybe all of those people who bought disc-brake road/cx bikes to use the hydraulic systems will switch to mechanical discs for a while and realize that they perform almost as well with none of the hassles of the hydraulic systems, and then they'll never want to switch back. Personally, I can't see the need for hydraulic braking on road bikes or MTBs when cable-actuated discs work great.
My take on hydro vs. mechanical is this:

Especially on road bikes, the balance between lever throw and mechanical advantage (power) is the limiting factor for mechanical disc brakes. The mfg's can only get so much cable pull, and make the caliper actuating arm so short, before the mechanical advantage becomes too small - Making it so one needs to squeeze the heck out of the lever to get significant braking force. Adding to these limitations, the more lever force required yields increased cable housing deflection/compression.

If the mfg's can get road hydraulics right (reliable, appropriately sized master/caliper cylinders, etc), then theoretically, we can have a very powerful, and easy to modulate setup that is immune to the fundamental limitations imposed by the lever/cable system.

I hear what you are saying, and for now, I myself will be back on a full mechanical setup. However, once they get this right, I think hydro brakes will still be the better performing option.
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Old 12-24-13, 09:41 PM   #18
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Hydraulic brakes have replaced cables in many applications for just this reason.
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