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Technical FAQ: Broken SRAM road shifter

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Sep. 9, 2009
  • Updated Nov. 6, 2009 at 8:31 PM EST

Feedback on a recent column regarding a failed SRAM shifter:

Dear Lennard,

I am writing in response to a gentleman who had an issue with a broken SRAM Force shifter: The same thing happened to me recently. It was made aware to me that in early production of the newer shifters, the press fit of that pivot bushing was too tight and overly stressed the bushing holder. The issue has been noted and fixed by SRAM.

The fact that I was able to rebuild my shifter and have it work like new is testament to SRAM’s innovative thinking.

-
John

Dear Lennard,

I read your recent tech feature featuring a letter sent by Larry regarding his broken SRAM Force shifter. I’ve had an identical failure on my 2009 SRAM Rival rear shifter as well.

I’d be interested to hear how much exactly Michael Zellmann of SRAM is talking about when he said they “have a handful come in broken out of the thousands that came out.” needless to say I’m greatly disappointed by this material failure on what is essentially a brand new (7 months) part. Meanwhile, I’ve been waiting for an official reply from SRAM for nearly 4 weeks already, having already sent pictures and a written report through my dealer.

-King

Dear Lennard,

The response from SRAM regarding a broken shifter in your last column highlights a frustration I’ve had for years with the bike industry in general.
Local bike shops in my area don’t stock the high-end bike components that I want or use. They can order them for me of course, but I can quickly order them myself much faster and cheaper from mail-order houses.

However, when I have a warranty issue, I’m not about to offend my LBS by taking in a part I didn’t buy from them for warranty replacement or repair. As a former LBS mechanic, I know that’s not fair and it used to piss us off to no end.

Almost universally, the attitude of manufacturers is that if a part breaks, they want you to take it to a local shop. I’ve stopped buying components from two manufacturers after poor warranty experiences, but others (FOX forks comes to mind) have excellent warranty and repair programs.
When are these guys gonna adapt to the modern marketplace?
-Ian

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: / / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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