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  1. #1
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    SRAM Red RD Explode?

    I've had SRAM Red for just going on 2 years now with no problems. I ride as a "serious recreational rider" with no racing and ~30-60 mile rides on the weekends when I can in the summer.

    After my second ride of the season, I brought my bike to my LBS (Williamson Bikes in Madison, WI) to tune it. During the process the tech torqued on the rear cage with his hands saying "look at how much play there is here." While doing that, it made a cracking sound. One of the other tech guys said that play was normal on Red cages (I don't know if this is true or not), and I ignored the cracking sound. On my very next ride, my RD completely and spontaneously exploded as pictured:

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    I took it into the LBS, and they claimed there was absolutely no way they had anything to do with it, and they would not even replace the rear cage (even if I paid for the part AND labor). The only option they provided was they would sell me a new Force RD for 30% off (which was the current sale price in the store).

    Is it truly impossible that torquing on a rear cage until it makes a snapping sound could cause it to break when ridden, or is it more likely that after only 2 years of casual riding it coincidentally exploded after being torqued? Am I off base in asking them to fix the RD at my expense?

    Also, it seems to me that there are plenty of good options for aftermarket parts -- I guess while we're on topic does anyone have any recommendations there? I guess I'm doing this myself.

  2. #2
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    I know those guys - they're not geniuses, but I don't think they'd knowingly break your RD and cover it up. It also shouldn't break just from being flexed a little bit, but I don't know what "torqued" means. In other words, I doubt they did anything more than finish breaking something that was already cracked.

    The part that is broken does not appear to be a replaceable part from SRAM's manuals:
    http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...PC_Rev%20B.pdf
    Check page 6.

    I'd give SRAM a call and tell them that the outer pulley plate cracked while an LBS mechanic was adjusting it and see what they suggest.

    If no one can help you, you have two options:
    1. Take a small piece of aluminum or fiberglass cloth, sand, degrease and both the broken area together. Ugly, but it will hold for another year, probably.
    2. Buy a new derailleur mail order, which is probably cheaper than 30% off Force at an LBS.

    It's too bad Williamson isn't taking some responsibility. It happened on their watch, but people are always trying to blame the LBS for stuff they didn't do, so that becomes a mentality.

  3. #3
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    sram rocks!

  4. #4
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    What would need to be "torqued" up on the rear cage in the first place to have them back there?

    As rx suggested, call SRAM. Buying new or used one is an easy option.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I definitely think calling SRAM would be the way to go. I just checked and my RD is still under warranty! Those guys told me my RD broke because it's "too old" -- less than 2 years old. And by "torque" I mean he was wiggling the carbon cage from side to side, hard, to show that it wiggles (not really wiggling, but bending under the pressure). At any rate, I will call SRAM and report back.

  6. #6
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    The entire cage assembly of the Red derailleur comes off and can be replaced.

    Whether or not the LBS can actually get a replacement cage (and if it's worth it, since I seem to recall the cage alone being about 110 bucks) is another story.
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  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    after you get that derailleur fixed i'd start shopping for another shop. if that exact same thing happened at my shop (well...no way it would happen exactly like this), the last thing we'd do is force you to buy a new derailleur w/o even checking on the options of warranty/repair. and if the cage made a 'cracking' sound, i'd sure as hell take a pretty close look at it before letting you ride it.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by robdamanii
    The entire cage assembly of the Red derailleur comes off and can be replaced.

    Whether or not the LBS can actually get a replacement cage (and if it's worth it, since I seem to recall the cage alone being about 110 bucks) is another story.
    I didn't say or mean it couldn't be removed. I meant that it had no part number to order a replacment. That's why I recommended calling SRAM.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like they broke it. They owe you a new rear derailleur, or at least a new cage.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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  10. #10
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    Definitely sounds like they contributed heavily to its demise.

    Options:

    -New derailleur

    -New stock cage. From Page 6 of the SRAM parts manual (http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...PC_Rev%20B.pdf) it appears to be Part Number 11.7515.020.000 - Red Rear Derailleur Cage/Pulley Kit (ceramic pulleys, inner and out cages)

    -Aftermarket cages from a different source like Fiberlyte or someone similar. Lots of details here: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...ram+red+tuning
    Also more info here (where someone claims the inner cage is $300 canadian): http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...hp?f=5&t=63533

    I did a lot of looking into this back before the Red Black group was announced with the thought of swapping a standard Red cage onto a black LTE derailleur body/parallelogram/knuckle to get the proper look. Thankfully, SRAM got to it before I could spend a bunch of extra money and time on the swap.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robdamanii
    Definitely sounds like they contributed heavily to its demise.

    Options:

    -New derailleur

    -New stock cage. From Page 6 of the SRAM parts manual (http://www.sram.com/_media/techdocs/...PC_Rev%20B.pdf) it appears to be Part Number 11.7515.020.000 - Red Rear Derailleur Cage/Pulley Kit (ceramic pulleys, inner and out cages)

    -Aftermarket cages from a different source like Fiberlyte or someone similar. Lots of details here: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...ram+red+tuning
    Also more info here (where someone claims the inner cage is $300 canadian): http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...hp?f=5&t=63533

    I did a lot of looking into this back before the Red Black group was announced with the thought of swapping a standard Red cage onto a black LTE derailleur body/parallelogram/knuckle to get the proper look. Thankfully, SRAM got to it before I could spend a bunch of extra money and time on the swap.
    My bad - I didn't see the "4" next to the outer cage in the document. I wonder why the shop wouldn't order a cage for you?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    Sounds like they broke it. They owe you a new rear derailleur, or at least a new cage.
    +1 If I did that I'd pony up and buy the guy a new cage. It's true that a lot of people try to blame their mechanics for things beyond their control ("I swear I didn't strip the threads off your bottom bracket while staring at it") but, if this went down as you describe, blaming it on kit that's two years old is B.S.

    I've never worked with the shop in question but if what happened to you happened to me I'd start reviewing other shops in the area.

  13. #13
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    I offered to pay for the cage AND the labor. Yeah, I will definitely be looking into another bike store. There are a lot of options in town, which helps.

    I double checked on this, and my invoice for the grouppo is from 4/24/2009 though I put it on the bike later, but still less than 2 years for warranty purposes and roughly 2 seasons of riding.

    For calling SRAM, they don't list hours on their website -- has anyone called them on the weekend?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhs
    I offered to pay for the cage AND the labor. Yeah, I will definitely be looking into another bike store. There are a lot of options in town, which helps.

    I double checked on this, and my invoice for the grouppo is from 4/24/2009 though I put it on the bike later, but still less than 2 years for warranty purposes and roughly 2 seasons of riding.

    For calling SRAM, they don't list hours on their website -- has anyone called them on the weekend?
    They won't be there. It's an office in Chicago, not a call center. M-F, 9-5.

    Were'd the group come from?

  15. #15
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    Yeah, that's what I figured, which is totally no big deal.

    Bought the complete grouppo new from a vendor on eBay, installed by a bike shop back home.

  16. #16
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    You know the cage is cracked (now broken) and needs replacing, so do that. Sram will either send a cage under warranty, or you may need to buy one, but either way that's step one.

    Now as to whether the mechanic broke the cage by over-flexing it, or was pointing out a cage that was already cracked by demonstrating it's noise flex is a chicken and egg proposition. You'll never know for sure, so it depends on your overall opinion of his skill and honesty.
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  17. #17
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    If you aren't getting good service from a bike shop, I live 2 blocks from Williamson Cycle West. Come on over when you get the replacement parts and I'll help you assemble it.

  18. #18
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    I wasn't able to call yesterday, but I did call today. It turns out that if you buy a complete new in box full grouppo on ebay from a vendor who does nothing but sell new in box grouppos, the warranty is void on arrival (I guess I should have bought from gvhbikes after all, which is "totally different" from a warranty perspective). So, that's just another cool bump in the road, so to speak.

    The rep was really confused why anyone would even touch the rear cage in the first place, or why they refused to replace that part for me. Overall, she was very nice, and gave me info for another bike shop in town. Honestly, I think SRAM can probably afford to replace a single part just for goodwill purposes, but I'm over it.

    So, now I'm left with getting a rear outer cage and putting it on. Anyone have any recommendations for aftermarket parts? I figured weightweenies would have a lot of this kind of stuff but it's pretty dry. Fibre-lyte.co.uk makes awesome inner cages, but no outer ones. I'd appreciate any recommendations, and I'll keep looking myself.

    @rx-79g: I actually live fairly close as well. I want to check out Erik's and see if that can be my "shop." But, I would appreciate any help.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhs
    I wasn't able to call yesterday, but I did call today. It turns out that if you buy a complete new in box full grouppo on ebay from a vendor who does nothing but sell new in box grouppos, the warranty is void on arrival (I guess I should have bought from gvhbikes after all, which is "totally different" from a warranty perspective). So, that's just another cool bump in the road, so to speak.

    The rep was really confused why anyone would even touch the rear cage in the first place, or why they refused to replace that part for me. Overall, she was very nice, and gave me info for another bike shop in town. Honestly, I think SRAM can probably afford to replace a single part just for goodwill purposes, but I'm over it.

    So, now I'm left with getting a rear outer cage and putting it on. Anyone have any recommendations for aftermarket parts? I figured weightweenies would have a lot of this kind of stuff but it's pretty dry. Fibre-lyte.co.uk makes awesome inner cages, but no outer ones. I'd appreciate any recommendations, and I'll keep looking myself.

    @rx-79g: I actually live fairly close as well. I want to check out Erik's and see if that can be my "shop." But, I would appreciate any help.
    I doubt you're going to find aftermarket inner plates. Would SRAM not allow you or a shop to purchase the part?

    Erik's is okay, but kind of limited in scope. They're mostly Specialized shills.

    Cronometro is the most pro shop in town - but their rates may be higher. If not them, Machinery Row.

  20. #20
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    A shop can purchase it from SRAM, but I can't. I figured I should at least check and see if I can buy the part myself. I don't really trust bike stores at this point.

    The SRAM rep recommneded Erik's, but I've been meaning to check out Machinery Row.

    @robdamanii: your weightweenies link was really good for links to kits that have the inner and outer cage. Kinda weird that all kits are made in Germany with German language websites... you'd think there's enough demand for a U.S.-based retailer but I can't find any.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhs
    A shop can purchase it from SRAM, but I can't. I figured I should at least check and see if I can buy the part myself. I don't really trust bike stores at this point.

    The SRAM rep recommneded Erik's, but I've been meaning to check out Machinery Row.

    @robdamanii: your weightweenies link was really good for links to kits that have the inner and outer cage. Kinda weird that all kits are made in Germany with German language websites... you'd think there's enough demand for a U.S.-based retailer but I can't find any.
    I've wondered that myself.

    Maybe some kind of legal issue with it? Who knows. Generally though, there are a few folks on WW that have ordered from those sites and have some experience, so I'd defer to their vastly superior knowledge on German companies.

    Glad you're getting somewhere with this though...On the road to...back on the road?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhs
    A shop can purchase it from SRAM, but I can't. I figured I should at least check and see if I can buy the part myself. I don't really trust bike stores at this point.
    You just hit a very important distinction: shop vs store. There are a lot of bike stores out there that do some maintenance wrenching. Most of them aren't shops, in the sense of having competent, professional, and educated mechanics.Good luck in getting this resolved. Here's hoping your future experiences won't be so painful (financially) and annoying.

  23. #23
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    those carbon cages look pricey, perhaps even more so than buying a new deraileur? Not at home at the moment or I'd research it some.

  24. #24
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    Yeah that's what I'm seeing, too. It's only $228.50 for a brand new red RD on ebay. It would be kind of cool to trick out my RD, but I'm not that into bling to spend more than a new RD. Kind of reminds me of teenagers who buy used Hondas and spend more on the bling.

    Also, a lot of ebay sellers actually say the SRAM products come with a warranty, so I'm kind of confused? The original listing for my grouppo is long gone, but my invoice clearly states that the entire group is brand new from an "authorized SRAM dealer."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhs
    Yeah that's what I'm seeing, too. It's only $228.50 for a brand new red RD on ebay. It would be kind of cool to trick out my RD, but I'm not that into bling to spend more than a new RD. Kind of reminds me of teenagers who buy used Hondas and spend more on the bling.

    Also, a lot of ebay sellers actually say the SRAM products come with a warranty, so I'm kind of confused? The original listing for my grouppo is long gone, but my invoice clearly states that the entire group is brand new from an "authorized SRAM dealer."
    Then take it up with them.

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