The SRAM HydroR Road Bike Hydraulic Disc Brake Recall

The folks over at Velonews have a new article chronicling a recall of SRAM’s HydroR hydraulic brake systems. SRAM has deemed none of its production runs of the master cylinders to be up to standard.HydroR shifter and brakes

The problem is that there is a slightly concave shape to the cylinder. When temperatures are sane, the seals in the cylinder are able to accommodate the imperfection. When temperatures plunge, the seals lose some of their pliability; resulting in leakage.

Leakage in a master cylinder means inadequate fluid pressure goes down the hydraulic line…means calipers don’t squeeze rotors tightly…means Simon Cyclist doesn’t stop.

SRAM has taken herculean efforts to make things right.  Right now they’ve set up a small army of mechanics at the USA Cyclocross Nationals. They’re swapping out the HydroR systems for mechanical BB7sl disc brakes and mechanical Red shift levers. bb7sl disc brakes

The HydoR systems are new in the world, with 15,000 units released. Sounds to me like 10,000 of those units are sitting on showroom floors or in warehouses. That leaves 5,000 units on bikes. Reaction from SRAM has been very responsible…a good testament to the integrity of the company.

Take the bike into the local shop and SRAM will pay the shop $100 to swap it out for the mechanical BB7sl’s. Meanwhile, back at the OK corral…SRAM is busy engineering road disc brakes 2.0.  They’re quick to point out that they aren’t going to produce a 1.2 version. It’s a 2.0!

If it were to be version 1.2, tech-savvy cyclists might think that a mere reworking had been performed.  By calling it version 2.0, tech-savvy (but easily duped?) cyclists will know that the days of convex master cylinders are in the rear view mirror.  The release is scheduled for about May 2014.  At that time the replacement mechanical disc brakes will be taken off and the new 2.0 versions will be installed.

In the grand scheme of things, everyone except those stewing about their current hydraulic brake misfortune, will look back on this as a blip on the radar screen of bicycle development.

Bottom line…high end disc brakes will be welcomed into the world of road biking.

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