SRAM Announces Complete Recall of All Road Hydraulic Rim and Disc Brakes - Stop Use Immediately

SRAM Announces Complete Recall of All Road Hydraulic Rim and Disc Brakes - Stop Use Immediately

What initially began as a select recall due to performance issues on SRAM hydraulic road disc and rim brakes, has now evolved into a complete recall of all road hydraulic brakes across the board. Citing failures of the master cylinder seals at this past weekend’s cyclocross races in below freezing conditions, the resultant sudden loss of braking power was reported several times. No injuries have been reported, but the issues are prompting a recall of around 19,000 brakes systems with additional details soon to come.

Full statement after the break.

From SRAM:


On November 4th SRAM identified and announced a technical issue with respect to a narrow production range of its RED 22 and S-700 Hydraulic Road Brakes. At that time, it was described as a performance and safety concern with no reported failures in the field.

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.

Further, we are asking our Bike Brand customers, OE factories, Distributors and Dealers to cease all sales and shipments of SRAM RED 22 and S-700 Hydraulic Road Brakes. A total of approximately 19,000 brake systems have been shipped to date into the global market.

Quarantine efforts currently underway with Factories, Bike Brands, and Distributors will be broadened to include all Dealers with inventory on bikes, or as Aftermarket product. Additional information related to timing and replacement of product will be forthcoming.

As originally announced we have reported this issue to the US CPSC and will be cooperating with the agency to announce a Safety Recall. We will also be contacting and working closely with appropriate like agencies in Europe and globally.

SRAM engineering and manufacturing is committed to the highest Quality standards. On behalf of all employees at SRAM we apologize for the business disruption to our customers business and to the individuals who have placed their trust in our products.


  1. Drew Diller on

    And yet, if they didn’t do a recall, you guys are the same type that would be the same people crying “bad business practices!”


    I’m not a big fan of how SRAM prices their hardware, XX1 is a total rip considering it has fewer moving parts. But they’re doing the correct thing as a manufacturer here.

  2. Surly Shawn on

    Below freezing? Isn’t this why my Moonlander came with mechanical disc brakes? I was under the impression that hydraulics were not made for such harsh conditions.

  3. Dontstopbelieving on

    Don’t stop….Believing…in Sram? No I really like the product. I have been racing with the S-700 disks CX season. I love them. I did break the lever once in a ride and had to get it replaced. But SRAM stepped up and helped me out in time for the following weeks race. It stinks that these are being recalled. The past two races I have done have been in 15 degrees or less and I had no issues except for frozen hands. I am wondering what the replacement is going to be??? I like the SRAM, but would like to see a Shimano mechanical shifting version.

  4. Butterfinger on

    Shame sram never recalled the reverb for bursting under heavy load instead of replacing 90% all that I have sold or even had come into the shop. At least they are admitting fault here

  5. Alex on

    Surly Shawn – Is that why my car has hydraulic disk brakes on it? Glad I got away with driving around Denver in sub zero temps this past week without crashing! Oh and those hydraulic lines on the 737 I flew on last week, glad they didn’t freeze up when I was landing at the airport after being subjected to -40c to -60c at 35k altitude.

    Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing out that hydraulics work fine in a range of temperatures. Sounds like the sealing systems used on the SRAM brakes might not have the elasticity needed to handle colder temps while staying sealed. Small detail.

    Cue Office Space Michael Bolton: “I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Sh1t! I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.”

  6. pierre on

    I fail to see how anyone can question the reliability and advantages of hydraulic brakes in this day and age, it is akin to the nonsense surrounding violin design. This is merely a product problem not a concept problem and I’m sure SRAM will have it fixed soon, that’s why they are one of the most popular manufacturers on the market. Wake up and smell the oil you luddites!

  7. Eyal on

    @pierre I fail to understand how you can’t see that SRAM + others are using consumers to test this tech. Yes, it will be ready for prime time when It is rigorously tested by the pros. But hey be my guest, go be a lab rat.

  8. Bill on

    This is going to cost SRAM a lot of money. I have had a recalled product from SRAM in the past (1st gen force caliper brakes) and the policy at the time was, go into the shop, show it to them, they got a new one sent to the shop 2 days later, and SRAM covered installation costs for them. Swapping out a mechanical brake at the shop takes 5 minutes and a new crimp end. Swapping out hydraulic SRAM road stuff is going to mean a bleed, etc. Shop cost is higher and if they are doing it right they’ll have to subsidize shops to install it.

    It’s a great product to use though, the lever feel is fantastic, and realistically, if you’re going to break new ground with something, you hit a rock sometimes. It sounds in this case like a sourcing issue, since they have demonstrated before they know how to make solid hydro brake systems. Also, fwiw, I think I saw at least a dozen racers on these at our ~10 degree state championships and didn’t seem to see anyone complaining in the pit or in general. Problem is, if 1 in 100 fail even a little, that’s 190 potential law suits about something you knew could happen. It’s the right move.

  9. bikedoctor on

    Stop whining like little 8 year old girls and get out on your bikes and ride. I see recall issues every day, until you understand what goes into spearheading these new technologies shut your mouth.

  10. CXisfun on

    @Bill: I’d be interested in knowing how “SRAM covered installation costs for them.” SRAM almost certainly didn’t send them a check, I’d put money on it. My guess is they did what they always do: toss a chain or two in there and let the shop sell them. Not exactly my idea of covering costs. Trust me, I’ve been on the shop side of dozens upon dozens of SRAM warranty issues….enough so that I have their service phone number memorized.

  11. wheelz on

    Darn. I was just about to pick up a new CX bike with SRAM Red 22 discs. Guess I won’t be able to actually ride it for a while. Come on Shimano, please some non-electronic road hydraulic discs soon!

  12. CXisfun on

    @Surly Shawn: hydraulics are used on Tucker SnoCats, I’m pretty sure riding your fat bike at -6*C doesn’t quite match up to what they face.

    By the way, I have SLX brakes on my Pugs, worked fine all winter long on some darn cold rides.

  13. surp on

    Hmm.. seals failing under extreme cold temps? Reminders me of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. A small problem with huge implications.

  14. anon on

    why are so many people j*ing off shimano? did everybody forget that they just recalled some mechanical disc brakes? not only that, their hydros feel like garbage in below freezing temps.
    and for the record, i hate avid hydros.
    also, cxisfun is right, they toss in some chains every once in a while. that does not cover the labor cost when resizing hydraulic lines

  15. Dave on

    Not even a little bit surprised, and I love Sram stuff except their brakes. Can we please get that Campy/Formula system that Colnago is using available aftermarket?

  16. Collin on

    At a cross race a couple weeks ago up here in michigan in mid 20s a couple guys had their sram hydros go on them. It’s a real problem not some fluke. However sram is doing the right thing and the one time I had to deal with them they were great. I needed one sping inside one of my shifters that popped out when I was changing the cables on an xo. They said they didn’t have any so they just sent me a whole new shifter. Great work.

  17. Ham Banana Jammer on

    Their may be some terrible problem with them, but I knew roadies would freak out about disc brakes. My Sram mountain brakes would lose power suddenly down a hill all the time. Just pump them a bit and keep riding. My shop called them and they said the fluid was dissolving the seals and they wouldn’t warranty them. I feel that the following is true: 1 Hydraulic disc brakes are going to rub on the rotor sometimes. 2 You will feel inconsistencies in them when riding and bleeding may bring them back to life. 3 sometimes they just start to suck and they will never feel right again.

  18. ccr on

    Oh wow! A big player in the industry tells us the next best thing to buy and it turns out to be a flop! Lets not even start on how a hydro brakes on a road bike overstops your contact patch and weighs more than sin….But hey! The magazines and web sites told me to buy it…

    I’m all for inovation in this industry but you can smell it when companies push out something that it is for the good of the sport and something that’s for a quick buck.

    It’s a hard balance. Make money. Make better cyclists. Make suckers drop their jaw. Make racer’s bikes better. I feel for this industry right now. All this stuff going on. It’s a shame…

  19. mufies on

    i dont get you people. shit happens to all companies all the time. they publicly disclose the issue,fix it and replace everything cor free if they have a single doubt.

    THIS my friends, is the level of support i expect from a good, dependable company.

    the ones whod never ever recall anything simply dont disclose the issues to you.
    in case you havent noticed, nobody had the issue with sram brakes yet, they’re being preventive.
    when you complain about free premptive recalls – you are giving the message that its better to hide the defect and not tell customers. thats terrible.

    for the record shimano does similar recalls.

  20. muf on

    So when a company does the right thing, discloses it, replaces for free, bash them quick!
    Only passes the message that it’s better to hide defects. F*ing terrible.

    For the record, Shimano also recall stuff every now and then for similar reasons.

  21. Peter on

    Is it time for Sram to do a full recall on there Elixir mountain bike brakes Too? They just stop working all the time!
    Only way to fix them is to fit Shimano or any none Sram Brake!

    Sram do make some great gear! just not disc brakes!

  22. gravity on

    @muf – SRAM makes terrible brakes. They always have, and the continue to. As I read the reactions, no one here is actually upset that SRAM recalled them, they’re upset that SRAM allowed this garbage to trickle out of China in the first place.

  23. greg on

    1. they should have put whatever they had in their Juicys (NOT Elixirs, and obviously not what they ended up with) in this new caliper. better yet, they could have rebadged a juicy caliper and been done with it. those brakes had very few problems.
    then again, i dont think it’s the design that is necessarily the problem, it’s the sweating of the details, testing to the extremes of real world conditions, and simply raising the bar. they could fire half their marketing department and nobody would notice. hire the same number of people in engineering, they may be able to turn things around.

  24. Mindless on

    @Eyal: They had been testing this system for the last ten+ years on mountain bikes. And it sucked. I had Avid brakes twice, horrible reliability. Shimano had been bulletproof. So was Formula.
    There is no magic. MTB riders knew all you need to know about SRAM brakes for a long time.

  25. CXisfun on

    @Greg: it’s not the calipers that are the problem this time (surprisingly enough), all of the failures I have seen have been in seals in the lever. So simply adding a Juicy caliper still wouldn’t fix the issue.

  26. David on

    It’s fun to see how many people mock SRAM brakes without realizing it’s simply a quantity thing. They are one of the largest (if not the largest) disc brake manufacture in the world… The percent that have issues seems higher because there are simply more of them out there. It also seems easier for someone to piss and moan about something going wrong than to simply figure out why and fix it. I have a pair of these recall brakes… they are glorious! And I will patiently wait for SRAM to get me a new pair, I’ll instal them and everything will be glorious again. Or I guess I can be super negative about it and never use a SRAM product again but then I loose out on one of the better improvements in cross/road that’s come around. But what do I know? Ive only actually used these products that people are ragging on and been working in shops for the last 20 years. But that doesn’t really count for much on the internet, does it?

  27. gravity on

    David – I couldn’t disagree any more with your assessment. SRAM’s problems are absolutely a quality problem, and not a place of them being just SO POPULAR that we happen to see it fail more often. As far as OEM goes, I’m not sure who wins out, but I’m doubtful it’s SRAM. ‘Probably someone like Tektro (not an improvement). When we talk about brake failures, many of us are talking about SRAM’s high-end components, which ship in roughly equal numbers to Shimano. In fact, you see much MORE Shimano now, since companies like Trek and Giant have actually gone away from SRAM, as so many IBD’s are fed up with the constant warranty problems, the resulting angry customers, and SRAM’s pathetic “compensation” system, which usually includes them trying to pawn off one of their terrible mid-level chains (which neither shift well nor last very long).

    You’re not “loosing” anything by not using SRAM, except for having to frequently repair, rebuild, and replace components. Time will tell, of course, but Shimano’s R875 is already shipping. It’s about ten-thousand times less ugly than SRAM’s lever, and unlike SRAM, it can actually shift! And then there’s the fact that no one really needs disc brakes in the first place, but whatever, that’s another conversation for a different time.

  28. David on

    Aww gravity 🙁 I liked the feel of my funny looking sram levers, it gives me an extra riding position. Im also running on Juicys still without a problem and have been able to get every sram brake feeling great aside from those avid ultimates with the mucky lever bodies. I guess I just complain less and work on bikes more? It’s all just so easy to work on. That’s the fun thing about bike stuff though, Im totally correct in my reality as you are totally correct in yours… we just best not cross our realities or bad things could happen.

  29. Jack on

    Not sure about all this ‘wouldn’t happen on shimano’ comments. Every set of new xt brakes we’ve sold have gone back with leaking calliper seals at least once….. Bodes well for the road components running them same calliper. Shimano failed to make a cable disc properly earlier this year too- which had a recall -and caused a massive crash/brake failure for one of our customers. Not saying SRAM are always right- but shimano certianly have their fair share of slip ups.

  30. Robo on

    I can never help but wonder if all their brake problems wouldn’t be solved if they’d just switch to mineral oil instead of stupid DOT5 fluid. Sure it works for F1 cars, but these are bicycles. MAYBE they’d have an easier time developing seals if they just did that.

    I love sram. I’ve got it on all my bikes (road and cx). None are equipped with their hydro brakes but every time I’ve played with them, both disc and rim, I’ve really liked them. Glad they’re being proactive but, I gotta be honest, it really seems like they rushed these to market to beat Shimano. It’s like they got left out of the electric shifting game and had to win this one. I’d rather they be late to market but with better products…

  31. CXisfun on

    Robo: Proactive would be better testing, making sure these failures didn’t happen in the first place. This is REACTIVE, as in a recall after failures happened. When you recall after failures are reported, you in fact are not at all being proactive, you are being reactive.

  32. Robo on

    well, proactive in the sense that they’ve seen a couple failures and are ensuring everyone gets taken care of, instead of trying to just fix the ones that brake when they brake and keep quiet about it.

    Could more testing have revealed this? Maybe, I’m not one of their engineers, nor was I working with their team during development, but I do know, from working with other development types in different industries, that, eventually, you do all that can be done and release what you believe to be a solid product, knowing full well there’s no testing like real world testing and mass market release. Does that mean that the consumer is the guinea pig sometimes? Yes, absolutely. But that’s the price you pay for being on the bleeding edge of technology. It has always been that way and always will be that way. SRAM, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Sony, ect. That’s just how it works.

  33. Jff on

    We’ll I was the victim of the recall this morning at my last cx race. I read about the recall last night and hoped it was going to be ok but no. It was 10 degrees here in Mass this morning and my rear brake was totally gone after the 2nd warm up lap. Sucks.
    My season ended on a very bad note. Do I wait for a fix or bring them back to the shop right away and swith to my old bb7s? Too bad, i liked the hydros better.

  34. Psi Squared on

    @Robo: I rather doubt it’s a fluid problem as motorcycles use DOT fluids, including DOT5, and motorcycles are rather a lot like bicycles.

  35. CXisfun on

    @Robo: I understand the development process. But again, once you’ve “seen a couple of failures” and issue a recall, you are being reactive. That’s the definition of reactive, response to a stimulus. Recall as a response to failures.

    I’m not saying they are doing the wrong thing; in fact I think they are taking the correct step. SRAM is doing the right thing recalling brakes that are failing.

  36. Robo on

    @Psi, I just wonder if they’re over complicating things in an attempt to be different from the competition. Shimano never has problems with brakes needing multiple bleeds in the course of a year. (though, neither do cars and motorcycles that use DOT5) Maybe something with the way that fluid interacts with the seals SRAM uses causes problems that would be avoidable with a different fluid. Ultimately, I have no f*ing clue haha.

  37. The Goats on

    Before some of us go bitching on SRAM just keep in mind it might be prudent to wait and see what the problem is and what they are going to do for everyone about it.

    It could well be that SRAM has designed a fantastic product and the problems stem from an issue their manufacturer or a vendor to their manufacturer might have supplied them with parts that are not performing the same as the pre production samples did. Quite sure they will figure it out ASAP!

    The Goats

  38. Sean R on

    Robo- The problem isn’t DOT vs mineral oil really. Mineral oil is a vague term, not all mineral oil is created equal. Shimano develops and manufactures all their brake components AND fluid together. It’s that process that makes a superior product, if they applied that process to DOT fluid the brakes would be great, however the fluid Shimano developed is much better that DOT fluid.

  39. Chuck Diller on

    @Drew Diller: “XX1 is a total rip considering it has fewer moving parts. But they’re doing the correct thing as a manufacturer here.”

    Really? How much should it cost? It’s new technology, and priced accordingly. It sounds like you want it but can’t afford on your barista income. If it’s “overpriced,” go get your X3 gruppo and quite whining.

    It’s not overpriced. It’s that it’s priced above middle-class income affordability.

  40. Cyclepath on

    First things first. Cars, trucks and motorcycles use DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid, not DOT5. DOT 5 is actually a silicon based brake fluid designed for restorations and antiques that are rarely driven. It is silicon based so as not to be hygroscopic (absorbs moisture) like DOT 3 & 4. DOT 5 is also slightly compressible as a fluid and not suited for general braking applications because it will give a soft/spongy lever/pedal feel. What you are actually referring to is DOT 5.1 brake fluid which has the same boiling point as DOT 4 but a lower viscosity so it works better in bicycle applications especially in colder temps. BTW, Hope doesn’t seem to ever have issues with leaky calipers or brake master cylinders. In fact they don’t seem to ever have issues period.

  41. dwb on

    I just heard from my shop that SRAM’s initial response is to offer full replacement with mechanical levers/brakes, and full compensation to shops for handling the replacement. That TOTALLY sucks, since i didn’t want mechanicals in the first place. Their second response best be better (with a timeline for hydraulic replacements).

  42. Cowtown Cyclist on

    I have been running a pair of 2006 Avid Juicy 3s on my Winter commuter for 2 seasons now with no problems. I regularly use it in -20C and it has seen -30C with no problems. I have had to bleed them a couple times, which is a royal pain given the Avid 2 syringe sytem. If they did it moto style (like Shimano) it would be a much easier process. How can they have screwed this up?

    As for rushing stuff to market, it seems to me most of the components were borrowed from the existing mountain bike line (caliper, lines, don’t know about the master cyclinder but I wouldn’t be surprised). This is just exceptionally poor QA/QC.


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