Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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SRAM spare parts prices

Posted by Matt | May 11, 2009 | 9 comments so far

Broken SRAM X0 rear mech
A long time ago, in a land where leaves were falling off trees and damp was both rising from the ground and falling from the sky, I was unlucky enough to break a component that was top of my list of ‘things I didn’t want to break’. My SRAM X0 rear derailleur.

Six months later, having ridden my winter hardtail exclusively since then I’ve finally got round to putting my Orange Five back into service. With it’s chunky good looks, bolt through Pikes up front and disc brakes that really work, plus the small matter of perfectly dry ‘summer’ trails I’ve been starting to hanker recently for a bit of variety from the hardtail diet I’ve been consuming since trashing my rear mech back in November.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving my Inbred, especially in singlespeed guise but when there’s a five inch full susser collecting cobwebs in the garage it seems a bit obtuse to limit yourself to just one bike. So on Saturday I called in to my local bike shop (Cycleworks in Leatherhead) with a sense of trepidation and a carrier bag of broken SRAM X0 parts to find out just exactly what I’d managed to break when that fallen tree branch trapped itself in my gears in the Autumn.

Well, I wasn’t exactly surprised. First off was the derailleur cage which had clearly suffered a catastrophic failure—catastrophic particularly for my wallet. What I hadn’t realised was that I’d also broken off the B-limit screw which would need drilling out and re-tapping as well as a new mech hanger – the new hanger at least is reasonable since I’d rather buy one of those than a new frame; I can thank Orange’s insite for that though.

The total cost was (at retail) £96 for the dérailleur cage which includes the jockey wheels, tension spring and front and back plates, £20 to retap the screw plus some odd change for the part and £15 for the mech hanger. A total cost of £131. Now I may be a bit naive here but that’s outrageous!

When I got my bike I was a bit hesitant about fitting a £180 (retail) rear mech on it, reasoning it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened. But for one reason or another, I couldn’t refuse the deal I was offered and was comforted by the knowledge that spare parts were available should the worst happen. But now I find I’m in the position of being fleeced by the manufacturer for the main part (the cage) in order to get my bike back on the trails, and that’s ridiculous.

To show just how ridiculous it is, I can get a complete X0 rear mech discounted from Chain Reaction Cycles for £145 and similar prices elsewhere on the internet. But I would think twice about paying that price myself so to pay £130 for a repair of a used mech seems like a non starter to me. Looking further the sensible options seems to be an X9 derailleur for a discounted £60 plus the hanger – £75 in total and I’m back up and running.

Frankly I’m pretty hacked off. If someone has ‘invested’ in your brand at least have the decency to look after them, not treat them like a cash cow. Add these costs to the ongoing replacement cost of £35 for X0 jockey wheel pairs, £32 for PC991 chains and so on and you start to think a switch back to Shimano is the only sensible choice.

I love the directness of SRAM gear shifting over the opposition and it’s always performed faultlessly. I know this is top end gear and will pay for that performance but no-one likes to feel they’re being taken advantage of do they? Especially when you think that people running this stuff could potentially be a company’s best adverts if they were treated better. At the end of the day all I’m asking for is for SRAM to show a greater regard for their customers long term. Short term, it’s X9 for me and the disappointing feeling I’ve had to step down the ladder but long term I’m wondering if Shimano XT or Saint would be a better bet for my Five.

Sorry for the rant folks. But really, this affects everyone!

Filed under Mutterings, Trends in May 2009

Matt

About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years he's now running a YT Industries Jeffsy 29er and a Bird AM Zero Boost.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 9 comments on ‘SRAM spare parts prices’

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  1. mike61 says:

    Matt

    Same reasoning here – I use X7 shifters and X9 rear mech with a XT front mech.

    Expensive stuff may perform better and its certainly more bling but the replacement costs just don’t add up.

    Welcome to the club

  2. Rob says:

    Matt

    I have X7 on my PA and it performs faultlessly. Forget X0 and X9, go for the sensible option – you know its gonna break again anyway! If you swap over to Shimano rear mech you’ll have to change your shifter too, either to a twist shift SRAM model or a Shimano one, in which case you’ll have mis-matched shifters (a henious crime!!)

    SLX seems to be getting great write ups recently if you choose the Shimano route. Saint would be slight overkill I think for the majority of our local riding, although it does look rather nice!

    I have had recent problems with a “high end” hub which needs regular attention, cleaning out and servicing. The UK importers told me that owning a component like this is similar to owning a Ferrari! You gain the best performance and the upmost desirability but it needs to be nurtured and caressed to be kept at its best! What a load of BS ! My other rear hub which was made in good old Blightly has been running for 4 yrs plus without a single service or penny spent on it and is still running as smoothly and freely as it was when I bought it!

    And guess what ?

    It cost just 1/5 of the “Made in USA” item. I too shall take the sensible option next time!

    PS..I have a 2nd hand XTR rear mech if you’re interested !

  3. James Parsons says:

    Recent price hikes due to weak pound are making for “interesting” prices on parts.

    I slightly injured an XTR carbon cage shadow mech. RRP now was enough to make me want a stiff drink and to sit down…..

    Instead have gone for SAINT shadow medium cage mech looks bomb proof and am now tempted to put one on my second bike, am under no doubt this will live through some direct impacts quite happily. In the long run Shimano SAINT may actually prove to be a cheap option if it lasts well. Also gives more positive shifts, as uses stronger spring than normal Shinamo range of mechs.

  4. Easynow Nick says:

    Another knock effect that really irks me is of the cost of replacement parts and aftermarket spares is that driving the cost of these items up drives the market for stolen bikes. Its the same with Motorbikes.

    XTR gear has gone up almost threefold in the last two years.

    An XTR chainset (cranks, rings and BB) will currently cost you £430.99 +VAT RRP, and XT kit is rapidly shooting up too.

    But one thing I have noticed, is a lot of places are offering huge discounts on SRAM kit and very little discount on shimano kit.

    Evans are currently selling XO rear derailleurs for £119

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sram/x0-rear-derailleur-ec008699

  5. DaveW says:

    I don’t see replacing X0 with X9 as a step down the ladder. You are getting something stronger and more durable and better suited to the purpose you want it for. X0/XTR are fine for elite racers for whom every gram counts, but not really suitable for general riding for fun around the woods.

  6. Matt says:

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

    As tipped off by Rob a while back and further prompted by DaveC this week, Bikehut in Dorking were selling brand new medium cage X0 mechs for £115 vs £180 new. Easily the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere in the real or virtual worlds.

    So, reluctantly I’ve bought myself one – and I still don’t think I’ve made the ‘right’ decision. I might fleabay the old one for parts to get some small money back as I’m right on the limit of what I can afford.

    If I trash this one then it’s X9 all the way – in fact DaveW, if I’d seen your concise summary of the differences then I’d have gone straight to that. Sometimes you just need the right reason to do something…

    So, great to revive the Five but definitely with a strong note of caution!

  7. Rholly Tim says:

    Dare I say it: R-r-r-r-rohloff!

    🙂

  8. Matt says:

    Hi Tim, just twigged you’re Swinley Tim that joined us at Pitch a couple of weeks back!

    Yes, Rohloff is one way to go but it’s even more draining on the wallet! Although probably a one off cost… Alternatively, Dean has sent us pictures of his Five with an Alfine rear hub which looks interesting.

    I’ve never given the mech a second thought in the past, having never damaged one before. Sod’s law it had to be the expensive one that got trashed too.

    I shall be twitching every time I ride for the first few rides but I need to get the Five back in action – I haven’t really ridden it since our Afan trip last May, after which it needed a new drivetrain, then I injured myself on it, then I trashed the mech.

    It’s not had a good run…

  9. tony says:

    Just looking through one of my old Singletrack issues which has a review of 2008 XT. Almost couldn’t believe how cheap ’08 XT was vs ’09.

    XT Chainset

    ’08 £120 – ’09 £200

    XT rear mech

    ’08 £45 – ’09 £75

    Shifters’08 £60 – ’09 £99

    So why the serious rise in prices. Well increases in transport costs in ’08 (remember the oil prices?) and raw materials (but this must be a real small fraction of total costs) and currency exhanges. However after having dipped the pound is getting stronger against the yen and someone is making alot of money from UK cyclists!

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