Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

SRAM X0 catastrophic failure

Posted by Matt | November 9, 2008 | 9 comments so far

Broken SRAM X0 rear mech
Catastrophic failure — that’s what they call it when something fails suddenly and comprehensively isn’t it? In this case it’s a financial catastrophe too as in common with our world’s financial institutions, I have no money. Maybe the government will bail me out?

So what happened then? Well today we thought we’d take a trip over toward Epsom Downs for a change, taking in some of our old singletrack haunts from when we used to live over toward Ashtead. It was a mechanically eventful ride and I wasn’t the only one to suffer.

Dave punctured his 29er on a long chalky descent, then managed to explode the replacement as he was fitting it. In the end, a 26″ tube stretched to fit had to do, once nerves were calmed and ears stopped bleeding.

Jez’s bike had howling brakes no matter what he did. Efforts to fettle those weren’t helped by his multitool dismembering itself in front of us. And Lee experienced Strike Three as far a his tubeless Storm Control tyres were concerned when his front wheel picked up a nasty cut that needed a messy inner tube repair.

But I saved the best until last. Running along Stane Street we had just crossed the Headley Road at the golf club and were preparing to tackle the short and sharp chalky climb up toward Mickleham. Unfortunately I picked up a fat tree branch that worked it’s way expensively into my X0 rear mech.

The inevitable result can be see on this page (there’s also some more broken SRAM X0 rear mech pictures on Flickr). It was quite messy. I’ve bent the mech hanger and shattered the carbon derailleur cage as well as bending one of the teeth on my KCNC jockey wheels. How the main derailleur faired is anyone’s guess. After receiving some mechanical action from just about every member of the riding group we managed to reduce my ‘All Mountain’ bike to a ‘Slight-Incline-If-Absolutely-Necessary’ singlespeed bike, a new niche which has every chance of catching on.

Well, it got me home at least, by which time the sobering realisation of just how much new X0 rear mechs are was starting to sink in. CRC seems to think £130 is the going rate but £180 is actually the list price. It does have an anodised gold fixing bolt… On top of that I need a new chain and a mech hanger too (fortunately, after Dave’s bitter experiences with his Five he carries a spare mech hanger or I’d have been stuffed today).

Possibly I can replace the cage separately but they appear to be £65 on their own and who wants to spend that on a rear cage, assuming the derailleur body is unharmed. And I’d still need a mech hanger and chain. Reluctantly I might have to think hard about replacing the X0 mech with a technically very similar X9 for a bargain-licious £52.

In the meantime I spent this afternoon taking the Specialized Fatboy slicks off my On-one and fettling it for the winter. It now has my old Panaracer Fire XC Pro tyres after a nauseous effort at removing the hardened latex rubber from the inside of the tyre walls which had accumulated during their UST days. Mucky, but saves weight which I then added back with the inner tubes.

I think I’ll do the sensible thing and run the hardtail for the winter. At least if I do the same thing to it the replacement costs are much less!


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 then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

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 X0 catastrophic failure’

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  1. Lee says:


    What a mad, muddy and ultimately expensive day. Glad to hear you got back home eventually without further incident. Perhaps the Moles should have a group list for Santa’s attention. I hear he can negotiate some pretty good discounts!

    I think yesterday may have taken another 500 miles off my drivechain too!

    Anyway on to Wednesday for some hardtail fun!

  2. Colin says:

    Hi Matt, crikey you’re having some back luck this year! You were not alone yesterday, for what small comfort that is.

    Merlin are doing the X.0 for £110.

    Maybe carbon doesn’t belong on exposed and fragile parts like this (doens’t belong anywhere for me but I am carbonist!) – at least ally/steel will bend back ??

    Ever considered a career change to mtb product testing?

  3. Matt says:

    Lee I love the idea of a Santa group list! That would finally confirm my wife’s opinion of how sad we are!

    Colin, if you saw the branch you’d realise it was not a carbon related issue. Inch and a half thick, it would have trashed anyone’s mech. The hanger was bent almost in half.

    Even so, new SRAM X0 mechs have ally backplates and I have to admit I’ve always see the carbon one as a weak spot.

    X9 is the sensible solution but it’s hard to give up bling.

  4. Jez says:

    Did the single speed bodge actually work? It looked like the chain was under a lot of tension when the rear shock compressed.

    I have taken Dave’s advice and cleaned the pistons on my brakes so I will see tomorrow if it’s still howling. If so then it’s off to Chainreaction as I’m fed up with them being generally rubbish.

  5. Matt says:

    Actually the singlespeed bodge worked quite well although I avoided all temptation to put any real torque through it.

    Got me home without the chain coming off or breaking again, mostly just spinning on the road. So well done to the bodgers!

    Speak to Colin about brakes Jez, he might have a set on offer?

  6. Muddymoles says:


    Christmas looms, so wish lists form. But first, Happy Birthday Dave!!

  7. Muddymoles says:

    SRAM X0 goes super-pimp with anodised colours

    SRAM release details of their special edition coloured X0 groupset, including anodised X0 rear mech, cassette, trigger shifters and Truvativ Noir crankset in a range of colours.

  8. Related: Milestone | Mutterings, Stuff & nonsense | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  9. Related: SRAM T-type Transmission spawns wider change - Mutterings - Muddymoles - mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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