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  1. #1
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    Seeker Brake Experience

    Hey all, just wanted to tell everyone about my ongoing experience with Airborne's Customer Service and SRAM.

    I've had my Seeker since November 2013. Been riding it this year and all was great up until July. I popped the bike on my 1UpUSA rack and drove up to VT to see my buddy and go riding. When I got there, pulled the Seeker off and noticed the rear brake was locked up. Rear wheel wouldn't move at all. So I put it in his basement for the night and the next day, I went to look at it and it was back to normal. Rode it fine and no issue. A few weeks later, I had the bike sitting against a wall (in the sun) and it locked up the rear brake again, so much as it was tough to actually ride it (too much resistance). So I let it sit again in the shade and it went back to normal...or so I thought. Now, this time, the brake lever felt spongy and a week later, I noticed what looked like a small leak of brake fluid at the lever...

    So I took it to my LBS and they said it would need new seals and re-bleed. Cost would be about $50, which I wouldn't mind if the bike was ridden hard, beat on or several years old, but for a bike less than a year old...no way.

    I sent an email to Airborne, who promptly emailed me back and said they would contact SRAM. After a few days, I got antsy and decided to reply for more info. Again, very quickly received a reply saying SRAM was shipping replacement brakes and they would be on their way.

    All in all, I have been very impressed with Airborne's CS, which is no surprise after all the other comments seen on mtbr. I am awaiting my shipment and hoping this will be a quick swap and fix. I am happy with SRAM's quick action as well and hope the new brakes work out better. I will try to post up an update after I get my replacements installed. Hope this was helpful for others. Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    CDM88,

    Thanks for the info. I am going through the same thing with my 2 month old Seeker. The rear caliper locked up on the rotor and I couldn't ride the bike because the wheel wouldn't turn. It was sitting in a bike rack at the beach in the sun. It was my only mode of transportation on vacation at Block Ils., RI, so I had to free up the wheel, or walk. I eventually freed it up by separating the caliper halves until fluid leaked out (I didn't have a torqx bit to undo the bleed screw). It wouldn't brake anymore, but at least I could ride and use the front brake only.

    I emailed/called Airborne and they had me take the entire brake (caliper, line, lever) off and bring it into my local bike shop. The shop really doesn't want to deal with this, and the owner had a good talk with me explaining they get lots of Avid brake warranty work from bikes they didn't sell, and that is taking up too much of their time. The owner says SRAM gives him a hard time about sending a replacement and he has to try and repair the brake unit first and argue with SRAM to get a new unit sent out.

    Airborne did offer to get a replacement unit for me if I send it back to them. They were under the impression the LBS could make a phone call and get a new unit sent right out. I am not sure if the LBS owner was truthful with me, but he seemed sincere and has a really good repair reputation in my area. Maybe it depends on who you contact at SRAM??

    To wrap up, I told the LBS to make 1 phone call and if he can't get a replacement sent right out, I will come get the part and send it back to Airborne for a replacement. Airborne will have to get the replacement and then ship it out to me. A little weird dealing with the LBS, but people are people and you never know?

  3. #3
    Airborne Product Dude
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    As a SRAM repair or service center, they are to take care of any SRAM warranty issue no matter where the bike its on was purchased. That's what being an authorized service center is all about.

    SRAM is good about calling people back if they have any problem.

    It's your shop, sorry. I know that sounds rude, but I don't have any other way of putting it.

    However, like someone here told you, if you send us the brake we'll work the warranty from our end, it will just take a little longer with the added steps, sorry.

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  4. #4
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    I don't want this to turn into the "Avid brakes suck" thread, but just to put anyone else's mind at ease who may be reading through here and having second thoughts about buying a bike from an online company, rest assured if there is an issue with your bike SRAM and/or Airborne will take care of it.

    I had a similar issue with my Elixir 9s, although in addition to locking up on hot days I was also having the issue during hard braking. I didn't include Airborne in the warranty work because my local LBS was willing to help, although they may have dragged their feet in the process, but it ended up getting sorted out and SRAM replace my brakes with an upgraded "trail" version of Elixirs.

    During the month long ordeal (no fault of SRAM) Jeremy read one of my posts expressing frustration with the LBS, which was buried in a thread unrelated to the topic, and voluntarily offered assistance in fixing the problem without me asking. Although I was able to get it sorted out without his help, that's a testament to customer service you probably won't find anywhere else in the bike industry, let alone from many companies period.

  5. #5
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    Quick update...
    I received my replacement brakes yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that instead of Elixirs, I was sent new DB series brakes by SRAM. Essentially a lower tier version of the GUIDE brakes, they are the newly designed reservoir and lever. Also included the new Centerline rotors. However, there was a small mix-up and in the box was a DB5 brake and a DB3 brake....but a quick email and I should have a 2nd matching DB5 brake in the mail soon.

    Again, I really can't complain. Both Airborne and SRAM have been great so far and quickly worked to help fix my issue. I hope to get the DB5's installed and put some miles on them. Look for a review to come, as I have found nothing about them online except what SRAM has on their website...
    Thanks!
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  6. #6
    pwd
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    My wife's new Seeker is experiencing the exact same issue as CDM88's bike. The rear brake was sticking pretty badly, so today I took it to the LBS. When I got there and pulled the bike off the rack, the rear wheel was completely locked up. I wondered how that could have happened, then realized maybe it had something to do with it being 96 degrees outside.

    I went into the shop and talked to one of the owners. He said he is very familiar with this issue with Elixir brakes, and that near as they can tell, it has something to do with the design being highly susceptible to humidity (sure enough, after a few minutes inside the air-conditioned shop, the rear wheel was no longer locked up, just rubbing badly). He also said Sram is aware of the problem, and that they've been responsive about correcting it. He's going to call them tomorrow, but went ahead and volunteered that Sram will probably replace it with a non-Avid brake.

    As long as Sram owns up to the issue and makes it right, I will have no complaints.

  7. #7
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    Quick update on my Avid situation.

    Airborne is taking care of me. They are awesome. It also seems Airborne was correct about my LBS. First time I have dealt with them and probably the last. SRAM is stepping up and sending out new DB5 model brakes with a new reservoir design. LBS is making BS statements to get service fees from me, but Airborne is taking care of it. I will update again when it is settled.

  8. #8
    pwd
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    Update:

    SRAM came through and replaced the Avid Elixir 1 brakes on my wife's Seeker with SRAM DB5 levers and calipers. I had to go through a local bike shop to get this done, but appreciate SRAM owning up to the issue and replacing the brakes with a better set.




  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I have installed and bled my new DB5's and they seem to be getting better after bedding in the pads. Instead of re-posting everything, check out my blog below for more detail and pictures.

    CDM's MTB Blog: Give me a Brake!
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  10. #10
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    Coincidentally I just fired off an email to Airborne support about the same issues. My front elixir kept locking up so I took it in. Surprisingly my LBS didn't really want to deal with the SRAM replacement either and kept assuring me that their repair was solid. A week later I took it in and spun the wheel to showcase the (slight) grinding sound. They literally looked me straight in the eye and said they didn't hear anything.

    Yeah I don't consider them my LBS anymore. In the end I removed the front brake completely and limited the bike to a summer commuter until the summer heat dies down. But of course now the rear brake is locking up.

    ANYWAYS thanks for your story - I'm a bit more optimistic.

  11. #11
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    Time for my update on the Elixir rear brake locked rotor issue. I have been riding the bike right up until yesterday with a perfectly working front Elixir brake. Apparently some work fine for their lifetime and some don't. Anyway, Airborne did their usual excellent customer service thing, they stand behind their bikes and do their best to keep you happy and riding. They called SRAM and got them to cover the cost of the brake warranty work at my LBS and send out new Front and Rear DB5 brakes, which are an upgrade from my Elixir 1's. Most importantly, they have a new reservoir design similar to their high end brake, the guide series. I don't have first hand knowledge, but the LBS said he has not seen any trouble with this new design. Now that SRAM is re-reimbursing him, he is pretty happy, too. Hopefully he is impressed with how Airborne takes care of their customers.

    So SRAM sent the brakes right out to the LBS and when we opened the boxes, they were DB3 models, with the Elixir style reservoir design. Made a call to SRAM who said these won't have the problem, but after some discussion they agreed to take them back and provide DB5's. They said they were out of them and didn't want to make me wait any longer that necessary. I assured them I didn't mind waiting a week or two for the next batch of DB5's to arrive to them. Dropped the bike off yesterday and confirmed there are two sets of DB5's ready to go on my Seeker. I will update one last time after using them a little to report on my impressions of them.

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