SRAM Warranty Service - RANT- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SRAM Warranty Service - RANT

    I wanted to share my Rockshox Pike warranty experience, yeah I'm a bit salty.

    Let it be known, the price of bicycle parts, is well above manufacturing costs. But, because this is a luxury sport, we grit our teeth and pony up. Is it unreasonable to ask that warranty repair, at least the 1st mistake, be considered at closer to cost?

    Given the extremely high costs, I firmly believe manufacturers can be gracious with warranty replacements. Not to the point of giving a free ride to stupidity, but perhaps a minor wrist slap and thank you for buying our outrageously priced product to begin with.

    Case in point, I rode a new Pike for less than 100 hours. I kept it very clean. I noticed some discoloring coming from the non drive stanchion. This discolor turned to wear through within 2 rides. I completely admit stupidity and ignorance, the lowers should have been serviced at 50 hours (even although the two previous generation forks did not have this issue). SRAM, to their credit, at least pretended to be concerned, they reviewed the RMA. In the end, they were firm, this was my fault 100%. The typical fee to fix the issue $500+ bucks! They graciously lowered it to about $450 + S&H!. Mind you, you can buy the NEW FORK for $700 with free S&H!!

    I get earning a profit. The high price for the PIKE up front is a choice. This $500 fix is price gauging. To SRAM and every other manufacturer, if your going to command a premium price, consider being a little more gracious if a customer makes an error. The service on a Pike happens at 50 hours. A car gets an oil change every 3000-7000 miles. That means, an oil change has a longer service interval than this pike!! What's worse, the oil change in a car actually costs less.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like not enough lube oil in the lowers.

  3. #3
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    The truth is, there was not enough servicing on the lowers.

    For some reason I held out this romantic idea that SRAM was somehow more noble than Shimano and other large companies. The David vs Galiath picture, where David is good. SRAM didn't do "wrong" per say, but they could have been straight up and said; Customer, we don't cover your foolishness, if you send the fork for warranty evaluation, you will pay S&H, be without the fork for 2 weeks, and be told the repair bill is $500, we will use no lube in raping you as you used too little lube on the fork.

    A brand new fork is $700 delivered to your door. The new fork comes with EVERYTHING, which includes a shock pump and a service kit. Because of SRAM's warranty position, I was quoted a $450 + S&H back to me repair price, which I was told was a 10% price break! I used to think a 50% discount crash replacement was a bit harsh, but now I really understand harsh.

    I post this as a buyer be ware. SRAM is not some noble company. While the upfront cost for their components is high, their warranty repair is even worse! It seems there is no loyalty or commitment left in any of these large companies.

  4. #4
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    How did they even know you rode it 100 hours? I don't think 100 hours would look too different from 50 when you drop the lowers. I just pulled the lowers off another fork that has been in use for 9 years without a service. One side nearly dry, but no wear to stanchions at all.

    Sounds to me like it came low on oil from the factory. Making me paranoid about my new pike. Might have to do the first service early.

  5. #5
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    Just curious, did you go through a bike shop or work with SRAM directly?

  6. #6
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    I do not know SRAM's profit margins, I do however run a small manufacturing facility. I know with the kinds of quantities that SRAM pushes, 'cost + a little' adds to much lower than $500 bucks, especially given the brand new, in a box, with a pump and extra service kit is being sold for $700 by retailers who make a profit.

    I was 100% honest and got the shaft. I went into Strava and actually added up the ride time. It was in the 90 hour range. I did not lie at all. I kept my stanchions very clean. The drive side shows absolutely zero wear, the non-drive is warn to metal. There was a brownish liquid that came from the lowers when I pulled them, looking like a somewhat contaminated oil.

    SRAM did not work with me directly, I was forced through the bike shop where the fork was purchased. The bike shop did not appear to advocate strongly for my cause. They charged me $10 to begin the RMA process and they are charging me S&H to and from SRAM. When the shop told me SRAM's decision, I called SRAM directly. All people involved were incredibly polite as they told me sorry your SOL. I do hold some bitterness toward the bike shop for not guiding the decision to RMA more strongly. If they felt I should get a warranty, they should have advocated more strongly. If they felt I was a jerk, they should have told me I was wasting $35 in charges + 4 weeks!

    A word to anyone who also experiences this. Perform a full service and then send it in for RMA. When I pulled my lowers, I cleaned the foam rings, they had discolored. There was absolutely no dirt in the rings. I was told by SRAM my lowers were "very dirty". This is a load of BS, I know because I CLEANED THEM! Looking back, if I had done a full service, I wonder if SRAM would have created another excuse to tell me this service would cost $500.

    In the end, SRAM had no REAL obligation to help me. The bike shop, they had a profit when I purchased the bike. Neither company went out of their way in servicing me as a customer. This is the part which was most discouraging.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander944 View Post
    Neither company went out of their way in servicing me as a customer. This is the part which was most discouraging.
    That's a shame. Truly. Legit customer, legit concern, legit case - and you got the shaft. Personally, I can't see how even with no lube in the legs that it'd wear down to bare metal in 90 hours. Something was definitely amiss there.

  8. #8
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    Honestly, it was your fault but at the same time, sht costing $800 should not be so easy to damage. I have said this on other threads, my oldest fork is a 1996 Rock Shox Judy. Perfect stanchions and still get ridden 1-2 a week. Those two companies don't make sht that last anymore.

    There are alot of other fish out there that are very tasty. People are too focused on two companies.

    Manitou, X-fusion, DVO, MRP. Try them.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  9. #9
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    Obviously a bummer but SRAM has been better at replacing stuff **100% FREE** for me that all other bike companies combined. I will admit that I've always gone thru a bike shop (Bike Bling in Escondido, CA) where I'm a regular and always dealt with the same mechanic. He more or less advocated for me without me every pitching a fit and got me free replacements of (2) sets of XO brakes and later an XX1 cassette. Admittedly, I thing it was because SRAM knew of the issues and was able to warranty the parts due to the initial high profit margin.

    Sorry to hear about your forks. Check german websites as Bike-Discount.de had 2015 Pike's for $569 a few months back + $25 shipping

  10. #10
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    Just curious, what area do you live in where you could wear through the coating like that? I've never come across an issue like that before. I do a lower service every 50-100 hours and typically it doesn't look like it needs it at all.

    I've never known SRAM to scrutinize a warranty claim so closely. I've gotten a ton of stuff from them before, no problem. My first Pike had the stanchions coming loose from the crown. I thought SRAM would just send a new CSU. They instead replaced the whole fork. I e had cranks, brakes, cassettes and other items replaced by them for free with no questions asked. Seems like it has been that way for most in my area as well. Again, the close scrutiny seems odd.

    Your LBS definitely should speak up for you more as well. Assuming you are a good customer and don't cause a collective *sigh* by the staff upon arrival, they should have no problem pushing SRAM for warranty. Charging you to start the RMA? Odd.

    Very admirable that you are 100% honest. I don't mind "fudging" things a bit. Riding is expensive. If the manufacturers are going to charge an arm and a leg for their products, I'll fudge a bit when asking for a warranty claim so I don't have to shell out another $700 for a new fork.

  11. #11
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    @ Laterilus
    I live in Eastern PA. I avoid stream crossings and did not ride in the rain. I did ride when it was wet and muddy at times. I broke my hand last year on July 4th and could not MTB for 2 months.

    I agree with you 100%!!!! There is no way a proper hard coat + properly lubed lowers should ever wear through in the 90ish hours I road!! That was my entire point to SRAM!! The drive side stanchion was perfect, no issue AT ALL. The non-drive side was warn to metal. I absolutely believe there was some issue on SRAMs end, if not in the coating, then in the fill of the non-drive leg oil or crushing the crush washer.

    I purchased my bike from a retailer who is over an hour a way. The local shops where I purchase miscellaneous items does not sell Niner. For me, while I think the bike shop did not due well for this customer, ultimately it was SRAM who's product had issue and it was well within SRAMs ability to offer a warranty or low cost replacement.

  12. #12
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    I applaud your honesty and eloquence. I've owned numerous Pikes and other RS/SRAM forks and haven't seen anything similar to what you've described.

    That said, SRAM does not deal direct with consumers as you know. And if I understand your posts correctly, you went through a shop to begin the RMA that was not the shop you purchased from, correct? See where I'm going with this?

    The LBS that handles SRAM returns is the biggest contributor to whether your junk gets covered properly by warranty. Period.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  13. #13
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    I buy all my SRAM parts from my LBS, reason being.. I am finding SRAM has become shit lately.
    I have had 3 things warrantied in the last 2 months. I have not had a problem getting them warrantied and SRAM has been awesome with getting it all handled just wish the parts would last more than a month
    Too Many .

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