Closeup of the handlebars and top tube of a bright green cyclocross style bicycle, with the left shifter pod branded “SRAM” prominent in the frame


Published 2013-02-12

About two weeks ago I was in a (minor) bike/car accident. (Technically: I was right hooked from the far lane by a car turning into a parking lot.) I didn’t ask for the driver’s name — I was too annoyed even to look at her. She kept apologizing which only made it more annoying. And in all honesty I experience worse every. single. time. I race.

But during the course of that day I realized the metal in my left/front shifter paddle was fatigued. (It had struck her passenger’s side rear-view mirror.) By evening the paddle had broken completely off. The brake still works, but I’m stuck in the small front ring.

Shifters are probably the single-most complex bike component and their price reflects it. I had my (awesome!) LBS (Waterfront Bikes) order a replacement. $170. Uck.

Fast forward to NOW

Just got a call from the bike shop. SRAM warrantied the shifter so HOT DOG free replacement shifter.

I was feeling really grumpy about this gruppo since the end of ’cross season. Like a German car, when it worked it was brilliant, but when it didn’t work it was barely functional. High performance, low consistency. (Contrast with the 2007-vintage Shimano 105s I’m rocking on my Vanilla right now, which never feel quite right but always engage/disengage smoothly.)

The Moral of this story:

  1. Always get the driver’s name and license. Just in case.
  2. I am about 500% more loyal to SRAM than I was just one hour ago.