Derailleur failure sram force 22

by pedalpower100   April 15, 2014  


I have bought an Focus Izalco team SL 4.0 at much expense just before Xmas for the new season as I have heard that stocking at focus is an issue. I have kept it inside all winter and early spring and finally have got to take it for a spin. The bike was going amazingly the first two rides, Saturday on its 3rd outing, all has gone to sh#t!
I took it up the dales to have a go on the tour route, having done some good climbs, 30 miles in on a good bit of smooth flat road whilst in the small ring changing from around 7th to 8th gear I felt the drive go like the chain had come off. After stopping and looking at what happened I could see the major problem. The derailleur had collapsed and wrapped round the cassette, damaging the frame, spokes/wheel, chain and cassette. Major!!! The frames a mess, but only on the inside.
Having walked 2 miles to get back into phone signal and getting rescued by my wife I phoned the shop who told me to bring it in. On arrival at the shop the owner was quite dismissive of the fact it had been component failure, however having seen the bike was immaculate on all areas that would have been knocked to cause a break they were much more helpful and have got onto the rep about this.
Today I heard back that the initial response is that it isn't under warranty. Things are being escalated but I'm more than concerned I'm going to end up with a legal battle and considerable cost.
I am 100% certain the bike hasn't been knocked, I've taken extreme care of my new pride and joy. I have read many articles relating to how this could have happened but nothing other than component failure fits the problem.
I need advice on who to escalate my complaint to, for example trading standards? I'm happy with the shop, but it's Focus who don't seem to care, they have my £2.5k.

23 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Had the same problem with a Felt AR2. It was 10 days old. I think it was a problem with the chain that caused it. Saddleback who are Felt's people over here were terrible and refused to replace anything and tried to blame me. It came down to the LBS to replace the rear derailleur but nothing else. The frame got chipped and I have had to live with it. Keep fighting to get what you paid for and use the internet to make your point. Twitter and the like are a great way to spread the word. Good luck.

posted by joebee9870 [67 posts]
15th April 2014 - 21:58


My Campag Veloce derailleur did exactly the same last week in Flanders. I imagine its way more common than people realise. And ruddy expensive to put right

posted by dunnoh [193 posts]
15th April 2014 - 22:28


Cheers. They sell bikes for huge money but won't accept that occasionally they can make faulty stuff. Their will be war!

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
15th April 2014 - 23:15

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posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
15th April 2014 - 23:19

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Get the bike shop to check the cranks and bb were fitted properly.
I bought the same bike in October and had a number of gearing/chain problems to start with; when I took it back to the shop it turned out that they factory hadn't fitted the right SRAM spacers meaning the crank was coming loose and pushing the chain out of alignment. Although I got lucky and suffered no real damage, my LBS reported the issue to Focus who confirmed that there was a training issue at the factory.

posted by Tatmutton [1 posts]
15th April 2014 - 23:42


Thanks for that, I've sent an email to LBS to investigate before it gets sent to Germany.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
16th April 2014 - 7:06

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Just to update the kind people who have offered advice I have an official response from Focus, who have only seen photos.
Here it is:

I'm sorry but this is not covered onder warranty.
I asked our quality controle and showed all pictures to them.

They said that the end stop of the shift was not adjusted in the right way. (single speed)
The rear derailleur therefore was caught in the spokes.
After that the shift knocked high and this causes the broken mech hanger.

Can anyone smell bull sh#t!? My LBS says this is utterly impossible if the gears had been changing fine all outing and he personally set it up! Basically focus are saying I managed to cover nearly 30 miles in one gear and that I caused the derailleur to catch the spokes, even though I was changing to a smaller cog (7th ish to 8th, 11th being smallest cog). I wish I could climb cat 3 hills in 1 gear.
Here's what they don't know, my garmin and strava data show that I was on no gradient, and increasing speed.

The war continues, appointing solicitor next week....

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
16th April 2014 - 19:25

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If you purchased it from the shop (and they set it up) then I believe they have to honour the warranty, not the manufacturer.

Maybe a bit of googling of the sale of goods act and advice from trading standards is in order?

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
16th April 2014 - 19:43


I spoke briefly with someone I know who is a solicitor and they advised me that it is Focus who have to prove that their product was misused and it was not at fault.
The shop have been brilliant so I don't want to cause them expense. There is 0% chance the bike shop set it up wrong. I am certain the derailleur collapsed and got dragged round the cassette causing all the damage.
Definitely google time and much reading to be done.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
16th April 2014 - 19:53


The bike shop should replace the bike, it's under 6 months old, you bought the bike from them, the bike was probably faulty when you bought it. You shouldn't be reliant on the manufacturer the shop should issue a new bike then deal with the manufacturer themselves.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
16th April 2014 - 20:10

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Did you take any HD pictures?

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
16th April 2014 - 20:31

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I have got loads on digital camera but need to transfer them on my work laptop as home laptop is on the blink and haven't got round to replacing it as use ipad for everything these days.
I will post some tomorrow if I get a minute at work to transfer and email to my ipad.
The shop are not happy at all with Focus, they are the main dealer in my area and may end up pulling the brand if they don't sort this. So thus far I feel satisfied with them as they really are a good shop with helpful staff. It was a long process choosing this bike and they must have spent hours with me making sure I was happy with everything before I spent any money with them. They were to give me 3 services to make sure it was perfect, they have been around for years because they are good, they don't deserve to loose out because of this either.
They also would have to get their hands on a bike from focus to replace it, that's a problem in itself as they can take months for certain models.
My other local shop have stopped dealing with them as they can't make anything of their rep.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:14


Google is awesome......

"If your claim is about a problem that arises within six months of buying the product, it's up to the retailer to prove that the goods were of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, or 'as described' when it sold them e.g. by showing that the problem was caused by an external factor such as accidental damage. Beyond six months, it's up to you to prove that the problem was there when you received the goods even if it has taken until now to come to light."

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
16th April 2014 - 21:42


Did you oil the chain before using it btw?

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
17th April 2014 - 7:17


I felt compelled to respond to this thread having had a similar experience....

In March 2013 I bought a new Focus Pro Izalco 3 with SRAM Force from my LBS in London. It was all going well for the first 4 months and then whilst out on a training ride I was up out of my seat going up a short ascent - I changed gear and...crumble...the rear mech sheered off. I had to ride the 35km home as a single speed...

Anyway I took it back to the shop where I purchased and explained what had happened. They asked if it had been crashed or dropped (it hadn't) and had a look over it all saying they would raise it with Focus in Germany. I was told that Focus had a failure rate of about 1.5-2% and that unfortunately it appeared i was one of the unlucky ones.

Whilst I wasn't privy to the conversations, from what I can gather the shop TOLD focus that they would be treating it as a mechanical failure which they said they would expect to be covered under the warranty. Sure enough I got a replacement free of charge.

I understand what you're saying about not wanting to leave your LBS in the sh*t and as I see it you have a couple of options:
1) Return the bike to the shop with proof of purchase requesting a refund as a faulty item under the Sales of Goods Act and request either a refund or repair at their cost (which sounds like would almost be a replacement). It would then be up to the shop to challenge Focus to reimburse them.
2) Try to get in touch with Focus yourself on the phone and follow it up in an email - although based in Germany they all speak very good English
3) Get your LBS to speak to Focus. I understand that Focus are quite specific about which shops carry their bikes and those stores that have a good turnover of focus bikes might carry a bit more weight in negotiating you a good deal.

Hope this helps.

PS my replacement bike has not had any similar problems...!

posted by rob6783 [3 posts]
17th April 2014 - 11:06

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Yes. I am a bit OCD about oiling the bike, I oil it after use including getting a tiny paint brush and doing and bolts such as seat bracket, stem etc to avoid any chance of corrosion. Then I oil all the moving parts before setting off. I like to keep my stuff like new.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:41


Thank you rob6783, you have given me hope. Focus have again been totally useless about the situation again today, but after my LBS stood up for me the bike is now booked in for collection on Tuesday from the shop, where it has been since the day it broke, to take it back to Germany for checks.
I have tried to contact Focus with no reply thus far.

Thanks again

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:47

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Just read about the gear failure. Last year, July, I was out on my bike in Northumberland, coming out of a village tried to change gear then my rear mech, shimano 105 sheared off, into my back wheel so I came to a sudden stop. Had to be rescued as chain was damaged and I couldnt effect a temporary repair to get home. Luckily, just paint damage. I've heard locally of a number of people having the rear mechs shear off,I'm getting paranoid now, will it happen again? I have to say the rear mech was hardly used, wonder if substandard materials are being used. When I looked at mine, seemed to be a hole in the mech. I was starting to wonder if it was my fault, reading about the Focus I think not.


posted by toon [1 posts]
17th April 2014 - 23:14


shocking lack of customer service from Focus - I certainly won't be touching/considering any of their bikes in future. I'm sure other people will feel similarly, so it will certainly cost them more in lost future sales than honouring their warranty on this bike.

Hope you get some resolution soon, and don't hesitate to spread the word further on social media.

posted by Metjas [335 posts]
1st May 2014 - 11:10


Are the rear DRs seizing, somehow? That's the only thing I can think of that would cause the DR to be dragged around. A few years ago I rode over a plastic bag, seized the chain and tore the rear derailleur off and around past the cassette - these sound like similar failures. Shifting the chain off the inside of the cassette would cause its own problems, but that isn't something that would tear the DR off.

posted by DrJDog [228 posts]
1st May 2014 - 13:35

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You can either 'shift' the rear mech cage into the spokes or one of the parts of the body can fail allowing the same thing to happen. It's virtually impossible to tell how it happened after a crash as the damage to the mech will be so severe.

What you can see though is how far in/out the L/H screws are and that will tell you if it was likely incorrectly set gearing. In fact you could check it by measuring how many full turns 'out' the adjustment screws were. Compare this number with a 'known god' value from the same model of bike and there is your ammunition.

posted by sq225917 [22 posts]
1st May 2014 - 19:35


Thank you to all who have helped me along this hell ride. Good news, but soured by how it has got there. Today I spoke to my LBS who are going to cover most of the repair the rest of the cost covered by Focus.
I am pleased with the fair outcome for myself as I know this was not my fault and some part of the rear mech failed causing all this damage, but its sad that my LBS have had to suffer. Law states they have a contract with me because they sold the bike, but it is Focus who have let us both down.
I intend to go on a spending spree in my LBS now as I want to show my gratitude for good service.

But Focus should be ashamed as they almost caused a legal dispute between the victims of there failed bikes.

Thanks again all.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
1st May 2014 - 21:04

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For all the great people who have offered advice and help, just an update.

Focus have finally got the bike back in Germany and have said they will not cover it. They are still insisting that the derailleur had gone into the spokes even though in a gear nowhere near the spokes. They had no interest in the garmin and strava data which showed I was on a flat (why would I be changing into smallest gear) so they are happy for me to have to take LBS to small claims, even though LBS copied me in on emails stating they thought it was a component failure.
They did offer to sell me a frame and components, add a wheel, chain and cassette and it's a bargain £750.

posted by pedalpower100 [12 posts]
2nd May 2014 - 7:21