One of the leading manufacturers of bicycle components in the world today, SRAM started with three guys and a idea for a clever new way of shifting gears.
The first major development was the Grip Shift gear change mechanism that SRAM as a young start-up in Chicago offered to the road bike market in 1988. Grip Shift allowed the rider to chang gears by simply twisting the grips on the bars.
But in the first two years of business, SRAM saw that there was one massive road block to their development as a company: Shimano.
In 1990 SRAM sued Shimano for offering bike manufacturers a 15% discount for specifying an all Shimano groupset, which made it difficult for other smaller companies to get their componentry onto bike models around the world. The case was settled out of court, and SRAM began to go from strength to strength as they now had a foot in the door making them an official equipment manufacturer of bicycle components worldwide.
SRAM grew and grew throughout the nineties and into the 2000’s. They were strategic in the approach to the industry, the overall aim being to provide a full SRAM groupset to bicyle manufacturers and buyers directly. They steadily acquired companies that would allow them to do this.
Today the SRAM cycling empire is made up of SRAM and a number of subsidiaries, namely Rockshox (one of the best manufacturers of bike suspension systems), Avid, famed for their high quality brake components and Truvativ, adding a line of cranks, bottom brackets, bars, stems and pedals to the ever increasing line of SRAM components. In 2007, SRAM acquired Zipp wheels, completing the package and solidifying their hold on a big portion of the bicycle component international market.
Check out the video below to learn more about SRAM
Focusing on componentry allows SRAM to develop products for every type of rider. Whether you ride on the road or the mountain; you ride to work or you race in triathlons, SRAM – along with its host of component specialist brands – develops a range of brakes, shifters, derailleurs, power metres, drive train components, and accessories to help make your ride as enjoyable as it can be.
Within each cycling category, SRAM offers a range of component series’ suitable to every budget and every level of ability. Typically the higher end SRAM components will be largely constructed from lightweight material such as carbon fibre. As you move down through price brackets, SRAM offers groupsets that utilise more affordable and in some cases more durable materials, aimed at the weekend rider, the regular commuter or those just getting into the sport.
Check out our article on the release of the new SRAM Red eTap electronic groupset