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SRAM (bicycles)

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Title: SRAM (bicycles)  
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Subject: Bicycle brake, Derailleur gears, Hub gear, Shimano, Bicycle chain, Groupset, Astana Pro Team, Carrick-on-Suir, ZF Sachs, Cogset
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SRAM (bicycles)

SRAM, Corp.
Private
Industry cycling components
Founded 1987
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key people Stanley R. Day Jr. (CEO)
Products Bicycle and related components
Revenue $524 million
Website www.sram.com

SRAM Corporation is a privately held bicycle component manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, founded in 1987.[1] SRAM is an acronym comprising the names of its founders, Scott, Ray, and Sam, (where Ray is the middle name of company head Stan Day).[2]

In 2008, the company received a strategic investment from Trilantic Capital Partners, formerly known as Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking, the buyout arm of Lehman Brothers. The firm invested $234.8 million in SRAM in a deal that closed Sept. 30, 2008.[3][4] On May 12, 2011, the company announced in a filing that it intended to raise up to $300 million in an IPO.[5]

History

As a start-up company, SRAM introduced the Grip Shift (or twist shift) gear-change method and technology to the road bike market in 1988.

In 1990 the company sued Shimano for unfair business practices, noting that Shimano offered, in effect, a 15-percent discount to bicycle manufacturers specifying an all-Shimano drivetrain and that few companies in the highly competitive industry would be willing to forgo such a discount to specify Grip Shift components. SRAM received an unspecified out-of-court settlement from Shimano in 1991. More importantly, it won the right to compete in the lucrative OEM bicycle components arena.[2]

The years after the Shimano settlement were marked by dramatic growth for the company, as it increased sales greatly and added other companies to its portfolio. SRAM is a good example of the recent trend within the high-end cycle-component segment of the bicycle industry, where companies seek a position as a "one-stop shopping center" for bicycle frame manufacturers/bicycle brand owners, supplying all or most of parts needed to complete the bike. SRAM now incorporates the former bicycle division of Fichtel and Sachs, Sachs-Huret, and recently acquired component makers RockShox, Avid, Truvativ, Zipp, and QUARQ (see below).



Brands

SRAM has purchased a number of companies to allow it to offer a full set of components rather than develop them from scratch. At the forefront of the company is the SRAM marque which is used for most of its groupsets. Companies SRAM has purchased and converted into marque brands include Rockshox, Truvativ, Sachs, Avid and Zipp.[6]

SRAM

SRAM currently has 6 road bike groupsets (in descending order of price/quality) that all use the SRAM Double Tap shifting technology:

  • SRAM Red22
  • SRAM Red 2012
  • SRAM Force22
  • SRAM Force
  • SRAM Rival
  • SRAM Apex (Introduced for 2010)

and eight MTB groupsets:

  • XX1
  • XX
  • X.0
  • X.9
  • X.7
  • X.5
  • X.4
  • X.3

Sachs Bicycle Components

In November 1997 SRAM acquired Sachs Bicycle Components, including a significant hub gear production line, from Mannesmann Sachs AG, a unit of German telecommunications group Mannesmann AG. Sachs had 1,250 employees and annual revenues of more than $125 million.[7] A new state-of-the-art factory was constructed in Schweinfurt, bringing development and production facilities under one roof. SRAM invested over $1 million (USD) in new engineering and development resources. The remainder of the Sachs company (ZF Sachs) is now owned by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. ZF Sachs mainly deals in parts for motorised vehicles.

RockShox

Main article: RockShox

RockShox, purchased by SRAM on February 19, 2002, was one of the first companies to introduce a bicycle suspension fork for consumer use. Marketing and sales departments were relocated to Chicago, while product development remained in Colorado Springs. A SRAM factory in Taichung, Taiwan was converted to RockShox production after the RockShox acquisition. RockShox is responsible for producing bicycle suspension products (both spring and air) including rear suspension, front suspension forks (for both MTB and pavement usage), suspension lockout remotes, maintenance products and since 2009, the Reverb, a height adjustable seatpost.

Avid


On March 1, 2004 SRAM purchased Avid, a well-known designer and manufacturer of bicycle brake components. Its current line-up includes hydraulic disc brakes, mechanical disc brakes, rim brakes, levers, cables and maintenance products for a range of uses including MTB and cyclocross. They also produce two road bike disc brakes. As with RockShox, Avid's product development continued in Colorado Springs while marketing and sales divisions were moved to Chicago.[8]

Truvativ

SRAM purchased Truvativ in 2005, providing SRAM with a line of cranks, bottom brackets, handlebars, stems, pedals, seatposts and chain retention systems. This allowed SRAM to offer a complete drivetrain with the first SRAM branded road groupsets being released the following year.

Zipp

On November 6, 2007 SRAM acquired Zipp Speed Weaponry, a company designing and manufacturing high-end carbon wheelsets for use on road-racers, as well as other components such as cranks, handlebars and disc wheels.[9]

Finances

In 2011 the company announced the intention to

  • Sales 1987 $0 million
  • Sales 1994 $25 million
  • Sales 1995 $40 million
  • Sales 1999 $120 million
  • Sales 2001 $120 million[10]
  • Sales 2003 $150 million[11]
  • Sales 2004 $160 million (estimate)[12]
  • Sales 2006 $283.8 million[13]
  • Sales 2007 $356.0 million[13]
  • Sales 2008 $478.4 million[13]
  • Sales 2009 $399.6 million[13]
  • Sales 2010 $524.2 million[13][14]

See also

  • World Bicycle Relief, sponsored by SRAM

References

External links

  • SRAM website
  • SRAM Road bike website
  • SRAM Performance Comfort website
  • Avid website
  • Truvativ website
  • RockShox website
  • Zipp Speed Weaponry website
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