SRAM Corporation

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SRAM, Corp.
Type 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[edit]

2014 time trial bike of world champion Ellen van Dijk with SRAM.

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 an example of a 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).

2008 Rock Shox SID World Cup mountain bike suspension fork
SRAM Dual Drive combination derailleur gears and hub gear

Brands[edit]

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 groupsets[edit]

SRAM currently has 7 road bike groupsets (in descending order of price/quality) that all use the SRAM Exact Actuation™ ratio:

  • SRAM Red 22
  • SRAM Force 22
  • SRAM Red 2012
  • SRAM Red - Black Edition
  • SRAM Force
  • SRAM Rival
  • SRAM Apex (Introduced in 2010)

and 11 mountain bike groupset (each designed for specific mountain biking disciplines):

  • XX1
  • X01 DH
  • X01
  • X1
  • XX
  • X0
  • X.9
  • X.7
  • X.5
  • X.4 (Discontinued)
  • X.3 (Discontinued)

Sachs Bicycle Components[edit]

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[edit]

Main article: RockShox

SRAM purchased RockShox on February 19, 2002. They were 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 acquisition. RockShox is responsible for producing bicycle suspension products (both spring and air) including front suspension forks for both mountain biking (MTB) and pavement usage, rear suspension, suspension lockout remotes, maintenance products and a height adjustable seatpost.

Avid[edit]

Avid Code 2008 Caliper and Disc
Avid Code 2008 Lever

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Finances[edit]

In 2011 the company announced the intention to go public, but those plans were put on hold due to volatility in the stock market.[10] SRAM reported net sales of $524.1 million in 2010, and has grown at a rate of about 16 percent annually in the four years prior to 2010. The company has estimated that it holds about 15 percent of the $3.5 billion bicycle components market.[3]

  • Sales 1987 $0 million
  • Sales 1994 $25 million
  • Sales 1995 $40 million
  • Sales 1999 $120 million
  • Sales 2001 $120 million[11]
  • Sales 2003 $150 million[12]
  • Sales 2004 $160 million (estimate)[13]
  • Sales 2006 $283.8 million[14]
  • Sales 2007 $356.0 million[14]
  • Sales 2008 $478.4 million[14]
  • Sales 2009 $399.6 million[14]
  • Sales 2010 $524.2 million[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]