Gearing up: Fresh from securing success at this year’s Tour de France, Gaetan Vetois talks to Jonathon Harker about SRAM and gives him the inside track...


SRAM has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Created just over two decades ago in 1987 in Chicago, Illinois, after acquiring the Sachs Bicycle Components brand, the firm set up with just six employees and sold only 1,000 units.

Fast-forward four years and the company grew to 60 people at its Chicago headquarters, and the Taiwan factory was established. From the introduction of huge manufacturing plants across the world, including a 40,000 sq ft facility in Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland, in 1995, the firm reached an impressive 1,000 employees worldwide in the year 2000.

The company went on to pick up a number of brands from the industry, including Rockshox in 2002, Avid and Trativ a year later and Zipp in 2008. SRAM Road’s Gaetan Vetois explains how they all fit under the SRAM umbrella: “It now incorporates five brands: SRAM, RockShox, Avid, Truvativ and Zipp. Each brand represents a specific part of the overall SRAM range and they complement one another.

“SRAM products include drivetrain components and wheels (derailleurs, shifters, cassette, chains, hub gears, road wheels), while RockShox caters for suspension (forks and rear shocks), and Avid provides disc and rim brakes.

“Truvativ includes cranksets, bars, seatposts and stems (most specifically for MTB), while Zipp is our road elite specific brand with wheels, cranks, bars, stems and seatposts. As you can see, with a broad range of products, SRAM offers a wide choice of quality MTB and Road components to the consumer, the dealer and the OE manufacturer, depending on their specific needs.”

SRAM’s commitment to be at the forefront of cutting-edge developments is key, as Vetois explains: “It is very important. SRAM wants to offer the best possible riding experience to every cyclist enthusiast. In order to accomplish that goal, one needs to look ahead and develop new technologies and exciting products.

“SRAM is a multicultural company spread across the globe with passionate cyclists as employees. At SRAM, we understand cyclists and their need for quality and technologically advanced products.”

In the UK, SRAM products are handled by two distributors: “Fisher Outdoor carries the complete SRAM product range on Road and MTB (SRAM, RockShox, Avid and Truvativ), while Saddleback distributes the Zipp range and the SRAM Road product line (with the exception of SRAM wheels).”

Far from resting on its laurels, SRAM has a number of developments planned, as Vetois elaborates: “Year after year, SRAM has developed its product ranges significantly to offer a great choice of components in the MTB or Road worlds. Certain categories such as road and wheels are still young within the SRAM Portfolio and have plenty of potential for growth and extension. SRAM will always look for opportunities to offer the best in class products available in the cycling trade.”

In the meantime, SRAM is firmly focused on its brand new XX ranges: “In May 2009, we presented to the global media the first 2X10 speed Mountain Bike groupset with XX.

“That was the first step of many for XX. So for the next 12 months we want to make sure everybody knows how great the XX components are.”

No doubt that will be the message from SRAM at this month’s trade event in Friedrichshafen: “SRAM will definitely be present at Eurobike. You can discover the latest products at our booth located in Hall A3/201.”

SRAM on Tour
Alberto Contador might have bagged first place at this year’s Tour de France, but SRAM also managed to secure its own significant achievement, equipping the bikes of Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong and Contador himself.

SRAM Red’s accomplishment is vindication of quality, according to Vetois: “SRAM Red sweeping the Tour de France podium is definitely great news. It is also the confirmation that SRAM products can perform at the highest racing level, in the toughest conditions and come out on top.”

And high-profile success breeds desirability at retail: “Over the last year in the United Kingdom, the demand for SRAM Road products has increased significantly. Dealers have shown a great interest in SRAM Road products, and feel the need to offer SRAM products in their stores. More specifically to the impact of the Tour de France on SRAM product demand at retail, it is too early to extract concrete information. Nonetheless, we are confident that such a success is a clear quality statement and will keep the momentum going.”

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