Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Is SRAM in decline?

Old 07-01-14, 09:51 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
I would like to understand the psychology behind the bitter dislike of Shimano.
It's precisely the same phenomenon as the folks who despise Trek, never having even ridden one.....

The big guys have design and manufacturing resources that the smaller companies can only dream of, and that generally means better product.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:34 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
It's precisely the same phenomenon as the folks who despise Trek, never having even ridden one.....

The big guys have design and manufacturing resources that the smaller companies can only dream of, and that generally means better product.
I am one of those old guys who regularly rides 30+ year old italian bikes. They are wonderful bikes & I love them! Take the bikes made today and compare them to the bikes of 30 years ago. Almost every big innovation that makes todays cycling better is the result of one company.
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Old 07-01-14, 10:41 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
As someone who works on lots of lots of bikes, I will say, unequivocally, that Sram parts, most notably the road parts, are simply not built to tolerances that make for long service life. I had a well-ridden bike in the shop last week with 1st Gen. Dura Ace.....you know....from the '70's, and the rear derailleur STILL had less slop than the Scott with brand new RED that was in the stand. My personal 7800 Dura Ace kit with 30K on it is tighter and more precise than brand new RED.

The best thing about Sram is that they are happy to throw warranty parts at people because they know lots of slop gets past QC.

Frankly, I don't care about status, but to my eye, the real status seekers are the SRAM RED/Campy SR types that will put up with anything just so they can say they don't have Shimano. I just want my bike parts to last, not require constant tweaking when set up correctly, and be well thought-out in terms of installation.
When Shimano came out with DA the first year they changed the shifter to hide the cables, I rode it right after it came out. The guy I was with asked me what I thought. I said I think they will redesign it. They rushed it to market, I understood because of the huge amount of criticism they got for product delays in going to 10 speed, originally. Which is the reason SRAM entered the market. Those previous product delays.

As a result I put Red on my bike.

I truly do not care that much. I used to ride whatever I was given.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:08 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
I am one of those old guys who regularly rides 30+ year old italian bikes. They are wonderful bikes & I love them! Take the bikes made today and compare them to the bikes of 30 years ago. Almost every big innovation that makes todays cycling better is the result of one company.
Eh?
Innovations that have come into cycling in the last 30 years and the companies that came up with them;
Clipless pedals - Look
Brifters - Shimano
Electronic shifting - Shimano
Expanded polystyrene helmets - Bell
Tig welding (allowing use of Ti and Al frames) - Northrop aircraft
Lycra/spandex - DuPont

I'm not sure which of these companies you're crediting as the one responsible for every good innovation.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:42 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Eh?
Innovations that have come into cycling in the last 30 years and the companies that came up with them;
Clipless pedals - Look
Brifters - Shimano
Electronic shifting - Shimano
Expanded polystyrene helmets - Bell
Tig welding (allowing use of Ti and Al frames) - Northrop aircraft
Lycra/spandex - DuPont

I'm not sure which of these companies you're crediting as the one responsible for every good innovation.
You've taken some liberties in there. Shimano didn't invent electronic shifting.

In general I believe he was trying to harken back to the major innovations that Tullio Campagnolo brought to the industry.

Like most things in this industry - most innovations that succeeded were iterations of things others had previously tried. Most of Tullio's though were as close to original amazing ideas as you can get. Shimanos are nearly almost all interations. but....they do a great job. Better than almost anyone else in the industry when it comes to execution.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:48 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Eh?
Innovations that have come into cycling in the last 30 years and the companies that came up with them;
Clipless pedals - Look
Brifters - Shimano
Electronic shifting - Shimano
Expanded polystyrene helmets - Bell
Tig welding (allowing use of Ti and Al frames) - Northrop aircraft
Lycra/spandex - DuPont

I'm not sure which of these companies you're crediting as the one responsible for every good innovation.
Indexed shifting - Shimano
shift ramps(hyperglide) - Shimano
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Old 07-01-14, 11:54 AM
  #132  
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My general thoughts (ATMO)

One of the best groups that Shimano ever made - 7800.
I believe that 9000 mechanical is possibly even better...time will tell.
Di2 - is the best style of group in the world for enthusiasts. I keep running into a lot of racers who do not like it and have switched back to cable systems. As a mechanic - I don't care - either is easy to work on, but I always have extra cables in my tool box - not extra wires

SRAM - High caliber stuff at low/reasonable (wholesale) prices. If I am building a bike I don't even think - it will have SRAM on it. Shimano is too pricey on the wholesale side and they just moved everything back in house distribution wise. I can call 5 places and have SRAM parts the next day.
Just about everyone we race with or around has SRAM. Easy for parts and fixing/swapping when needed.
SRAM support at events is the best.

Campagnolo - IMHO - the best absolute mechanical systems available. Really well done all around and great stuff to have in your hands.
Not practical for me or any of my uses. Every year I have 1 or 2 racers on Campy and it's always a huge PITA. I can call the same 5 places and get parts, but stock and prices are prohibitive.
I have watched the local racing community slowly go from about 20-30% Campy before SRAM came out to road to being roughly 1-3% now.
I still get a steady stream of Campy orders but they are small in number.
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Old 07-01-14, 11:55 AM
  #133  
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Old 07-01-14, 11:58 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
You've taken some liberties in there. Shimano didn't invent electronic shifting.

In general I believe he was trying to harken back to the major innovations that Tullio Campagnolo brought to the industry.

Like most things in this industry - most innovations that succeeded were iterations of things others had previously tried. Most of Tullio's though were as close to original amazing ideas as you can get. Shimanos are nearly almost all interations. but....they do a great job. Better than almost anyone else in the industry when it comes to execution.
They didn't invent it, but they were the first to bring a market-ready, lasting version of it to the high end competitive cycling market. Good luck finding replacement parts for your Mavic Zap system if you disagree with me.

My post was more trying to work out exactly which company embankmentlb was referring to when, in a thread about SRAM, replying to a post about Trek, he said "Almost every big innovation that makes todays cycling better is the result of one company." But there's dozens of companies, across multiple industries (Northrop and DuPont made my list, and I'm sure they didn't care one bit about cyclists when they came up with their products) who can lay claim to major changes in how we approach cycling along the way.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:06 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
My general thoughts (ATMO)

One of the best groups that Shimano ever made - 7800.
I believe that 9000 mechanical is possibly even better...time will tell.
Di2 - is the best style of group in the world for enthusiasts. I keep running into a lot of racers who do not like it and have switched back to cable systems. As a mechanic - I don't care - either is easy to work on, but I always have extra cables in my tool box - not extra wires

SRAM - High caliber stuff at low/reasonable (wholesale) prices. If I am building a bike I don't even think - it will have SRAM on it. Shimano is too pricey on the wholesale side and they just moved everything back in house distribution wise. I can call 5 places and have SRAM parts the next day.
Just about everyone we race with or around has SRAM. Easy for parts and fixing/swapping when needed.
SRAM support at events is the best.

Campagnolo - IMHO - the best absolute mechanical systems available. Really well done all around and great stuff to have in your hands.
Not practical for me or any of my uses. Every year I have 1 or 2 racers on Campy and it's always a huge PITA. I can call the same 5 places and get parts, but stock and prices are prohibitive.
I have watched the local racing community slowly go from about 20-30% Campy before SRAM came out to road to being roughly 1-3% now.
I still get a steady stream of Campy orders but they are small in number.
if campy are such quality groupsets, why aren't they in higher demand? it sounds to me like their main bottleneck is lack of supply, and therefore high prices. but if they fix that, couldn't campy be a legitimate competitor to sram/shimano?
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Old 07-01-14, 12:14 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
if campy are such quality groupsets, why aren't they in higher demand? it sounds to me like their main bottleneck is lack of supply, and therefore high prices. but if they fix that, couldn't campy be a legitimate competitor to sram/shimano?
Psimet's experience is local to the US. For several reasons, including but not limited to price and quality, it makes more sense for his customers to choose Shimano/SRAM. If he had a shop in Italy or France, he'd have a lot more customers looking for Campag, less for SRAM, and about the same for Shimano.

The supply is their bottleneck, but they're having no difficulty selling the product that they are currently producing, so the only reason to change their supply chain would be if they were to scale up production, and there's no indication that they see any reason to do that.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:19 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
if campy are such quality groupsets, why aren't they in higher demand? it sounds to me like their main bottleneck is lack of supply, and therefore high prices. but if they fix that, couldn't campy be a legitimate competitor to sram/shimano?
Stock and prices are only a problem in the US and primarily at the wholesale level. But, and this may be hard for Americans to understand, Campy isn't interested in unseating Shimano.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:21 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Psimet's experience is local to the US. For several reasons, including but not limited to price and quality, it makes more sense for his customers to choose Shimano/SRAM. If he had a shop in Italy or France, he'd have a lot more customers looking for Campag, less for SRAM, and about the same for Shimano.

The supply is their bottleneck, but they're having no difficulty selling the product that they are currently producing, so the only reason to change their supply chain would be if they were to scale up production, and there's no indication that they see any reason to do that.
I'm saying why isn't campy making a bigger effort to popularize their brand in the US? do they sponsor ANY pro teams? I think campy is actually cheaper in Europe for this very reason. I know if cost and availability weren't an issue, I would switch to campy, and I'm sure there are others in the same boat.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:23 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
Stock and prices are only a problem in the US and primarily at the wholesale level. But, and this may be hard for Americans to understand, Campy isn't interested in unseating Shimano.
why not, they're competitors. is there some unwritten rule in the cycling business that says thou shall not take from my sheep flock? they have the opportunity to expand, and it doesn't take a economist to understand that competition is good for the product and its consumers. how often do we see the same stuff get renewed year after year with nothing but a fresh coat of paint?
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Old 07-01-14, 12:27 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
why not, they're competitors. is there some unwritten rule in the cycling business that says thou shall not take from my sheep flock?
They are quite satisfied with the market share they have. The kind of expansion in manufacturing and distribution that it would take to seriously challenge Shimano would be extremely expensive, financially risky and potentially impact quality during the growing pains. American businesses do this kind of thing as a matter of course and regularly crash and burn while sometimes succeeding. Europeans are more... circumspect.

Consider that Campagnolo started working on electronic shifting decades before Shimano but still waited for Shimano to prove the market before they released EPS.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
I'm saying why isn't campy making a bigger effort to popularize their brand in the US? do they sponsor ANY pro teams? I think campy is actually cheaper in Europe for this very reason. I know if cost and availability weren't an issue, I would switch to campy, and I'm sure there are others in the same boat.
They provide gear to 5 Pro Tour teams for the 2014 season; Pro bikes: Who?s riding what in 2014, and what it all means - VeloNews.com AG2R, Astana, Europcar, Lotto and Movistar.

They aren't making a bigger effort in the US because they're selling out all their production in Europe. There's no need to market wider. Same reason Yuengling doesn't ship their beer to the West Coast or In n Out haven't opened in New York City.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:29 PM
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Old 07-01-14, 12:30 PM
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ok I see, on a broad overview level anyway



although I'd be curious to see if they do decide to expand in the US market, what the distribution of the cost will be between advertising, shipping, stupid taxes and anything else that might come into play. or why they decide not to go for small increases. I'm sure if someone puts the numbers together, there's enough justification to have more campy here in the long run.

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Old 07-01-14, 12:33 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
why not, they're competitors. is there some unwritten rule in the cycling business that says thou shall not take from my sheep flock? they have the opportunity to expand, and it doesn't take a economist to understand that competition is good for the product and its consumers. how often do we see the same stuff get renewed year after year with nothing but a fresh coat of paint?
There's no unwritten rule that they can't go after other's market share, just the same as there's no rule written anywhere that says "you must strive to be number 1 and anything less is failure." The Big Book Of Business Blunders is full of small artisan companies who tried to increase their production quantity and allowed quality to suffer as a result. Campagnolo's reputation is based 100% on quality (well, ok, maybe tradition is in there too), and if that reputation were to slip in any way, for any reason, they'd be screwed.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
There's no unwritten rule that they can't go after other's market share, just the same as there's no rule written anywhere that says "you must strive to be number 1 and anything less is failure." The Big Book Of Business Blunders is full of small artisan companies who tried to increase their production quantity and allowed quality to suffer as a result. Campagnolo's reputation is based 100% on quality (well, ok, maybe tradition is in there too), and if that reputation were to slip in any way, for any reason, they'd be screwed.
why can't they build a sister facility next door and do everything the same? they're not small, they have the resources to do it right and not cut corners.
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Old 07-01-14, 12:47 PM
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A few things Shimano brought to market:
The free hub and cassette
Index shifting including ramping of the cogs & specific mech cables,
Integrated shifters and braking
Dual pivot brakes
spd pedals & cleats
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Old 07-01-14, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
why can't they build a sister facility next door and do everything the same? they're not small, they have the resources to do it right and not cut corners.
They are small. Although they do have a facility in eastern Europe that does some work on lower end groups.
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Old 07-01-14, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
They are small. Although they do have a facility in eastern Europe that does some work on lower end groups.
well isn't that a matter of perspective? small compared to shimano/sram, yes. But if you're making a product that's distributed globally, I don't see how that can be considered small
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Old 07-01-14, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
well isn't that a matter of perspective? small compared to shimano/sram, yes. But if you're making a product that's distributed globally, I don't see how that can be considered small
They're small compared to the big 2. They're big enough to be a world player, but small enough to retain a bit of rarity value. They're big enough that their gear is available to anyone who wants to buy it, but small enough to maintain quality control over their product. One of the reasons their "outsourcing" is in Romania is it's driving distance from their hq in Italy.

Their business model isn't for everyone, but it works for them.
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Old 07-01-14, 03:52 PM
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Campy is a small company with a greatly different way of doing business than what is typical American or even Japanese.

Is what it is.

If they could have found a way to make the wheels/hubs play nice over the years (before now) then they probably would have more market share with racers than they currently do now. Stuff works cross brands now and with electronic...it's all kind of moot anyway. Should be ways to hack any electronic group to be able to switch the spacing and cog count on the fly so that you can always make do with whatever wheel you get from support....

....or we can all just go back to friction. That worked(s)
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