Something that works now. (Hi SRAM!)
Anybody who follows my primary blog knows I am a fan of the still-to-be-released SRAM road components. SRAM is a very savvy company when it comes to their marketing efforts, not just now, but always. Right now however, the impending release of their new road components has been a marketing coup!
Everybody has been anticipating a SRAM road group for some time now, especially as the company acquired other brands to complete the puzzle. Avid for brakes and TruVativ for cranksets and bottom brackets. With SRAM already having the chains and cogs worked out and a very formidable reputation in shifting components on the dirt side of things, it has really been a matter of when and not if.
What makes their efforts so great so far is that they have leaked out "spy shots" of the product prototypes, as ridden in major US events by sponsored pro riders, to help get the internet all abuzz with anticipation and curiosity. Hell, I was blogging the stuff the day I saw the first images on VeloNews and Cyclingnews (sorry, couldn't find the link to the article in question). Then, they get Product Managers from bike companies, like me, to look at the product in a special unveiling in the desert outside of Vegas and then hold us to secrecy... all the while the internet is going completely nuts about the stuff and wondering "how does it work?" I was busting at the seams to tell people how the shifting works, but I couldn't... until after the professional media released details. More details are still being held in total secrecy, including pricing and release dates, but the buzz is definitely growing. One of the best little bits; they've hired somebody to join the company just to handle the European team relations and to grow the number of pro teams in Europe using the products this coming year. Now, I haven't heard anything about who will be riding the products in 2006, but it will be somebody and the bikes will be getting photographed constantly.
I'm no genius, but I feel like they pretty much have the world at their doorstep right now. I was so impressed by the products when I played with the rough prototypes that I would have signed my company up for the first run of components... but I fortunately work with our Senior Product Development Manager and he serves as the sobering voice of reason. 1st incarnation of any company's parts can be a little scary, but SRAM has done such a good job with their secret, viral marketing that I fully expect that many manufacturers and consumers alike will be willing to take the gamble, just in case the parts work like a charm. I know I'm anxiously waiting for some parts to bolt to my bike so I can test them out in real world conditions.
SRAM- you get the first nod of approval from the old curmudgeon Masiguy. Now that I've mentioned your name and you're trolling the web for references to the new parts... can I have some?
Tim Jackson- Masiguy
Posted by Tim Jackson at 9:36 PM