Saturday, April 08, 2006

Did you make the leap...

Referring to Donna's post about the cryptic website,, that was advertised in Velonews about a month ago. Upon further research people discovered that the web address belonged to SRAM and speculation started. The consensus seemed to be that it was for the new road groups that SRAM was poised to introduce. If you went to the site then there was a little red frog that asked you to check back after the 7th of April for more info.

Just a little while ago I came across some news on Cycling News about the new SRAM road groups, which reminded me about the whole site. So has anyone checked it out? I did and I liked the site but was a little disappointed.

When I first went to the site I had to upgrade my Macromedia Flash Player to version 8, which was just recently released, in order to even see anything. This made the process of me viewing their new products and marketing materials even harder. I had to download the player, install it, and restart my browser. Not difficult but still caused to me have to work for 5 minutes to get to the site. I think they should have made it compatible with older versions of the player because people are sometimes slow to update to the latest software. Strike one SRAM.

Once I finally got the player updated, installed, and restarted my browser I get to view the site. My first thoughts are it looks nice. The navigation is good and the look of the site is very clean, it has a modern style, and definitely showcases the product well. The images are quite large and allow the viewer to get a good look at the shifters, brakes and other parts with out too much effort. The copy is leaning more towards high-tech with the descriptions of materials and technologies used in the design and production of the various items. Hit for SRAM.

Finally the big gripe that I have with the site is that it was done in Flash. Yes, Flash allows designers to do really cool things and gives ultimate control over the presentation of the site, more like an interactive printed piece. But like I mentioned at the beginning it required me to download a new/updated plug-in before I could view it. Also, since it is done in Flash I cannot bookmark a specific page; I can only bookmark the site. An actual example of the shortcoming of a Flash site is what I found while browsing through the site, a possible mistake in the Technologies section. So, since I can't provide a link to the page I will have to describe it to you. In the Features section, under the Materials section the text is the same as the text under the Exact Actuation section in the Tech section (see picture below). I am guessing this is just an oversight and am not trying to bring it to light to fault SRAM for the mistake, because we all make them, but this is to point out the flaw in using Flash and its lack of bookmarking. Since I can't link to that specific page I had to use two sentences to describe how to get there to see it. Using Flash elements is good but making the whole site in Flash and not being able to bookmark specific content is bad. Strike two SRAM.

Overall, I think that SRAM has done a great job with their marketing and controlling the release of information about the road group to build interest. This has definitely worked for me and I am eager to check it out and give it a test ride sometime. So SRAM keep it up but please redo the website so that I do not have to navigate through the entire site every time I want to drool over your new shifters.

just my 2 cents


Posted by Anonymous at 10:48 AM


  1. Blogger Donna Tocci posted at 10:34 AM  
    I knew it...without a reminder I'd forget to go back and see what the fuss was about...thanks for checking it out for me, Chris!
  2. Blogger Dave Thompson posted at 8:05 AM  
    I forgot what the site was, and I follow marketing...
    I am just wondering who actually remembered the web site?

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