Tech News October 3, 2008
Edited by Greg Johnson & Bikeradar.com
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SRAM completes Lehman Brothers deal
SRAM has taken a prominent role
Photo ©: Rob O'Dea
Chicago-based bicycle component maker SRAM and Lehman Brothers Merchant
Banking (LBMB) have completed their strategic investment transaction,
giving LBMB a 40 percent stake in the company for a reported US$200 million.
"Getting to the finish line, given the current state of the financial
markets, is a reflection of LBMB's role as one of the leading private
equity organizations in the middle market and our strong SRAM management
team," said Stan Day, chief executive of SRAM.
As a result of the transaction, LBMB managing directors Charlie Moore
and Bill Lovejoy will join the SRAM Board of Directors. The SRAM management
team remains intact.
"All of us at LBMB are thrilled to be closing our investment in SRAM,"
Moore said. "The company is a leader in its industry with tremendous momentum
and a bright future. We look forward to working with SRAM's management
team to build the business and realize its full potential in the years
Prior to the completion of the transaction, seven-time Tour de France
winner Lance Armstrong confirmed his return to the sport of bike racing
with the SRAM-supported Team Astana. Additionally, Armstrong has made
a meaningful passive investment alongside LBMB to further strengthen his
ties with SRAM, said to be in the millions of dollars.
Armstrong's use of SRAM components will become a part of the SRAM overall
marketing program. He will also serve as a technical advisor for SRAM's
product development teams alongside many of SRAM's other established professional
"The entire organization welcomes Lance to the SRAM team," Day added.
"We are looking forward to his input and doing everything we can to support
his return to racing."
Headquartered in Chicago, with product development and manufacturing
facilities in California, Colorado, Indiana, Taiwan, China, Germany and
Portugal, SRAM produces a full line of high performance bicycle components
for original equipment manufacturers and independent bike dealers. SRAM
markets its products under the SRAM, RockShox, Avid, Truvativ, and Zipp
brand names. In business since 1987, SRAM expects 2008 revenues to approach
For an exclusive video interview with SRAM's Stan Day, click
Trek shows off belt-driven cyclo-cross bike
Eccentric dropouts - quite a deviation
from the standard
Photo ©: Scott Daubert
Former mountain bike pro and current Trek test bunny Travis Brown raced
a prototype belt-driven Trek cyclo-cross bike at CrossVegas September
The bike has unique tension adjusters built into the dropouts. Brown
was equipped with a few "cog" options so he could make a final gearing
selection at the race once he saw the course. The bike was built off a
standard Trek XO2 cyclo-cross platform and had the rear dropouts and chainstays
replaced to accommodate the belt. The chainstays are off a Trek T900 tandem;
their heavier gauge minimizes lateral flex and compression loads that
could make the belt skip.
Trek's Advanced Concept Group has been tinkering with how belt drive
bikes can fit into the line. Right now belts are on a few commuter models
(including the Trek District) and some other prototypes running around
the office but watch for them on more and more bikes in the future.
According to Trek's brand manager Scott Daubert, the dropouts are eccentric.
"If you are familar with Trek's ABP suspension set up you understand
how it works," he said on Trek's "Up The Road" blog. "The inboard eccentric
plates are slotted to accept a conventional hub. A "QR" threads in from
the non-drive side and pinches everything together."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Scott Daubert/Trek Bicycle Corp
Blue announces windy deal
Blue Competition Cycles will offer customers purchasing its news Triad
multisport/time trial bike an hour in a wind tunnel. The company has partnered
with the A2 Wind Tunnel in Charlotte, North Carolina to help ensure its
customers make the most of their new purchase.
"We know that more than 80 percent of total drag comes from the rider,
not the bike," said Chance Regina of Blue Competition Cycles. "When a
cyclist buys a bike of this caliber, they are clearly serious about speed
and efficiency. We want our Triad customers to get the most from the bike,
so we're giving them the opportunity to do the same type of wind tunnel
optimization as the pros."
Buyers of the Triad, which debuted at the Beijing Olympic Games in August,
will need to complete their registration card in order to be eligible
for the offer. The offer will assist riders with reducing their drag,
according to A2 Wind Tunnel's Mike Giraud.
"Anywhere from 70-90 percent of a rider's power output is used to overcome
wind resistance," said Giraud. "Positioning is extremely important for
cyclist to be able to minimize drag while still producing maximum power."
Customers may purchase additional time at the facility at a special,
Roys get Seven rigs
Maureen Bruno Roy
Photo ©: Todd Leister
Cyclo-cross squad MM Racing will be supplied with custom Seven Cycles
IMX 'cross bikes this season, the team has announced. The squad, consisting
of Maureen Bruno Roy and Matt Roy, will be launched this evening in the
United States of America.
"I'm so thrilled to be working with Seven," said Bruno-Roy. "Their attention
to detail, professionalism, and passion not only make for amazing bikes
but also extends beyond the manufacturing and is truly reflected in the
people at Seven Cycles."
The light weight bike features a blend of butted titanium and carbon
fiber and will carry a SRAM Red drive train, Mavic R-Sys Premium wheels
and Michelin tires. The team's next race for 2008 will be at the Erdinger
Gran Prix of Gloucester, October 11-12.
"All of us at Seven Cycles are excited and proud to have Maureen representing
us," said Seven's marketing director Jennifer Miller. "She is a strong
competitor, possessing a high-degree of professionalism. Equally important,
Maureen is friendly and upbeat and is a great ambassador for the sport
and her sponsors."
Bruno Roy is a two-time podium finisher in the Elite Cyclo-cross National
Championships, winner of the Verge New England and Verge Mid-Atlantic
Cyclo-cross Series, and 2006 US Cyclo-cross World Championships team member.
Cycling to help cancer cause
Some of the biggest brand names in world cycling are grouping together
to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Ellsworth, Sycip, Torelli,
Vicious and Rock Lobster have all donated bikes to the Shimano Alfine
Breast Cancer Fundraiser.
The commuter bikes will be auctioned off on EBay in early October, with
all proceeds going to the Young Survival Coalition. YSC is a non-profit
network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to addressing
the concerns and issues that young women with breast cancer battle on
a daily basis.
"Every one of us is affected by cancer, if not directly," said Ellsworth
Handcrafted Bikes founder Tony Ellsworth. "My aunt battled it this year
and members of my staff also have family members facing these challenges
right now. I look forward to a world where we can all enjoy perfect health
all the time.
"Until that day, Ellsworth wants to do more than just wait, hope and
imagine," he added. "We want to be part of the cure."
For more information on the auction or YSC, visit: www.youngsurvival.org