Early 2005, a quiet murmur began to spread through the cycling industry. Word had begun circulating that a SRAM intended to re-write the book on integrated shifting, but would it happen? Could it happen? How would they go toe to toe with the giants that had dominated the road group market for so many years?
By 2006, when SRAM announced the unveiling of their new road groupo, the murmur had grown to a roar. SRAM was already well respected for their mountain bike components, having started their company with grip shift in 1988. If they could bring the same level of functionality, durability, weight, and ergonomics to the road, Shimano and Campagnolo might have to look out.
Of course now this is old news. Today, SRAM is a major player in the road market, a maker of trusted and reliable road components, but at the time of their release everyone was reading the pre-release reviews with rapt attention. Shimano and Campagnolo had years of experience under their belts; grouppos has been time-tested and tweaked over generations. Could this relative newcomer really introduce a whole new design with any success? Could it compete or even compare? Reviewers highlighted the ergonomics; the shifting action was revolutionary and it seemed that SRAM was making good on it’s claim: a radical new take on drive-train, shifters, and brakes. The new technology was quickly embraced by the industry and took its place among the “big-boys” of road.
Fast forward to April of 2007 and the murmurs are now telling of a new SRAM groupo, simply named “Red”. It would be lighter, the action refined, bearings upgraded to ceramic, and experience gained through Rival and Force integrated for enhanced reliability. And then, of course, there’s the weight, our Achilles heel.. At a mere 1,928 grams, we were excited to see what custom bike we could build to utilize this featherweight option. With everyone in the industry throwing their weight behind this new offering, we wanted to throw our, well, lack of weight in the mix too.
We decided to collaborate with Ruegamer, a custom bike manufacturer specializing in one off carbon frames, who had become one of our go-to builders for our lightweight project bikes. A custom build for a SRAM Red debut was a fitting project. Rue was excited to incorporate another current project, new ultra-light cranks, the Ingènu Myths. Another company, LightWeight, also wanted to show of a pre-production component, a wheelset weighing in at 790 grams. The finished bike came in at 8.7 pounds and attracted more than a few spying eyes on the Interbike showroom floor. Given the considerable amount of buzz preceding the release of SRAM’s components, we feel they’ve done a remarkable job of living up to the hype and we’ve been pleased to use them in custom bike builds since, most notably, the SRAM “Green Bike”.
Sram Red Debut Bike Parts List
- Frame: Ruegamer
- Fork: Ruegamer
- Wheels: LightWeight Prototype
- Cranks: Ruegamer prototype
- Chain: KMC
- Front Derailleur: Tuned SRAM Red
- Rear Derailleur: Tuned SRAM Red
- KCNC Ceramic Pulleys
- Stem: AX-Lightness
- Handlebars: Schmolke
- Brake Set: AX-Lightness Orion
- Cassette: KCNC
- Housing: Nokon
- Skewers: Carbon Ti
- Shifters: SRAM Red
- Saddle: M2 Racer