SRAM has come a long way since its founding in 1987. Starting with the iconic Grip Shift twist shifter, the Chicago-based company has grown and expanded to become an industry leader. In addition to building its own innovative designs, SRAM has over the years acquired brands like Rock Shox, Avid, Truvativ, and Zipp, which has enabled it to essentially offer all of the components needed to build a complete bike, from professional-level road and mountain bikes to entry level-bikes for casual cyclists.
In recent years, SRAM has generated enthusiastic reviews for its road components, which include the top-tier Red group, race-driven Force group, and the value-focused Rival groupset. But it could be argued that SRAM's biggest impact as of late was the advent of the XX1 mountain bike groupset. By introducing an ultra-wide-range 11-speed cassette, SRAM was able to shed the front derailleur entirely, while still offering a gear range similar to that of more traditional double and triple chainring drivetrains. It's also freed up a design constraint, allowing manufacturers to build better full suspension bikes. And with this technology trickling down to the X01 and X1 groupsets, SRAM's approach to drivetrains could be considered the latest revolution in mountain bike design.
While drivetrains are a key part of the picture, new disc brake designs are also reshaping the modern bicycle. SRAM was a pioneer of hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes, which enhance safety and reduce fatigue as compared to traditional rim brakes. And with the Guide series of brakes on the mountain side, SRAM's components can be trusted to keep you in control just as effectively as they propel you forward.