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SRAM Racing Brand Story

SRAM's journey began in 1987 when its founder, Stan Day, actively involved in triathlons, saw the potential for a more efficient way to change gears on a bike. He questioned the necessity of stretching to the downtube for gear shifts when a handlebar-mounted shifter could be more practical—simply twist the grip to switch gears.

During a Colorado ski vacation, Stan shared his vision of twist shifting with his friend and talented engineer, Sam Patterson. Inspired, Sam returned to his San Diego workshop, tinkered for several months, and by late spring, had developed a prototype twist shifter. Thus, the original Grip Shift was created.

Stan gathered a team of entrepreneurial cyclists to commercialize the product, setting up shop in a historic brick warehouse in Chicago. Despite the building's quirks, like snow accumulation indoors and tea leaves falling from the ceiling—relics from a past occupant—the team felt at home as they prepared for their unveiling at the Long Beach bike show in January 1988.

When naming the company in a rush for the show, they merged the initials of some founders to form SRAM. However, an error in the event catalog introduced them as SCRAM to the cycling world.

Grip Shift was SRAM's entry into the cycling market, but it was their introduction of a specialized derailleur and the adaptation of Grip Shift for mountain bikes in 1991 that truly established their reputation and ultimately their evolution into one of the premier cycling component manufacturers in the world.

SRAM has gone on to acquire notable companies such as Rock Shox, Avid, Truvativ, Zipp, and more recently Time and Hammerhead.

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