SRAM were celebrating their twentieth anniversary at Eurobike and the company has come a long way since their original twist shifters. Here’s to SRAM and thanks for the beers. . .
The main launch for SRAM’s suspension range was the new SID fork that is ten years old, you can see the details here. Elsewhere we finally got to see the new Monarch air shock and the heavier duty Vivid coil shock intended for downhill and freeride duties. The Recon range is also expanded.
Juicy brakes get a bit of a tweak and there’s an addition to the Code range.
SRAM have also brought out a flat bar 10-speed shifter – but said that it’s not intended for mountain bike use, but we’ll see. Here’s a rundown of what we got to look at during Eurobike…
A new Juicy lever body inspired from the Ultimate brake. SRAM have worked on paring away unnecessary material and optimizing the casting. The new lever shape looks similar to the Ultimate and knocks 80g grams off the older Juicy Carbon, Seven and Five.
New Code 5
This brake has been developed by the SRAM race team and the black box programme [SRAMs research riding team]. SRAM found that professional riders were fitting Ultimate levers to Code downhill callipers in order to save a bit of weight and lighten the feel – DH racers really are as finicky about weight as XC racers. SRAM couldn’t realistically roll this combination out to the public; pro riders can afford to trash an Ultimate lever on a downhill run, but us punters would find it a wee bit expensive. SRAM have therefore launched the Code 5, featuring a Code calliper with a Juicy 5 lever. Still as powerful as the original Code the four-piston Code 5 saves 60g and will be cheaper.
Intended for cross country but tough enough for all-mountain duties. Interestingly the Monarch uses a smaller air can for better frame clearance when rivals are going for bigger cans. The shock features a neat swivel air valve for easy access and a large diameter damper body for better performance.
Vivid Coil Shock
The Vivid is intended for freeride and DH duties. Features include low speed compression damping and isolated rebound damping in a tough one piece body. The Vivid features adjustable Drop Stop bottom out system. This allows you to change the bottom out pads to adjust the feel of the last 20% of travel without affecting damping. The aim of the Vivid is to have a tough hard hitting shock that’s low on service intervals and unnecessary adjustment.
We’ve seen the new X-0 rear derailleur before but she’s a pretty thing so here it is again. It features a tougher carbon aluminium cage and a nice gold hanger bolt.
Changes to the Recon fork range. A lot of people were fitting the old 130mm travel recon to 80-100mm travel bikes. Nothing wrong with that but it basically meant riders were carting around extra weight. So the Recons now get an XC tag to compliment the current 130mm fork. The XC range is 100g lighter.
SRAM for the future
SRAM were making a huge thing of their new top-end Red road groupset. It’s always interesting to look at the road and mountain bike kit side by side and see how the two evolve in synergy. Here is the new SRAM Red road cassette. Machined from a solid block of chromoly steel and finished with a coating of smooth nickel plating. It’s certainly not a cheap way of making a cassette. Each one takes ninety minutes to make but SRAM says it’s worth it as the result is a cassette that is 10% lighter, 35% stiffer and 100% stiffer than a competitor’s titanium model.
With those figures in mind we said this had an obvious application for mountain bikes – we were met with a smile but no comment.
10 speed flat bar shifter
Another new product is a 10-speed flat bar shifter. Shimano already have a 10-speed flat bar shifter so a riposte from SRAM has been long overdue. Using the same Double Tap technology as the mountain bike and road shifters, they are intended for flat barred street bikes but it wouldn’t take much of a leap to build up a 10-speed mountain bike if you so wished.