The mountain bike market is forever changing and one of the main brands pushing the technical aspects of the sport forwards is SRAM. To truly gain perspective on where the brand and the market are currently at, we sat down with SRAM brand manager at ZyroFisher Luke Hammil.
What are the key progress points between the creation of mountain biking and now?
For me the big three are suspension, disc brakes and dropper posts; I think dropper posts are under appreciated – it would be really interesting to test a rigid bike with a dropper against a full suspension bike with a full height seat post on a moderately technical trail against the clock.
How is the mountain bike market for you at the moment?
The market is strong at the moment, especially in the trail/enduro market. This is driven not just by exciting new product – and we’ve had our fair share with the likes of SRAM Eagle – but by continued investment and growth of trail centres, bike parks and grass roots enduro race events. This makes the highly enjoyable and social aspect of mountain biking very accessible to all.
What are the latest and most exciting things happening in the SRAM camp?
The 1x Drivetrains and specifically the new Eagle groups are a big step forward. They have created a drivetrain that maintains the range of a 2x or 3x system with less weight, less clutter and better chain retention while allowing frame designers more scope for improved frame construction and suspension designs. You also have to take note of the growth in e-MTB. In unit terms the sales are still very small compared to traditional bike sales but the bikes are making big steps forward year on year as technology improves. This opens up MTB to new consumers, but more importantly they are bags of fun to ride.
Are there any other brands or products that are exiting you at the moment?
We’ve got some new Vittoria MTB tyres on the way – Mota and Martello – that I’m very excited to try. These feature Quad compound graphene enhanced rubber, well designed tread patterns and some really clever stuff with progressive siping of the tread blocks which influences how they react to different directional forces. The new helmets from Giro – Switchblade – and Bell – Super 3R – are also very exciting and feature industry leading removable chin guard technology.
How does ZyroFisher remain on the cutting edge of mountain bike tech?
We’re lucky to work with some fantastic brands like SRAM, Giro, Bell, CamelBak, Alpinestars and Vittoria who give us great insight into tech advances on the horizon. A key factor for us remaining at the forefront is also the fact we have a good proportion of our Brand, Sales, Marketing and Tech teams out hitting the trails, either riding, racing or speaking to our dealers and consumers at events like the MTB Trail Attack and Bell Ride Free. This gives us a constant stream of up to date, relevant and real-world feedback.