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Argentius said:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb/2006/apr06/seaotter06/tech/?id=tech4

At Sea Otter, FSA said it'll be spitting out a complete, 10-speed road drivetrain, too.

No details yet.

What's this? Diversity?

Or just chaos for the mechanics and bike shop owners' inventories?
A pool needs to be started so's people can wager how much over the published weight the FSA components will be. I'll put 5 deneros down on 12.5% over.
 

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The second bet

alienator said:
A pool needs to be started so's people can wager how much over the published weight the FSA components will be. I'll put 5 deneros down on 12.5% over.
I think that a more entertaining pool would be in predicting how long these groups will last in the market. Back in the day, there were French groups (Stronglight/TA/Simplex/MAFAC), Spanish groups (Zeus), multiple Japanese groups, multiple Italian groups, and then there was the attempt by MAVIC to put together a complete group. Market forces drove all these guys out of business. It will be VERY interesting to see how this all sorts out - while some think that it can't be that hard to build a road group, we have lots of evidence of failed hubs, failed BBs, flimsy brakes, cheesy head sets, cracked rims, and on and on. Delivering performance, price, service, and a good market channel is a fair challenge. Going up against the Big S on the commodity side or Campy on the niche side is not my idea of fun :)
 

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History of the component group

Kerry Irons said:
I think that a more entertaining pool would be in predicting how long these groups will last in the market. Back in the day, there were French groups (Stronglight/TA/Simplex/MAFAC), Spanish groups (Zeus), multiple Japanese groups, multiple Italian groups, and then there was the attempt by MAVIC to put together a complete group. Market forces drove all these guys out of business.
I you look a little closer to history, you'll find that a main reason many of the component companies you mention went out of business is because they didn't produce groups (by the way, Stronglight and TA are still going concerns).

In the old days, long before indexed shifting, no manufacturer produced an entire component groups - not even Shimano or Campagnolo (I put Shimano first, because they've been in the bicycle component business a few years longer than Campagnolo). Manufacturers mainly concentrated on a few components. Examples:

Maillard - hubs and freewheels
Atom - hubs and freewheels
Huret - derailleurs and shifters
Simplex - derailleur and shifters
Stronglight - cranks and bottom brackets
Regina - freewheels and chains
Sedis - chains

Shimano started with freewheels, and then over the years added derailleurs and shifters, then only the last 3 years or so added hubs, cranks, bottom brackets, brakes, headsets and seatposts

Campagnolo started with hubs, and then derailleurs and shifters, and after that slowly added cranks and bottom brackets, brakes, headsets and seatposts.

Until about 20 years ago, derailleur bikes used friction shifting, and parts could be mixed and matched - you could use Maillard hubs and a Regina freewheel and Stronglight cranks, with Campagnolo derailleurs and Simplex shifters, for example, and everything worked together.

With the advent of indexed shifting, all the drivetrain components had to become part of a unified "system" - the shifters had to match the derailleurs, which had to be matched to a partcular freewheel. With the advent of cassettes, the indexing system had to be further matched to particular hubs. Only a company that could produce a complete "group" could create an indexed shifting system, and many companies with either caught out, or got left behind in the race to perfect the "system." After the first modern indexed shifting systems were introduced in 1984 (starting with Shimano Dura-Ace), but 1990 there were only 3 companies left that were major players in the market - Shimano, Campagno and Suntour - and all had already been making complete "groups", so they were able to keep up with the market's shift toward indexed shifting.
 

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Mark McM said:
Shimano started with freewheels, and then over the years added derailleurs and shifters, then only the last 3 years or so added hubs, cranks, bottom brackets, brakes, headsets and seatposts
Um... Unless they were rebranding other companies' parts with their name, Shimano has been making those parts a lot longer than 3 years... Or did you mean the last 30 years? I'm guessing you did...

;)
 

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3 isn't equal to 30?

Matno said:
Um... Unless they were rebranding other companies' parts with their name, Shimano has been making those parts a lot longer than 3 years... Or did you mean the last 30 years? I'm guessing you did...

;)
Yeah, I guess I meant to type "30" instead of "3". Or maybe I meant "3 decades"? Or maybe it was "4 score and 7 years ago". I don't know, it was all so long ago ...
 

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all right! More flame wars for boards!!!

Shimano vs Campy vs SRAM vs FSA!! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Well I am glad I went and now will stick with Campy and FSA cranks, but I love SRAM on the MTB........:p
 

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Kerry Irons said:
I think that a more entertaining pool would be in predicting how long these groups will last in the market. Back in the day, there were French groups (Stronglight/TA/Simplex/MAFAC), Spanish groups (Zeus), multiple Japanese groups, multiple Italian groups, and then there was the attempt by MAVIC to put together a complete group. Market forces drove all these guys out of business. It will be VERY interesting to see how this all sorts out - while some think that it can't be that hard to build a road group, we have lots of evidence of failed hubs, failed BBs, flimsy brakes, cheesy head sets, cracked rims, and on and on. Delivering performance, price, service, and a good market channel is a fair challenge. Going up against the Big S on the commodity side or Campy on the niche side is not my idea of fun :)
It is looking interesting, as in the mountain bike area, SRAM very much seem to only sell to a small market share, with very little OEM business, and they make money ( I think ). On the road scence, Campag also have very little OEM, but still survive.

There does seem to be a split of sorts in many areas of cycling, with some following on with the 'latest and greatest' products each year, 'Wheel Sets' with fewer and fewer spokes, even though some are heavier than 'old fashioned' wheels with 28/32 spokes.

If SRAM and Campag can make a profit without the huge OEM deals that Shimano have, then there might still be enough market share left with those that are dis-illusioned with Shimano's constant 'upgrades' and obsoleting of older gear, and Campag's prices.

I for one, am very interested in SRAM's offerings. If I can buy servicable components, and reasonably priced chains and cassettes, then I will likely be leaving Shimano in a few years time. I will have to feel that the components are of a similar level to DA and Record though, which for me, will only come through seeing them on top Tour teams bikes, and those teams winning ...
 

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StillKeen said:
It is looking interesting, as in the mountain bike area, SRAM very much seem to only sell to a small market share, with very little OEM business, and they make money ( I think ). On the road scence, Campag also have very little OEM, but still survive.

If SRAM and Campag can make a profit without the huge OEM deals that Shimano have, then there might still be enough market share left with those that are dis-illusioned with Shimano's constant 'upgrades' and obsoleting of older gear, and Campag's prices.
Maybe you don't pay attention to all the brands, but there are several major manufacturers that sell bikes with SRAM and Campy. In fact, last year there was a shortage (or at least an expected shortage) of Shimano parts due to metal shortages in China, and lots of bikes were offered with those groupos stock. Cannondale, for example, sells both on their bikes.

Granted, Shimano has been around longer, and nobody offers any SIGNIFICANT improvement over their stuff (you can argue the fine details either way, but the big S is just as good as anything out there when it comes to function), but their market share ain't what it used to be.
 

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Maillard - hubs and freewheels - SRAM
Atom (Part of Maillard) - hubs and freewheels - SRAM
Huret - derailleurs and shifters - SRAM
Simplex - derailleur and shifters - SRAM
Sedis - chains - SRAM

In Euro tradition, the above companies all merged in the 90's to form the Sachs-Huret brand and were bought up by SRAM in 97.

So SRAM have the best chance of competing with Shimano & Campagnolo.
 

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Matno said:
Maybe you don't pay attention to all the brands, but there are several major manufacturers that sell bikes with SRAM and Campy.
Too ture, I note what I see in stores only, and don't read through many manufacturers cataloges looking for Campag. Until I moved to London, I had only seem a handfull of Campag OEM bikes, and now in London I see a couple of bikes in the better stores, but still very few.

It would be interesting to see some figures on shimano vs campag for OEM and aftermarket. It would really have to be figures only for the Sora-Dura-ace level gear though, as shimano seem to sell millions of parts for low end bikes that campag doesnt compete for.

-Chris
 

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Matno said:
Maybe you don't pay attention to all the brands, but there are several major manufacturers that sell bikes with SRAM and Campy. In fact, last year there was a shortage (or at least an expected shortage) of Shimano parts due to metal shortages in China, and lots of bikes were offered with those groupos stock. Cannondale, for example, sells both on their bikes.

Granted, Shimano has been around longer, and nobody offers any SIGNIFICANT improvement over their stuff (you can argue the fine details either way, but the big S is just as good as anything out there when it comes to function), but their market share ain't what it used to be.
Actually, in the MTB market, MOST brands sell their bikes with some kind of SRAM components as OEM equipment. In fact, between 2004 and 2006 I think the OEM business for SRAM has at least doubled (no figures to back up this claim...just observations).

Remember, SRAM = Truvativ, which is OEM on many road and MTB's (cranksets, bars, etc).

SRAM = Rockshox, which is an OEM suspension fork on most MTB's (large % of rear shocks too).

SRAM = Avid, which is an OEM brake on very many MTB's.

You also see a lot of SRAM X-7 and X-9 grouppo's on MTB's in 2006. Not nearly as prolific as Shimano, but it's getting more and more common, especially on "value" bikes such as Jamis and Iron Horse.

So from an OEM perspective, I would say that SRAM is doing very well.

SRAM seems to have the best shot at competing head-to-head with Shimano at almost every level and on most any part. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long term. I think this will have a lot in common with the Intel-AMD wars that you see in the computer arena (with AMD doing quite well against a much bigger Intel).

FSA can't be ruled out either. Although they are newer to the game, many of their parts are highly regarded as far as performance is concerned. It will be interesting to see if they can transfer their success to deraillers/shifters.

Thx...Doug
 
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