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Keyword: Integrated

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In the world of bicycle manufacuring, the name of the game is lighter weight and increased stiffness (see Lemond Triomphe - full carbon sub 1 kg). This seems to be the holy grail of developing parts for bicycle racing. The lighter the weight, the faster you accelerate. The stiffer the bike, the more efficient the power transfer. Over the last few years, we've seen manufacturers who have gone away with extra bolts and materials trying to combine seperate parts into one: integrated cranks and bottom bracket, integrated fork, headset, and stems, integrated frame and seatpost, dual control shifter and brake levers, tufo tubular tires, integrated spokes and nipples, integrated stem and handlebar, and integrated seatpost and saddles. Keyword: Integrated. One problem, however, with integration is that this leaves no room for adjustability and flexibility. Shimano cranks must use Shimano bottom brackets. If you bought XTR dual control shifters and want to switch out the brake levers, you're out of luck. Feel your integrated saddle is too far forward, too bad.

That's why I was very excited to see what the other big 'S' (SRAM) would develop after taking over bike companies Rock Shox, Avid, and Truvativ. At Sea Otter, they revealed their tweaked X.O. trigger shifters for '07. Integration with flexibility was obviously on the engineers' minds. Their new shifters (left) allow closer pairing with Avid brake levers and has a place for a Rock Shox Pop-loc switch. The shifters themselves have flexibility, too, allowing you to put brake levers on either side of the shifter clamp. The pull lever has a 30 degree range of adjustability. Integration never felt so flexible.

Related articles:
2007 SRAM Launch (
SRAM Launches bevy of MTB products at Sea Otter (

1 Responses to “Keyword: Integrated”

  1. Anonymous James 

    I am glad to see SRAM enter into the road market as well. I like Shimano, but they really need some competition. They have always tended to design proprietary components to discourage parts mixing. Remember back in the 80’s when Dura Ace cranks had an oversized pedal hole in the crank. I don’t remember the exact size, but he only pedals with a spindle that fit were, of course, Dura Ace. Today they are still up to the same old tricks, though not quite as blatantly.

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