Chicago, Illinois, US
Demand has skyrocketed for SRAM products during the COVID pandemic, with increases of 100% or more for some lines, the company’s CEO, Ken Lousberg, has revealed in a recent CyclingTips Nerd Alert podcast.
Ken disclosed that SRAM’s production capacity has also escalated sharply, more than doubling for a number of its products.
That has required massive investment, running continuous shifts at all factories – which were previously two-shift operations – and recruiting hundreds of additional staff for those shifts and supporting roles.
In contrast to the shortages seen on shop shelves, Ken reveals SRAM has more stock in the company’s warehouses than ever before. While the greatest challenge facing SRAM six months ago was sourcing raw material, such as aluminium and magnesium, now it’s shipping – namely the inability for SRAM’s customers to get containers to ship those products to their markets.
During the interview, Ken estimates the world’s cycling population has increased by three to 10 times since the start of the pandemic – a global boost of millions of new riders.
“We as an industry, we as riders need to welcome them like we’ve never welcomed them in our lives, to keep them riding,” he says.
“They’re the ones who’re gonna help us influence local and national government, to put in more dedicated trails, more protected bike lanes. That opportunity for us is unbelievable.
“At a rider-to-rider level, we must be so welcoming to anybody who’s joined us because of the pandemic.”
SRAM founder FK Day is our special guest in the next instalment of our Influencers podcast series, which explores the stories behind some of the most pivotal figures in cycling. Our FK Day Influencers podcast launches on February 1st and you can watch or listen to all the episodes here.