A trusted partnership from start-up to world-renowned bicycle component manufacturer

The Company

SRAM LLC manufactures high-quality bicycle components and, as any cycling enthusiast will tell you, they do it very well. Today, SRAM is the second-largest bicycle component manufacturer in the world. But, SRAM's beginning in 1987 was much more humble: a few friends who were bicycle enthusiasts decided to build a better bicycle shifting system. Their common objective, combined with vision and creativity, changed the cycling world forever. SRAM developed a powerful new shifting product called Grip Shift. Cyclists loved it, and product managers loved its ability to innovate their products, but nonetheless SRAM was unable to break into the original equipment market. Even an innovative, great product can face serious barriers to entry in the free market.

The Antitrust Lawsuit

Shimano, the world's largest bicycle component manufacturer, would not sell their derailleurs and other components unless their customers also purchased their shifters. Shimano was engaging in a classic tying arrangement, prohibiting bike manufacturers from using non-Shimano componentry, like Grip Shift. SRAM was a small company then; Shimano was the 900-pound gorilla. But SRAM's antitrust claim had merit, and SRAM had the strong determination of committed entrepreneurs. SRAM asked Lewis Rice to file suit. Despite bumpy roads and strong headwinds, two years of litigation brought the case to out-of-court settlement in 1991 to SRAM's benefit.

The favorable outcome was the pivotal springboard for SRAM, positioning the company to develop into the worldwide, highly respected bicycle component manufacturer that it is today. The victory also opened doors for a host of other component manufacturers. Suddenly, it was anyone's game. Innovation returned to the bicycle world. Product managers now had options for how to build the "best bike." The bicycle industry press called the lawsuit David vs. Goliath, and the settlement the bicycling world's equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Corporate M&A Strategy

SRAM also had the vision and desire to expand its presence in the bicycle industry, and so they sought out exceptional components that would fit the SRAM philosophy. This passion to achieve the ultimate bicycle ride led SRAM to grow through the acquisition of high-quality partners. Lewis Rice represented SRAM in many mergers and acquisitions including Avid, Truvativ, Zipp and Quarq, all of which are renowned for world-class brakes, cranksets, wheels and power meters.

Holistic IP Approach

SRAM's leadership has always believed in doing what is right and defending what you have the right to do, through the legal process if necessary. Innovative technological and engineering advancements are the lifeblood of sophisticated performance products, and intellectual property protection creates the framework for that innovation to flow.

Over the course of more than 25 years, we have counseled SRAM on a wide spectrum of legal matters, encompassing intellectual property, antitrust, litigation, labor and employment to transactional work.


Bike race photo courtesy of Brakethrough Media

Firm Highlights
Client Alert

FTC Adds Teeth to the ‘Made in USA’ Rule

More
News

Neal F. Perryman Named to Missouri’s POWER List in Employment Law by Missouri Lawyers Media

More
News

Michael R. Thiessen Recognized as Pro Bono Spotlight by KCMBF for August

More
News

Michael D. Mulligan Publishes Article in ACTEC Law Journal Comparing Sales to an Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust and a to Beneficiary Intentionally Defective Irrevocable Trust

More
News

David W. Sweeney Represents Advantes Group in $7.2 Million Apartment Project

More
News

Lewis Rice Wins $1.5 Million in Compensation for Covington Landowners

More
News

Lewis Rice Wins Nearly $500,000 in Compensation for Sarasota Landowners

More
News

Brian P. Pezza Quoted in SHRM Articles on Employee Vaccination Status Disclosure and Employer Vaccination Policies

More
News

Matthew J. Haas Offers Commentary for Inside P&C Article on Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

More
Client Alert

Missouri Now Requires Employers to Provide Leave and Accommodations for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

More
News

John C. Bodnar Named BTI M&A Client Service All-Star

More
News

Lewis Rice Recognized as Top M&A Firm by BTI Consulting Group

More
News

61 Lewis Rice Attorneys Named Best Lawyers for 2022, 16 Named Ones to Watch

More
Client Alert

OSHA’s New Guidance Regarding Indoor Mask Wearing, COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates, Regular Testing of Unvaccinated Workers, and More

More
Client Alert

Property Owners Can Push the Issue Under Illinois Mechanic’s Lien Law

More
Client Alert

FTC Reverses Course on Treatment of Debt Payoff Under HSR Act

More
Diversity & Inclusion

Golf Foundation of Missouri Awards First Larry L. Deskins, Sr. Scholarship

More
News

Lauren R. Carey Creates New Blog for Social Media Influencers

More
Client Alert

Supreme Court Limits Ability to Compel Access to Private Property Without Compensation

More
News

Four Lewis Rice Attorneys Named 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers

More
View next:
Major Brands