In the last few days, both component behemoths have reported declining year-on-year sales

Both Shimano and SRAM have recently reported the effects of reduced component sales, with Shimano announcing its first quarterly revenue decline year-on-year since 2009.

Shimano 105 groupset review

In its Summary of Financial Results published on 26 April, net sales in Shimano’s bicycle division were shown to be down from 81 billion yen (£500m) to 65 billion yen (£400m) and the company’s overall operating income including its fishing and other divisions was down by over 30% in contrast to 63% growth in the same period last year.

Shimano suggested in its statement that an uncertain economic outlook and declining consumer confidence in Europe, the US and Japan were major contributors and that these had led to high component inventory levels at OEMs. Although the company stated that inventory of complete bicycles in Europe remained appropriate, there were higher inventories in Japan, China and North America, resulting in a 20% global decrease in Shimano’s bicycle component sales.

And soft sales at SRAM too

sram red etap rear derailleur 3

SRAM’s new eTap is selling well to OEMs

Meanwhile, according to Bicycle Retailer, SRAM – which also owns the Quarq and Zipp brands amongst others – has announced that soft sales over the last 12 months have led it to lay off around 40 people from its worldwide workforce of 3500, although SRAM says that this will not impact manufacturing or product development. In the first quarter its sales were down around 10% year-on-year and SRAM’s president Stan Day says that the previous quarters had also shown soft sales.

≥≥≥SRAM eTap Reviewed 

Day did say that although total volume of sales to OEM manufacturers was down, there was an increase in spec of products sold, with eTap doing well. Day also mentioned SRAM’s Zipp brand as a highlight.

  • Trefor Jones

    I have a complete 2003 Campag Record 10speed triple 50/40/30 group-set on my Ilkeston built Raleigh 531c complete with Record hubs on Mavic Open Pro rims.13 years later Its operation is still far quieter and slicker than my 2015 Ultegra 50/34 11speed groups on my Trek Domane 5.2. Swapping out the Ultegra cassette and chain for Dura Ace has still not improve performance likewise changing out Bontrager Race wheels for Campag Shamal Ultra wheels lowered the overall weight and substantially reduces rolling resistance but Ultegra is a long long way short of Campag Record. At the end of the day Campag is the Rolls Royce of group sets and I sincerely believe in group sets price dictates quality.

  • J1

    So….cheaper components for a while?

  • velocite

    No, never had a recalled product. The support issue has never come up for me with either SRAM or Shimano. In these high volume, throwaway days I probably don’t expect a lot either. Sad.

  • MrHaematocrit

    I currently have SRAM Red Hydro-R & Dura-Ace Di2 bikes and don’t mind the shifting of either. My problem is with how SRAM treats consumers, the lack of information during recalls and the fact they find leaving customers out of pocket acceptable really winds me up. Out of curiosity have you had anything recalled by SRAM

  • MrHaematocrit

    I’ve not used Campag myself but the people I know who do are very loyal to the brand which probably says a lot itself, might have to look at it for my next bike

  • Mister Epic

    Perhaps its high to cease overpricing your products to promote grassroot cycling? Or you’d rather think about your corporate greed.

  • velocite

    I have used both SRAM and Shimano groups, Red and Dura Ace, for many years. They have worked equally well for me, with the big difference being SRAM’s double-tap shifters, which I prefer.

    So for me, SRAM better!

  • Stevo

    Have you ever used Campag? In my opinion it is even better than Shimano.

    SRAM is awful.

  • MrHaematocrit

    SRAM group customer service is simply appalling, they do not value the customer enough to drive brand loyalty. I had my SRAM hydro rim brakes recalled not once but twice and was without my bike for eight months due to this. I received no apology or componsation. Recently the company recalled Zipp wheels as the hubs had issues. All my three sets of wheels were returned without rim tape, their mistake and recall has cost me money.
    I will never ever buy SRAM group products again as the company lacks the ability and desire to support them or the consumer.
    In contrast my Shimano based bikes continue to shift as good as the day they were built and the customer service I have received had been decent. They really try to assist.
    First generation SRAM product customers are testers who pay for the privilege I learnt that the hard way.

  • Gordon William Allen

    Shimano group sets are so good… their longevity with regards to wear/tear and reliability means there is no reason to change (particularly Ultegra and Dura ace). The current economic climate dictates that people will stick with ‘what they have’ rather than change to remain fashionable. The small step-change does not warrant it. Overall, this is a credit to the manufacturer for ‘getting it right’.