Santa Cruz Syndicate and SRAM to Part Ways After 8 Year Partnership

For nearly as long as I have been following the Peaty and the downhill race scene, SRAM and the Santa Cruz Syndicate seemed to go hand in hand. Wherever you would see Peat, Minnaar, Bryceland, etc, you would see them aboard the latest and greatest from the big red machine. As they say, all good things come to an end, and after 8 long and successful years, the Syndicate is thanking Sram for their incredible support while moving on.

What are they moving to? Rumors have been circulating that the new bikes will be equipped with Shimano parts and possibly Fox suspension, but only time will tell.

Check out the full press release from Santa Cruz after the break.

From Santa Cruz:

The Santa Cruz Syndicate and SRAM/RockShox brands have been synonymous with one another for 8 years, from the inception of the Syndicate in 2004 through 2011. It is with sadness and great respect that we are parting ways in 2012.

This has been an incredible journey, and the partnership has helped our racers achieve an impressive set of goals and dreams—2 UCI World Cup Downhill overall titles, 10 UCI World Cups wins by Greg Minnaar, 3 World Cup wins and a historic World Championship title by Steve Peat, and a Junior World Championship title by Josh Bryceland. These results were made possible using SRAM, Rockshox, Truvativ and Avid products, along with the world-class technical support of the SRAM team.

Working closely with John Dawson and Jon Cancellier on prototype Black Box projects and receiving their on-site support was a pleasure, and our heartfelt thanks go out to them for their years of dedication to the Syndicate. Thank you also to Dave Zimberoff for making the partnership possible.

Steve Peat says, “Leaving SRAM is a tough one for me. I have been with RockShox for 16 years so you could say the brand is engraved in me. But like most things in life nothing lasts forever and it has been a great time over the last 16 years. I want to thank each and every person at RockShox and SRAM who have helped me achieve my goals in my career. I have made lots of friends and had some fun times. Thanks guys!”

Greg Minnaar says, “Since joining the Syndicate in 2008 your support has been incredible.

Thanks to all the crew that work hard behind the scenes making sure our Black Box equipment was keeping us ahead of the rest.”


Josh Bryceland says, “I’ve ridden SRAM since I started mountain biking and I’ve come far using their products. Times change and so do sponsors, thanks for 4 years on the Syndicate without a mechanical in a race run.”

Rob Roskopp says, “Our partnership with SRAM over the years saw many milestones achieved, Steve Peat’s 2009 World Championship in Canberra, Greg Minnaar’s win at Maribor in 2010 aboard the first carbon bike to take a World Cup win, and countless podiums over the last 8 years. I would like to thank the whole crew at SRAM for the great memories and support.”

Comments

Steve - 01/31/12 - 11:43am

And now…all of the sudden, Shimano is the best. Fox is the best.

Mel - 01/31/12 - 12:25pm

I did the same thing. It was 3 short rides on SRAM. I didn’t make such a big deal about it. I am surprised it took them so lon to realize they didn’t like Rock shox.

Vodalous - 01/31/12 - 12:29pm

….I’m sure at that level all the suspension/drivetrain/braking components are all equally as good. When you’re racing world cup its like racing factory dirt bikes – none of those parts are stock. That said, fox versus rockshox isn’t a fair comparison. The boxxer has been using the same damper for several years now. It leaks, it creaks, and its just not as supple.

I wish the team all the best next year.

Mark W. - 01/31/12 - 12:56pm

@vodalous
I don’t think its really that the parts aren’t stock, aside from that black coating, but i think that racers have far more ability to tune their suspension and have the parts and tools on hand to do exactly what they want for a certain run. Not just Rock Shox, but all companies give their athletes that in pro settings with stuff like, chain rings, cassettes, cranks, brakes, rotors, rims, wheels, tires, bars, clothing, pedals, spokes, etc. Its all pretty stock when you look at it, its just they have everything at hand to do what ever they need.

notapro - 01/31/12 - 2:09pm

is it just SRAM simply putting its money on the road scene? Fox has alot of hype too. Kashima coat and boostvalve isn’t all that. syndicate on ccdbs and/or BOS would be pretty cool.

Gross - 01/31/12 - 3:02pm

anyone who thinks this has anything to do with what parts are better or not is an idiot. sponsorship deals like this are all about how much money gets thrown at the team. Not to mention, if sram or whoever was as bad some people say it would be reflected in market share. While i have a generally low opinion of most peoples intelligence, they typicallly don’t continue to buy stuff that doesn’t work.

Robin - 01/31/12 - 6:48pm

I’d be surprised if the change was the result of a performance or equipment function issue. As Gross mentioned, it’s likely about the number of pesos asked or support requested that was the decider.

Since SRAM is financially extended pretty far, I wonder if they’re being a bit more conservative in sponsorships doled out, perhaps trying to pinch a penny or two. It’s just a thought.

zoodude - 01/31/12 - 7:53pm

Most likely a contract gone South and not the product itself. Regardless, there is only rumors on who they will get. Who knows they could get an unrelated sponsor and pick and choose their gear like we do. Just imagine Fox shocks and Sram gears or vise verse with alternatives…

ted - 01/31/12 - 8:38pm

I heard they were tired of using their thumbs only to shift. carpal tunnel for an old dood like peaty. Didn’t he ride the dt 1350′s?

mike - 02/01/12 - 12:20am

Note that Santa Cruz no longer caries the SRAM components with their bike builder on their web-site. That could have something to do with the split.

Warp - 02/02/12 - 6:37am

Yup, money talking there. As Mike says, most probably SC and SRAM didn’t reach an agreement at OEM level.

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