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Grip Shift is Golden
September 3, 2011 — Champéry, Switzerland

Observers of last week’s XC World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland, noticed something special on Jaroslav Kulhavy’s winning bike. The 26-year-old Czech, who took the XC world by storm this year and also won the World Cup, had a secret weapon: SRAM’s new 10-speed BlackBox Grip Shift® twist shifters.
Many XC racers prefer twist shifters for their legendary lightweight performance and their ability to shift multiple gears at once. Kulhavy has long been a fan of twist shifters. BlackBox Program Manager Jon Cancellier and Kulhavy decided Worlds was the perfect opportunity to switch from trigger to twist shifters. “Kulhavy’s victory at Worlds validated the development of the BlackBox Grip Shift,” Cancellier said. “We’re stoked to get it into production soon.”

The new 2012 Grip Shift coincides with SRAM’s 25th anniversary. The company burst onto the scene in 1987 with its original DB1 shifter, which redefined the way cyclists shift gears. Grip Shift gained momentum on the race scene and millions were sold around the world. Now, with 2X10 drivetrains gaining popularity, SRAM is updating Grip Shift for this segment of the market.

The BlackBox Program works within SRAM to marry advanced product development with elite athletes to get the best out of both. Cancellier works closely with SRAM brand product managers to identify opportunities where athlete feedback can elevate product performance.

Some BlackBox developments stay secret. Some, like the new 10-speed Grip Shift, emerge from the dark to win World Championships.
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