By Robert Annis
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (BRAIN) — Retailers needing Zipp wheels will have only one distributor option soon: Quality Bicycle Products.
SRAM named QBP the sole distributor for Zipp wheels and Quarq ELSA and RIKEN power meters, effective March 15. The products will continue to be available dealer direct, as well. Currently, QBP shares distribution with both Security Bicycle and Hawley.
Brian Gavette, SRAM's director of aftermarket sales and marketing for the Americas, declined to go into much detail about the component giant’s decision, saying the move would, “create more efficiency in our processes by narrowing the distribution channels.”
“This is something we’ve been evaluating for quite a while,” Gavette said. “As industry distribution channels continue to change, we’re changing as well. … It’s a natural evolution of (our) business.”
Gavette was confident QBP has enough inventory on-hand to avoid any possible shortages. Retailers “shouldn’t notice a thing,” Gavette said.
Despite the decision to offer its higher-end products only through QBP, SRAM will continue to offer Zipp Service Course products and Quarq Red power meters through other distributors. Likewise, all other SRAM product lines, including Avid, Rock Shox and Truvativ, will also be unaffected.
Gavette said there are no immediate plans to streamline the distribution network for the remaining products.
SRAM’s decision comes on the heels of Shimano streamlining its distribution network by two-thirds last July, but Gavette said the two moves are unrelated.