coursemyhorse - Member
I have a distinct lack of sympathy for SRAM when they act in the way they have. Simple word for it.. greed. They pitched a product with silly high demand
a) At too high a price point/level
b) As part of a full system you have to buy into (contributing to A)
They went out of their way to pitch it at the highest level and then trickle it down gradually maximizing margin and hence profit. They probably would have made more money if they pitched it at "X9 level" and basically lowered the price. They would have made up for the lower margin in turnover.
With this patent comes a company trying to become a monopoly for a product that is relatively simple and will be the future of all single ring chain rings. It's huge if this goes through as SRAM could dictate the price for them forever more. But at what point does a patent become farcical? Apple trying to patent rounded corners for example. At what point can you say the design has actually been "copied"? How is this defined?
The lesson here should be to give customers what they want as soon as possible at reasonable prices (not ridiculous ones). I mean how long have we been waiting for someone to come out with an increased ratio cassette that does not cost the same as XX1, and is not bespoke and locking you into company X's products. Make products conform to the most common standards where possible and stop being greedy bar stewards. That way, we as MTB consumers can progress more quickly.
If the demand is very high (and it certainly seems to be, since people can't get hold of the cranks), then they've pitched it at the right price form their point of view - they're selling out as fast as SRAM can make them.
And yes, they're trying to patent their idea - they're entitled to, because they thought of it. Simple idea it may be, but it's a clever one, and it works well. They're entitled to use and profit from their own idea as they see fit. I think you can safely say the deign is being copied when Works admit as much in their sales blurb.
The market is free for someone to come up with a new large cassette if they want to. SRAM did it their way.