SRAM acquires Hammerhead, dives into GPS computers

Computer brand will likely bring enhanced drivetrain, suspension, tire, and power meter integration features to SRAM’s AXS wireless ecosystem.

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SRAM has announced the acquisition of up-and-coming GPS cycling computer brand Hammerhead — maker of the powerful Karoo 2 — joining its continually growing portfolio of brands that includes RockShox, Zipp, Truvativ, Time Sport pedals, and Quarq. Financial details of the deal were not made public, but SRAM reports the acquisition was completed on December 30, 2021.

As with any acquisition of this nature, it’s not likely we’ll see much outward-facing change right away, though dealers and distributors will likely see some shake-ups on the backend sooner than later. But looking further ahead, it seems virtually guaranteed that SRAM will work to quickly integrate Hammerhead computers into its AXS ecosystem.

SRAM has been making a strong and steady push in recent years toward enhanced wireless technology and electronics in general, including its AXS family of electronic drivetrains, RockShox Flight Attendant electronic suspension components, and Quarq power meters, tire pressure sensors, and suspension setup modules. 

Currently, all of those require the use of a mobile phone app to some degree — whether for initial setup, adjusting settings, information logging, etc. — and while there is some level of communication with various third-party computer heads (Hammerhead included), it’s fairly limited. However, while the Karoo 2 is a very powerful GPS cycling computer in its own right, at its core, it’s an Android-powered mobile device with nearly all the capabilities of standalone smartphones running that same operating system, and all the same potential. In other words, it doesn’t seem like it’d be that much of a stretch for SRAM to eventually mirror most (maybe all?) of the functionality currently bundled into the Android version of the SRAM AXS app directly on to the Hammerhead computer that’s already attached to your handlebar.

This isn’t mere speculation on my part, either, as even SRAM’s official press release makes the company’s intentions clear.

“Together, SRAM and Hammerhead will continue to develop an innovative cycling technology platform ensuring riders can seamlessly integrate with a wide variety of existing hardware and software products and services including both Shimano and SRAM electronic shifting.”

As intriguing as that prospect sounds, it’s important to remember that current Hammerhead users span a range of brand loyalties, and according to SRAM, there are supposedly no plans to interfere with the brand’s third-party nature — at least for now.

“Hammerhead is an amazing brand with award-winning products, and we do not plan on changing anything about how they innovate,” said SRAM’s VP of Growth, Clint Weber. “We are excited about this acquisition and excited that their team will continue to design, manufacture, and sell technology and quality leading head units that work with every brand of drivetrain.”

Things are definitely getting interesting.

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