Learn More About Cycle Ops & Saris


Functional Beauty

The handsome Saris Cycle-On hitch-mount
rack makes loading bikes a breeze.

Take a walk through the unassuming factory that extends from the rear of Graber U.S.A.'s Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters, and you see American ingenuity in action. Graber is the parent company of Saris Innovative Rack Systems and Cycle Ops Performance Training Products, two mainstays in the bicycle accessories world. Ever since the company's founding in 1974, the auto racks and trainers produced here have been known for rock-solid value and reliable durability.

That reputation is built on a sophisticated manufacturing system commanded by Graber's 70 full-time employees. Organized to supply just-in-time deliveries to customers around the world, Graber's work teams employ cellular manufacturing that adapts quickly to changing demand.

As National Sales Director Ken Hannes explains, "We have three big advantages: Our cellular manufacturing means that we build only what we need to satisfy the customer. We also perform 100-percent in-house testing on assembled products, so nothing ships unless it is perfect. And we have the best employees in the world working here."
Indeed, the organization and camaraderie in the factory is heartening. Graber's five in-house engineers oversee an efficient floor layout that moves work from station to station with a minimum of fuss. Nearly every part is made in house, and what comes in from outside is produced by local suppliers with Graber-owned tooling.
That commitment to local manufacturing is mirrored by Graber's longstanding ties to its workforce. At the company's well-attended monthly anniversary parties, for example, each employee's start date is celebrated with lunch and a generous dose of good-hearted ribbing. In a recent gathering, employees with seven, 12 and 17 years of service were among those toasted - and they are the norm, not the exception.

Graber's diverse workforce employs a total quality control system to ensure lifetime customer satisfaction.
The Saris Bones rack holds bikes at different levels to avoid contact. The three-bike Bones is available in five colors.
Part Two
It's all part of what the company's president, Chris Fortune, calls Graber's "Best in Class Strategy." "It's very important to innovate, in order to separate yourself from everyone else," he says. "The way we do that is by meeting our customers' needs by developing new and useful products that our customers want. Our goals center on creating and innovating - not imitating."

Indeed, the unique value that Graber builds into every Saris rack and Cycle Ops trainer is evident not only with their careful construction, but with the features they offer to cyclists. Take, for example, the Saris Bones trunk racks. Offered in two- and three-bike units, Bones racks are molded from virtually indestructible engineering resin that gives them unbeatable strength, yet they have a fluid, graceful shape you'll find nowhere else. What is most striking about the three-bike Bones, however, is that it comes in five colors, making it easy to match to your car, or pick a contrasting color as an accent.

Saris roof racks are just as sophisticated. The load bars, for instance, boast an advanced elliptical shape. The design is not only stout - you could probably turn your car upside down and rest it on these triple-channel aluminum bars without damage - but aerodynamically efficient for less wind noise. And if you've ever struggled to set up a roof rack system, you'll be happy to learn that the Saris load bars come completely pre-assembled, and center themselves automatically when you tighten the end handle.

And then there are the hitch racks. The Saris B.A.T. uses stylistic arms that adjust with one twist to carry bikes of any size and description. If
you prefer an upright tray-like system, the new Cycle-On is the obvious choice. With its smooth lines and silver finish, this hitch rack won't look out of place on Porsche's upcoming SUV, and loading bikes into its secure wheel carriers couldn't be simpler (the wheels stay on!). All Saris racks have a lifetime warranty.

Saris designs are a collaboration between Graber's engineers and the pen of Fabio Pedrini, an industrial designer based in Bologna, Italy. Pedrini, an active sports enthusiast, is given free rein to exercise his imagination in the creation of new Saris products. The engineering team then creatively turns his sketches into elegant reality.

Cycle Ops trainers benefit from the same approach. The trainer feet are eccentric, for easy leveling. The wide stance of the legs makes them unbeatably stable. And the resistance unit choices - wind, mag and fluid - offer something for everyone.

The patented design of the Fluid2 trainer is quiet as a whisper, yet offers the most road-like feel of any trainer anywhere - one of the reasons why it was chosen by the Saturn Cycling Team as its official trainer. The Fluid2's resistance level varies automatically with cadence and wheel speed, and its power range can vary from 0 to unlimited watts. And yes, it has a lifetime warranty, too.

Cyclo Ops trainers have sturdy bases and robust construction; wind, mag and fluid units are offered. All have a lifetime warranty.
Cycle Ops Power-Tap is the most fully functioned computer yet for measuring power output. For easy set-up complete rear wheels are available.
Part Three
If you prefer a magnetic trainer, you'll want the new Mag, which uses spring-loaded magnets hidden inside its flywheel to deliver an automatic resistance increase with speed. The build-up is not linear; you can spin easily at low speed, for warm-up and cool-down. But as you accelerate, resistance grows exponentially, providing a more realistic and useful workout.

To monitor your workouts, Cycle Ops offers Power-Tap, probably the most sophisticated tool available to measure power output and rider performance. With data obtained from its rear hub sensor and chest strap, the Power-Tap computer displays output in watts, heart rate, speed, cadence, elapsed time, mileage, and total energy expenditure. Moreover, the data can be downloaded to your home PC for analysis.

The new Power-Tap Pro, doubles the memory to record 15 hours of ride time, and comes with a dedicated cadence sensor for greater accuracy. It is easily the most affordable and accurate power-measuring computer ever offered to cyclists.

You can see the Power-Tap and Cycle Ops products in action at local races, in the Cycle Ops warm-up areas at the First Union events and the Pro Cycling Tour, the Ride for the Roses and countless triathlons and races in between. You'll see the Saturn and Navigators teams using the same equipment, along with the Trek/VW riders,
the Gary Fisher mountain bike team, and the USA Triathlon team, among others.

Team sponsorships are part of Graber's philosophy of giving back to the community. Long-time boosters of IMBA, Cycle Ops and Saris also contribute to the League of American Bicyclists. Chris Fortune has recently been asked by Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum to chair the state's Bicycle Coordinating Council, which promotes bicycle use and safety.

Fortune's goal with his company's advocacy support is to make cycling more enjoyable for everyone. His goal for Graber is just as straightforward: "We want customers for life," he says. By offering value, durability and service, he and Graber's dedicated staff are right on track.