Greg Herbold Retires After a Quarter Century with SRAM

Jul 26, 2016
by SRAM  
SRAM and RockShox announced today the retirement of Greg “HB” Herbold. HB first became affiliated with SRAM more than 25 years ago, when he was signed to race and endorse the company’s only product—Grip Shift. His connection to RockShox goes back to 1988 and the RS-1. A natural-born tinkerer, HB began looking for ways to improve the performance of his fork. This desire for better products, combined with his hands-on approach, would prove extremely valuable to SRAM and RockShox product development.


Greg Herbold
Greg Herbold


“HB has been a part of the SRAM family since 1990, and it has been absolute joy working with him from day one,” says SRAM Executive VP Mike Mercuri. “Greg’s contribution to SRAM’s success goes way beyond using and endorsing our products as a professional athlete. He’s made vital contributions to our product development over the last 25 years. His technical intuition and ability to communicate, educate and make it fun is his greatest legacy.”

Herbold is perhaps best known athletically for winning the 1990 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships Downhill, and his larger-than-life persona that helped give ‘90s-era mountain biking its character, but his contributions to product development are equally impressive.

The feel and performance of all RockShox suspension, for instance, owe a debt of gratitude to HB, who provided direction on all spring and damping curves, as well as chassis stiffness. He helped engineers understand the boundaries of geometry, in terms of handling, when the travel-adjustable products—U-turn, Air U-turn, Dual Position Air and Coil—were being developed. He prototyped the first remote for SID using mostly RC car parts, and famously led the development of the Power Bulge™ when he experimented with hose clamps on fork legs to improve ride consistency. And suspension isn’t the only category HB touched—he’s had considerable involvement with brakes and drivetrain products as well.

Greg Herbold

“I was super fortunate to have parallel relationships during my racing career with both SRAM and RockShox,” says Herbold. “When they combined forces, I was truly at home. The innovative process is pretty entertaining and, hopefully, my enthusiasm and forward thinking helped to create shred-able product that riders enjoyed. We had our perfect dives, and some belly flops, but the drive to innovate always kept everything super exciting. It still is.

“Being a part of the SRAM family for the last 25 plus has been a wild ride to say the least. To think they approached me with one product—Grip Shift—to where the company is now, is a bit mind blowing. I feel super lucky that they took a chance on sponsoring me. The chance I took on them being successful is probably the highlight of my career in this industry.”




MENTIONS: @SramMedia




44 Comments

  • + 24
 From about 1999-2004 I volunteered at the NORBA races in MT Snow, VT. I was a teenager and my volunteer duties ranged from course marshall to course tape fixer to TV camera spotter (OLN covered the Mt. Snow back then before they rebranded as Vs. and dropped their MTB coverage.)

As I got older and became a familiar face among the volunteer organizers I was given more interesting things to do - like marshall in the Yardsale section of the DH course, or cord-wrangle for an OLN camera person as we followed HB around the pits interviewing people. I'll never forget witnessing the power of the H-Ball and the rapport he had with pretty much everyone. At one point I commented to Greg "HB, one thing I like about mountain biking as opposed to other sports is that people are very friendly and approachable." "Yeah!" he replied, "no one is getting paid enough to be an a*shole!"
  • + 3
 That last sentence sums up MTB so well. Loved reading this comment. I was a grom racing Mt. Snow in the early/mid 90's and what a scene it was! Going to have to dig up the one pic I have with HB from probably 94 this evening.
  • + 4
 @probi: Awesome man. Was there a year (95? 96?) when the XC was a World Cup event (UCI) but the DH was Norba? I remember that year being about double the number of people, pit tents and racers.
  • + 0
 @probi: no it doesn't, MTBers, have the similar ratio of cool guys to a*sholes, like any other sport related group. Just look at this E-bike hating, where MTBers show same unfounded prejudice towards E-bikers, that they accuse hikers of. Negativity on internet is appauling. "29ers are gay", "lycra is gay", "26 for life!!!" does that ring a bell?

www.pinkbike.com/photo/13687469
  • + 26
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd say that most Mountain Bikers are very cool; most Pinkbikers are Ass-holes.
  • + 1
 @SteveDekker: I'd love to see a rough list of potential causes of mountain bikers being "cooler" than road cyclists or hikers or fighter pilots or whatever comes to your mond. What is the cool factor making us better? What criteria would you chose, what is the point of reference? Who's to judge?
  • + 2
 @hjulier: I was definitely there for the NORBA years. Grundig doing timing too. Pretty sure Jeep was in as a sponsor as well. Just moved into a new house and found my race # from it - hahah. Corona T-shirt, cotton plaid shorts, and a 20" rigid cannondale with canti's as a 5'7" youngin. I'm gonna scan that thing tonight. WTF was I thinking! Big Grin
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I've been an a*shole lately, but turning it around. Hadn't encountered that many in many person to person interactions, internet's easy to be c*ntly. Not as much recourse. However, how many people on bikes not like theirs on trails been dicks? I've never commented on someone's wheel size on the trail, but I guess it happens. But pretty far and in between. Seen a lot of dudes have rough patches and continue to ride, redeem themselves. Are any of the examples you bring up negativity or just people being playful in a dorky way, or do you think there's malice behind it? I kinda see it as a group within a group, i like this and not that kinda thing. Ride on
  • - 1
 @SteveDekker: Shut your cake hole you lycra-wearing, 29er-riding ass clown! My bike's clean, my kit is brand new.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'll judge. Here's how coolness is ranked amongst these groups:

Fighter Pilot > Mtber > Roadie > E-Biker

Now that that's settled, I dedicate my morning ride tomorrow to Greg as well as my disdain for e-bikes.
  • + 2
 I don't base my judgment solely on stuff people write on the internet. Majority of sports out there are practiced by groups of people with all kinds of predominant social appearances. I find nothing special about Mountain Bikers. It is off course understandable that all groups want to feel as one of the coolest and extraordinary in some way. It's bollocks and requires looking down at someone to compensate for putting himself up, but if it makes someone feel better about himself? Do it.
  • + 5
 Never compare yourself to others, you may become bitter and vain as there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I think HB and @probi were referring to the pros, who to this day, remain relatively chill and approachable, certainly relative to other sports. Hell, I'd day 95% of people I meet on trails, even in some of the "hardcore" Meccas are at least ok one on one.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: ever hang out with a bunch of golfers?
Mtb people are way cool, you just hang with the wrong crowd/are part of the wrong crowd. All my bikers are all love all the time.
  • + 22
 HB cut the course. Know the truth.
  • + 2
 Yeah like you would know. You were how old, 8? Give the guy the respect the deserves!
  • + 16
 HBall !!! Congrats brother, I remember rapping with you a few times way back when the shop sold Miyata. You were a great inspiration to all of us trying to push the envelope of what could be ridden on a mt. Bike. Best wishes and thank you for helping pave the way, always willing to help, and just the general positive vibes! Cheers!!
  • + 10
 HairBall! Tremendously nice guy, bad-ass racer and product developer. Huge personality and just plain likable!
Loved a quote of his--"less brakes make you go faster"--after losing a brake pad in a race (which he won). I mean lost brake pad as in--it came loose and fell out of the cantilever. Cantilever--look 'em up kids.
You're the best Greg. Cheers!
  • + 14
 HB cut the chord.
  • + 4
 Most of the net will not get this...and it will be so hard to google by now. But excellent pun.
  • + 2
 A little local knowledge goes a long way!
  • + 1
 That site is long gone but it was fun. Team Robot was picking up the slack for a while but he's gone too.
  • + 8
 One of the all time legends of mtb. I remember him from Tread the movie with Hans Rey, inspirational stuff back then.
  • + 4
 I'm not trying to say anything negative, but hasn't Herbold been retired for a long time now? I mean, he retired and went to work for Rock Shox and has lived like a retiree for the last decade that I can tell racing remote controlled cars and riding motos. Pretty Schweeet actually. Does this mean he's only going to wear a robe all the time or something along those lines?
  • + 3
 Most won't read my comment, but I just wanted to say at every race I ever attended over the years, he was by far and away the most open, energetic and approachable person in the pits, bar none. Great ambassador for the sport.
  • + 6
 A true legend... And an awesome guy....
Enjoy del Boca whatever in flaarida, that's where retried folks go, right???
  • + 5
 I'm so old . H ball congrats on a life well lived Enjoy retirement dude
  • + 2
 as one of my heroes together with tomac, wayne croasdale, curren, mike stewart, tony hawk, hosoi, magnusson, roskopp, eddie reategui, gator, mark gonzalez, rodney mullen...... THANKS FOR BEING ON MY WALL!!!
  • + 6
 H-Ball!
  • + 1
 The man is a legend and a benefit to all things cycling !! Thanks for all the years man~~ You rock ! Hope you have one hell of a retirement and enjoy the crap out of life even more !
  • + 3
 He's going to revive Miyata.
  • + 4
 Nicely done HB!
  • + 1
 I saw his crazy 20" wheeled bike locked up at the 2012 Intebike outdoor demo. And I thought it was one of the coolest things at the show.
  • + 1
 They forgot to mention his equally important contribution to the clipless pedal which he developed with Shimano. Of course Sram would not mention...
  • + 3
 1991 was 25 years ago what the heck
  • + 2
 Cutting corners professionally for a 1/4 of a century
  • + 2
 Congrats neighbor. Now you'll have time to help me rebuild my RC car
  • + 1
 In Italy he was the "pannocchione". Ciao Greg!
  • + 1
 ooohhhhh what a loss for SRAMs golden parachute program
  • + 2
 Cheers HB!
  • + 1
 The original King of the Mountain.
  • + 0
 He rode 25 miles and then retired? What a wimp.
  • + 0
 where will he move? Fox? Shimano? Magura?
  • + 1
 HB cut the course.

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.031235
Mobile Version of Website