After the disastrous recall of every single one of its first model of derailleur (the SRAM ESP 900), SRAM boldly stuck with it, slightly redesigning the gear and sorting out the manufacturing process - and the SRAM ESP 9.0SL was the result.
The design of the 9.0SL includes all SRAM’s signature features; the one-to-one actuation, the steeply angled slant parallelogram, the lack of float in the guide pulley and the single sprung pivot design with the top pulley wheel concentric with the sprung pivot (all except one-to-one actuation follow the basic design of the SunTour V GT).
When manufactured using ‘carbon composites’, with sealed bearing pulleys and an aluminium attachment bolt, the result was an extremely light and very capable gear.
This example is the famous ‘Woody’ version. Cannondale finished a complete bike in wood-grain finish to perfectly complement it. SRAM donated a portion of the value of sales of this derailleur to the International Mountainbike Association to promote trail preservation.
Plastic disguised as wood - for SRAM it was an altruistic style statement, for IKEA it is a multi billion dollar business.