|The new component group from Shimano- GRX|
The reactions of others were typical and predictable. Those who have had issues with Shimano for any reason in the past, (even if they were mechanic/self-induced) didn't like it. Those who love SRAM stuff didn't like it. Some people commented on my story with comments that were addressed in my posts, but the commenters obviously ignored, (or did not read or comprehend) my thoughts. Again....very typical and very expected.
But there is one rule of the internet that I have learned over the last almost 15 years. That is, only the dissatisfied/unhappy comment. Well, almost only they do. Sometimes you get the open minded commenters.Sometimes you get folks that have reasoned criticisms and you can have a good discussion with them. Fortunately that has mostly been the case here on the blog. But on the general internet- not so much. In general, people with reasoned opinions, or that are in agreement simply nod their head, think about things, take a sip of coffee, and then move on. You never hear from them. Not on the internet, at any rate. Meet them in public and you get surprised. The kindness and interaction is refreshing. It's a weird reality.
Anyway, I think that the whole introduction of parts and pieces early, as Shimano has done, is not optimal for the bicycle business. Now, if you are thinking about a gravel bike, you are going to put off your decision until GRX is available, (Late Summer/Early Fall), and this also makes floored models in shops, (and online, by the way), less attractive. I know. I had an interaction with someone that was like this yesterday. But how do you make sure an entire line of new components is all ready to go on bikes all at the same time. Remember- SRAM did it with one level of components, not three, and not across such a wide ranging number of possible combinations. So, don't compare it to the late SRAM AXS intro. It isn't even in the same league.
|Shimano has 1X. By the way, SRAM did not "force their hand" into this either.|
Then there is the whole issue of "created need". You know, there was a time when cross-compatibility of chain rings was ubiquitous. You could set up an MTB, cyclo cross, road, or touring set up with one crank set, a couple or three square taper bottom brackets, and a selection of rear free wheel cogs, and later on, cassettes. "One crank forging to rule them all and in the Darkness bind them". (Apologies to J.R.R.) But with changes came confusion, and compatibility is very limited now, or non-existent. This drives demand when a new advancement is made and it isn't compatible with your current gear. Fortunately, Shimano did not make the new GRX 12 speed and had us all go to MicroSpline cassette free hub wheels. (But how long before that happens?) Anyway.....It didn't seem to bother people when SRAM made us get their XD driver, so who knows?
There are certain things that point to a better future with GRX and adventure/gravel rigs, but there are also things that are sort of a pain due to their proprietary nature. At least Shimano made GRX compatible with current cassettes and chains. You can plug and play current Di2 stuff into Di2 GRX, (as long as it is 11 to 11 speed), and you can use current 11 speed road shifters to make GRX derailleurs shift. I guess it is about the best Shimano could have done, in that regard.
So, will I get any of this stuff? I'd like to try it, for sure. Probably the 46/30 crank though. Honestly, I'd rather not have that low a little ring, but whatever. I may opt for the GRX in the rear only and stick with my 46/36T crank set. I just don't see the need for dropping out of a 46 to a super-spinny 30T and having to switch up three or four gears in the back to get where I want to be. I'm a picture book case of "Princess and the Pea" (overly sensitive) when it comes to cross-chain gearing. So, I am likely an outlier in this crank gearing business.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this goes as time progresses. GRX won't likely be widely available until later this year. Stay tuned........