As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a fan of Shimano’s business practices.
But now it’s hard for me to see how Shimano is going to recover in the mountain bike market. There is just not much to complain about other than cost when it comes to the SRAM 1×11 system(s) – and I should know, I own several sets and I must have sold a hundred kits by now. Nobody goes back. Shimano has had several years now to come up with a response and so far… nothing.
At <$300 (at retail, though if you don’t have the correct hub driver that will add a few bucks) it’s basically a no-brainer for even the biggest cheapskate. Those folks who were (justifiably) waiting for XT 11 speed to convert at this sort of pricepoint? There are probably some Shimano diehards who will still do it but most folks will just grab the SRAM GX and go.
OEs will be on it like flies on you-know-what, too. It’s plausible that you’ll see <$800 bikes with 1×11 drivetrains this summer.
And yes, as always, I’ll have these parts available when they come out. Expect cost to be in the range of 50% of retail if you’re a frame customer.