Understand that I almost posted this on Friday, April 1st, but I figured that anyone reading it would think it was a joke.
Maybe to prove that nothing succeeds like excess, SRAM has announced that they have made front derailleurs obsolete by introducing a 12-speed cassette - with a massive 50 tooth large cog.
|Dubbed the XX1 Eagle, the 12-cog cassette goes from 10 to 50 teeth for a freakin' 500% gear range|
with a single chainring. (photo from SRAM)
To build anticipation for the announcement, SRAM even posted a "eulogy" video for front derailleurs (at least for mountain bikes):
No plans so far to make a road version (or so they say), but who's to say somebody won't? And having so much range with a cassette is supposed to eliminate the need for multiple chainrings and a front derailleur, but if 12 is good, wouldn't 24 (or 36?) be even better?? How are bike and component makers supposed to convince current riders to "trade up" without new innovations like more speeds?
I'm sure that in the same way Campy's 11-speed cassettes practically forced Shimano and SRAM to offer their own 11-speed systems, and those 11-speed road systems were quickly adapted for mountain bikes, I figure it's only a matter of time before we're seeing road groups with 12 speed cassettes and double chainring cranks. Get ready for it.