Campy started it a few years ago.There were spy shots of Sram doing it,too.Same goes with Shimano.There's special $600 chain breakers for it.Specific chain rings.Now theres even new freehub body standards and hub dimensions for it.What i'm talking about is 11 speed.
Now,I got into riding bikes with gears when 8 speed was still quite prevalent.You could easily pick up an 8 speed Dura Ace chain,XT shifters,XTR cassette,and if you prefered,a Sram X.7 8sp group.Chains were wide and stong,you could still gear your mountain bike down low enough to climb a fucking wall,and shifting rarely came out of adjustment and felt very mechanical.I really loved 8sp.I had the ultimate 8sp DH drivechain back then.XT shifter,Dura Ace 11-23 cassette,Dura Ace chain,and a short cage Dura Ace derailer.All kept in control by a 40(might have been 42)tooth Azonic chain ring sandwhiched in a MRP System 2.Shortly there after,8sp anything was scarce to find.Even scarcer than scarce if you wanted something high end.Everyone jumped to 9 speed.Shimano redesigned all their lines of product essentially ruining everything they produced by making it shift like a sideway STI shifter and rapidly rise up the cassette.Sram took hold and stayed king of the trigger style shifer for a bit.As did 9sp as a whole.Both companies stayed with 9 cogs on thie cassettes,redesigning their groups around that a few times over.While mountain stayed 9sp,Road went 10.Dura Ace,Ultegra and most of Campy's groups went 10.
Road was 10 and mountain was 9 and that's how it was.Untill Sram pulled the curtain off their utterly shit XX 10 speed mountain drivechain.Every other Sram group went 10,all the way down to X.5.Shimano followed suit and released XTR in 2 different forms,Trail and Race,both 10sp.XT and SLX 10sp was quick to follow.Shimano's 10sp mountain stuff is rapidly beating the shit out of it's 9sp brother with it's newly changed cable pull ratio,specially profiled cassettes and chains,not to mention the whole "+" thing.Here were are today,and the next big thing is 11 speed to be the road standard.Why? So roadies have another cog on their cassette so they can keep up that perfect cadance and heart rate to beat the top time on that one Strava segment?I give an enthusiastic "fuck that!".I just hope my little world of mountain bikes doesn't take hold and never let go.I don't want narrower chains,more delicate teeth on my cassette,and more gears to keep adjusted.All that and more for just one more cog?
My dream drivechain?We go back to 8sp cassettes and chains,but profile with cassette cogs and chain link plates ala Dyna Sys.Keep the shape and ergonomics of current XTR shifters,but ditch the index finger shiftability(honestly,who the fuck still shifts like that?)and the much hated by me double down click.Also,make the actual feel of pushing on the shifter paddles like XO,and use the cable pull ratio of Dyna Sys.Kill the front derailer,half guides,and any dual ring full guides.Offer only full guides that don't use a crank mounted bash ring,actually kill off anything that isn't an LG1+.Rear derailer duties would be handeled by a medium or short cage with a prety light spring tension and a "+" style clutch.There's no need for suuuuper high spring tension anymore,so why not make up shifts really fucking light action and let that wonderful little clutch keep the derailer and chain from trying to eat through your chainstay in one ride?And there you have it.Quiet,simple,and durable.
Oh,and just so you all know.I'll be blowing my whole bank account on all the new high zoot 10 speed Saint shit the second it hits QBP.So i'm a big hypocrite and will continue to eat anything Shimano force feeds me because it's so fucking good.