An open letter to Shimano executives, reps, and dealers

Let me start by saying I’m on Team Shimano, every one of my bikes has a Shimano grouppo.

I write to you today regarding an issue I care deeply about, the lack of a Shimano drop bar shifter compatible with a wide range mountain bike drivetrain. Your current drop bar gravel drivetrain in the 1x configuration, GRX, is officially constrained to an 11 speed 11-42 rear cassette. Let’s be honest here, that’s not enough. SRAM is absolutely kicking your ass with the Eagle AXS GX/Rival Mullet. That 12 speed 10-52 cassette paired with wireless shifting is really tempting me. Here’s the thing Shimano; you’ve got the goods. The new 8100 series XT 10-51 drivetrain shifts so well under load, and the GRX hoods feel good in the hand. Why can’t they come together and make beautiful backcountry music?