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While I'm in favor of the idea of fewer gears, the benefits haven't borne out in practice. Durability? Better with 12S if the chains are any indication. Weight? Dollar for dollar, the same for the same range. Box's CNC 11-50 9S is the same 360g as SRAM's 10-50 12S. Shifting? Better than ever with Hyperglide+, even accounting for the tighter tolerances. I rode an M9100 demo with a broken, floppy shifter adjustment knob that was still better than any other drivetrain I'd experienced before. When you can add or dump a bunch of gears at once, even the argument that you're usually skipping ratios starts to fall flat.
Friction shifters are cool. I've been on the efficiency bandwagon too long to want to use one though.
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