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As noted, standard HG 11-speed chains are used throughout the groups (there is one model of LG chain).
They’re also compatible with any brands narrow-wide chainring and any brands 11spd chains.
In terms of the HG-specific drivetrain wear component - the cassette - Shimano has committed to supporting the standard long term and I think they have an excellent track record. For example, I bought a new 9-speed XT cassette last year.
They’ve also committed to continue manufacturing other components in HG since there are endless numbers of legacy rigs out there. There simply won’t be new HG products.
It’s going to make life a bit more difficult in the bike shop over the short term identifying compatible components, but as someone who will be affected by this at work, it’s a huge step forward in budget-friendlier bike drivetrains and we’ll worth it.
In terms of the apple cart, this streamlines incompatible 7-8, 9, and 10-11 groups that appear on a huge range of low to mid-point mountain bikes and brings real 1x drivetrains to price points Shimano hasn’t previously come close too.
There is now significant component interplay from XT level mountain bikes down to budget and kids’ rigs for the first time in decades.
I see no negatives.
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