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This is a bunch of bullshit. Shimano is easily the finest, most sophisticated equipment and technology manufacturer in cycling, and it's not close. Their prerogative is to make exceptional products, and more than anyone else they succeed.
The vast majority of new Shimano products are backwards compatible, except when impossible or impractical (e.g. Di2 transition to e-tube platform, 10-speed to 11-speed, etc.). They chose not move to 12 speed with the new 9100, which would have thrust hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment into rapid obsolescence and been a boon to them financially. But they didn't because it wasn't time -- the product wasn't there yet, in technical terms (e.g. forging improvements) or in practical terms (i.e. compatibility with existing equipment infrastructure).
The new group is almost entirely cross compatible with the old, except for the front derailleur and the chain rings. But who in the fuck invests in a new groupset and keeps the old chain rings. There are of course some edge cases, but it's not a product decision that affects most customers.
Besides all that, why would they allow their goods and their good name to be ruined and sullied by scurrilous, incompetent third party and aftermarket vendors who wish to profiteer on their platform and product set? Put non Shimano rings on a Shimano crank and all of a sudden the crankset is a piece of shit and the group shifts like garbage, because nobody else can cold forge rings like Shimano. Again, it's not close.
There are so many crap, negligent companies in this space. Baffling to me why you choose to talk down about one of the few good ones.
Can you tell I like Shimano?
This precluded using the old rings as that part of the interface has been made a larger diametre.
Smart buyers buy the second generation product.
If you always want the latest, then be prepared to be the guinea pig.
Shimano is a very good company, lots of backward compatibility. The new chainring spacing is narrower and designed slightly differently, thus new rings. The last gen and new gen has the same cable pull ratios and di2 has no issues either other than needing the new battery.
i always change my 50x34 to 50x36 cranks and when I recently bought the a new 9100 crank, I closely compared them. I have so say it *looks* like they would not fit. There is definitely a slightly different shaping on the contact points on the inner rings. I will admit I didn't try to force them.
Also.... a lot of people don't seem to know there is a crap ton of info shimano posts on their website.... compatibility matrix: http://productinfo.shimano.com/...C-453&acid=C-455
get comfortable being uncomfortable