Originally Posted by MR_Sarcastic
Meh, if you don't change things around every few years, people will stick with thir old equipment until it actually wears out. If Shimano never changed from their DA7700 crank, how many people would feel the need to buy a new crank when they switched to 10 speed? Crank sets almost last forever. Chainrings should last for years and years, if you take care of them.
You guys need to cut Shimano a little slack here.
There have been times when the backward compatible reasoning was fake. But overall, they tend to have a good reason when they use it. In order to make it work well, there tends to be very tight tollerance/specs. Having just graduated from 8-speed to 10-speed I am very aware of the differences.
What if they stopped developing crank models to only when needed? It would mean a bunch of little guys with CNC equipment would be back in business churning out a new crank every 12 months.
Plus, the look of the component group is very important and it would be more or less stuck at the DA7700. Consumers would start to question the 'value' of Shimano vs. another company like SRAM kicking out a new look every year or so.
I agree that some of the consequences are awful. But, until consumers behave differently, that's how it works.
Note, I am very critical of some of the industry practices. This is not one of them.