Impulse Buy Influence.

I sometimes question my decision to stay with 10 speed groupsets.
  
Granted, most of my wheelsets are 10 speed, but that's really not the deciding factor.
  
In many cases, I can get an equivalent 11 speed component for the same price as a New-Old-Stock 10 speed component. I think SRAM played with the pricing a bit when they made the switch to encourage people to convert.
  
On the SRAM side, I can't really tell a difference between the 10 and 11 speed stuff. The feel is pretty much the same. The later-model 10 speed hood shape is pretty much the same as the new stuff. Sure, eTap would be nice and all, and it's only available in 11 speed, but electronic shifting hasn't really tempted me all that much yet. Shimano made some nice refinements in the interim, but I'm not a Shimano guy for the most part.
 
One extra gear in the cassette hasn't swayed me. The jumps aren't so huge that I really care, but then again I suck. Maybe they matter for people with actual talent.
  
You wanna know what I decided really is driving my decision to stay with 10 speed SRAM? Impulse buys. I have a crapload of 10 speed components. Shifters, derailleurs, cranksets, chains, cassettes... I have a pile, and I'm always adding to it. Any time I come across a good deal on a component in a certain range, I usually jump at the opportunity. Retail sales, eBay, Craigslist, and any number of other new and used sources just provide more mass to the Tower of Obsolete SRAM.
 
Today I picked up a pair of SRAM Red shifters that a local guy was selling for cheap. He said the left shift level sticks a bit, but everyone knows going to the small ring is akin to admitting defeat. I couldn't find anything wrong with it, so maybe it was more of a cable issue. $80 for a pair of Red shifters that look almost new, with new Jagwire cables and housings? Why wouldn't I? I'd be stupid not to.
 
...and the pile expands a little more.
 
Maybe some day I'll move on and add the extra gear to my drivetrain, but that day keeps getting further and further away with every purchase. That extra gear won't make me any faster, so the shift will likely be purely due to sustainability- if I'm still riding at that point. Chances are, the pile will keep me going well into the 12 speed era (if anyone still rides bikes at that point).
 
If I break something, I have a spare. I probably have several spares. If I buy a frame, I can build a bike without leaving the garage. It's all there, representing the entire SRAM 10 speed road line, neatly packaged in boxes on a shelf. That storehouse of aging technology is somehow comforting to me. I can fix it.
 
All because I can resist the impulse.

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