From the horse's mouth:
SRAM debuted its 2012 Red just a year ago, and many riders are likely fuming right now, having just bought new kit only to have it replaced.http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/04/bikes-and-tech/sram-unveils-true-22-11-speed-drivetrains-hydraulic-brakes_282149
When asked why the brand went with such a quick turnaround, road product manager Charles Becker stated simply that the market wasn’t ready for 11-speed at the time, mostly because all the auxiliary products (freehubs, wheels, etc.) were not yet ready.
“The market at the time wasn’t ready for us to go 11,” Becker said. “Now it’s ready. Back then I didn’t know it was going to be 11 months. It’s not just a group; you need to have all the necessary auxiliary products. Now that Shimano and us are following the same path, we have the same requirements in spacing and alignment, it made sense for us to have an industry standard that has compatibility.
“One reason why we didn’t do a complete graphics redesign is because the 10-speed is still valid, and while many things change, the major technologies are the same. … I’ll continue to ride my 10-speed bike for a while. When you are at the bleeding edge of technology, you have to expect new things. We’re not going to prematurely make the product [10-speed] obsolete.”
Not a great answer, but an answer. I think they intended to have hydro ready for the launch last year, couldn't make it. Hand was forced with 11.
Great to meet Charles this weekend, first time we've hit a trip together. Lively convo at dinner, too
Turns out we both think Armstrong is an asshole.