Shifting of the future: planned obsolescence or suspiciously affordable?

A new bike will be on its way soon, and I think I’ll take one for the team for informational purposes, and use a new offering for shift groups.

I haven’t decided if it will be a road bike or a monster-cross bike, but either way, I can use a road group.

Because I have to save for a large future event and couple this summer, I will be left with few dollars to spend (looking at about $1500, tops). A full grouppo from my beloved Sram is out of the question if I go for my normal Thomson cockpit and a wheelset in the ~1500 gram area.

With the ever-climbing prices of premier bicycle parts, it would make sense that a few options should emerge to fill the gap between the cheap mass-market parts and the premier groups. So lately, two options have emerged for reliable, affordable 10-speed shifting:

Option 1:

I heard about it first last spring when Team Movistar used it for the Giro. Which, I believe, is the reason for the first color option:

But it’s cheap. It’s even available from WalMart! Reviews exist, and people have put some miles on it…the results have been mostly positive. But I want to see for myself. I would probably flesh the drivetrain of the bike out with a 105 and Sugino.

Option 2,

Retroshift’s ‘About’ page says it all:

Retroshift™ is a new and somewhat unexpected approach to a combined braking and shifting system.

Totally unexpected and with an air of elitism, but obviously functional.

Check the site for the video. It works great. I just hope it feels as great looks like it works…if that makes sense. I don’t know how it will feel for road, but its function will probably be best for a monster-cross bike.

Soon, I will have to make a decision. I’m leaning toward Microshift because of its completeness, but only time will tell.


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