Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Shifters Formerly Known as Retroshift

I've been curious about Retroshift shifters since I first heard about them in Cyclocross Magazine. I'm not generally known for my mechanical efforts, and dirty and contaminated shifters are something I'm all to familiar. I'm also completely enthralled with both anything "old school" and completely screwing off from typical norms.

Last year at the Asheville Cyclocross race at Carrier Park, I came face to face with the pitfalls of broken shifters. It was a muddy race on a course that I'm all too familiar with. Of course, it also just happened to be the weekend that Jen and I decided that not being together sucked, so she traveled with me to watch my second 'cross race of the year. Needless to say, I was super stoked on this event.

However, my SRAM Force shifter broke in the muck and mire. My options were take my single speed without tubulars out of the pits, or ride my impromptu single speed and keep the advantages of having low-pressure friendly tubular tires. The mechanical knocked me out of a potential podium spot that I was racing for and was then followed by a (lucky) warranty process, and a few shop visits to replace shifters.

Going into this 'cross season, I've decided to try something new. I collected a few Shimano derailleurs to tend to my chain and cassette and picked up a Gevenalle CX1 shifter set for my Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie. I appreciate the college student friendly pricing that Gevenalle offers. The shift system is simple and seems easy to maintain, even after a gross race and months of my typical neglect. Plus, they offer super easy crash replacements.

Going to take the bike out tonight and test it out. I'll post and updated review after a few rides. Hopefully, I'll be making the full transition on both bikes soon.

Anyone want some SRAM shifters?

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