Race tech: Cofidis use microSHIFT kit at Giro d'Italia

Little-known Taiwanese company chosen for time trial drivetrains

French team Cofidis switched from Campagnolo to a Shimano-and-FSA component setup this year and have turned to yet another company for their time trial gear. 

While they're still using Shimano Dura-Ace transmissions on the road, the team's Look 596 aero bikes were instead equipped with shift levers and rear derailleurs from Taiwanese up-and-comers microSHIFT – who also produce transmission variants under the Sampson Sports, Dia-Compe and Sturmey-Archer labels.

Aesthetically speaking, the microSHIFT bar-end shift lever bears a strong resemblance to SRAM's 900 TT with its carbon fibre blades and red anodised aluminum caps but the cable pull ratio is a Shimano-compatible 2:1 instead of SRAM's 1:1 Exact Actuation setup and the levers are wrapped, not moulded.

Out back is microSHIFT's ARSiS rear derailleur, complete with a similarly carbon fibre wrapped outer link and cage plus machined alloy pulleys rotating on sealed cartridge bearings. Cofidis stick with their FSA front derailleur instead of the microSHIFT unit, and also retain the Shimano chains and cassettes from their road bikes. 

Road bikes on site were still fitted with Shimano transmissions, and considering how difficult it is to shift from the drops with microSHIFT's integrated brake/shift lever design, we don't expect the team to swap over on the road any time soon.

The microshift arsis rear derailleur is built with a carbon-wrapped outer plate and cage: the microshift arsis rear derailleur is built with a carbon-wrapped outer plate and cage

The microSHIFT ARSiS rear derailleur is built with a carbon-wrapped outer plate and cage

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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