Microshift’s eXCD system promises affordable electronic shifting

Could this be XTR Di2 for the masses?

We’ve all seen just how good XTR Di2 is, with its syncro-shift front derailleur actuation and stunning all-round performance. It doesn’t however offer mass appeal, especially if you run a wide 1x set-up. 

So we were very interested to see Microshift’s new eXCD system at the Taipei Cycle Show. It promises electronic shifting using a battery system consisting of two 14500-model lithium batteries that mount inside under bar-mounted controller. Microshift claims this will give 6,000 shifts per charge cycle, or approximately 1,000km. The rear derailleur contains a motor, a gear and a large capacitor.

Related: Shimano XTR Di2 M9050 review

Here's that shifter look in more profile: here's that shifter look in more profile
Here's that shifter look in more profile: here's that shifter look in more profile

Here's a closer look at the under bar-mounted shifter, complete with LED battery charge indication and more

The under bar-mounted shifter consists of two buttons (as you’d expect) with LED battery charge indication, a mode button to make alignment adjustments (using the up/down shifter buttons) and a power on/off button too.

There's a one-way clutch to help chain retention: there's a one-way clutch to help chain retention
There's a one-way clutch to help chain retention: there's a one-way clutch to help chain retention

The one-way clutch should help chain retention

The potential plus of the eXCD system is the use of a one-way clutch on the derailleur that should help chain retention, and the gear capacity of a 35t chainring: 11-42t cassette (a 3.8 gear ratio) makes for a quite usable system.

The shift action seemed smooth enough to us when testing on the Microshift stand, and while the shifter unit is a bit on the bulky side, and the battery enclosure could be a bit exposed, we can see potential in Microshift’s group. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but we expect it to be significantly lower than XTR Di2.

Shimano xtr di2 - first ride
Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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