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. 

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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 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

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.

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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