If you’re running a Shimano compatible 10-speed drivetrain on your ﬂat bar road bike that requires a 2:1 cable pull ratio (SRAM, for example, have a 1:1 cable pull ratio), these new Microshift shifters mean you’re no longer limited to Shimano’s Ultegra R770s costing upwards of £100.
Microshift have taken the internals of their regular drop bar shifters and put them into neat, though bulky looking, ﬂat bar housings. The system is thumb operated, with two levers, and feels much like the ﬁrst Shimano Rapidﬁre shifters from 1990.
The larger bottom lever pulls the cable, shifting the chain to a larger cog front and back (easier at the rear, harder at the front); the smaller upper lever releases it, shifting to smaller rings (harder at the rear, easier at the front).
The bar clamps are 5mm Allen bolts, and the cable adjuster barrels offer lots of cable tension adjustment. Installation and initial setup was easy, though you might need to rotate your brake levers out of the way to change the cables.
Out on the road it didn’t take much lever throw to shift gear, and the trim function on the left shifter – allowing you to ﬁne tune the front mech and prevent any rubbing – worked really well. You can shift down four gears with a single sweep of the right-hand lever, though the lever travels not far off 70 degrees to do it.
Overall, we’re impressed: shifting is smooth and solid, ergonomics are good, and the price is very attractive. They weigh 267g.