It may not have the good looks of some of the competitors, and only eight speeds rather than nine or 10, but this entry-level drivetrain does have cost on its side – the mechs and shifters combined cost less than a single Shimano XT rear derailleur.
Ergonomically the shifter is lacking, with the push-operated upshift paddle in an awkward position above the downshift lever, which makes for slow shifts into higher gears. Changing down is surefooted, if a little stiff, but the short throw quickly shunts the mech up the cassette. The front shifting felt lighter in use than the rear, was easy to adjust and had no rub in any gear combo.
The heavy-duty nine-speed chain supplied by UK distributors Upgrade worked well on our eight-speed Truvativ and Shimano test equipment. Microshift don’t produce chainsets or cassettes, but there are plenty of options on the market.