Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An Updated Microshift White Groupset review

In November I gave my original impressions on the Microshift White Groupset. (Link here) Despite having ridden it enough to give my opinion on it at the time, I felt like a follow up after a good amount of miles would be helpful.

First, the good news. I am still very pleased with my purchase for the money spent. It has held up flawlessly, shifting as good today as it did day 1. Besides that, the white group (in white) looks stunning. Not many rides go by that I'm not asked about my kit... sure that's not a performance edge, but let's be honest, we all like to look good.

I still feel like this is a "workhorse" group. It doesn't do anything very flashily (other than look good) but it does work consistently every time. That in itself has spoken volumes to me. I don't worry as to whether it's going to work, I am as confident in it as I am in my Dura Ace.

All that said... if I was just going to say all the same stuff, this post would be fairly useless.

First, a picture of the bike in the pain cave.
You remember my project. Well she's still doing work, even when it's cold outside.

So... the bad news.

I had expressed doubts about the shift lever for the front chainring. (The throw to shift up is exceptionally long) After doing as much tinkering as I could and having some mechanic friends see what they thought... I can say with certainty that this is just a design problem.
It's tough to see, but this is how far the lever must be thrown to shift into the big ring.
That's the big complaint I've come up with. Shifting up requires some serious forethought. It's certainly no dealbreaker, but if there isn't an option to adjust it, it would seem that making it shorter would work for a wider variety of people. Ladies (and girly handed fellas like myself) will have a tough time thoughtlessly upshifting like is common on the big 3.

As awkward as this is normally, it's made worse when trying to take a picture of it
The second problem I've found (again with the shifters) is with the control for the rear derailleur. The "button" shift (upshift) is placed in a fantastic place... IF you are on the hoods. Unfortunately, even in my shallow drop bars it is very difficult to find the button in the drops, and actually impossible from a true "sprinting" position. Obviously, this gripe ranges from an almost non-existent issue (to the more recreational) to extremely annoying. ("racer" types who spend a lot of time down in the drops) This one is a bit tougher on me, as I like to do a lot of my riding down low.

Those are my two complaints after some more serious mileage. Beyond that everything is looking (and working) quite smoothly.

Here are a couple of quick snaps of how the front and rear derailleurs look. I'm obviously biased (I mean, it is my bike) but I think the whole setup looks pretty stunning. Black and white... the way it should be :)
I know, my chain is absolutely filthy. But the Derailleur looks nice!
The rear always looks plastic-like in the pictures... it's much better looking in person.

So, from my original review, I think the only change is that the brifters are probably closer to a 6 - 6.5 /10.

To echo myself a million times however, all these gripes and  moans should be taken with a grain of salt. You are paying a couple of hundred dollars for a kit I'm complaining isn't quite as nice as multiple thousand dollar Record/Dura Ace setup. Of course it isn't. It's like with cars when they compare a $50k Corvette to a $200k Ferrari... sure, the Ferrari is going to win the comparison, but the fact that they are even compared is a huge statement for the Vette.

Again, if you are looking for great performance (just not perfect) for the price, I don't think you can go wrong with the Microshift components. As long as they keep a similar price point, they will almost certainly be my go-to from now on for all but my most "pimp" projects.

Thanks for Reading!

-Christopher Morelock

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