After a period featuring some cold, frigid Wintry stuff, I am back out on the Gevenalle GX shifter set up introduced back in January here on RidingGravel.com. (Click here for the introduction post) These shifters provide the path to getting the wide range DynaSys mountain bike cassettes and the rear derailleurs that work with them on a drop bar bike set up without funky adapters or compromises. Essentially, Gevenalle has modified a Microshift brand bar end shifter and mated it to a drop lever via their machined and anodized aluminum mount. So, that’s what it is and what it does in a nutshell. How does it all really work though?
Checkpoint: Initially the Gevenalle GX set up seemed spotless. I was able to get shifting which I felt was on par with my older Gevenalle/Retroshift levers and Shimano bar end shifters. Clean, crisp shifts up and down. However; as time has gone on, this has changed somewhat. It is more than just cables and housing settling in too.
As stated above, the shifter lever itself is a modified Microshift produced bit. I am a bike shop mechanic, and as such, I stay in touch with several in the trade. Microshift bar ends and thumbshifters have a reputation as having a “Nearly Indexed” feel and function. What is meant by that is the shifters have free play and do not settle into an indexed position very clearly, in some cases. This can cause the operator to actually pull too much cable before the lever gives the rider feedback that it is “stopped” into it’s indexed position, as with other shifters. This “free play”, or “nearly indexed” operation results in a slightly over-shifted resting position for the derailleur going up into larger cogs. This typically results in noise, and in worst cases, a jumping, clanking chain.
At first this only manifested in the repair stand when I was retuning the cables after an initial ride or two. Then recently I have gotten this to happen on rides. It occurs when I shift into a lower gear, and I can hear the “tick-tick-tick” of the next lowest cog’s pick up ramps trying to lift the chain off the cog it has been shifted to, becuase the shifter “over-shifted” slightly and needs to be trimmed back a hair. Of course, you can do that, but if you have to treat the shifter like a friction shifter you may as well put it into full friction shifting mode, right? Well, you don’t have that option with Microshift products.
So Far….. In the repair stand the shifter was a perfect match to the SLX Shadow Plus Clutch type derailleur that I installed to run for this review. The shifter clicked off the gear changes well all the way up to the big 36T ring. However; now this “over-shift” condition, not uncommon to Microshift levers, has arisen. It is annoying, but a rider can adjust for it. I’ll get more miles in on these to see if this gets worse, or if I can find a way to tune that out of the shifter. Stay tuned for my “At The Finish” post coming up…….
NOTE: Gevenalle sent these levers to RidingGravel.com at no charge and we are not being bribed nor paid for this review. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
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