You might remember that we featured the Retroshift, erm, brifters back in December in our tech roundup. To the uninitiated they're basically a Tektro brake lever that's been re-engineered to accept a down-tube or bar-end shifter, mounted at the top of the lever. And now you can buy them.
And why would you want to do that? Well, lots of reasons. For a start, weight weenies, it's 50g lighter than an Ultegra 6700 STI lever. It's also completely rebuildable from stock parts. It allows you to switch between indexed and friction shifting if something should happen to your drivetrain, and you can go through your whole range of gears in one swoop of the lever.
Retroshift has been designed for 'cross racing and is claimed to be very mud-friendly but we can see its appeal stretching far beyond just that. It looks ideal for winter bikes, expedition tourers, commuters… loads of bikes. And it's a good value option, too.
You're currently looking at about £270 for a set of Ultegra levers, or £160 for ten-speed 105. A pair of Retroshift brake levers will set you back $119, plus $15 postage. That's about £86 at today's rates, and on top of that you'll need to source some shift levers if you don't have any knocking around. Dura-Ace ten-speed sets can be had for about £50, so you'll get indexed and rebuildable ten-speed shifting from your levers for less that £140. If you only want to shift at the rear, you can have a set with a single shifter mounting point for $89. They come with either grey or red finishing components on a standard black and silver lever.
To get your hands on a set head over to www.retroshift.com. Ours are on order, and VecchioJo has promised to give them a thorough and muddy seeing-to...
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.