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The surprising new shifting solution that blends the old and new is now available

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.

11 comments

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 4 years ago
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Seriously considering a set for my old tandem. Lovely idea.

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John_the_Monkey [436 posts] 4 years ago
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I can see tourers REALLY liking this.

If retroshift extend the range by modifying Tektro's V brake compatible road lever, you get a whole set of other options too.

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dave atkinson [6142 posts] 4 years ago
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John_the_Monkey wrote:

If retroshift extend the range by modifying Tektro's V brake compatible road lever, you get a whole set of other options too.

that's in development i think

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aidanr [9 posts] 4 years ago
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Ideal for my tourer. Might have to give these a go...

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youngoldbloke [106 posts] 4 years ago
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Nice option but still expensive IMO

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BigDummy [314 posts] 4 years ago
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It doesn't look as though it would be easy to shift gears while in the drops - only really from the hoods. Is that right?

[should wait for the test, obviously]

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monty dog [446 posts] 4 years ago
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120 bucks for a pair of modded $15 brake levers? In comparison a pair of Campagnolo Veloce ergo shifters, f+r mechs can be bought for less than the cost of these levers and shifters...

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TheHatter [770 posts] 4 years ago
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Nice idea and they make sti and ergo's look seriously over engineered.
But agree that the price is a bit steep - halve it and I'd be interested.

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David Portland [83 posts] 4 years ago
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I think I'll wait until they get sufficiently popular for Tektro to license the design and punt them out for £30  1

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workhard [397 posts] 4 years ago
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I rather fear...

"A pair of Retroshift brake levers will set you back $119, plus $15 postage"

Plus 20% VAT
Plus import duty
Plss 'handling' charge
Plus time of work to go to the depot to pay the bill and get your levers

Odds on that by the time they are imported to the UK they will retail for £129

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downfader [203 posts] 4 years ago
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Looks really nice and simple. Love it!