If you've got a flat barred bike and you want to run a 10-speed cassette you'd be forgiven for thinking that your only options are Shimano's R770 shfiters or the swish, but even more expensive, SRAM DoubleTap units. You'd be wrong though: You may not have heard of Microshift but that's no reason not to give them some serious consideration for space on your bars, because they perform really well for less than half the price of R770s, and a third the cost of DoubleTap.
So what do you get for your £50? well, you get front and rear shifters that are solidly constructed from a mix of Aluminium and plastic. The two levers are stacked one on top of the other much like the original Shimano shifters of yore, except that the upshift trigger is much bigger than the release trigger. In terms of ergonomics it's closer to the SRAM unit than Shimano's R770; okay there's two paddles but if you're all thumbs you'll be happy. The shifters are supplied with PTFE coated inner cables, changing them is much the same process as with a Shimano shifter and there's a bung to keep water out of the access hole. there's a cable adjuster too which rotates with a positive click. You get a slightly vague gear selection window that wraps over the top of the bars.
Once they're in place the impression is of shiftgear that punches well above its weight. They're well made, they feel solid and the shift is positive and just about right in terms of feel. You can shift three at a time on the way up the block and it's all single shifts on the way back home, much as you'd expect. It takes a couple of rides to get used to the trigger positions but once you're up to speed they're as simple to use as any other shifter. The paddles fall easily to hand and they're not so long that they get in the way when you're not using them. As with any ten speed shifter it's important to get the cable tension just right but they're no harder to dial in than Shimano or SRAM offerings.
You've probably picked up a positive vibe here, and you'd be right. Given that the Microshifts are less than half the price of the cheaper of the two competing units, it's hard to see how you'd justify that extra spend if you're looking for an aftermarket shifter. These would have to be just half as good as R770s – and a third as good as DoubleTap – to be comparable in terms of value; as it is, they're pretty much the equal of either, though the SRAM units feel a bit more solid. If it was my money I'd get these, and spend the cash I saved on more bits.
Super value alternative to Shimano and SRAM if you're looking for 10 speeds on your flat barred bike
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Make and model: Microshift 10spd flat bar shifters
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.