Hot on the heels of SRAM announcing the $2000 AXS system, a relatively unknown drivetrain maker, Microshift, has something on the other end of the spectrum. The $125, 9 Speed, Microshift Advent. This is definitely not a drivetrain that you’ll be trying to impress your mates at the trailhead with and no it doesn’t have it’s own app. But, the Microshift Advent does present an extremely affordable, clutch drivetrain that offers a 381% range. For comparison’s sake that’s the same as SRAM’s NX 11 speed offering.
So what does $125 of drivetrain buy exactly? Well you get a $59.99 derailleur, a $39.99 cassette, and a $24.99 shifter. The most interesting part of this drivetrain is probably the derailleur. It features a clutch that uses a proprietary ratchet-and-pawl tension assembly. The clutch features a modular design that is also easily adjustable and fully repairable. Having a clutch at this pricepoint means 1x retrofits are in theory much more affordable while still being reliable.
The cassette provides an 11-42 range which as noted, is the same range as SRAM NX 11 speed. The gear spacing is 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-34-42. Currently on a day to day basis I ride 11 speed SRAM GX which is a 10-42 range and I find that I don’t necessarily need every step in that range. I would be interested to downgrade to 9 speed and see if there’s any noticeable gaps. As far as construction is concerned, the cassette features a machined aluminum large cog for reduced weight and carbon steel cogs for the rest of the cassette.
The shifter itself is a relatively simple looking affair. There are sealed lever bearings reduce design to reduce shifting effort. It should also be noted that the cable pull is not compatible with SRAM or Shimano drive-trains, so it appears that mixing and matching won’t be an option.
Overall the Advent from Microshift appears to be an interesting new option for budget minded drivetrain needs. You can find out more info at: https://www.microshift.com/en/introducing-advent/