Microshift Advent X. Is it worth leaving the big brands?

During COVID I have heard a lot of buzz. Buzz about tire shortages. Buzz about complete bike shortages. Buzz about SRAM and Shimano drivetrain part shortages. But through it all, the buzz that perked my ear was the buzz around Microshift’s Advent X. Cheap and quality drivetrain parts that were actually available during the pandemic!

Perfect timing too because my SRAM GX 10 speed stuff had seen better days. The derailleur has met the ground a few too many times (as did my body) over the 2+ years that I had been riding it. The shifter for some reason seemed to lose tension in the clock spring inside making the chain ghost shift on me when in the smallest 2 cogs.

I was interested in the Box 9 Prime group but began hearing the Advent X name comparing the two in YouTube videos.

A wide range (11-48) 10 speed group for ~$170!Shit, even if it doesn’t last, why not!?!? So I took my time ordering each part when it was in stock and a month later I was all set to do the swap!

First thing to note is the minimalist packaging! Simply an unbleached cardboard box! I just wish they didn’t put the parts in a plastic bag! But anyways, hats off to reducing packaging in the bike world Microshift!

In just playing with the parts the first thing to note is the ratcheting clutch. The clutch is nice and firm. I don’t get why the ratchet is necessary but there’s a lot of things in life I just accept and move on. Haha!

The shifter has a great feel to it. Thumb that grippy pad and go up 4 gears in a full stroke! I tend to use that often when on unfamiliar trails. The lever isn’t as long or close to my hand as the old SRAM GX shifter was and I kinda like that. I do have larger hands and like my levers 1.20″ inboard from my grips so if you have smaller hands you probably don’t set your controls up like I do and you’ll be fine.

The 11-48 cassette is pretty rad! 10 speeds are naturally lighter than 12 so there’s some weight savings there and the alloy spider pinned to the 3 largest steel cogs also helps. The price is what blows me away! 65 frikin’ dollars!!!!

Assembly was as expected, blah blah blah… but what got me was that I torqued the cable in the derailleur and after setting the limits it shifted up and down the cassette perfectly. Luck? I think so!

Next day I took it up a longer (by my standards) climb and it needed the slightest tension adjustment which was done while on the bike. That’s it since then. Shifting is firm and positive. You know you shifted based on the firm click in the shift lever.

The range is great! My old GX derailleur was only able to handle a 36t cog according to SRAM but it is regularly used with up to a 42t. I was running the Sunrace 11-40 cassette. Wow, 8 extra teeth are really appreciated!

I haven’t heard the chain slapping the chain stay at all so that ratchet clutch must be doing it’s thing.

So far the group has done about 4500 feet of climbing with ZERO issues! I’ll update this in a few months (Say February 2022-ish?) and we’ll see if I still feel the same. I hope I do because what a great initial impression! I mean, if this budget group lasts as long as the big boys, what a great thing for consumers!

Till then, stay safe, believe in science, love your neighbor, try black coffee if you don’t already do that, hug your friends, donate your old clothes, recycle shit, tell your significant other they’re hot more often, listen to other points of view, eat your veggies, pet your dog, jump on a trampoline, actively try to use less plastic, hold the door and wave at people when you ride by even if they don’t wave back because fuck it! Why not!