Microshift’s Advent X promises to be a great, low-cost drivetrain. We take a first look at this new wide-range 10-speeder ahead of our long-term review.
Microshift has quietly been making a name for itself as a value for money alternative to wide-range groupsets from the likes of Shimano and SRAM. The Advent set that standard, but with an 11-42t cassette, many riders were calling for more range, a call that Microshift has answered with the release of the Advent X.
The announcement of the Advent X came just ahead of Shimano’s new 12-speed Deore, still this 10-speed drivetrain could be a great alternative to the 12-speed options offered by the Japanese giant and it’s rival SRAM.
While 12-speed gives us an overall larger range, and so far, a bigger bailout gear, 10-speed systems have their benefits too. 10-speed tends to be easier to set up, is less likely to be affected by knock, bumps and twists to the rear mech, and 10-speed tends to be much more affordable.
And while I can’t comment on the usability and performance of the Advent X yet, I can certainly agree that it is an affordable way of changing gears and benefiting from a large cassette.
Microshift offers a few different options in the Advent X range, for example, you can choose either a steel or lightweight alloy 11 – 48t cassette, there are rear mech options, and Advent X has 2 shifters, both righthand, to choose from. But even if you went for the top of the range options, Advent X is still really affordable.
In the UK the Microshift Advent X rear mech costs only £70, the alloy 11 – 48t cassette is priced at just £70, while the steel version is just £48, and a Pro Trail shifter is priced at only £6 more than the standard 10-speed shifter at £32!.
So minus the chain, you could be running an Advent X system on your bike for as little as £144, or if you went for an alloy cassette and Pro Trail shifter just £180. That’s significantly less than a Shimano or SRAM drivetrain.
Microshift Advent X Alloy 11-48 Cassette
The original Advent drivetrain sported an 11-42t cassette, so on the Advent X Microshift upped the the gearing to a wall-climbing 11-48t. We have the alloy version on test which is manufactured in two main components with each of the smaller sprockets fitted independently.
Building the Advent X cassette as individual parts is a pretty clever idea and in theory means that if you tend to wear out just the lower end of your cassette you could replace just those sprockets rather than having to bin the complete unit.
Microshift’s cassette uses a conventional Shimano HG freehub, perhaps the most readily available today making it an easy upgrade for most riders on a Shimano equipped bike to swap over to Advent X. Ironically all of the bikes I have are MicroSpline or XD which is why I haven’t fitted Advent X to a bike yet, but I’ll be fixing that pretty soon.
This alloy version of the cassette is riveted together and weighs in at just 424g. Gearing starts with an 11t moving up to 13t, 15t, 18t, 21t, 24t, 28t, 34t, 40t and finally 48t.
Microshift Advent X Pro Trail Shifter
The Pro Trail shifters is the same all-new design as the non-pro shifter, the only difference being the Pro has a comfy silicone covered paddle and costs £32 whereas the non-pro is £26 and has no silicone.
Microshift has designed the Pro Trail shifter specifically for the Advent X in mind, and while affordable it’s not shy of features. Internally the mechanism runs on a sealed bearing, and the materials used for construction is mostly alloy with plastic used for the casing giving it a sturdy and durable feel.
The two triggers only work one way, i.e being pushed not two way as we find on Shimano, but you can shift multiple gears at a time for fast upshifting. The Advent X shifter comes with a cable and weighs in at just 120g which is the same as a Shimano XT.
Microshift Advent X Rear Mech
At the very back of the system is the Advent X mech, another all-new component for the new drivetrain and one that feels remarkably well made despite the low cost of just £78. As far as I can tell the only plastic’s used on the rear mech is in the jockey wheels and the switch for the clutch the rest is steel and alloy which sounds just the job for riders who tend to be rough on their drivetrains.
The clutch is a ratchet and pawl style clutch and the switch that engages it has a very positive action. Apparently the clutch can be adjusted although I’ve not found where the adjustment is and so I’ll need to confirm this with Microshift.
This £78 version of the mech has an alloy cage, but if you require more durability and don’t mind a little extra weight, a £70 model gets a steel cage.
Now all that’s left to do is fit the Advent X drivetrain to a bike a ride it, and that’s what I intend to do just as soon as a HG freehub arrives in the mail.
If you have any questions about this drivetrain then please let me know in the comments below, and for anyone who wants to get hold of an Advent X get in contact with the UK distributors Moore Large.