Microshift Gets into Gear

Bulky Microshift shifter is a tight fit next to brake lever.


The following information is intended for the three people out there who have worn out Shimano Deore shifters and want to replace them with something affordable.

MicroShift is a Taiwan company that makes basic, Shimano-compatible shifters, in business since 1999.

I recently replaced my Deore mountain bike shifters with MicroShift 9-speed shifters and I was pleasantly surprised by how well they work. At $29 they’re a great value.

Why the Deore shifters wore out is a mystery. I bought the bike used. It was about five years old (2000 model) and looked to be lightly ridden. I tried everything to get them to work, but they just wouldn’t shift reliably. When I moved the shift lever the gears would not engage. This shifter has no replacement parts. An oil “bath” did not fix the problem. Usually Shimano components are extremely reliable.

Installing the levers requires removing the bar grips and brake levers. Bar grips can be difficult to get off if they’re dry and sticking. Try peeling back the grip and adding a dab of liquid soap. The brake levers come off using a 5 mm allen key.

The old shifters also use a 5 mm allen key. Slip them off the bar and disengage the cable ends, another 5 mm allen key operation. Pull out the cable from the housing, remembering the sequence.
Slip on the rear shifter. The MicroShift shifter comes with a cable already installed.

Rethread the cable into the housing. I like to add a little oil. Pull the cable tight and secure the clamp with your 5 mm allen key. When reapplying the bar grips you may need to add a drop of liquid soap. On the other hand, if they’re loose try hairspray on the bar. I found that they’ll dry out and tighten up in a couple of days.

Assuming the shifter shifts well enough, I like to fine-tune the shifter using the cable adjustment nob where the cable comes out of the shifter. To learn more about adjusting the shifter, check out this video on Bicycle Tutor.

The front shifter is a bit more difficult to adjust. The cable has to be tight when tightening the cable clamp with the allen key. Fine-tune the shifter using the cable adjustment nob.

I’m not saying this shifter is something the pros use. It’s basic stuff and a bit bulky. It was a tight fit to get everything onto the bars. All in all, I give it 9 out of 10 stars for value, with one ding for being bulky.

2 Responses to “Microshift Gets into Gear”

  1. enduroelite Says:

    If the levers were not all beat up it was probably the factory grease in the shifter that petrified. I’ve seen this very often with Shimano shifters and its their only weakness. disc brake cleaner or acetone usually gets them working again in seconds, you don’t even have to take them off the bike or remove the cable just spray it directly into the cable access hole.

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    I used WD40 and oil throughout after removing the cover plates. It did not fix the problem.

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