I need to get back to what happened with the Sram Rival product. I installed it with a buddy that just so happens to manage a bike shop in town. It worked okay, but I had issues. I messed around with it and couldn’t get it to work 100%. I went into my local shop and had the Sram “expert” mess with. They made it significantly better and it worked sort of, but really wasn’t what I want for the racing I do. I had one more friend make adjustments and he just so happens to own a bike shop and knows fixing bikes better than the next guy and the next guy’s pro Sram mechanic. Well it worked again, but still not the indexing I had with my much cheaper and way more reliable Micro Shifting component from Bike Nashbar. My deciding factor to get another one was when I dropped the chain in a practice race in the last 4 laps, had to fight to stay up with the fast group, and then finishing around 12th. After a few sessions with my cycling clients, I got on a live chat with Nashbar to make sure the Micro Shift would be 100% compatible with my double tap shifters. I even said it just needs to work as well as it did with my Ultegra shifters.
Now some days later a box arrives and I know what it is. It wasn’t 15 minutes before I had the new 10 speed Micro Shift front Derailleur installed, and maybe 15 minutes of riding and tuning to get jamming!!! Me the novice bike mechanic that can get the job done and get it done well, but only if you have a few hours for me to make things perfect, had no problems rocking this product right into place. One thing that would have helped is if the directions said to put a little Triflow lube on it before installing. Who knows maybe it did instruct me to do that, but I didn’t read the directions so I wasted a few minutes trying to “loosen” the spring, by moving it back in forth and pulling the cable, when really it had just needed a bit of start up lube. Here I am in the same day, writing a declaration that I will never have any other type of front derailleur.
In closing this product works way better than most of the Sram line and somewhat better than most of the Shinamo products; with the exception of Durace and Red, this is the best front derailleur I’ve ever owned. Maybe Sram and Shimano make their lower end products to just get by and to force the customer into the most expensive line of products they offer. I know that is a far stretch to make an accusation such as that, but really it kind of seems like this is the case. In reality the Micro Shift product is a copy of what Sram does, but better. How does the copy work better than the original? Does that mean that a Performance brand product might be the same? Should I try out a rear derailleur and see if it also rocks? These are the questions a cyclist should ask themselves. If you don’t believe me, buy one of these types derailleur. Install it on your back up bike or your winter bike and try it out. Don’t be embarrassed by the lack of a brand name on the product. The only factor you need to look at with a product is how does it work and does it work well for my needs. I know that is hard in a sport like cycling where everyone wants the “best” products out, but is that product really the best just because of it’s price or does it really out perform some less expensive “off” brand?
The Lead Pack Cycling Group