Retroshift Burd Shimano

Cyclocross is hard on parts. Specifically, shifters and rear derailleurs. Retroshift already has you covered in the shifting department with their super durable Retroshift CX levers. Now, after a bit of teasing, Retroshift is taking the wraps off their entry into the rear derailleur market – the BURD.

Designed to address the specific needs of a cyclocross rear derailleur, without added fluff, the new derailleur promises to be precise, durable, rebuildable, and most importantly – cheap to replace.

Shift past the break for more.


Retroshift doesn’t hide the fact that the BURD is an improved version of another company’s derailleur. In fact, BURD stands for Blatantly Upgraded Rebranded Derailleur. The point is to make the best option for a CX rear derailleur and redesigning the entire unit wasn’t necessary.

Instead, Retroshift started with the derailleur body from a Microshift unit that they feel  nearly matches the performance of a 105/Ultegra unit. Considering their Retroshift levers are also made to their specifications by Microshift, it was an easy choice.

Retroshift Burd FSA Ceramic

One of the most important parts of a CX rear derailleur are the pulleys. Bad pulleys won’t directly cause but usually contribute greatly in the death of the derailleur from failure to pass chain – one of the more common derailleur deaths in cross. To ensure the best possible pulley movement, Retroshift is offering two models of the BURD – one with Ultegra sealed pulleys, and the other with FSA ceramic pulleys.

Retroshift Burd Shimano 2

According to Retroshift, “The most common reason as best we can tell from our ongoing autopsies is from blockages from anything from wads of mud/grass, course tape, corn husks (a Kruger’s Farm specialty) and even the odd dollar bill could result in a catastrophe.  Pulley health won’t cause a death by itself but a stiff pulley will contribute greatly. Use good pulleys and maintain them damn it! Pulleys matter.”

As for pricing, one of the main reasons for the upgraded pulleys on the BURD is that more expensive derailleurs have better pulleys, but more expensive derailleurs aren’t really necessary for cross. Due to the mud and slop a cross bike is subjected to, cosmetic finishes mean little, and even with high end pulleys there is a good chance you will need to replace a derailleur or two during the race season.

Retroshift Burd FSA Ceramic 2

Since we’re not all sponsored pros, price matters. Equipped with the Ultegra pulleys, the BURD will retail for $69! The FSA ceramic pulleys raise the price to $89, and do not have the active float of the Ultegra pulleys – instead they have a thinner cross section to the teeth that provides passive float. Even better, either derailleur is eligible for Retroshift’s $34 rebuild program should you break the derailleur for any reason, you can send it in and they will transfer your pulleys to a new unit for only $34.

While the derailleur is a rebranded Microshift unit, Retroshift didn’t want to simply offer another company’s derailleur unless there were proven benefits to the new design. With the rebuildable option and upgraded pulleys, Retroshift feels they are able to offer a product with a performance to $$ ratio that is unmatched along with a rebuild option that makes it an easy choice.

Both derailleurs are Shimano/Retroshift 9/10 speed compatible and are limited to a 28t max cog.


  1. 34 bucks to unbolt pulleys from one derailleur to another new unit? isnt that a bit steep? or does that include the new derailleur as well?

  2. Steven – Tacx are also good pulleys and the ceramic ones retail for about $50. The FSA retail for $70+

    Please note also that simply putting some tacx pulleys in your Ultegra derailleur for example will not then give you the ability to send it to us when broken to get a new one for $34 🙂

    Still love you Steven.



    The Goats

  3. I was hoping for something to replace the XT 9 speed derailleur connected to retroshifters with an 12-36 in the back on my gravel bike. Maybe next time…

  4. To be honest, from my point of view and experience in mud-racing, the pulleys with ball bearings inside is exremely bad idea for CX and mud riding in general. Such pulleys could be easily jammed by mud, comparing to more primitive and also cheaper bushing-based pulleys of 105/slx derailleurs.

  5. …or you can run a mtn bike RD on the cross bike. Have been for years, and actually prefer them over road RD for cross.

    XT, X.0 has proven to have good pulleys right out of the box, stout enough to take a real beating. XT Shadow has also proven to be perfect tucked under cassette, out of the way of heels, and other riders while shouldering the bike.

    Even at Krugers, I had noticed, most broken RD were road. I didn’t recall seeing even one broken mtn bike RD, but I could be wrong.

  6. I was hoping for something that would support the 11-36 on my gravel bike. I will have to continue using my retroshift levers, and 9 speed XT rd.

  7. Mike – keep using your XT for now, we will likely look at something for the Gravel riders in the future. For now we just wanted to offer what we felt was a better value option for our CX racers.


    The Goats
    Portland, OR

  8. @mindless
    Are you sure it doesn’t? I’ve seen DH bikes with Sora rear mechs before, so it seems there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

  9. Dyna-sys and 10speed road are not compatible. Very different pull ratios. I have seen a few bikes in the wild with the setup but there are gears in the range that don’t work.

    There are also adapter pulleys.

  10. @ Jose, correct, 10 speed Dyna-sys is not compatible with road shifters.

    However, 9-speed shadow (and older gen) XT, SLX, XTR are compatible with 10-speed road.

  11. @halfwheel – “9-speed shadow (and older gen) XT, SLX, XTR are compatible with 10-speed road” We dig this but do worry the trend might be away from this.


  12. Love and want. Juuust for clarification. If I decide to gut the stock pulleys for say, VCRC’s or AEST’s aluminum pulley and I gets me some inshoreance. If I send my broken BURD back would the Retroshift send me a spanky new rear derailleur sans pulleys?

  13. Problem solved: you can run any SRAM MTB 10-speed derailleur with a SRAM road shifter. I run an X.9 Type 2 short cage with an 11-32 cassette and a 39/42 crank. No chain slap, good mud clearance, great gear ratio.

  14. I have a 105 rear derailleur in great shape that I’ve been trying to sell on eBay for two weeks. I’m asking $20 plus shipping and not getting it. Why would anyone buy this when you can pick up a Shimano derailleur for under $20?

  15. Very cool, so often in the bike world now we have very expensive, very disposable parts. nice to see a cool reality check. Will be stocking these if QBP gets them.

  16. Wow, a company that actually responds to users’ comments to answer to all the negativity that is thrown around here from riders that sit behind their computers all day, KUDOS to the GOATS (retroshift)! need more companies, or at least PR people, like you

  17. Chris – Hit us up directly (contact details at We provide all our products direct to bike shops with better margin than you likely make with other shifters/derailleurs. Some of still manage/own bike shops and our preference is that customers buy from you not our site.

    spokejunky – If you break a BURD it does not matter what pulleys you have in it when you send it to us, we will send you back a new BURD with the same pulleys. We might even clean and lube them for you. We like lubing. 🙂

  18. This is great. Microshift makes great derailleurs, already have experience with them and killing them is hard. I’m getting a cross bike ready for this fall and I hope I can get my hands on one of these soon; this and a set of CX2 shifters and I’m good for mud and beer.

  19. Having a thinner pulley as found on the Trax and FSA pulleys is greatly inferior to the shimano G pulley, the float on the G pulley works under load and isn’t affected by dirt reducing its range. Shimano have a patent out on this floating pulley system otherwise Trax and FSA would be using it. I made the poor choice of purchasing Trax and they are difficult to tune and very temperamental.

  20. But is the RD ever really under load? The only load it should ever really have on it should be the tension from the RD spring and nothing more.

  21. I don’t question for a second this derailleur’s performance, but wouldn’t a CX-specific clutch derailleur have been the most significant improvement that could have been made for the sport?

  22. John – wrote – “But Nashbar sells the same derailleur for $29.99”

    And so then a Volkswagen Beetle is a Porsche 911.

    No. NOT the same derailleur, same manufacturer but different model.



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