With the latest and greatest from the big brands pushing 12-speeds and high price tags, it’s easy to think the only way to get high performance parts is by spending a ton. The new MicroSHIFT Advent 9-speed group begs to differ, offering an 11-42 cassette, shifter and uniquely-clutched rear derailleur for just $125. Here’s all the details…

what is the most affordable wide range mountain bike group

The cassette ($39.99) gets fully forged carbon-steel cogs that, they say, are perfectly straight and very tough, with precision chamfers and ramps to facilitate smooth shifts. The large 42T cog is machined alloy to save a bit of weight. Cog tooth counts are 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-34-42, providing well-spaced steps considering the reduction in rings. All are ED/anodized black, claimed weight is 450g.

microshift advent 1x9 speed wide range mountain bike group is a great affordable mtb group

The rear derailleur ($59.99) has a few interesting features. Up top, the cable entry path is designed to allow most frames to send the housing to it in a straight path. This reduces bends, thus reducing friction, which should mean crisper shifts and easier installs.

The bigger news is the clutch. Where other brands use a roller bearing that’s mostly friction-based, MicroSHIFT uses a pawl-and-ratchet system that they say is not only more durable (as in, it maintains a higher level of friction for longer). Like a hub, the pawls allow the ratchet to only engage the friction element when it’s trying to extend the pulley. It’s also easily serviceable…just open the cover, tighten a screw or two, and it’s back to working like new. They offer it in this mid-cage version for 1x (claimed weight 379g), which has an on/off lever for the clutch to make repairs and wheel swaps easier. There’s also a longer cage version for 2x, and even non-clutched versions if you want them.

how to make a wide range mountain bike drivetrain for under 150 dollars

Making it all work is a new shifter ($24.99) that’s equipped with cartridge bearings inside for smooth, stable lever action. The design uses a single large thumb lever to move the chain up the cassette (to bigger cogs), with a separate front-facing trigger to release cable and bring the chain back down the cassette (to smaller cogs). Claimed weight is 114g.

But what about the chain, cranks and chainring?

The group does basically require a 9-speed chain to function at its best. The cogs are designed around it, so they’re too thick for most 10-speed chains. But it doesn’t include a chain or chainring, so you’ll have to get your own. Fortunately, 9-speed chains are now pretty cheap, even decent ones, and they say most 10-speed narrow-wide chainrings should work just fine. And those are probably pretty cheap now, too. Even 11-speed chainrings should be compatible, but check with the manufacturer to verify compatibility with a 9-speed chain. We’re testing a group now and will report back soon on how it’s worked for us, along with a more detailed explanation of how their clutch works.

Works for gravel and cyclocross bikes, too…

Want more options? They offer an even less expensive 9-speed shifter without the cartridge bearings inside, but what’s more interesting is the drop bar lever options. Buy them as a set with the shift levers on the right hand, or get a left-only lever with a single shift paddle that can be used to activate a dropper seatpost. Altogether, the parts seem to offer an easy and affordable way to expand any bike’s capabilities, build a cheap enduro or play bike, or just upgrade your kid’s mountain bike.

Of course, if you want more gears, or cheaper substitutions that’ll work with SRAM Eagle, they have those, too, as well as higher end drop bar bits.



  1. Naero on

    Hell yes indeed! 9-speed derailleurs with a clutch!
    My only gripe would be that they claim that it’s only ADVENT-compatible. The loved old 9-speed Shimano and SRAM parts stay in the parts box…

  2. GreenPlease on

    Microshift is really well positioned as a company IMO. The product that they offer suits the budget and needs of 70%+ of bike consumers and they don’t have to worry about undercutting a high-end offering or their own. I’ve used their bar-end shifters, FD, and RD on a rental tri bike once and, to be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference between the Microshift group and Shimano 105.

    • Luis Lumbreras on

      I’m also interested in the pull ratio… Does it fit with the old Shimano 9 speed pull ratio? Maybe 1:1 SRAM 9 speed? Would be nice to know it as sounds a nice upgrade for those who keeps on 9x for any reason.

      • Craig on

        Apparently the pull ratio needed to be different to function with 9 clicks over the wide range cassette. So I’m guessing the rear derailleur needed it’s own parallelagram geometry.

    • roadstain on

      Soon as I finish ‘yelling at the cloud’….

      No ten because it was not needed. I would have to image that possibly (maybe) there are still some 10 speed patents out there that are enforceable, heck if I know.

      I do know I have Eagle on the MTN and Record12 on the road bikes….I guess on average I use about eight of the gears on a normal ride.

      For the price of my rear der….I could have purchased five of these groupsets.

  3. whatever on

    Very nice. Not right for me, as I need a lower gear (too old, to slow, to weak, too heavy). Hopefully a 10 speed 11-50/52 will arrive soon.

  4. Tim on

    Looks nice- but it’s beyond me why they would make something proprietary! Price point, quality, concept, weight, it all seems to be there, but having only their shifters as an option is a needless fly in the ointment.

      • Tim on

        Probably not- for years, SRAM produced Shimano compatible triggers. Come to think of it, the first SRAM Gripshifters for both road and mountain bikes were Shimano compatible. So making something proprietary is just to keep users locked into their product- just like Shimano and SRAM try to do.

    • Patrick on

      Thanks for the feedback. Proprietary cable pull actually wasn’t our first choice. microSHIFT has always played nice with cable pulls in the industry. (Check out our thumb shifters and bar end shifters) We have been Shimano compatible for a long time, but we don’t do it this time for good reasons.
      The early prototypes were designed around traditional 9-speed cable pull. It shifted very poorly. The leverage arm on the derailleur just wasn’t long enough to move the chains up the bigger cogs. This proprietary cable pull pulls more cable to have smoother shifting and have a stronger clutch at the same time.

      • Tim on

        I do appreciate how Microshift has made stuff compatible with the other guy’s cable pulls over the years, that has always been one of Microshift’s big selling points. At the same time- Shimano successfully did 9 speed for some time using its own cable pull ratios, don’t see why that should be different here. Still, I do appreciate the value these components seem to offer.

      • Velo Kitty on

        So what is the cable pull?

        From artscyclery:
        Shimano 10 Road 2.3
        Shimano 9 2.5
        Campagnolo 11 2.6
        Shimano 11 Road 2.7
        Campagnolo 10 2.8
        Shimano 8 2.8
        Shimano 7 2.9
        Campagnolo new 9 3
        SRAM (Exact Actuation) 10 Road/Mountain 3.1
        SRAM (Exact Actuation) 11 Road 3.1
        Campagnolo old 9 3.2
        Shimano 6 3.2
        Shimano 10 Mountain 3.4
        SRAM (X-Actuation) 11 Mountain 3.48
        Campagnolo 8 3.5
        Shimano 11 Mountain 3.6
        SRAM (1:1) 9 Mountain 4
        SRAM (1:1) 8 Mountain 4.3
        SRAM (1:1) 7 Mountain 4.5

  5. DingDang on

    While the parts shown here on are on par with some of Shimano’s SLX offerings, I still applaud Microshift to keep affordable parts in the mix as an alternative supplier. These offerings may not bare fruit now, but I think the long-game is strong.

    Good job Microshift – hope it sells well!

  6. Exodux on

    Why not just go with 11 or 12 speed and up the price accordingly( the cost difference btw manufacturing 9spd to 11 or 12 spd)
    Since riding the new 11/ 12 spd drivetrains, I absolutely have no use for 9 spd drivetrain. 11/ 12 spd stuff is over priced though and it would be great to see more attainable 11/ 12 spd stuff other than Sram NX and it never hurts to have more drivetrain makers in the mix.

  7. fogd0r on

    The 2x rear derailleurs are super-intriguing for a drop-bar gravel bike. They have enough chain capacity for a 16-tooth difference at the front! With 11-42 at the back, this is pretty amazing range.

  8. ragley on

    I have both sram x1 and microshift advent.
    Sram feels like f1 cars with auto
    While adevnt feels like street car with stick.
    Advent does have more fun to shift
    Also more precise and smooth
    But it confuses me when i saw article about
    12 speed chain last longer than
    previous 11,10,9 speed….. :/
    Would it be better to keep 9 speed?
    9 is cheaper though… maybe not durable

  9. BykMor on

    Hoping to reopen an old discussion. Has anyone learned any more about the leverage ratio for the Advent rear derailer? (@Velo Kitty ?) I just hacked together drop bar allroad. A 2x 44-34 crankset, an 8sp 12-46 Acolyte cassette, Advent long cage derailer, 9sp Shimano barend shifters (friction mode, of course, so indexing is moot)… ALMOST perfect. The Shimano shifters don’t pull enough cable to get across the full range of the cassette. Going to use an old Jtek Shiftmate to increase the pull. I know I could buy Microshift Advent bar end shifters, but I have perfectly good shifters, and some Jtek Shiftmates. (Opinion warning:) I applaud Microshift for making a wide range 8sp since everything 9 and larger is just evidence of the downfall of logic and society 😉


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