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The Microshift Sword is an all-mechanical, gravel-specific drivetrain

Could this budget-friendly option slay bike-industry giants?

Microshift is a more affordable brand compared to the likes of Shimano and SRAM. PHOTO FROM MICROSHIFT

While cycling manufacturers are in an arms race to outdo each other with increasingly complicated (and expensive) parts, one company decided to go against the current with its upcoming release. Branded as “modern components with an analog soul,” the Microshift Sword is a budget-friendly, all-mechanical drivetrain designed specifically for gravel bikes.

A 1x drivetrain is better suited for casually paced riding such as when bikepacking. IMAGE FROM MICROSHIFT

This drivetrain is available in either a 1×10 or 2×10 setup. The former comes with a 10-speed, 11-48T cassette and a 40T or 42T crank. Since the left lever doesn’t do any shifting, there is the option of using it to actuate a dropper post.

A 2x drivetrain is good for those who need to go faster and travel longer distances. IMAGE FROM MICROSHIFT

Meanwhile, the latter has the option for a 48-31T or 46-29T crank, paired with a 10-speed, 11-38T cassette. Although more complicated than a 1x setup, this allows for more top speed while retaining the lighter gearing for climbing.

The brake levers were designed with flared drop bars in mind. PHOTOS FROM MICROSHIFT

Unlike Microshift’s Advent line of mountain-bike drivetrains that happen to be drop bar-compatible, the Sword was designed from the ground up specifically for gravel bikes. And this is most apparent with the brake levers.

The hoods now have a more rounded curvature to better support the rider’s hands. The pivot point was moved higher to make braking on the hoods easier, and the pull ratio was adjusted to give more leverage.

Anyone can service mechanical components with the right tools and know-how. PHOTOS FROM MICROSHIFT

The beauty of mechanical components is that they are easily serviceable, and this is what Microshift is capitalizing on with the Sword. A 3mm Allen wrench is used to adjust the cable tension of the front derailleur. Meanwhile, an orbital barrel adjuster with 15° of rotation makes cable routing to the rear derailleur much smoother, especially when the bike has internal routing.

There's no need to change the entire rear derailleur. PHOTO FROM MICROSHIFT

The fully replaceable rear-derailleur cage serves two purposes. Aside from making it repairable in case of damage, it allows the user to switch between a 1x and a 2x setup—without changing the whole assembly.

It's not unlikely that more gravel bikes will come stock with the Microshift Sword. PHOTOS FROM MICROSHIFT

The following are the prices for the individual parts:

  • 10-speed right shifter – $94.99 (P5,207)
  • Left shifter – $94.99 (P5,207)
  • Left brake lever – $64.99 (P3,562)
  • Dropper remote – $64.99 (P3,562)
  • 2×10 shifter pair – $189.99 (P10,415)
  • 1×10 shifter pair – $159.99 (P8,770)
  • Crank – $114.99 (P6,303)
  • Rear derailleur – $79.99 (P4,385)
  • Front derailleur – $28.99 (P1,589)
  • G-Series cassette – $69.99 (P3,837)
  • H-Series cassette – $44.99 (P2,466)
Not everyone wants electronic shifting and hydraulic brakes. PHOTO FROM MICROSHIFT

This announcement is good news for the cycling community, as it fills the gap for an all-mechanical and budget-friendly option for gravel bikes. So far, no release date has been given, but we hope the Microshift Sword arrives soon, as it is something worth considering if ever you have upgrade plans.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.