Micronew shifters overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My bike has a 3 x 9 drive. It started out with a double chainring, but as it’s used as a touring bike, I changed to a triple chainring setup. As it happened, I had two older Shimano Sora shifters for dropped bars that I fitted, and it all worked well. Until it didn’t.
While cycling part of the Wild Atlantic Way, my shifter for the rear derailleur packed up. A bike co-operative in Clonakilty, called Bike Circus, managed to get it so I could shift between 5 gears (a Sora setup has 9 gears at the back) and I carried on. With time, it improved, till I could shift onto all my gears again, but trust is a binary things. I knew I had to replace the shifters.
No, I wasn’t aware of a brand called Micronew, either. It’s a Chinese make, and seems to be a shameless copy of Microshift shifters. As I was shopping around, looking for replacement shifters, I stumbled onto a pair of 3 x 9 Micronew shifters.
When the price is right
A replacement set of Sora shifters would’ve set me back £190, so when I saw the Micronew shifters – fully compatible with Shimano derailleurs – for only £69, I was apprehensive. Would they be cheap and nasty? Would they be extremely poor quality?
I could find only a single review, and while it was positive, I don’t attach much value to glowing Amazon reviews. After all, it may just as well have been left by the company themselves, right? However, at this price, I figured it was worth a punt.
When I first opened the parcel, I was impressed with what I found. The shifters appear well-made and sturdy. I tested the shifting, and like the positive feel of these shifters. With Sora shifters, the whole brake lever swivels to the side when you shift gears down, and behind the lever there’s a smaller paddle to shift up.
The Micronew shifters have two paddles, one smaller than the other, and the brake lever doesn’t swivel to the side at all. I suppose, in terms of functionality, these work as if a set of thumb-shifters from a flat-bar bike were attached to a brake lever, only you use two paddles to shift up or down.
It seems to me a far simpler design than Shimano shifters, and simpler means there are fewer things to go wrong. The brake levers are made from alloy, and the other metal parts of the shifters are made from stainless steel. Add to that a plastic housing, covered by a soft rubber grip, and you get the picture. Oh, and I was surprised that they arrived complete with two replacement gear cables.
But do they work?
Oh yes! They work very well indeed! Shifting is smooth and it feels secure. Unlike Sora levers, there’s no little window, with an indicator that supposedly shows you what gear you’re in, and I like that. I’ve never been a fan of those little windows Shimano seems fond of.
The shifters are comfortable to operate, and don’t require much force to change gear at all. Having pent years changing gears by swivelling a brake lever sideways, I thought it’d be a big adjustment to get used to using two paddles, but it soon became second nature.
These seem to be rock-solid shifters, that look good, are comfortable to ride with, and cost little over a third of a set of Shimano Sora shifters. That’s a lot of valid reasons to feel good!
I always say that my ultimate test is this: if I had known, prior to purchasing, what I know now about the product, would I still have bought it? In this case, the answer is a definite yes!