25 November, 2019

Flat Bar Pass Hunter with 9speed Microshift Advent

by Igor

Whenever we get in frame prototypes, we build them up in a variety of ways to make sure all of your (pointing at you) weird builds will go smoothly and ride as anticipated. So we'll do drop bars, flat bars, alt-bars, commuter, lightweight, touring, and single speed (frame dependent). It's a great opportunity to test out new groupsets and new setups we have been eager to try. Enter Microshift Advent.

We've built up bikes with Campagnolo, SRAM hydro, Shimano GRX, dynamo lighting, and other neat setups, but I've been particularly excited for this oddball 9 speed groupset. The idea is to create an affordable 9speed, 1x setup with a clutch'd derailleur and wide range, 11-42 cassette.

Worth noting is that the 9 speed Advent groupset retails for $120. For comparison, $120 buys you just the pulleys of a SRAM Red AXS rear derailleur. Just the pulleys!

New 11 and 12sp setups can be fiddly because everything is narrow and a slight bit of cable tension adjustment can make a perfect or mediocre shift. With 9 speed, the amount of slop is refreshing. I use "slop" in a good way here. The actual shifting is crisp and consistent, but the wider tolerances of the cogs and chain makes for super easy and quick setup with absolutely minimal futzing.

While the clutch engagement can be turned off, I don't know why you would in exchange for never having to worry about dropping your chain. Shifting requires maybe 5% more thumb strength, but think of it as strength training, really.

The cable exit on the rear derailleur is a little funky on the higher gears (straightens out on the low side), but it doesn't seem to have any effect on shifting performance at all. It's probably designed this way to skirt any patents that the Big 3 have.

I've ridden the bike a lot this week and I really, really like the setup. It's zippy, fun, simple, and lightweight. I'll likely add a basket and bag at some point, but am happy with how it is set up for now.

PS. Tektro makes a flat-mount dual-piston actuated brake (model MD-C550) that's virtually the same as the TRP Spyre, for half the price. We really are in the golden age of cheap n' good components.


Anonymous said...

Nice build, and I get the appeal of 9 speed over 11 or 12. But what about 10? Chain prices have come down, and you can still do a triple with 10 speed. How does it compare with nine?

Eric said...

@tom the whole point of this is to avoid front shifting.

Smitty2k1 said...

Is that a new handlebar bag design I spy? Any ETA on restock of the mini-rando handlebar bags?

VeloOrange said...

@Tom and Eric,

Getting into a good, affordable 1x system really is the benefit of this group. They do have a front derailleur that can be paired with a 46/30 crankset for an insanely low gear-range, so 2x is still on the table.


VeloOrange said...


It's the Road Runner Jammer Bag!

We should have more MiniRandos within the next couple weeks.


Smitty2k1 said...

thanks @VeloOrange
I'm in the market for a handlebar bag to compliment my VO X RR Daytripper saddle bag. What are your thoughts on the RR Jammer vs the VO x RR miniRando?

VeloOrange said...


For drop bars, if you aren't carrying a ton of stuff, the mini-rando is the way to go. Super easy to access from the saddle and while riding. Otherwise, go with the Jammer or full Rando bag for the capacity.


Zed F. said...

I'm looking to upgrade my canti Hunter, which still has the 20 year old 3x9 Shimano 105 drivetrain from my old bike.

I'll echo Tom's question. What about 10 speed?

Frank said...

What rear hub are you using? And don't say it's a Top Secret Prototype!
Microshift uses words like "budget friendly" to describe this category. I like the simplicity and minimal futzing (to coin a phrase), but wouldn't settle for something cheap. Your thoughts on quality?

clau66 said...

Would the 11-42 Advent cassette also work with a SRAM GX 10 derailleur?
... even with friction bar-end levers?

VeloOrange said...


It's a Top Secret Prototype. I would say the quality is very good. It's all aluminum alloy, the cage may be steel. It's on the heavier side, but it has been quite dependable and others online have praised the system.


I don't know, but I would think yes in friction mode.


Christian said...

The new Passhunter frame is one of the most exciting frames I saw for years...gratulation.
The mixture of the classic mono tube at the rear with the huge head tube is amazing.
I looking forward to see the final colors and price.
Definitely I need one.
You are doing a good job with equipping bikes with alternative parts like microshift and your nice silver parts.
I like velo orange! Greets from germany.