Gevenalle GX levers

Gevenalle GX levers

Dual-control drop handlebar brake levers, or ‘brifters’, have made derailleur gear shifting – and therefore road bikes – accessible to every cyclist. However, they are vulnerable to dirt and damage, expensive to replace, and only properly compatible with specific gearing systems, all of which Gevenalle offer as potential reasons to fit their shifter system instead.

Originally marketed under the Retroshift label, it comprises a pair of machined aluminium brackets with integral outer cable stops, each one attached to the front of a brake lever and fitted with a bar-end shift lever. The latest model, the GX, features a bracket with a re-aligned cable route and brake levers suitable for either linear-pull brakes or conventional short-pull caliper or cantilever brakes.

The Gevenalle system is primarily aimed at cyclocross riders. The GX model may also interest touring cyclists since its right-hand shifter works with
the new generation Shimano Dyna-sys and Shadow+ 10-speed mountain bike rear mechs and, therefore, accesses the low gearing possibilities of MTB cassettes. I matched the shifters with a Deore mech and HG-X 11-34 cassette. On the test cycle, 34/34 gearing gives a bottom gear of 26in.

Re-branded Tektros, the Gevenalle brake levers work well with Shimano XT trekking linear brake arms and provide powerful, controllable braking from either drop handlebar hand position. An alternative inner wire nipple housing enables the levers to be used with short-pull brakes, although this requires additional spannering.

The additional cable pull needed to operate a compatible MTB rear mech is provided by a new MicroShift indexed bar-end shifter model, which can also be used in friction mode with non-compatible mechs. Shifting is as expected of indexed bar-cons; the front mech can be trimmed to perfection and the rear offers near-instant changes across a number of gears.

On the minus side, reaching the levers requires a stretch on a well set-up machine. The hand movement is quickly learned but not entirely natural and is awkward – but not impossible – when holding the drops. Pressing down on the left-hand lever can actuate the relevant brake. This may not be a problem on levers fitted to Midge-style bars. My major reservation is simple: the bar-end controls on which the Gevenalle system is based are neater overall and easier to use from their intended position, especially when holding the drops. Otherwise, this is a versatile and useful gear shifting option. You can order a pair directly from the website; $239 is about £155 at present.

Richard Hallett

This was first published in the April / May 2015 edition of Cycling UK's Cycle magazine.

Pros

  • MTB derailleurs with drops
  • Linear-pull or standard-pull brakes

 

Cons

  • Ergonomics could be better

 

Price

$219 plus $20 p&P

Further information

www.gevenalle.com

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