First Impression: Gevenalle Audax shifters


If these integrated shift/brake levers look familiar, it’s because you might remember them from their prior name: RetroShift. We reviewed the first generation of RetroShift shifters back in 2013.

But while they are built from traditional parts, Gevenalle’s products are hardly retro—they are hard-core cyclocross race products that have won races at all levels of the sport. With that goal in mind, the brand renamed itself earlier this year.

However not everyone is a hard core racer and is instead looking for a little bit of extra style from their shifters. Enter the Audax shifters, which take the same form as Gevenalle’s cyclocross products but swap in a silver lever blade and friction-only GranCompe shift levers.


While the original RetroShift models were a bit of choose-your-own-adventure DIY to them, the current models are ready out of the box, with all the pieces pre-installed and ready for the (included) shift cables. They are lighter than a bar-end setup, at $169 all-in they are competitive in price (or cheaper) than a bar-end setup, and they offer access to the shifters from the hoods.


While it is extremely difficult to imagine anything damaging these shifter other than a head-on crash into a wall, if you do managed to break them they can be rebuilt good as new for just $34. How’s that for a crash-replacement policy?


Once installed, the Audax shifters take a few minutes to get used to, but like most changes to control points, a few rides will get your brain dialed in. What’s simple about it is that if the shifter moves right, the chain move across the cogs to the right. If you move it left, the chain moves left. Because they are friction controlled they are never out of tune, and they can work with nearly any derailleur. The setup picture here is shifting 9-speed Shimano mountain bike derailleurs on a 10-speed cassette and chainrings.


I’m going to be riding them for the next few months in the Portland winter, which is a good test of anything that must face the elements, so keep an eye out for a review in a future issue of Bicycle Times. Order an subscription today and you’ll be sure to see it there.


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