Ploafmaster General

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Full Retro Alt-Cycling Affectation Man

Last year I swapped out the cheap, stock hydraulic disc brakes on my All-City Space Horse for some mechanical Growtac Equal calipers. I just didn’t ever want to have to bleed brakes on a dang bicycle, and I have found periodic pad adjustments to be straightforward and not too much of a pain (at least for my brakes).

This weekend I did something I’m sure contemporary cyclists would find even more ridiculous: I swapped out the Microshift Advent X shifter for a Dia-compe friction shifter. I know, I know, it’s all the rage with retro-grouches and cool alt-cycling folks. And I’m not immune to what looks cool in the publications I read and bits of culture I consume. But I gotta say, it took almost no time at all to get used to friction shifting. I don’t race, and I don’t depend on instant, precise shifting, but I do want to comfortably and easily shift up and down as terrain and riding conditions change. I had no trouble adjusting to climbing hills or speeding up on the flats, and never had to think about tuning my derailleur or shifter barrel adjusters to tune my shifting performance.

Additionally, while I’ve been pretty happy with my 10-speed Advent X cassette and Microshift Sword derailleur, I now have the flexibility to experiment with any derailleur and cassette combination that I want. This shifter can pull a shifter through a wide-range 11-speed cassette (the Advent X is a 10-speed that runs 11-48), so if I wanted to try out a big ol' 11-speed Deore when the current cassette wears out, I can go for it. Ultimately, though, I’m just happier with the simplicity, and the fact that it’s still also simple/enjoyable to use.