Well Used: Gevenalle GX Shifters for Mountain Bike Derailleurs Jul 31, 2015

Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

For some reason, when Gevenalle first launched, I didn’t want to like their shifting mechanisms. They just seemed too contrived. A solution for a problem that didn’t exist. Perhaps it was their marketing, claiming to be designed for cyclocross racing. Sure, I read the product descriptions, the PR, looked at the photos but I still wasn’t convinced.

It wasn’t until I began to see the Gevenalle shifters on touring bikes that my interest was piqued. “Now that makes sense” I thought. Not running traditional road shifters on a touring bike is completely reasonable. The same can be said for barcons or downtube shifters. Why take your hand off the lever to shift? Sure. I get that.

The Gevenalle shifting system I recently spent time with is the GX shifters for mountain bike derailleurs. More specifically, a shifting system ideal for long-cage, dirt tourers like the Elephant NFE.

Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

Gevenalle is addressing the need for a drop bar integrated shifter that is compatible with Shimano’s Dyna-sys 10 speed mountain bike derailleurs. Why is this a need? Well, because Shimano doesn’t even offer a shifter that’s capable of that. Womp womp.

So why do these make sense for a touring bike? Traditional shifters will interfere with your handlebar or front rack bag. Some, like the Shimano levers, seem to throw a great distance. If you have a bikepacking bag strapped to your drop bars, that means you lose a lot of real estate due to paddle interference. If you’re running a large Wald basket or other rack and bag system, the same applies. The GX shifters remove any interference. If you’re used to barcons, just imagine having that control at your fingertips without having to move your hands.

Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

The GX shifters offer the control of indexed shifting at your fingertips, but it takes a bit to get used to. By “a bit” I mean like 15 seconds. It’s simple, really. Want to dump your cassette? Just swipe. No hassle, nothing. If things start to get sloppy, use the easy barrel adjuster for fine tuning.

GEVENALLE-6

I was running these on Salsa Woodchipper bars, so my hand position was a bit different than a traditional drop bar but the translation and transition would be just as simple on the latter. The GX shifters provided a more than stable shifting experience on the road as well as the trail. The only time I didn’t appreciate their positioning was when I’d be in the drops going down a steep trail, only to face a wall of a climb right ahead of me, forcing me to change hand positions to shift. Granted, this only happened once and I adjusted my riding accordingly.

So… here’s where I tell you that I’m still not convinced the Gevenalle system is ideal for racing cyclocross but I am sold on their application for touring or even commuter bikes. They’re easy to setup, require very little maintenance and most importantly, they shift precisely!

Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

The pricepoint ain’t bad either. $219.00 for the pair. If you run a 1x setup, you can easily remove the mechanism from the left lever.

  • Just waiting for the Microshift BS-M10 bar end shifters that these are based on to be available.

    • Micah – Woops, sorry for delay. Might be we are part of the problem with the availability… Sure they will be all caught up soon.

      • I’ve been waiting like a year! I see that they are available at a couple of online places. Still a bit longer til we can get ’em here in Canada though.

        Alternatively, if you make a version based on the Sram S900 or some other carbon lever, I’ll take one! Especially if it was hydraulic.

  • Alexi Hrossakjöt

    WTF are they not putting these on TRP Hylex levers?

  • Henry

    Considering you also run barcons on your tourer, and considering they offer similar flexibility re: rear shifting setups (at least I know Shimano, Silvers do), what would your preference be going forwards?

    • I’d like to put the GX shifters on my Woodville.

      • You can have some when we get caught up, might be a while though! Apologies to all those waiting for GX, we really are trying!

  • sturtlovinggood

    Anyone have experience using these (or Shimano levers with a similar cable placement) with handlebar/porteur bags? I feel like the shifter cable would interfere with the bag.

  • Ultraclyde

    I think I’d like to replace my sram barcons on my Trek 920 with these on Hylex levers. The brakes are great, but I’m not sold on Barcons on an off-road bike. Do the shift levers clear the brake levers by enough that you can still brake with two fingers at the top of the brake levers? I find myself doing that a lot in casual riding given the power of the hylexs, and it looks like these might get in the way. Right now, though, Gevenalle is the only option for Hylex combined shifting. Well, unless I went Di2, which ain’t happening.

  • Ultra_Orange

    cool product, I agree I don’t see how these are good for racing. The travel on the shifter is tight but if you are dumping it requires a big hand position change.

    • Ultra_Orange. Hand movement is very different for sure. Dumping whole cassette is pretty extreme but still an option, for the most part due to length of the shift lever as compared to STI you will find hand movement is less to shift. Check out the video for some comparison. NOT saying CX are better, just a valid preference for some in the situation. All shifters are good!

      • Ultra_Orange

        Well in the demo videos you had the shifting required some reaching around. Now I’ll admit I’m not the most confidant rider soaybe that’s where I see an issue.

        Ps just installed your pad holders on my Paul motolites, look and work great but had to remove the screw that holds the pad in because of clearance issues on my modded to hell bike.

        • Just be careful not to brake hard going backwards – those screws are there to hold pads in place in just such instances :)

  • D0rk

    I never did understand their push for CX use outside of their ability to be easily and cheaply serviced and repaired if damaged. But I absolutely knew that they would go on any sort of touring bike where integrated shifters were unappealing. The fact that they filled a hole that Shimano absolutely ignored (and a hole that is part of the reason I LOVE the 10-speed stuff from SRAM) with running MTB range derailleurs on drop bar shifters.

    My only annoyance is that i’d most likely want a handlebar/rando bag for my tourer and the cable routing would conflict with that.

  • recurrecur

    I’ve had the pre-Gevenalle Retroshift levers on my touring bike since they first came out.
    Rock solid – simple genius.

  • michael

    do your fingers have any chance of reaching the levers from the drops, or is it just way too far?

    • Geoff Rice

      You can’t reach form the drops.

  • John,

    So happy you got on with the GX shifters. No worries at all on your initial thoughts on the system. It really is very hard for a seasoned cyclist to see a bar end shifter and not think that it is just a bar-end shifter (no matter where it is located). Really the CX shifting system is just another version of an integrated shifter but the shift lever is on the leading edge of the brake lever (not in it (STI/Ergopower) or behind it (Doubletap). If we had the money to design from scratch we might have designed it a little slicker and the shift lever might not have looked so like a bar-end.

    GX is our ‘gravel’ or adventure shifter, sort of a jack of all trades with long and short brake cable pull and Dyna-Sys compatibility. It works a treat for its intended purpose but it is not what we spec or recommend for cyclocross. The CX is the version for that with a smaller and more rounded brake hood profile which makes for easier still hand movement. YES CX shifters have some drawbacks as compared to STI but then STI has drawbacks as compared to CX. CX will not shift from the drops but STI will not allow for as fast a shift or a complete range (all 10 at once). You will have to drop by this season to experience a weekend of cross here in PDX (worlds largest cross series) to see how well suited it is to the thick of battle and why it has managed multiple category and some series wins. We might even have something new for you to try.

    Cheers!

    The Goats
    Gevenalle

    p.s – We have photographed these things HUNDREDS of times and then you amble along and take better photos in one day than we have ever managed! Damn you natural talented people! ;)

  • Geoff Rice

    I have CX shifters on my commuter/adventure bike and they are still going strong after 8200 miles. Great product from a solid company.

  • BigWid

    Having ridden these on my cross bike for the past 2 seasons with the TRP Hylex setup I can say they are bullet proof and allow incredibly fast precise shifting. Also the hydro disc setup provides incredible stopping power.

  • Mike Skalnik

    Wish they had a SRAM compatible product!

    • yeah, that’s the main reason I haven’t gone with the GX yet. I like my clutch SRAM rear mech.

  • Phillip Trost

    Third season on Gevanalle; CX and gravel – cable and their hydro option; I don’t want anything else on the bikes. Just toured Glacier park gravel roads like a boss; zero problems when outrunning bears ( no joke). Just get a pair and prepaid to shred.

    • Whoa, the one time I actually read the comments. Can you tell me more about these roads man? I’m heading there in a few weeks!

    • Bear! Now my Coyote dash sounds a bit lame by comparison!

  • Troy Theriot

    I have one bike that I use for cross, commuting and road/gravel rides. I’ve had these shifters since Retroshift days. They’ve been so good across all types of riding. I’m a fan for life!

  • Kiblz&bits

    I have these on the Salsa Woodchipper bars as well. They are dynamite for an adventure ride. The reach is no big deal from the drops once you get used to the angle. They making changing gears immediately a no-brainer, especially in inclement terrain. Shifting quickly with these bad boys in a cross race makes change of speed, change of direction a dream. Cross in PDX is not looking back!

  • Frank

    I have the audax model … works a treat. Thanks Goats!

  • Tim Guarente

    I’ve been on CX shifters for 2 years now, and I love them on my Cross-Check. I’m running them with a 9s Shimano shifter set up friction to go 1×10, and it works… Mostly – 10 speed friction shifting is pretty touchy. I love the simplicity and versatility (1/2/3 X 7, 8, 9, 10…), and much prefer shifting from the hoods. I do plan to get some GX soon. Is there a trade in option, Goats?

  • This picture captures the cable-housing routing on my Co-Motion tandem. I’m running 9-speed Shimano bar-ends on Gevenalle levers mounted to 46-centimeter Nitto Noodle bars. I lowered my Arkel Large Handlebar Bag on a secondary stem at the same time, but given the bar width, the Gevenalle arrangement would have worked with the bag in its original position. (I also have a pair of the Goats’ levers–sporting the old Retroshift brand–on my commuter, The World’s Heaviest Fisher.)

  • pdxvelo

    I’ve ridden the cx shifters for a year including a solid season of cross. These shifters are the cats pajamas. I was hooked after one steep cross race where a steep down went into a steep up, I was able to dump the whole cassette effortlessly. People question the shifting position, but I’ve found that my shift position varies depending where I am in the cassette. Different positions for different shifts, but its intuitive. I haven’t had any issues with them. I can’t wait to go with hydraulics with these. They are bitchin for everything but crit racing.

  • Ted Byram

    I run the CX Hydraulic and won’t race cross on anything else

  • Jamesw2

    I put them on my Surly Disk Trucker and I want to put them on a GT Grade that I tried putting on a triple crank. Can’t find a front derailleur that will work with the Sora bifter . . touring and urban riding you need to be able to dump the cassette and crankset