Cyclocross component maker Retroshift—reviewed in Issue 24′s drivetrain article (available as a back copy here or digitally here)—is rebranding and becoming Gevenalle, and introducing an expanded and updated product line. Gevenalle, derived from two Dutch words and translated to “Give All” reflects the brand’s commitment to creating innovative and performance-enhancing shifting solutions for cyclocross.
The name change comes as the brand launches Hydraulic Shift Levers (using TRP’s Hylex singlespeed brake system) and Cassette Adapters, both designed to address the specific needs of shifting in the mud and dirt. All Gevenalle products undergo testing in a race atmosphere before being brought to market.
“Gevenalle products are the result of a love for cyclocross and desire to offer innovative and problem-solving solutions for the sport that road components don’t quite meet,” founder Adam Clement explains. “Our products are geared toward the ’cross racer looking to improve his/her performance with race parts built to better meet their requirements. We are offering affordable, after market components that better meet the requirements of the muddy carnage we call cyclocross.”
CX1 and CX2 Hydraulic Shifters:
When we first laid hands on the TRP Hylex hydraulic brake system, it was love at first grab. Our first thought was that it’s too bad only singlespeeders could enjoy such braking. Gevenalle shared such a thought and added its shift levers to the system, bringing powerful braking to its simple, reliable shifters.
The CX1 and CX2 Hydraulic Shift Levers (The CX2 was previously reviewed when they were Retroshift-branded here) will retail for $399 and $449 a pair, complete with calipers and rotors. The CX1 (named before the SRAM Force CX1 group) covers single chain options while the CX2 provides front and rear shifting. The shifters are backed by an amazing crash replacement policy (the same policy as the previous iteration of the Retroshift derailleur), charging only 75 dollars a lever (including worldwide shipping) to replace or repair.
- Shimano Road Compatible 9, 10 and 11 speed
- Available for single or double chainring set up
- Ships with calipers and rotors (Choice 140 or 160)
- Weight: CX2 Hydraulic with brake hose and brake calipers 850g, CX1 Hydraulic with brake hose and brake calipers 800g
- Index or friction shifting options
- MSRP: CX2 Hydraulic retails for $449, CX1 Hydraulic retails for $399
HOUP (Halo Of Ultimate Protection):
Also launching today is the HOUP (Halo Of Ultimate Protection) Cassette adapter. The HOUP is designed to give more clearance between the rear spokes and rear derailleur to lower the incidence of catastrophic derailleur failure that is a common occurrence in muddy cyclocross races. The product was inspired by Kona-sponsored racer Erik Tonkin, who routinely used limit screws to limit-out the largest cog during muddy races, to reduce the chance of his derailleur ending up in the spokes.
What is the HOUP? It’s a really simple idea, and a simple product: a precision cut, laser engraved spacer to insert behind the cassette. This combined with the removal of the underutilized-for-cyclocross 11-tooth cog, provides much needed extra clearance for the derailleur. In addition to the adaptor itself, the company is offering a titanium 21-24-27 three cog set for additional weight savings, available in June.
Combining the HOUP and three titanium cogs (21, 24, 27t) with your existing cassette turns a mid-level (think Shimano 105 and Ultegra, but not SRAM) cassette into an affordable high-performance product. “Our set-up is as light as other companies highest-end cassettes, for a fraction of the cost, ” Clement says. Retail for the HOUP adaptor is just $20 dollars, the HOUP with Titanium spider will retail for $85.
If you’re looking at this simple product and thinking, I know how to adjust my derailleur, or why would I want to remove a cog when I just upgraded to 11-speeds (or 10-speeds), we don’t blame you, as we had the same thought initially. Racers who don’t see much or any mud during the season likely won’t have the need for the HOUP. If you’ve never seen a broken derailleur at your local cyclocross race, this product wasn’t developed with your conditions in mind.
However, Gevenalle’s products are tested and developed in what is arguably the most consistently muddy area of the country, in Portland, Oregon, and the company has the 1500+ racers of the Cross Crusade and other race series as data points and (some of them, including Erik Tonkin) as test riders.
Clement emphasizes that it’s not only poorly adjusted rear derailleurs that end up in the spokes. In a muddy race, even the perfectly adjusted rear derailleurs can end up in pieces due to the following conditions:
- bent derailleur hanger or cage due to a crash or collision
- mud or debris accumulates on the pulley cage, catching the spokes
- mud or debris accumulates on the spokes, catching the cage
- mud weighs down the rear derailleur, bending it into the spokes
Any of these situations can mean a broken derailleur, damaged wheel, ruined race, and expensive repairs.
What’s so special about the lockring? Besides being alloy and colorful, it’s actually just larger in diameter, and is included assuming you’re replacing the 11t cog and stuck with a small, 11-tooth compatible lockring and need a larger lockring to hold your 12-tooth cog in place. If you’ve got a bunch of old cassettes around, chances are you don’t actually need the HOUP lockring, but it’s a light alloy and red and included with the spacer.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that with a bunch of spare parts around, a DIYer could create this setup himself, and some of us do something similar to use 11-speed cassettes on 10-speed wheels, but Gevenalle makes it easy by getting the spacing right, saving you a few grams in the process, and making it easy.
The HOUP should also appeal to weight weenies, especially when the titanium cogs are available:
- 5700 standard cassette 11-28 = 250g
- 6700 standard cassette 11-28 = 234g
- 5700 with HOUP = 237g
- 6700 with HOUP = 229g
- 5700 with HOUP Ti = 195g
- 6700 with HOUP Ti = 192g
The company also now has colored shifter pods for its CX1 shifters, while CX2 still come in Red and Grey. Match your Industry 9 or Chris King hubs and add some bling to your bike.