Cyclocross is hard on parts. Specifically, shifters and rear derailleurs. Retroshift already has you covered in the shifting department with their super durable Retroshift CX levers. Now, after a bit of teasing, Retroshift is taking the wraps off their entry into the rear derailleur market – the BURD.
Designed to address the specific needs of a cyclocross rear derailleur, without added fluff, the new derailleur promises to be precise, durable, rebuildable, and most importantly – cheap to replace.
Shift past the break for more.
Retroshift doesn’t hide the fact that the BURD is an improved version of another company’s derailleur. In fact, BURD stands for Blatantly Upgraded Rebranded Derailleur. The point is to make the best option for a CX rear derailleur and redesigning the entire unit wasn’t necessary.
Instead, Retroshift started with the derailleur body from a Microshift unit that they feel nearly matches the performance of a 105/Ultegra unit. Considering their Retroshift levers are also made to their specifications by Microshift, it was an easy choice.
One of the most important parts of a CX rear derailleur are the pulleys. Bad pulleys won’t directly cause but usually contribute greatly in the death of the derailleur from failure to pass chain – one of the more common derailleur deaths in cross. To ensure the best possible pulley movement, Retroshift is offering two models of the BURD – one with Ultegra sealed pulleys, and the other with FSA ceramic pulleys.
According to Retroshift, “The most common reason as best we can tell from our ongoing autopsies is from blockages from anything from wads of mud/grass, course tape, corn husks (a Kruger’s Farm specialty) and even the odd dollar bill could result in a catastrophe. Pulley health won’t cause a death by itself but a stiff pulley will contribute greatly. Use good pulleys and maintain them damn it! Pulleys matter.”
As for pricing, one of the main reasons for the upgraded pulleys on the BURD is that more expensive derailleurs have better pulleys, but more expensive derailleurs aren’t really necessary for cross. Due to the mud and slop a cross bike is subjected to, cosmetic finishes mean little, and even with high end pulleys there is a good chance you will need to replace a derailleur or two during the race season.
Since we’re not all sponsored pros, price matters. Equipped with the Ultegra pulleys, the BURD will retail for $69! The FSA ceramic pulleys raise the price to $89, and do not have the active float of the Ultegra pulleys – instead they have a thinner cross section to the teeth that provides passive float. Even better, either derailleur is eligible for Retroshift’s $34 rebuild program should you break the derailleur for any reason, you can send it in and they will transfer your pulleys to a new unit for only $34.
While the derailleur is a rebranded Microshift unit, Retroshift didn’t want to simply offer another company’s derailleur unless there were proven benefits to the new design. With the rebuildable option and upgraded pulleys, Retroshift feels they are able to offer a product with a performance to $$ ratio that is unmatched along with a rebuild option that makes it an easy choice.
Both derailleurs are Shimano/Retroshift 9/10 speed compatible and are limited to a 28t max cog.