You might think of this Kickstarter campaign as the anti-Di2/EPS. It is a bare-bones essential shift lever made of six primitive pieces (like a bottle cap) intended to keep bicycles (and the people riding bicycles) functioning and on the road all over the world.
Jump past the break for more details and video on the sheer simplicity and the worthy advocacy angle of the One Street shift lever.
Launched by Sue Knaup, welder and executive director of the international bicycle advocacy organization One Street, the intent is summed up in the Kickstarter title: “Bike Shift Lever for Anybody, by Anybody”. Realizing that people riding all over the world for transportation, hauling goods, and carrying children were faced with two equally bad options when shifters break–needlessly complex and expensive or very low quality crap–Sue set out to make an affordable, dependable shift lever. The cool parts about the One Street levers are their simplicity and symmetry (can operate front or rear derailleurs on all bikes and gear ranges) and their reproducible design (can be made with a primitive casting method using a flower pot, household charcoal, and scrap aluminum). The functional use of a bottle cap-as-washer adds personalization possibilities. SRAM it ain’t – but that’s the point.
There’s a whole world of non-enthusiasts out there who just want working bikes. There’s also a lot of people needing ultra-inexpensive transportation and a rather large supply of bikes thrown away or cast off due to poor or inoperable shifters. One Street hopes to help bridge that gap with these levers. Check out One Street’s Kickstarter page for more information.