Review: Full circle back to the Microshift RD M-55 rear derailleur

It’s funny how things go full circle. And bad puns aside, nowhere is this more true than with my constantly evolving bicycles.

The Microshift M55 rear derailleur prior to installation

Back in 2011 I had a bike by the name of Ressurectio, a steel framed touring bike that went through many iterations before finally going to a new home. And one of the many parts that graced that bike was a Microshift M55 rear mech.

Fast forward 11 years and bikes have come and gone from the EC stable. My current and probably forever bike is my 1983 Raleigh Clubman, which I bought in 2014 completely stock and have, since then, systematically and sympathetically upgraded.

One piece just didn’t feel right though. For a long while it had a Shimano Sora short cage rear mech, which jarred with the high polish theme of the rest of the components.

Then I remembered the M55. A nine speed long cage MTB mech with a pleasing, minimal, polished aluminium parallelogram. They’re no longer listed on Microshift’s website but are still available online.

After a bit of smartphone noodling I bagged mine for £20 from Upgrade Cycles, ironically the same price as I paid back in 2011 and waited patiently for the postie.

It arrived super quick and it wasn’t long before I had it installed.

Installed on the Raleigh Clubman.

Initial impressions are great. It looks perfect on the Raleigh and works a treat. Easy to set up with lovely old school nickel-plated hi, lo and b limit screws and springs.

It’s light too, weighing in at 227g, making today’s be-clutched MTB derailleurs seem most portly.

The shifting action is extremely positive, combined currently with an eight-speed cassette and Ultegra bar-end shifters.

The great thing about this mech is it gives me options. I can move up to nine speed when chain and cassette changing time comes. I have a set of nine speed Dura Ace bar ends waiting in the wings for this very day. 

It will also allow me to go to an 11-34 cassette with the capacity to team with a wide range sub compact double or a triple. So basically I’m set for future tweaks to my setup.

All in all, I’m really happy to have rediscovered this unsung hero of a mech. Is anyone else running an M55 out there? I’d be interested to hear about your setup and your impressions of it.

The polished aluminium of the M55 ties in perfectly with the shiny silver theme elsewhere.

Have nine years changed my impressions of the M55? Nope. Not a jot.



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