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Adaptive Cycling: Handcycles, Amputee Adaptation, Visual Impairment, and Other Needs Have a need for adaptive equipment to ride to compensate for a disability or loss of limb or function? This area is for discussion among those of us in the cycling world that are coming back from traumatic circumstances and tell the world, "No, you are not going to beat me down!"

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Old 01-08-13, 03:28 PM   #1
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Gear shifter for wrist impaired people


I have a bad right wrist and thumb due to repeated computer use like I am sure many people do. I am looking for gear shifters that would be smooth and easy to use and won't require so much effort from my wrist or thumb. Right now I have rotating friction shifters and they are hard.
Anybody out there with a recommendation for a good brand or an alternative type of shifters?
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Old 01-08-13, 04:19 PM   #2
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Welcome to bikeforums raudem!

I moved your thread to adaptive cycling from introductions in order for the fine ladies and gentlemen here to help you out.
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Old 01-08-13, 04:20 PM   #3
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The easiest alternative I can think of are "bar end" shifters, however they may not work well for you with the thumb issue.
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Old 01-08-13, 04:29 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have an mtb with grip shifters...

Best advice would be to quit your job and find something that does not cause these repetitive stress issues that interfere with the joy of cycling.

But seriously, thumb shifters mounted on top of the handlebar can be set up so you can use gross motor movements instead of micro movements to shift... The palm of your hand can push and pull the shifter instead of pushing with your thumb and there is no twisting involved.

For road bars, bar end shifters can be pushed down with the palm and pulled up with almost all your fingers so put very little stress on the thumb and wrist.
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Old 01-08-13, 07:28 PM   #5
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Another option may be click shifting. No wrist rotation needed(uses thumb and forefinger), and more accurate. It may mean replacing your derailleurs, but I think it would do the trick.
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Old 01-09-13, 01:17 AM   #6
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If you are using 7 speed rear you can try the Shimano sl-a050. These are mounted near the stem and you can use your palm to shift the gears. the left shifter is friction so will work with double or triple chainrings, while the right is indexed for 7 speeds. The clamps will not fit on those oversized handlebars, so if you are using the 26.0 regular size handlebars, it should be fine.

Last edited by TiBikeGuy; 01-09-13 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 01-09-13, 03:45 PM   #7
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Great advice. For work and all !
It seems you covered all the issues.
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