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Old 02-13-08, 08:21 AM   #1
hotbike
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Twist Grip Shifter

Yesterday, my right hand, rear shifter crapped out. I went to the LBS , and I dislodged a small black piece of plastic. That explained why the shifter wasn't clicking.
I got a new Shimano shifter, and I installed it in five minutes.

I suspect the extreme cold weather made the plastic snap. It was around 15 degrees F.

I paid $20.00 for the new shifter.



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Old 02-13-08, 08:42 AM   #2
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Yes. You've discovered that really low end GripShifters suck. It looks like you have the MRX level which is about department store quality.

I don't like GripShifts at all, but that's personal preference. SRAM makes quality ones if you ever think of upgrading.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:56 AM   #3
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Broke shifter, replaced it.


Got it.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:03 AM   #4
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Yes. You've discovered that really low end GripShifters suck. It looks like you have the MRX level which is about department store quality.

I don't like GripShifts at all, but that's personal preference. SRAM makes quality ones if you ever think of upgrading.
The LBS had SRAM and Shimano to choose from. I chose the Shimano.

This thread might be a little lame, but the issue is plastic. If this bike was older, and had friction shifters, it wouldn't have broken.

I'm surprised the shifter lasted as long as it did. And again, I think the extreme cold got to it.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:17 AM   #5
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Even though I've never ridden a bike with them, I think gripshifters are a pretty cool idea. My wife loves hers. I put bar-end shifters on her road bike, which she likes okay, but she really loves her gripshifters on her mountain bike. She doesn't want any other system.

My wife loves her gripshifters. Got it?
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Old 02-14-08, 06:53 PM   #6
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Even though I've never ridden a bike with them, I think gripshifters are a pretty cool idea. My wife loves hers. I put bar-end shifters on her road bike, which she likes okay, but she really loves her gripshifters on her mountain bike. She doesn't want any other system.

My wife loves her gripshifters. Got it?
I agree. Gripshifters just seem to be more "intuitive" to a lot of bicyclists. I can't tell any performance detriment to the recreational cyclist, or to anyone? Anything that makes the two derailleur bike less mysterious is a good thing. I know a lot of you won't believe me, but shifting is really confusing to a lot of people and grip shifters just seem to make sense to a lot of them.
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Old 02-14-08, 07:44 PM   #7
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Sadly, my wife has to learn how to use the twist shifters on her X-mart bike each time she rides. I want to mark the indicator windows with "hill" and "fast" to help her know which way to move the indicator for helping her find what she needs when she shifts. The words "down" and "up" are constantly misunderstood in our verbal communication. One of us will be talking about the movement of the chain between the different diameter sprockets. The other will be talking about ratios. It has been frustrating for both of us.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:47 PM   #8
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I had years of use with SRAM grip shifters, without any failure, although cable replacement was much easier with the better quality model. Gripshifters are ideal for riding in town where you may need to do multiple downshifts as you stop for traffic lights.
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Old 02-14-08, 08:53 PM   #9
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Bakelite(plastic) was very popular in friction shifters(and deraileurs) many years ago. It makes modern plastic look like cae hardened steel. So if you had friction shifters from the proper era they would have broken just from being looked at. This is not a defense of cheap twist shifters.
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Old 02-15-08, 05:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Even though I've never ridden a bike with them, I think gripshifters are a pretty cool idea. My wife loves hers. I put bar-end shifters on her road bike, which she likes okay, but she really loves her gripshifters on her mountain bike. She doesn't want any other system.

My wife loves her gripshifters. Got it?
So does mine, and my younger daughter as well.
My older daughter prefers the old-school Shimano RapidFire shifters, the ones with both levers on the same side. Go figure.....
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Old 02-15-08, 10:34 AM   #11
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I like the concept of gripshifts, but the implementation leaves a bit to be desired. I never like the fact the brake levers must sacrifice reach. Feels all wrong.
I like the light is right rule, and kiss principle. That means thumb shifters. They are small, light, won't hang up, and can be switched to friction when needed.
Too bad they keep trying to build a better mousetrap. Can't wait for STI and Ergo to go away.
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Old 02-15-08, 02:41 PM   #12
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Some SRAM grip shifters have front derailleur micro adjusting. In other words, you can move the front derailleur in half steps eliminating any chain rubbing. It's the nicest feature that the trigger shifters don't have.
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Old 02-16-08, 03:08 AM   #13
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The LBS had SRAM and Shimano to choose from. I chose the Shimano.

This thread might be a little lame, but the issue is plastic. If this bike was older, and had friction shifters, it wouldn't have broken.

I'm surprised the shifter lasted as long as it did. And again, I think the extreme cold got to it.
I am with you on that. Plastic sucks for mechanical parts. They get brittle with age, sunlight, and cold. All in all, plastic just isn't as reliable as metal parts.

That said, try to find grip shifters that aren't made mostly of plastic.

Ah well...
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Old 02-17-08, 11:38 AM   #14
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I like the concept of gripshifts, but the implementation leaves a bit to be desired. I never like the fact the brake levers must sacrifice reach. Feels all wrong.
I like the light is right rule, and kiss principle. That means thumb shifters. They are small, light, won't hang up, and can be switched to friction when needed.
Too bad they keep trying to build a better mousetrap. Can't wait for STI and Ergo to go away.
My old Stumpjumper from the 80s had thumb shifters. They were supposed to be "the thing" then. I never liked them. I replaced them with Rapid Fire. I MUCH prefer them to my old thumbshifters.

My 18 year old prefers gripshifters.

On my old roadbike I had downtube shifters and liked them, but then bought a bike with barend shifters and now I prefer those. I've never had brifters; maybe I'd like them best.

To each his or her own. It's good to try different things and arrive at what suits you best.
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Old 02-17-08, 04:15 PM   #15
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I think the things that grip shifters and some simple thumb shifters have in common are:

The gear "number" is easy to see. Almost anyone understands that "1" is a lower gear than "6" and can easlily learn, if they don't already know, that lower gears are for going up hills, higher gears for going faster.

The way to make the gears go lower or higher is simple or straight forward. You simply move the shifter (thumb or twist) to the number you want to be at. With rapid fire, brifters and other two lever designs, the novice or occasional user has to relearn to move one lever to shift to a lower gear, the other to shift to the higher gear. And worse: they are opposite for front and rear.

I don't think friction vs. index is nearly as important to a beginner/sporadic user than the above. Also, they don't want to have to understand the difference in gear effect of front wheel size vs the opposite effect in the rear. Dare I say, some not only don't want to, but can't?

As I said before, most of us think this is trivial. I've been using derailleur bikes since the early 70s when they were all downtube friction shifters. I've used friction downtube, index downtube, bar-end, thumb, various flavors of rapid-fire type, and now brifters. I may be a dope but the first time I ride the bike in the spring (whether it's the MTB or road), I have to quickly relearn the shifting pattern.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that simple thumb shifters, and even more so twist shifters with clear numbers are the way to go for anyone who is just starting to ride and/or wants or needs the absolute most straight forward way to operate the gears.

My pie in the sky wish is that somehow drivetrains could be operated with one shifter with the current ranges of gears. Whether the entire range was from one shift point (e.g. a 15 speed rear hub with a range similar to a triple front w/ say, 8 speed rear) or that shifter operated a microchip that shifted front and rear cogs appropriately, I don't care. The shift jumps wouldn't have to be as close as some of us would like, or as versitile, but the range is important.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:35 PM   #16
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I like the concept of gripshifts, but the implementation leaves a bit to be desired. I never like the fact the brake levers must sacrifice reach. Feels all wrong.
I like the light is right rule, and kiss principle. That means thumb shifters. They are small, light, won't hang up, and can be switched to friction when needed.
Too bad they keep trying to build a better mousetrap. Can't wait for STI and Ergo to go away.
I'm not sure that I understand your post. 2007 Shimano XTR rapid fire shifters 250 grams.....2007 SRAM X.0 Grip shifters 225 grams.

As to brake lever reach, wouldn't you be able to use the same lever for each.

You may be talking about barcon shifters, but that's a pretty rare fit for an MTB. If you want to mount them in an equivalent position on the bar them the weight advantage sort of goes away when you add in the mounts.

The current model year high end SRAM shifters come with friction left/front models.
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Old 02-17-08, 07:23 PM   #17
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Sadly, my wife has to learn how to use the twist shifters on her X-mart bike each time she rides. I want to mark the indicator windows with "hill" and "fast" to help her know which way to move the indicator for helping her find what she needs when she shifts. The words "down" and "up" are constantly misunderstood in our verbal communication. One of us will be talking about the movement of the chain between the different diameter sprockets. The other will be talking about ratios. It has been frustrating for both of us.
Our shop rents bikes, very often to folks that find 15-27 gears very intimidating. I explain them like this:

"This bike is not a 24-speed, it's an 8-speed...with three gearing ranges."

(Indicating the right/rear shifter)"First gear is just like the first gear in a car. It is for parking lots or climbs. As your speed increases, so does the number, but unlike a car where you can coast into a stop in fifth and just shift back down to first, pedaling is your clutch, so be sure to shift down and end up in the gear you want to start with."

(Indicating the left/front shifter)"The other gears are like this: second gear is much like putting a car into Drive. You will spend nearly all of your time in second, so leave it there unless you hit a hill. When you do, shift to first which is like putting a car into 4WD Low. You still have all your 1-8 gears, just at a lower range."

"Third is like putting your car into overdrive. You will only do this when speeding down the highway or on a long downhill grade."

I've found the analogy gets most people shifting right away, and takes the intimidation out of it, as well as the "I don't need anywhere NEAR that many gears" out of the equation. Much better than getting into a discussion about gearing ratios, crossovers, etc.
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