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Old 12-31-11, 09:11 AM   #1
zukahn1
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Opinions on Gripshifters.

I know this may be a bit more of a mechanics question. But I would like to get the opinion of some more experienced mechanics. The issue is I volunteer sometimes at the local bike and have to deal with a lot of cheap gripshifters which seem to be a serious pita to deal with. Is it just me are where these things never designed to be taken apart and re-cabled? When people are told that the cheaper gripshifters can't be re-cabled repaired a lot of the they just don't believe it. They almost always baulk don't like the idea of thumbs shifters but when your dealing with mostly used recycled donated parts there isn't much else.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:23 AM   #2
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Once gripshifters go, they're gone. I had a set once. They were more-or-less unserviceable, impossible to get cables into or out of, and if any of the plastic broke, they had to be binned.

I think your feelings are par for the course.

2 cents, FWIW
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Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
It's pronounced, "Co-burn."
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Old 12-31-11, 09:28 AM   #3
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Serviceable gripshifters that have easily accessible cable ends - and equally reliable cable routing that will allow for hassle-free installation of the replacement cable - are decent.

Figuring out which is good and which isn't is the problem.

The black plastic Grip Shifts and their copies are all horrendous. Couldn't even find a picture of them.

IIRC, SRAM's current entry-level twist-grips are a bit difficult to work with, but not intolerably so:



The grey + creme Grip Shifts have a spot under the grip where the cable comes out - those are OK to service, if poor quality and crack prone:



Shimano does have a rather narrow twist-grip that can be serviced easily, but it's not comfortable to operate:



For that matter, some of Shimano's mid-range trigger shifters are known for gumming up beyond use - though I'm partial to trigger shifters whenever possible.

-Kurt
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Old 12-31-11, 09:36 AM   #4
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The low end ones are junk. They are delicate, have a lousy feel, and can be a real bear to get apart and back together for a cable change. The mid and high end ones are a lot easier to deal with, although some still require grip removal to change the cables. Not an easy task in 30 degree weather along the trail.
I was a fan of the old X-Ray models.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:43 AM   #5
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The cheap ones will also break with regular use. I hate gripshifters, even the 'nice' ones, but that's because I have large hands and find myself accidently shifting when I don't want to. I have had some success with bringing back falcon and other cheap grip shifts. you need to cut the cable near the shifter so you don't have to fight any more cable than necessary when pulling out the cheap and often neglected rusty cables. I think good thumbies would be a worthy replacement for the type of bike that would use gripshifters. ...well maybe not the denali, but that is a whole nother kettle of fish.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:45 AM   #6
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The ones I'm dealing with most of are the cheap SRAM MRX type like these.
Best I can tell is that they where intended to be replaced as whole unit shifter cable and grip when it it comes time to replace cables or grips. I know they wholesale for about $10-12 a set and can be bought online for about $15 a set for both the shifters cables and grips so I assume most LBS and serious mechanics just replace both assembles if they need serviced. Unfornately at the local free bike coop we just don't have that option.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:48 AM   #7
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I have found that the grip shifters that come with SRAM internal gear hubs are quality pieces. The last derailleur geared bike I had with grip shifters I sold earlier this year and it was working fine after 2 years of service (the grip shifters were SRAM), so no complaints there either. I could see how some lesser quality ones may not be easily serviceable and in those cases, I suggest going to friction thumb shifters like these:

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Old 12-31-11, 10:04 AM   #8
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Well, there goes the idea of using grip shifters on a mixte. It has to be "automatic."
Back to the thumb-forefinger shifters... Thanks for saving me time and headache.
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Old 12-31-11, 10:27 AM   #9
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I do not care for them. However, the are the only shifter I have found that works consistantly well below 0F degrees and are much easier to manipulate with heavy gloves.
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Old 12-31-11, 10:51 AM   #10
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My opinion of grip shifters is that they are not cool. I won't even put them on my mother's bike.
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Old 12-31-11, 10:56 AM   #11
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Twist shifters have advantage and disadvantages, with the big advantage being simplicity. However, from a cable replacement standpoint they vary from sublimly easy to very frustrating. The worst are the inexpensive versions, where the cable has to wrap around the drum. It's pretty easy to kink the replacement cable and disassembly is often difficult, with the pawl spring for the indexing often flying across the shop. In these cases, from an LBS perspective, it's typically cheaper overall to replace the unit, which costs under $10.00 and includes the cable.

My personal favourite of all the current twist shifters are the Shimano Revo-Shift. They're a bit bulkier and have a short grip but work well, are very reliable (no returns yet) and cable replacement is easy. They're also inexpensive but unfortuantely my Shimano distributor only sells them as a pair.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:05 AM   #12
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I have found that the grip shifters that come with SRAM internal gear hubs are quality pieces. The last derailleur geared bike I had with grip shifters I sold earlier this year and it was working fine after 2 years of service (the grip shifters were SRAM), so no complaints there either. I could see how some lesser quality ones may not be easily serviceable and in those cases, I suggest going to friction thumb shifters like these:

Try to explain those 20-year-old friction shifters to someone on Craigslist who's looking at your otherwise new hybrid flipper, built in 2009.

-Kurt
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Old 12-31-11, 11:10 AM   #13
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My opinion of grip shifters is that they are not cool. I won't even put them on my mother's bike.
This to the 5th power.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:35 AM   #14
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I love the SRAM Attacks. I use them on my Schiwnn Moab mountain bike. I tried to put a set on my Cyclocross bike, but couldn't get them around the drops. I ended up using old Deore thumbshifters.
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Old 12-31-11, 12:58 PM   #15
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I do think a well-constructed grip shift would be a great thing. It really cuts down on excessive clutter on the handlebars (ie, thumb shifters...)

However I have a pair on my winter bike, SRAM something or other, and I am waiting for them to kick the bucket and replace with a pair of Falcon friction thumb shifters. Reason is that I find the constant twisting of the shifter somewhat hurts my poor arthritic 58 year old wrists.
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Old 12-31-11, 01:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
My opinion of grip shifters is that they are not cool. I won't even put them on my mother's bike.
Quote:
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This to the 5th power.
It's official. They suck.
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Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
It's pronounced, "Co-burn."
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Old 12-31-11, 01:33 PM   #17
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It's official. They suck.
Yup.
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Old 12-31-11, 01:41 PM   #18
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It's official. They suck.
I think it would be fair to say that the cheap one suck (as does the no-end Shimano stuff found on the BLO's at big-box stores), but the upper end ones are OK IMO. I just do not care for them.
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Old 12-31-11, 01:47 PM   #19
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if you need an upgrade there are some campy grip shifters on ebay for $200 right now
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Old 12-31-11, 01:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Try to explain those 20-year-old friction shifters to someone on Craigslist who's looking at your otherwise new hybrid flipper, built in 2009.

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Old 12-31-11, 02:23 PM   #21
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The last set of grip shifters I had were about two years ago and came on a Schwinn Point Beach and they complete fell apart. The plastic all cracked and split open and this was in one summer...along with pretty much every other part that was on that bike. lol.

I just picked up some cheapo Falcon friction shifters for like $15 and work like a charm and easily serviceable while on the road. I think a lot of the grip shifters you have to unscrew to change the cables. Mind you I was already running Campy DT shifters but switched the bars to upright swept back bars.

Oh yeah grip shift blows. If I were to get divorced, I would build a bike with grip shifters as a going away present. Then again if it had grip shifters on it then she probably wouldn't be going too far. lol
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Old 12-31-11, 02:34 PM   #22
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Ever seen a friction grip shifter?
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Old 12-31-11, 04:36 PM   #23
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Came on a mountain bike I bought new in '97. Quickly replaced them with rapid-fires. Didn't work for me but I could see them as OK on a 3 speed cruiser type bike.
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Old 12-31-11, 05:39 PM   #24
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Yeah, they don't make sense on an MTB, which is where you always find them.
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Old 12-31-11, 06:34 PM   #25
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I hate them. And with decent trigger shifters (at least decent to me) available for $13 or less, I don't mess with the grip shifters. All of my MTBs are either trigger shifters or thumb shifters.
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