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Thread: Gear-Shifting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Gear-Shifting

    (I'm a newbie.) Does it matter which "style" shifter I have? That is, the sort where I twist the ring near the handle, or the sort where I hit a button with my thumb? Is one more reliable, efficient than the other?

    Thanks.

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    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    I prefer the button/trigger/lever operated shifters. When I had a bike with the twisty shifters, sometimes I'd accidentally shift gears when adjusting my grip on the bars (i.e., getting up out of the saddle to pedal hard or go up a hill).

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    Levers are better, you don't accidentally shift by holding the bars, and they operate a lot smoother and easier since the cable doesnt have to go thru crazy twists and turns. Plus only stupid noobs use the grip shifters (ring things).

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Totally personal preference.

    I happen to like the trigger shifters better, but I know some quite-experienced riders who prefer the twist shifters. I've been a bike shop mechanic so I've had extensive repair experience with both. I'm going to rate them roughly equal for both frequency and ease of repair.

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    As with most things in cycling, the best [insert item here] is the one you feel most comfortable with, the one you enjoy the most, etc. By all means try out different styles to find out what you like and to have some basis for comparison, but don't get roped into buying something you like less because someone says it's better!

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    Member craigR's Avatar
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    Opinions vary, and there will always be someone putting down another for their style, gear, or opinions.
    Use what you like, try it all even, but ultimately.... If it's on your bike and it works, just ride it.

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    Nighttime Rider
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    There's the trigger shifters, SRAMS have the release button below while some Shimano's have the release trigger above.
    Grip shifters are a simpler design but I just don't like them.

    My personal favorite is the friction thumb shifter. Simple, efficient and kinda retro. (and cheaper)

    It absolutely personal preference.

    CE

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    When I was searching for my new bike, I started out with the premise that I would prefer trigger shifters - both because that's what I was used to, and that's what seemed to be the more common opinion here. I wound up choosing a bike with twist shifters, driven largely by other reasons, feeling that if I hated them, I could always replace them.

    Now that I have the bike, I've decided that I really like the twist shifters. I've yet to have the accidental shifting problem that others have mentioned. What I really like is that I don't have to move my hands, and I'm not reaching blindly with my thumb to find the lever.

    On my previous bike,the two levers were adjacent, one longer than the other, but still close together. There were times when I felt the need to either feel both or look to make sure I was hitting the correct one. On the bikes that I considered for my replacement, the triggers were located further apart. This meant I wouldn't worry about whether I had the right one, but instead it meant that at least one of them was either uncomfortable to hit or hard to reach. The twist shifters simply don't have either of these problems.

    But, as others have said, it's a matter of personal preference.

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    Lets put it this way, what shifters come default on the cheap walmart bikes?

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    Frame Catastrophizer mikewille's Avatar
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    I've broken several sets of trigger shifters during off road crashes and wipeouts.
    I have yet to break a gripshifter, or shift one unintentionally.

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    If your cycling experience goes back a few years, you may recall that gripshift was marketed as an upgrade to existing shifter choices.

    Simpler and lighter than just about any shifter on the market, racers took to them in droves. Aside from the drawback of occasionally mis-shifting, they did (and still do) have one major advantage: in a panic the rider can shift from one end of the cogs to the other in one smooth motion with the hand still wrapped around the bars for control.

    I see the choice of shifters as a personal one. Use what works for you and your needs.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Levers are better, you don't accidentally shift by holding the bars, and they operate a lot smoother and easier since the cable doesnt have to go thru crazy twists and turns. Plus only stupid noobs use the grip shifters (ring things).
    I guess I should be filed under "stupid noob," then. Anyhow, I think it tends to come down to "what your bike happens to come with," doesn't it?

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    I guess I should be filed under "stupid noob," then. Anyhow, I think it tends to come down to "what your bike happens to come with," doesn't it?
    No, you are the one seeking the answers to life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately, you won't find them here.

    FWIW: among my bikes, I have grip-shifters, trigger-shifters, and bar-end shifters. Then I have two bikes with no shifters at all (a single speed and a fixed gear).
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Mine came with trigger,I replaced them with vintage friction thumb shifters.
    Mostly it is like GRedner posted above:
    "As with most things in cycling, the best [insert item here] is the one you feel most comfortable with, the one you enjoy the most, etc. By all means try out different styles to find out what you like and to have some basis for comparison, but don't get roped into buying something you like less because someone says it's better!"
    Also, you might want to avoid buying something that you think you might like better,until you get a chance to actually check it out.--Long semi-expensive story goes with that.
    Last edited by xtrajack; 05-12-09 at 12:09 AM.

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    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
    (I'm a newbie.) Does it matter which "style" shifter I have? That is, the sort where I twist the ring near the handle, or the sort where I hit a button with my thumb? Is one more reliable, efficient than the other?
    I have bikes with both styles. I prefer the trigger, but the twist isn't bad. Each type has its advantages, and different people have different ideas as to which is better. Go with what feels right to you.

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    When I have a choice, I prefer the lever type. If I'm on a bike with a twist shifter, I don't mind.

    In other words, it doesn't matter much to me. You're not a chump if you have or prefer the twist type.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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    Senior Member Commando303's Avatar
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    Thanks again, all.

    *It occurs to me I started the same topic on two threads. I apologize: it must have slipped my mind I'd already created one. Perhaps a mod. could merge the two.

  18. #18
    Pat
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    Shoot shifters are made to shift. It does not matter which you use.

    There are the old fashioned downtube shifters. They are not as convenient. But they are simple, easy to adjust and virtually indestructable.

    There are also bar end shifters that used to be favored by fully loaded tourists.

    As long as it does the job and you are happy with it, it is good enough.

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