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  1. #1
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    Horrible grip shifters in new bike

    I just brought home a new Trek Shift 2. I tried the Shift 3 and loved it. It had very nice trigger shifters that worked like a dream. The salesperson told me that the only difference between the 2 and the 3 were 3 additional speeds and a lockable suspension.

    But there are other differences, including some horrible, clunky grip shifters. They are hard as rock, I can hardly move them. They gave me the newly assembled bike with totally loose brakes that didn't even brake well. Fortunately I took it for a spin and brought it back. The mechanics don't speak to me directly, but only through the sales person (a lovely young woman, too embarrassed by their behavior) and nobody has told me if the horrible, rock hard shifters get better in time. What happened to Trek bikes? I had 2 Treks in the 90's and the grip shifters worked like a dream. Is it normal that the shifters are so hard in a new bike? Is it something that gets better with time, with use, or are they not well adjusted or is it just that they are bad quality? I am tempted to upgrade but at the same time I don't want to give more money to this awful store.

  2. #2
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    Take the bike elsewhere and get some nice trigger shifters. I've yet to find a grip shifter I like.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Take the bike back to the shop and see what they can do. Maybe they can swap out grip shifters for triggers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Take the bike elsewhere and get some nice trigger shifters. I've yet to find a grip shifter I like.
    Why elsewhere? Bike is still under warranty. Since the bike is brand new, bike shop that sold the bike should do it.

  5. #5
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I keep telling everyone who will listen, that I hate those grip shifters --- reason alone , to not buy a bike!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Why elsewhere? Bike is still under warranty. Since the bike is brand new, bike shop that sold the bike should do it.
    Agreed. I am unclear as to whether the bike shop misrepresented the kind of shifters that came with this model?

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Agreed. I am unclear as to whether the bike shop misrepresented the kind of shifters that came with this model?
    OP thinks he or she was. I have no reason to doubt it. I have a theory that doesn't speak well for the knowledge of the sales person. Trek's website has a quick synopsis of he features for each upgrade over the previous model. It doesn't mention anything about shifters in the synopsis, but it does if you look at the full specs. Maybe it is too much for the sales staff to know the differences between models for a giant company like Trek, but these differences matter to OP.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Well if they did misrepresent something as significant as the type of shifter, they should work with the OP toward upgrading the equipment or the bike itself.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Well if they did misrepresent something as significant as the type of shifter, they should work with the OP toward upgrading the equipment or the bike itself.
    My fear is, they will still charge for the cost of the upgraded shifter. You can get a set of nice SRAM X4 shifters for $30 at REI, but I fear they may try to charge more and if they charge much more, OP might as well go for the Shift 3 with 8 speed, lockout suspension, and double walled rims for $100 more.

  10. #10
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    OP...

    I thought you were going to void the extended warranty in lieu of an upgrade to the Shift 3.

    What happened?

  11. #11
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    Hopefully they will work with you to install some trigger shifters. Speak with the shop manager.

    If it was going to cost me very much to do this, I'd instead try to negotiate for an upgrade to the 3 level of bike. It comes with three things I'd want for the $100. Lockout on the fork, the shifters, and tougher tires. Maybe they could be persuaded to work with you a little bit on that price diff. I'd for sure want the lockout fork.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocelotito View Post
    I just brought home a new Trek Shift 2. I tried the Shift 3 and loved it. It had very nice trigger shifters that worked like a dream. The salesperson told me that the only difference between the 2 and the 3 were 3 additional speeds and a lockable suspension.

    But there are other differences, including some horrible, clunky grip shifters. They are hard as rock, I can hardly move them. They gave me the newly assembled bike with totally loose brakes that didn't even brake well. Fortunately I took it for a spin and brought it back. The mechanics don't speak to me directly, but only through the sales person (a lovely young woman, too embarrassed by their behavior) and nobody has told me if the horrible, rock hard shifters get better in time. What happened to Trek bikes? I had 2 Treks in the 90's and the grip shifters worked like a dream. Is it normal that the shifters are so hard in a new bike? Is it something that gets better with time, with use, or are they not well adjusted or is it just that they are bad quality? I am tempted to upgrade but at the same time I don't want to give more money to this awful store.
    OK, just MO, and Trek are the sales and marketing gurus so they must know what they are doing. But, too many bike models leads to confusion, apparently among the sales staff at LBS as much as with customers. I know Trek wants to be a one stop shop for every type of cyclist, but does the public really need 20 different comfort hybrids? 19 different performance hybrids? 11 dual sport hybrids? All from the same company?

    And this is just covering the recreational category (the casual cyclist just out for a little exercise or recreation), not even looking at road, mountain, cyclocross, etc categories. Good grief.

    Maybe this is asking too much, but how hard would it be for Trek to offer 4 models of comfort hybrids. 2 traditional style frames, and 2 step through models. The basic model should offer a level of quality well above department store grade and include double walled rims, 8 speed freehub than 7 speed freewheel, Altus or Acera level trigger shifters and derailleurs. The upgraded model could offer upgraded 9 speed shifting and upgraded fork, wheels, grips and brakes.

    Some may say this is a good thing. Choice, and all that good stuff. But the number of bike models offered by the big three (Trek, Specialized, and Giant) is more than all but the hugest bike superstore can offer in every, or even most sizes. So the consumer doesn't actually get the choice, but a version of the bait and switch. That actually sounds like what happened here with OP, though usually the bait and switch involves upselling, in this case, OP was down sold to meet his or her price point. OP loved the Shift 3, but hesitated on price. Instead of sell the customer of the benefits of the bike he or she liked, the sales person down sold to the almost identical Shift 2, and got the customer to buy one sight unseen.

    If Trek offered fewer models with more options to customize at POS, I think it would work better for most customers.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-12-14 at 09:54 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    As for why grip shifters are so poor these days compared to the 90s, I don't disagree with OP. My theory is, back in the 90s, grip shifters were more popular and even some higher end hybrids and mountain bikes had them. But as grip shifters have gotten less popular, for the most part, mid range to higher end bikes mostly use Shimano or SRAM triggers, and therefore, most grip shifters are lower quality entry level products. It isn't that Shimano or SRAM couldn't make a better grip shifter, but they have no incentive to as most people on better bikes are going with trigger shifters.

    BTW, SRAM makes some very nice trigger shifters. I have a set of basic SRAM trigger shifters on my mountain bike that shift really nice.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-12-14 at 10:05 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Agreed. I am unclear as to whether the bike shop misrepresented the kind of shifters that came with this model?
    The seller told me that the ONLY differences were the additional gears and the locking suspension. I read that too in the website. TO be honest, I didn't really care if the shifters were grip or trigger, because I have had both in the past and never had problems. As I said in my OP, I had two Treks in the 90's (a mountan 820 and a hybrid 720, very basic models) and the grip shifters worked well.

  15. #15
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    My husband talked me out of it. Apparently the Trek care Plus is much more than an extended warranty. To be honest, I actually feel like downgrading to the Shift 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    OP...

    I thought you were going to void the extended warranty in lieu of an upgrade to the Shift 3.

    What happened?

  16. #16
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocelotito View Post
    The seller told me that the ONLY differences were the additional gears and the locking suspension. I read that too in the website. TO be honest, I didn't really care if the shifters were grip or trigger, because I have had both in the past and never had problems. As I said in my OP, I had two Treks in the 90's (a mountan 820 and a hybrid 720, very basic models) and the grip shifters worked well.
    The website lists the shifters on the Shift 2 as "SRAM 3.0 Comp, 7 speed twist". It is confusing though, as it isn't in the features tab, but rather in the details tab.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    OK, just MO, and Trek are the sales and marketing gurus so they must know what they are doing. But, too many bike models leads to confusion, apparently among the sales staff at LBS as much as with customers. I know Trek wants to be a one stop shop for every type of cyclist, but does the public really need 20 different comfort hybrids? 19 different performance hybrids? 11 dual sport hybrids? All from the same company?

    And this is just covering the recreational category (the casual cyclist just out for a little exercise or recreation), not even looking at road, mountain, cyclocross, etc categories. Good grief.

    Maybe this is asking too much, but how hard would it be for Trek to offer 4 models of comfort hybrids. 2 traditional style frames, and 2 step through models. The basic model should offer a level of quality well above department store grade and include double walled rims, 8 speed freehub than 7 speed freewheel, Altus or Acera level trigger shifters and derailleurs. The upgraded model could offer upgraded 9 speed shifting and upgraded fork, wheels, grips and brakes.

    Some may say this is a good thing. Choice, and all that good stuff. But the number of bike models offered by the big three (Trek, Specialized, and Giant) is more than all but the hugest bike superstore can offer in every, or even most sizes. So the consumer doesn't actually get the choice, but a version of the bait and switch. That actually sounds like what happened here with OP, though usually the bait and switch involves upselling, in this case, OP was down sold to meet his or her price point. OP loved the Shift 3, but hesitated on price. Instead of sell the customer of the benefits of the bike he or she liked, the sales person down sold to the almost identical Shift 2, and got the customer to buy one sight unseen.

    If Trek offered fewer models with more options to customize at POS, I think it would work better for most customers.
    I agree. I've been buying Trek bikes since the 90's (I used to live in DC) and they always had the exact model I wanted to try. Now, every time I wanted to try a bike, they only let me if they had it in any of their stores. Otherwise, they wanted me to pay and try it. I tried the Shift 1 and loved it but took it up a hill and thought that maybe I could do better with more gears. Then they only had a Shift 3. I wanted to see if the suspension changed the handling of the bike. But even the suspension is different, so it does change it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocelotito View Post
    I agree. I've been buying Trek bikes since the 90's (I used to live in DC) and they always had the exact model I wanted to try. Now, every time I wanted to try a bike, they only let me if they had it in any of their stores. Otherwise, they wanted me to pay and try it. I tried the Shift 1 and loved it but took it up a hill and thought that maybe I could do better with more gears. Then they only had a Shift 3. I wanted to see if the suspension changed the handling of the bike. But even the suspension is different, so it does change it.
    You should probably see about exchanging it for the one you really wanted in the first place.

    Going forward, and a lesson for others is, don't buy a bike site unseen. If the LBS wants to build up a bike to test ride, that is fine, but you should have no obligation to buy it if you don't like it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    You should probably see about exchanging it for the one you really wanted in the first place.

    Going forward, and a lesson for others is, don't buy a bike site unseen. If the LBS wants to build up a bike to test ride, that is fine, but you should have no obligation to buy it if you don't like it.
    You are so right about this. I wrote about this in another thread, where I was called "a pain to deal with" by another user, for wanting to try the actual bike I wanted to buy. Actually, at least on paper, THIS was the one I wanted in the first place. They even tried to sell me this one, making me try a VERVE, claiming it was "the same thing". I will end up changing the bike this weekend, I just need to decide whether to up or downgrade. ( I actually preferred the Shift 1 to this one). I do need an adjustable stem but I assume that is doable for not a lot of money.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I expect after she got it home, & rode around a while her hands voted against the Standard part ..

    Sure why not return to the seller's shop , ask for a different setup for shifting,

    you have 2 lever thumb under .. and a thumb Over rotary lever to pick between.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-14 at 01:50 PM.

  21. #21
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    They way I see it, Treks have a 30 day return policy. Discuss with the store your concerns and either have them switch it out for trigger shifters or exchange the bike for one with them. Shops typically have a big bin of take-offs that making the change to save a sale is probably easily done. I think you have the upper hand as long as it's within 30 days from purchase.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by themishmosh View Post
    They way I see it, Treks have a 30 day return policy. Discuss with the store your concerns and either have them switch it out for trigger shifters or exchange the bike for one with them. Shops typically have a big bin of take-offs that making the change to save a sale is probably easily done. I think you have the upper hand as long as it's within 30 days from purchase.
    Thanks. I think they have a 30 day exchange (not return) policy. I'll check. If it is return, then the decision is easy, I'll downgrade to the Shift 1.

  23. #23
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    It isn't that Shimano or SRAM couldn't make a better grip shifter, but they have no incentive to as most people on better bikes are going with trigger shifters.
    Actually they do,it's just that you have to pay more for them,just as you would for better derailleurs/brakes/whatever.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocelotito View Post
    Thanks. I think they have a 30 day exchange (not return) policy. I'll check. If it is return, then the decision is easy, I'll downgrade to the Shift 1.
    Here you go, from a Trek dealer website.


    1. 30-Day Right Bike Guarantee
      When buying a stock bike or a stock model special order bike, you may exchange the bike within 30 days if it is not the right model.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Actually they do,it's just that you have to pay more for them,just as you would for better derailleurs/brakes/whatever.
    Wow. 11 speed grip shift. This is why I keep coming back here. Learn something new every day.

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