Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cowtown, AB
Bikes: Titus El Guapo, Misfit diSSent, Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Wabi Lightning, et al.
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It's push-push, very similar to the way that Shimano's 1st gen Rapidfire [?] shifters operated. The main lever is the silver one, and pushes you up the cassette to larger cogs. The black button is tapped to drop one gear at a time. Granted, SRAM refined it considerably, but it's a 15-year old concept. That said, apparently it works quite well, and is an alternative to Shimano. I think you will find it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I love my integrated shifters with Rapid Rise. It's so easy, and I don't mis-shift, even when braking/shifting at the same time. Rapid Rise makes sense [at least to me], since it makes the derailleur do the heavy work of pushing the chain up the cogset. When you push the lever, you are following the "path of least resistance" to move into harder gears. The only thing I worry about is breaking the unit, but I don't crash too much, and typically sacrifice my body to protect my bike*. I recommend a test ride of both systems before you plunk down your cash.
*Note: bones heal, but components cost money.
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'06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning