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Thread: A theory.

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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    A theory.

    its not a shimano vs. SRAM debate.....its far beyond that. its human response system. Did i confuse you enough?

    Okay. I have been using Shimano LX and XT shifters for a while. Then, last year I replaced my shifters to SRAM. X-7s on two bikes. X-9 on the third. and I kept the DeoreLX shifter on the forth bike.

    This summer I have been riding on trails almost everyday. Mostly using the bikes with SRAM shifters. One thing I have realized lately is that I am confusing the up shifting and down shifting with the SRAM when I am on a tight/technical situation. I think my response system is having a hard time memorizing the two different shifting with one fingure (thumb).

    When I use my LX shifters, I think that my physical respose system has much easier time remembering and assigning one task to one fingure (one fingure of upshifting, one fingure for down shifting). Note that I dont have any problem with the performance of the shifters. its just that my response system is acting differently to the different shifter design of SRAM and Shimano.

    Now, this may be a result of many factors, including:

    1. using Shimano for a long time and my nurves got used to a certain type of action (two fingure shifting)

    2. body's memory system works better when two different fingures are assigned for two different tasks. and they are asked to do the same thing when needed. Not alternate between tasks.

    3. I am paying way too much attention on shifters and not riding enough.

    4. My male brain is useless when it comes to multi-tasking....hai, do women find SRAM shifting system more useful than shimano...compared to men. it would be an interesting research...

    5. I am getting darn old. and I just need to go back to grip shifters...

    your kind thoughts, please..
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    fingure
    Perhaps the systems are designed for the American version of your digits (finger) rather than the European version (fingure)?

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    muscle memory

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    Custom User never's Avatar
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    I have bikes with both shifter systems and I don't have any problems switching back and forth so it must just be you. And I prefer the one-finger-for-all-shifting setup so I wouldn't say it's a male thing.

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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muteseh
    muscle memory
    any more thoughts? at first I thought I was imagining the whole thing. but, after a few weeks its becoming more noticable to me.
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Go ahead and make fun of me if you need to, but could someone explain to me how SRAM trigger shifters operate? I've never used them. Are they like Shimano's first push-button shifters, with one button above the other- push-push?
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
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    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Try switching from a motorcycle to a bike without setting the bike up moto . . . and then fan the 'clutch' exiting a corner

    Seriously, I share some of your frustration. I just went to X7 on my new bike. I like the thumb upshift I think, but I find the downshift lever gets under my thumb accidentally sometimes. I kind of like the forefinger-operation of the Shimano triggers just to separate the muscle actions.

    Does one of the other SRAM triggers have a shorter downshift paddle that bolts on the X7?

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    Gripshift. Problem solved.

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    Should be riding Bike Lover's Avatar
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    I would go with 3 and 5 myself. Never having used SRAM before, I test rode a Rush last year with the SRAM triggers and no problem. In fact, I liked it a bit better. It didn't matter to me though, I jumped back on my bike without missing a beat. Now that I have the newer Shimano stuff that opporates either in all one direction or the dual-digit way, I go all one way (thumb). I'm very thankful for this option though.
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    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    dain bramage?

    Common in mtn bikers

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    Senior Member metabike's Avatar
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    My $0.02:

    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak

    1. using Shimano for a long time and my nurves got used to a certain type of action (two fingure shifting) It would actually be neural pathways that were established (nerves don't "learn") - new pathways can be created and enhanced through repetition.

    2. body's memory system works better when two different fingures are assigned for two different tasks. and they are asked to do the same thing when needed. Not alternate between tasks. Interesting idea though this theory fails when you consider something like the act of typing where our fingers do multiple tasks.

    3. I am paying way too much attention on shifters and not riding enough. You sure sound like you ride enough - I suggest that you go ride somewhere easy and shift like you were driving my pathetically underpowered Toyota Echo through the Alps. Repetition, repetition.

    4. My male brain is useless when it comes to multi-tasking....hai, do women find SRAM shifting system more useful than shimano...compared to men. it would be an interesting research... No comment.

    5. I am getting darn old. and I just need to go back to grip shifters... Nonsense, a person is never too old to learn. Of course twist shifters RULE!!! and my advice is to go all SRAM and never touch the big-S stuff anymore.

    your kind thoughts, please..
    Cool post sherpaPeak, combining bicycling with neurology - thanks for making us think!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor
    Try switching from a motorcycle to a bike without setting the bike up moto . . . and then fan the 'clutch' exiting a corner

    Seriously, I share some of your frustration. I just went to X7 on my new bike. I like the thumb upshift I think, but I find the downshift lever gets under my thumb accidentally sometimes. I kind of like the forefinger-operation of the Shimano triggers just to separate the muscle actions.

    Does one of the other SRAM triggers have a shorter downshift paddle that bolts on the X7?
    I've had a similar problem, D.

    When going through some serious rough terrain, drops, or jumps...my thumb accidentally managed to hit the button on my X.9 system (when I had it). I had to run the suckers with the levers angled further outta the way than normal.

    I've never had this issue with Shimano, though I haven't tried the new dual action levers or whatever they're called that release either way.

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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Just switch to singlespeed. Much easier

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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    It sounds like you're just really uncoordinated. agreed!

    I have switched between "normal" XTR and Rapidrise and then between "normal" XTR and XO and it's really no big deal.What works for you should work the same way for everybody else! bold assumption.
    way to go Pete F.
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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
    Just switch to singlespeed. Much easier

    now there is an idea.....

    Single speed. 29er. rigid. carbon frame. no brakes. 2.5 tubeless tires.........
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Wait a second... I am supposed to use my thumbs for both types of shifts on my X-7s? And no I am not joking.

    I wrap my index finger around to shift to smaller cogs - it is just more comfortable to me that way. I don't like the Shimano shifters because they seem too close and I end up shifting (or trying to) them with the undersides of my knuckles. Also, my fingers aren't abnormally long either.

    I am a little weird about my bike though. I use road bike tape instead of grips and I mount my shifter pod outside of my brake lever (closer to the bar ends) unlike most folks.
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    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Bah, just practice - you'll get better. Switching to singlespeed might help as well... I'm switching between Campy Ergo and XT Rapidrise all the time with no problems. I think it's just something you learn.
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    Senior Member ryder47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    Now, this may be a result of many factors, including:

    1. using Shimano for a long time and my nurves got used to a certain type of action (two fingure shifting)

    2. body's memory system works better when two different fingures are assigned for two different tasks. and they are asked to do the same thing when needed. Not alternate between tasks.

    3. I am paying way too much attention on shifters and not riding enough.

    4. My male brain is useless when it comes to multi-tasking....hai, do women find SRAM shifting system more useful than shimano...compared to men. it would be an interesting research...

    5. I am getting darn old. and I just need to go back to grip shifters...

    your kind thoughts, please..
    These all sound like plausible contributing factors but I think long term habit is just as important. Back in the 70's and 80's I drove a console shift automatic and every time I drove my wifes car (Chevy Caprice Estate Wagon, which wasn't all that often) I would instinctivly reach for the imaginary console shifter. No such thing in her car. The funnier part is after driving her car on long trips and vacations, when I got back into my car I would reach for the imaginary shifter on the steering column.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muteseh
    muscle memory
    Kinesthetic Memory (often mislabled "muscle memory") is the process of rehearsing a complex series of motions such that they can eventually be executed unconsciously. I'm not sure that flicking a lever falls into this category.

    Rather, I think this is an instance of conditioned response. It's like learning how to spar and eventually habituating yourself to have a certain reaction to certain movements from your partner. These consciously thinking of the which movement to make is too slow. You have to rely on a conditioned response that you train to.

    Same thing here. You see a hill and you condition yourself to downshift. After a while, you don't even have to think about it much. You just do it. Of course, if you've conditioned yourself to one series of movements, you'll be apt to continue them until you've habituated yourself into another set of behaviors.

    To the OP ... just keep riding the SRAM bikes someplace where you have to shift a lot. If you're having trouble, don't ride the bike with the Shimmy shifter for a while.

  20. #20
    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Kinesthetic Memory (often mislabled "muscle memory") is the process of rehearsing a complex series of motions such that they can eventually be executed unconsciously. I'm not sure that flicking a lever falls into this category.

    Rather, I think this is an instance of conditioned response. It's like learning how to spar and eventually habituating yourself to have a certain reaction to certain movements from your partner. These consciously thinking of the which movement to make is too slow. You have to rely on a conditioned response that you train to.

    Same thing here. You see a hill and you condition yourself to downshift. After a while, you don't even have to think about it much. You just do it. Of course, if you've conditioned yourself to one series of movements, you'll be apt to continue them until you've habituated yourself into another set of behaviors.

    To the OP ... just keep riding the SRAM bikes someplace where you have to shift a lot. If you're having trouble, don't ride the bike with the Shimmy shifter for a while.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I am learning a lot. even about myself (from Pete in particular).

    As you can see the Title of my post reads "a theory"... I am trying to do both - understand the difference shifting design with my body's response and at the same time try to find the what works for me the best....

    now, I know that its a matter of practice, but to go back to my previous hypothesis...does it feel easier to learn a new shifting technique...with two fingers doing two different duties....

    in other words...is it easier (or does it take more time) to switch from SRAM (one finger shifting) to Shimano (two finger shifting) than to switch from Shimano to SRAM?
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    Thanks for your suggestions. I am learning a lot. even about myself (from Pete in particular).

    As you can see the Title of my post reads "a theory"... I am trying to do both - understand the difference shifting design with my body's response and at the same time try to find the what works for me the best....

    now, I know that its a matter of practice, but to go back to my previous hypothesis...does it feel easier to learn a new shifting technique...with two fingers doing two different duties....

    in other words...is it easier (or does it take more time) to switch from SRAM (one finger shifting) to Shimano (two finger shifting) than to switch from Shimano to SRAM?
    I think you're thinking about this too much. Just ride the SRAM stuff and the problem will go away.

  22. #22
    ...all of 'em? NuclearParanoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak
    4. My male brain is useless when it comes to multi-tasking....hai, do women find SRAM shifting system more useful than shimano...compared to men. it would be an interesting research...
    That's interesting.

    Notice sometimes when you buy something in the store, once the purchase is completed you put your wallet in the right or left pocket of your coat/pents. In case if it is the right pocket, try to teach yourself to put it in your left. This you will do by taking your wallet from the right pocket and putting it back in to left, repeat it several times per hour and you will see that once youll go to do your grocery you will automatically put your wallet in the left pocket.

    But still I have to say, luckily sram brakes are the same as shimano ones, otherwise you'd be mixing front and back brakes like on bikes that are built in England.

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