Ben Jacques-Maynes of Team Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada, was an early adapter, first riding the group at the national criterium championships in Downer’s Grove last season. He developed a technique for sprinting that he calls “trigger shifting.” He hooks his right forefinger around the shift lever and pulls it back to the handlebar and holds it there, since it, like Campagnolo’s cable-pulling lever, pivots back toward the bar. While holding tightly to both the drops of the bar and the lever, he can simply twitch his forefinger inward to cause upshifts.
“I was a Campy guy, and Campy riders tend to play with the lever behind the brake lever, since it flips back toward the bar,” he explains. “I was just playing around with this lever that way one day and discovered this way to shift. I called up SRAM immediately, and they thought it was cool, too. With Campagnolo, to get my thumb on the lever and shift, my power in a sprint drops by over 400 watts when shifting, from up around 1300 watts to under 900 watts. With Shimano, I lose even more; I practically have to sit down, shift, then stand up again and restart my sprint. With SRAM, though, my power in a sprint drops by only 40 watts;
I can’t even notice it. I think it’s a huge advantage, because I can start my sprint in a much lower gear and steadily shift up as my speed increases, whereas most guys start in a huge gear and grunt it up to speed, because they don’t want to shift during the sprint.”