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Twist shifter options

Old 07-13-17, 05:47 AM
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Twist shifter options

I'm using some trekking/butterfly bars on a Trek 750 and these bars are pretty compact and don't offer a lot of space. For various reasons, I'd like to try twist shifters on this setup (3x7). If I stick with the Shimano STX rear derailleur, I have four options:

1) Sram SRT-400 Gripshift (stock shifters)
2) Sram MRX Gripshift
3) Shimano Revoshift SL-RS35
4) Shimano Revoshift SL-RS45

I have #1 on it now. These shifters are the OE shifters from 1997, and are less than precise. They shift with a rather unrefined "clack" and aren't very satisfying to use. They do work, though.

I've used #2, but in 1:1 flavor with a Sram rear derailleur. I've never used the 2:1 versions compatible with Shimano. The 1:1 versions are VERY smooth and enjoyable to use. To anyone who has used both: do they feel about the same?

Does anyone know the difference in #3 and #4? It appears that most RS45 units have a silver cover vs. plain black. Are there any mechanical differences between these? Are the RS45 better quality than the RS35? My daughter's Raleigh Alysa has the RS35s, and they work just fine, and do offer a better shift feel than my stock SRT-400 shifters.

Any thoughts or other ideas are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-13-17, 07:27 AM
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I've never used a twist shifter I'd give you two cents for, they've all been rather imprecise.
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Old 07-13-17, 07:01 PM
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I have the Sram SRT-400 shifters on it now that came with the bike from 1997. When I first bought the bike a few months ago, these shifters were on it with original cables and some gooey lube in the shifters. When re-installing them on my trekking bars, I took the shifters completely apart and degreased everything and put them back together with new cables and new cable housings all the way back. I must say, shifting is improved by a wide margin, and I'm not dissatisfied with how it operates now. I wasn't happy with them when I first got the bike, but I think I'll run these shifters, at least for now. I generally prefer trigger shifters, but twisters are going to work significantly better with my setup I think.

So I'll rock the 20 year old Sram shifters on my 20 year old vintage tourer.
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Old 07-13-17, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I have the Sram SRT-400 shifters on it now that came with the bike from 1997. When I first bought the bike a few months ago, these shifters were on it with original cables and some gooey lube in the shifters. When re-installing them on my trekking bars, I took the shifters completely apart and degreased everything and put them back together with new cables and new cable housings all the way back. I must say, shifting is improved by a wide margin, and I'm not dissatisfied with how it operates now. I wasn't happy with them when I first got the bike, but I think I'll run these shifters, at least for now. I generally prefer trigger shifters, but twisters are going to work significantly better with my setup I think.

So I'll rock the 20 year old Sram shifters on my 20 year old vintage tourer.
I love SRT400, SRT600, etc. Now that you've changed cables, might as well enjoy them. I like them better than low-end triggers.
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Old 07-13-17, 08:14 PM
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I like the MRX 2:1. I've never had a problem with them. If you are a grip shift person, they are a good choice. I have them on three different bikes for years. I still have the original one on a bike I bought around 1999 that sits outside under partial cover. The grip part is pretty much gone and the handlebars are rusty and I barely ride it but when I do, it still shifts fine.
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Old 07-14-17, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I have the Sram SRT-400 shifters on it now that came with the bike from 1997. When I first bought the bike a few months ago, these shifters were on it with original cables and some gooey lube in the shifters. When re-installing them on my trekking bars, I took the shifters completely apart and degreased everything and put them back together with new cables and new cable housings all the way back. I must say, shifting is improved by a wide margin, and I'm not dissatisfied with how it operates now. I wasn't happy with them when I first got the bike, but I think I'll run these shifters, at least for now. I generally prefer trigger shifters, but twisters are going to work significantly better with my setup I think.

So I'll rock the 20 year old Sram shifters on my 20 year old vintage tourer.
Good answer!

My general philosophy is, if I already OWN parts I'll bolt most anything together and see if I can make it work to my satisfaction. If I'm BUYING parts I'll hold out for stuff that's been designed to work together.
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Old 07-14-17, 03:26 PM
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I have the Shimano RevoShift SL-RS35's on my comfort hybrid errand bike. They work fine. Shifting isn't as precise as my mountain bike's indexed thumbies, or road bike shifters, but good enough for casual rides and errands.

The SL-RS35's aren't serviceable, other than replacing the cable, so I've had to replace one when the original cracked after about 8 years. It's mostly plastic including the ratcheting system so when the plastic outer ring cracked and wouldn't hold in gear I just replaced the whole thing. The other original shifter is still good after almost 10 years.

And I bought a complete spare set of both shifters and cables for only $10. Only problem with the replacement kit is the included cables are a bit short for my long wheelbase comfort hybrid. But I also have longer spare cables around so it's no big deal. I can use the shorter cables on another bike.

And for most bikes this won't be a problem if you buy the complete RevoShift kit. There are a few comfort hybrids and cargo bikes with unusually long wheelbases, tall riser stems and handlebars that might require longer cables.
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Old 07-14-17, 04:19 PM
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Please dont use twist shifters. Trust me I used to have them and I switched to some SRAM x-4, best decision ever, absolute bliss
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Old 07-14-17, 05:10 PM
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Reportedly microSHIFT twisters are very good. Worth reading some user reviews.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the Shimano RevoShift that couldn't be fixed by building them from precision metal components. But there's probably no market for that kind of expense.
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Old 07-15-17, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Reportedly microSHIFT twisters are very good. Worth reading some user reviews.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the Shimano RevoShift that couldn't be fixed by building them from precision metal components. But there's probably no market for that kind of expense.
I bought a used bike for parts a number of months ago and it had a Microshift twister on it. It felt very cheap and didn't seem to work well. I probably didn't put enough time into it to see what was wrong, but wasn't impressed with it. I've ridden my SRT-400s some more, and they really are much better than they first were, and I do plan to stick with them. I took the cover off my daughter's right side SL-RS35 and that cable really is stupid easy to replace. People say the Sram shifters are easier to throw out than to replace the cable, but I think it's quite easy myself...but not as easy as with the Revoshift.

I agree -- there's nothing wrong with the Revoshift that a better quality build couldn't fix. I'd easily pay double ($40/pair) for something with a more precision feel to it -- available for 7- and 8-speed applications.

One thing I do prefer about the Sram designs is the cable exit runs UNDER the brake lever as you have it installed on the bike. That does fit better for my specific application, with the spacing I have between the trekking bars and the stem. The Revoshift's cable exit sits ABOVE the brake lever. I'm sure I could get it to work, but I don't think cable routing would be quite as clean for my situation.
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Old 07-15-17, 05:55 AM
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Regarding Microshift, the parts bike I bought had the cheap MS25-7. I didn't realize they had different ranges. The DS85s don't look too bad. I also like how they seem to follow the Sram pattern, where the cable exit hangs low.
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Old 07-15-17, 07:52 AM
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See if you can fit a shimano Thumb shifter. Much better than a twist shift and only takes about 1" on your bars. My cheap Trek mtn bike has shimano GS200 trigger shifters and they work great . should be very cheap.
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Old 07-15-17, 05:00 PM
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I have used a couple of SRAM grip shifters for a short period if time. If you are running a cassette, you may be able to go to an 8 speed and look for SRAM Attack shifters. IIRC, they are more precise, but you'll need to find a good used or NOS. I think the SRT800 (X-ray) are supposed to be good.

SRAM made an SRT600 in a 3x7, but just like the above, good used or NOS.

As always, eBay is your friend.

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Old 07-15-17, 05:27 PM
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I am running a cassette, and the wheel is dished for a 7 speed freehub (on 135mm OLD spacing). I guess I'd have to re-dish the wheel and change to an 8 speed freehub body if I wanted to run an 8 speed cassette, right? I've read generally good things about these older SRT shifters. I guess the higher the number, the better they were. I've seen some of the X ray ones on eBay (NOS) for a pretty penny.

I may consider the Attack series in the future. I do want as "classic" a look as possible, which is one reason why I'm sticking with twist shifters rather than triggers hanging down. I have triggers on most of my other bikes, and I want something different for this project. I bought a bright/polished aluminum trekking bar from Velo Orange, and I will wrap it with a brown leather tape for more of a classic look. I don't want garish-looking shifters or something that looks too awful modern on it. Indexed thumb shifters would have interest to me, though. I may explore that option in the future.

The rest of the bike is still "vintage" original. Derailleurs and 22-32-42 crank are original Shimano STX (placed above Alivio at the time, where the base Deore is now). The derailleurs have a beautiful chrome/polished look to them. Tange Passage headset with bright trim.
I also have the original Tektro short-pull brake levers back on it, but I've replaced the cantilever brake arms with 85mm Tektro Mini-Vs in an anodized silver color (which matches all the other trim on the bike). These Mini-Vs work okay with the short-pull brake levers. I have a TON of mechanical advantage over the brakes, and braking effort on the levers is super low. It's truly 1-finger braking with this setup. I guess extra care must be taken so you don't carelessly end-over. This bike does stop on a dime.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow of the progress so far.
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Old 07-15-17, 07:15 PM
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7 speed freehub with 135 spacing so it is setup with mountain bike OLD dropouts. You can re space your 7 speed cassette to 8 speed spacing. Both my mountain bikes are running 7 speed cassettes spaced to 8 with 8 speed trigger shifters.

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Old 07-16-17, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
7 speed freehub with 135 spacing so it is setup with mountain bike OLD dropouts. You can re space your 7 speed cassette to 8 speed spacing. Both my mountain bikes are running 7 speed cassettes spaced to 8 with 8 speed trigger shifters.
Thanks; I'll have to take a closer look at this. Sheldon Brown's site lists the total depth of my IG 7-speed cassette as 32.4mm and the total depth of an 8-speed cassette as 35.4mm. I don't think I have an extra 3mm on the freehub body, but I'll check it again closer.
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Old 07-16-17, 01:25 PM
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Actually what you do is break open your 7 speed cassette, may have to drill rivets holding cogs together, and sand the plastic spacers to 3.00mm from 3.15mm. You don't need to reduce the small cog. You end up with 7 speeds on a cassette that is approximately 31.5mm wide and add a 1mm spacer behind it.

Setup your 8 speed shfters so 1 is the small cog and set the limit screw on the rear derailleur to only shift to 7th cog. Shifter will stop at 7,

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Old 07-17-17, 05:51 AM
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Oh, I see what you're saying. Space my 7 speeds to 4.8mm instead of 5.0mm so I could use an 8-speed shifter. I guess I didn't note it in this thread, but my current cassette is an IG cassette, so the spacers are only 2.6mm thick to begin with (the cogs are thicker). I'll probably stick with what I have for now. I have to wrap the bars still and I still need to find a silver stem to finish it off (I have a black stem in it temporarily for purposes of getting the right fit). Once everything is complete, I'll just ride it. And if the SRT shifters just completely fall apart one day, then I'll re-consider my options.

Thanks, all, for the input.
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Old 07-17-17, 11:42 AM
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When you replace that IG cassette one day, you'll end up using an HG one. Depending on the condition if the hub/rim, at that time, you may end up replacing the rear wheel and then you can go straight to 8 or 9 speed without having to mess with any of this mixing-match. 135mm is standard mtb OLD.

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Old 07-17-17, 12:03 PM
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Yeah, I have some HG cassettes that I've used on it just playing around trying to find what I like the best. The IG cassette has a nice silver nickel plating on it that still looks nice, and looks like it belongs on the bike. It's actually an 11-30 IG cassette that came off a 1997 Trek 850 that I have. The 11-28 IG cassette that came on this 750 is actually on my '94 Motiv at the moment, to replace the worn and ugly HG cassette that it had when I bought it. I love swapping stuff around on my bikes, finding the combination that I like best on each of of them.

The rear hub is the original Silent Clutch hub from Shimano (roller clutch, no clicking pawls) and the wheels both are original Matrix Vapor that have a great vintage look to them (aluminum, without any black or other anodized color). I plan to keep all of this stuff on this bike.

Because I like to trade parts around, staying with 7 speeds is just fine with me -- I do have enough options in shifters to not feel that I need to go with more cogs just to find shifters. All of my other bikes, save just one, are 7-speed bikes. And the newest is an 8-speed, so a lot of the stuff can still cross over if I want to use something in a pinch or even more long term.

I also have a bunch of loose Dura-Ace cogs with aluminum 3mm spacers from an 11-25 cassette from a buddy of mine. I have used it before on this, but shifting is not always great. I think it has to do more with the shift ramp placement on the cogs -- most of the Dura-Ace cogs have just one shift ramp, and only some of the largest have two. Most of the mountain bike type cogs in the same size have at least one more shift ramp. I guess the fewer shift ramps on the Dura-Ace work because roadies are often pedaling at a faster cadence, so they can get away with fewer ramps? I dunno -- although spacing is correct when I build it up, the shifting never has seemed to be spot-on. Maybe I'll give it another go and see if I can tune it better.

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Old 07-17-17, 03:56 PM
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Thicker cogs will last longer. Old freewheels last almost forever, before wearing out. When some people are thrilled to get 5,000 miles out of a 10/11 speed cassette, some old suntour freewheels are going strong after 50,000 miles.

As for ramps, and I could be wrong, I thought the single ramp cogs were for 1 tooth differences. If you have more than a tooth difference, 2 ramps work better.

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Old 07-18-17, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Thicker cogs will last longer. Old freewheels last almost forever, before wearing out. When some people are thrilled to get 5,000 miles out of a 10/11 speed cassette, some old suntour freewheels are going strong after 50,000 miles.
I have no way to know how many miles these IG cassettes have on them. I got the 850 for free off Craigslist; somebody around the corner from me had posted it as a "for free, needs tires" kind of listing. It was fairly dirty, but only from sitting outside. The crankset and cassette visually look okay, but I really don't know how much use they've had.

If I'm honest, I don't have climbs that I stand up for (I just go slower), and I climb the largest climbs in the smallest chain ring and on the large half of the cassette, so I could probably run these cassettes for many years. I'm not putting a lot of power through the drivetrain on a continual basis.

Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
As for ramps, and I could be wrong, I thought the single ramp cogs were for 1 tooth differences. If you have more than a tooth difference, 2 ramps work better.
I think this is right -- I remember reading something like this. I do know that I could assemble a 7-speed cassette out of the 8 or 9 loose cogs that I had (with the 8-speed spacers), but shifting was never perfect. I also know that the two-letter code on all of the cogs didn't always match, meaning they weren't designed to be in the same cassette together. I understand this also has shifting implications. He gave me a bunch of stuff from his racing days with no warranties implied, and I knew it was a hodge-podge of parts, but I do like trying to get old stuff to work together. I think this particular set of cogs, though, is not gonna work. I may go back and see what I need and, if it's just one cog or two that I'm missing, I may try to find just those particular ones.

I did sell off the Dura-Ace front derailleur and the 42-53 105 crankset, but I kept the cassette cogs for a rainy day. Maybe I'll make something out of them yet.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:36 AM
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Here are some pictures of the progress I've made on this bike:

https://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...l#post19726953
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