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Microshift vs Sunrace indexed thumb shifters

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Microshift vs Sunrace indexed thumb shifters

Old 04-23-19, 06:00 PM
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hokiefyd 
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Microshift vs Sunrace indexed thumb shifters

I'm new to "modern" thumb shifters such as these. My dad bought a Surly Pugsley and didn't like the Microshift thumbies, so he gave them to me and I'm using them on one of my bikes. I removed 3x9 ST-M3000 triggers and am using the Microshift shifters with friction on the left/front and indexed 9 speed on the right/rear. I like this setup so much, I'm considering buying another set for my other 9 speed bike.

For a basic shifter, though certainly high quality indeed, I find the Microshift ones to be pretty dear in terms of price (around 80 bucks for a pair). The Sunrace SLM96 shifters (all metal bodies) look to be about a third to half of that price for the pair. Not having used "modern" thumb shifters before, I'm not sure if the Microshift ones work twice as well as the Sunrace ones, or if both work about the same in practice. Unlike the Sunrace shifters, the Microshift ones are convertible between friction and indexed mode; this is a moot point for me -- I use them in indexed mode only. If that functionality explains the extra cost for the Microshift over the Sunrace, then the Sunrace ones would probably work well for me.

I appreciate all input, especially from those who have used both and can compare function, fit and finish, etc. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:59 PM
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Microshift has come up in the world. Chances are very good that if there is a 100% price difference between the Micro-shift and Sunrace thumbies it is not simply because the Microshift has friction mode as an option. Obviously this does not mean that the Sunrace shifters are beneath contempt. Microshift once occupied that market niche. Not everyone has $80 to drop on a set of thumbies. You are in a perfect position to do a direct A/B comparison and give us a report. Good luck.

P.S. I would not have removed triggers to put on thumbies for any reason. I might (and have) remove grip shifters and replace them with ultra-cheap friction thumbies but that's me.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:29 PM
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On my kids bike, it used to have Sunrace 3x7 indexed shifters. They were similar to Shimanos "Rapid Fire" shifters.

Later on, as part of an overhaul/rebuild, I built a Shimano Nexus 7 speed IGH rear wheel & picked up a matching Microshift Nexus 7 speed shifter.

The old Sunrace 3x7 (M50) shifters & the new Microshift Nexus 7 shifter appear to be a matched set. Aside from the silk screened name, the difference, if there is one is indistinguishable.

His bike now has a standard 52/36 crankset paired to the Nexus 7 speed IGH. Thats 14 evenly spaced speeds & no duplicates. I wish I could've planned it, but sometimes you get lucky.

FWIW: If it walks like a duck & quacks like a duck...
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Old 04-24-19, 02:54 AM
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I "sort of assumed" they were the same company, since the products look so similar. Both seem pretty well-made from what I have seen. I actually bought some Sun Race shifters thinking they were Microshift, if you can believe that.

FWIW, Shimano seems to have given up on thumb shifters for now, other than these which I bought, installed, tried out, and thought they were so awful they went straight into the trash.


Last edited by Lemond1985; 04-24-19 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 04-24-19, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
P.S. I would not have removed triggers to put on thumbies for any reason. I might (and have) remove grip shifters and replace them with ultra-cheap friction thumbies but that's me.
They are more ergonomic for me. I shift a lot, and find that the same repetitive thumb/finger motion on a standard trigger shifter creates fatigue. Thumb shifters allow me to shift using a variety of motions, whatever may be most comfortable at the time. Ergonomics is a game measured in fractions of units of measurement (inches, degrees, etc), and small differences may mean a lot to someone (and nothing to someone else).

The Microshift ones also feel very nice to use. There's a solid metallic "snick" to each stop of the shifter. My triggers sounded louder and less precise. Especially the front, where you'd get that loud clunk with a downshift of the front derailleur. The smooth motion of the thumb shifters is pretty satisfying to me. Totally subjective, for sure.



If I try a set of the Sunrace ones, I'll be sure to post back here with observations.
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Old 04-24-19, 06:14 AM
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I had a right SLM96 on a 90's MTB I converted from 7 to 9 speed. I didn't put a ton of miles on it but it performed well. I'd certainly do it again.
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Old 11-17-20, 08:08 PM
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I'm bumping this thread I created because I have finally procured a set of the SLM96 shifters from Sunrace. They're the 8-speed variety (8 indexed rear, friction front), but I imagine they feel the same as the 9-speed versions from Sunrace, so I feel they're a good comparison with the 9-speed Microshift shifters I have. Both sets are indexed on the right/rear and clicky friction on the left/front.

The Microshift ones definitely feel like higher quality shifters. Because the right/rear shifter can also be setup as friction, the tension on the whole barrel can be adjusted to suit your preference. Even in indexed mode, you can use the top screw to make the detents as hard or as soft as you desire. Because of this, they have (or can have, depending on your adjustment) a very light shift feel to them. I described them before as having a very nice "snick-snick-snick" feel to them, and that's a good description. The clickiness of the left/front friction shifter is fairly subtle, and I would describe them as "micro clicks" compared with Sunrace's left/front shifter -- the clicks are softer in feel and higher in number.

In comparison, the Sunrace shifters feel like...well...they feel like they cost half as much money as the Microshift ones, to be frank. The right/rear shifter is indexed only and does not offer a friction option. You can loosen the top screw on it, but that doesn't adjust the feel of the detents -- it just loosens the barrel on the mount. Whereas the Microshift shifter has a "snick-snick-snick" feel to it, the Sunrace is more of a "clack-clack-clack" as you rotate it. The indexing function itself works fine -- it shifts an RD-M591 very nicely on an 8-speed cassette, but the shifter's action feels less refined. Likewise, the left/front shifter's friction clicks are more positive and coarser...and fewer in number. I had no problems trimming a front derailleur, but the shifter didn't feel as nice as the Microshift one.

For those seeing this thread and wondering if the Microshift shifters really are worth $80-90/pair vs. $40-50/pair for the Sunrace shifters...I'd say there's a real difference in feel and I'd pony up for the Microshift ones if you can afford them.
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Old 11-17-20, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I'm bumping this thread I created because I have finally procured a set of the SLM96 shifters from Sunrace. They're the 8-speed variety (8 indexed rear, friction front), but I imagine they feel the same as the 9-speed versions from Sunrace, so I feel they're a good comparison with the 9-speed Microshift shifters I have. Both sets are indexed on the right/rear and clicky friction on the left/front.

The Microshift ones definitely feel like higher quality shifters. Because the right/rear shifter can also be setup as friction, the tension on the whole barrel can be adjusted to suit your preference. Even in indexed mode, you can use the top screw to make the detents as hard or as soft as you desire. Because of this, they have (or can have, depending on your adjustment) a very light shift feel to them. I described them before as having a very nice "snick-snick-snick" feel to them, and that's a good description. The clickiness of the left/front friction shifter is fairly subtle, and I would describe them as "micro clicks" compared with Sunrace's left/front shifter -- the clicks are softer in feel and higher in number.

In comparison, the Sunrace shifters feel like...well...they feel like they cost half as much money as the Microshift ones, to be frank. The right/rear shifter is indexed only and does not offer a friction option. You can loosen the top screw on it, but that doesn't adjust the feel of the detents -- it just loosens the barrel on the mount. Whereas the Microshift shifter has a "snick-snick-snick" feel to it, the Sunrace is more of a "clack-clack-clack" as you rotate it. The indexing function itself works fine -- it shifts an RD-M591 very nicely on an 8-speed cassette, but the shifter's action feels less refined. Likewise, the left/front shifter's friction clicks are more positive and coarser...and fewer in number. I had no problems trimming a front derailleur, but the shifter didn't feel as nice as the Microshift one.

For those seeing this thread and wondering if the Microshift shifters really are worth $80-90/pair vs. $40-50/pair for the Sunrace shifters...I'd say there's a real difference in feel and I'd pony up for the Microshift ones if you can afford them.
Thanks for your follow-up. Iíve tried Sunrace downtube shifters and thought they were terrible. Glad to hear the a Sunrace thumbies shifted well enough. And that the Microshift are good thumb shifters.

John
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Old 11-17-20, 10:31 PM
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Also glad to hear the comparison. I really like microshift for kids bikes since they tend to be smaller and lighter action but always felt they think a little too highly of their thumb shifters. For comparison I just paid 86.00 for a pair of integrated road levers which has a lot more small parts, more material and a brake lever and hood built in. But my dealings with sunrace has always left me feeling like their stuff was adequate if needed and not something I look to unless i have to. Your comparison kinda confirms my view and experience.
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Old 11-18-20, 08:14 AM
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One other difference between Microshift and Sunrace that I failed to mention last night is the lack of a barrel adjuster on the Sunrace shifters. This is not a big deal for the indexed one, as the derailleurs I use have barrel adjusters...and one could always run an inline adjuster if needed. Still, it is nice to be able to tweak the adjustment while riding if needed.

I, too, cannot understand why the Microshift thumb shifters are so expensive (especially when compared with other shifters of much greater complexity). I can only guess it's an economy of scale thing -- thumb shifters likely don't sell in large quantities and they're probably more of a niche product. Having said that, they do work very nicely, and their build quality is very good. I guess that costs money.
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Old 09-09-21, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
P.S. I would not have removed triggers to put on thumbies for any reason. I might (and have) remove grip shifters and replace them with ultra-cheap friction thumbies but that's me.
Having cut my teeth on friction shifting MTBs, the opposite is true.
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