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7 speed grip shift options

Old 08-07-20, 02:11 PM
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msl109 
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7 speed grip shift options

Hi folks - built a bike for my wife, and she's uncomfortable with a few things, so I'm changing the drop bars to a straight mountain bar and taking off the braze on downtube shifters to put shifters on the handlebars, mountain style. Bought a pair of 7sp entry level shimano thumb action shifters that clamp on the bar, but I'm under impressed with their weight and smoothness of function. She's used to grip shifters, so I think that's the way I'll be going. Been a long time since I had any experience with Grip shifts (never loved them myself) and only know Sram took them over a while back. I've seen used and NOS ones on the bay but the model #s mean nothing to me and the variety is dizzying. I'd like to get a pair that's at least middle of the road (commensurate to Shimano 105 or above). Anyone familiar with the lineups? Are there current production ones functional with a 2x7 setup that are decent quality and will hold up? (or past production I could pick up second hand)? I understand Shimano makes something similar as well. I care more about quality, weight and function than brand or vintage. Thanks for any help / recommendations you can provide.
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Old 08-07-20, 03:23 PM
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Well, grip shifters tend not to be associated with higher-level groups, so they tend to be of the throwaway variety. This one has an indexed rear shifter and a friction rear, which will work with double or triple up front: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-RevoS.../dp/B01E867WDE
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Old 08-07-20, 04:19 PM
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Agree Grip Shifters tend to be low level. Lots of 7 speed stuff and rapidly diminishing models as you add additional cogs in the rear.
Also, keep in mind SRAM makes a Shimano compatible version and one that isn't.

You may also have issues with the FDER, if this is a road bike. Front shifters/FDER's are incompatible between mountain & road.
Might be part of your shifting issues?
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Old 08-07-20, 05:51 PM
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thumb shifters ..
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Old 08-07-20, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Well, grip shifters tend not to be associated with higher-level groups, so they tend to be of the throwaway variety. This one has an indexed rear shifter and a friction rear, which will work with double or triple up front: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-RevoS.../dp/B01E867WDE
That seems to be the bill, though I was thinking a 3sp up front might work, limit screws just not allowing it to drop to the third gear ??
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Old 08-07-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by msl109 View Post
That seems to be the bill, though I was thinking a 3sp up front might work, limit screws just not allowing it to drop to the third gear ??
Actually a friction shifter up front can be advantageous, it allows for trimming if necessary to avoid front derailleur cage rub. Indexing is not super useful when you are only switching between two gears.
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Old 08-08-20, 12:00 AM
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OP, where are you located?

Cheers
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Old 08-08-20, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Actually a friction shifter up front can be advantageous, it allows for trimming if necessary to avoid front derailleur cage rub. Indexing is not super useful when you are only switching between two gears.
Sram grip shift for front have a trim function, I assume Shimano and others have this too). A triple for example may have 7 actual positions and it takes more than one click to change the front derailleur and you can click +-1 to fine tune as needed. It sounds tricky but using one for a while and it becomes easy muscle memory similar to getting a feel for friction shifters.

If going with SRAM grip shift, first determine if you have SRAM or Shimano rear der pull ratio needed. Then narrow it down to the different models of each, not all of them are Shimano compatible. I've personally only need Shimano pull compatibility and used and replaced old worn Grip Shifts with MRX and the Centera models. If availability of a 7 speed variant is not available... You CAN use an 8 speed shifter on a 7 speed cassette and tweak adjustment and the 8 gear position becomes nothing but a useless click. The SRAM shifter sets pre Covid were running under $20 and included cables and grips.

Last edited by u235; 08-08-20 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 08-08-20, 10:06 AM
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I recently replaced a pair of MRX grip shifters on my daughter's bike. That particular bike had been parked under a tarp for around 20 years. FWIW, she asked me to fix it up for her so she could ride it with her grandson (that would be my great-grandson). I just stuck a new pair of MRX Grip shifters onto it. They cost me $20.00 for the pair and came with new cables already installed. They work fine and I didn't have to explain to my daughter why I did something differently. My daughter is happy with them and that was my objective. If the new ones only last 10 years, I'll be too old to be the one replacing them.
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Old 08-08-20, 07:57 PM
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You should be able to lubricate and adjust the stiffness of the thumb shifters to work more smoothly. Double-check cable angles, etc, and make sure the cables move smoothly. Thumbies are the simplest of all bar-mount shifters, least likely to fail.
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Old 08-08-20, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
OP, where are you located?

Cheers
Philly
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Old 08-08-20, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
You should be able to lubricate and adjust the stiffness of the thumb shifters to work more smoothly. Double-check cable angles, etc, and make sure the cables move smoothly. Thumbies are the simplest of all bar-mount shifters, least likely to fail.
I'll give it a try, but I don't expect much - they're factory lubed and low end, the kind you can't dismantle.
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Old 08-08-20, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Sram grip shift for front have a trim function, I assume Shimano and others have this too). A triple for example may have 7 actual positions and it takes more than one click to change the front derailleur and you can click +-1 to fine tune as needed. It sounds tricky but using one for a while and it becomes easy muscle memory similar to getting a feel for friction shifters.

If going with SRAM grip shift, first determine if you have SRAM or Shimano rear der pull ratio needed. Then narrow it down to the different models of each, not all of them are Shimano compatible. I've personally only need Shimano pull compatibility and used and replaced old worn Grip Shifts with MRX and the Centera models. If availability of a 7 speed variant is not available... You CAN use an 8 speed shifter on a 7 speed cassette and tweak adjustment and the 8 gear position becomes nothing but a useless click. The SRAM shifter sets pre Covid were running under $20 and included cables and grips.
That's what's so confusing - you have the original grip shifts, the sram ones, those that are shimano compatible and those that aren't. I'm just hearing about the MRX. Guess I have to do some more research.
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Old 08-08-20, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Well, grip shifters tend not to be associated with higher-level groups, so they tend to be of the throwaway variety. This one has an indexed rear shifter and a friction rear, which will work with double or triple up front: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-RevoS.../dp/B01E867WDE
Though the idea of putting disposable components on the bike is anathema to me, those in your link do seem to fit the bill and would get it functional until I could find a more permanent solution.
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Old 08-09-20, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by msl109 View Post
Philly
If you're interested, I have a pair of used SRAM MRX 7-speed twist-grip shifters I can send you on Monday.

If you want them just PM me your address and I'll get them off to you.

Edit. I'm in South-Central Ontario, Canada so it might take 10 - 14 days for them to arrive.

Cheers

Last edited by Miele Man; 08-09-20 at 02:24 AM. Reason: Added comment
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Old 08-09-20, 08:31 PM
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7 speed Shimano trigger shifters are pretty cheap & work just as good as grip shifters. Plus, you can use big soft black foam grips with trigger shifters.
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