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Do grip shifters work good enough?

Old 10-01-15, 08:18 AM
  #1  
El Gato27
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Do grip shifters work good enough?

Looking to buy a bike for my daughter. She won’t use it much, just like her other bikes, but in those rare instances she does want to ride I want to make sure there is a bike available. Most of the riding would be either paved trails or hike/bike trails, nothing aggressive. She’s a teen, about 5’5”, thinking of an entry level hybrid. Noticed the entry level bikes mostly have grip shifters. I have never used grip shifters on a regular basis and because of that I am biased against them.

I was wondering if grip shifters work fairly well. Should I upgrade to a bike with thumb shifters?

Thinking of something like this:

Schwinn Sierra 2 Bike

Information appreciated.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:27 AM
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I have them on my Bianchi hybrid with SRAM X7 drivetrain, they work well enough.

Last edited by MMLC; 10-01-15 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:31 AM
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For mild recreational use, they're fine.

The twist grip action becomes a problem if you have to make rapid shifts while out of the saddle, and with the chain under load (think mountain biking). There, I'd recommend trigger shifters.

Twist grips are somewhat intuitive, thankfully, and she'll likely adapt well to them.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:36 AM
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If I HAD to choose between cheap grip shifters and cheap trigger shifters, I'd choose the grip shifters. In my experience they seem to last longer as long as you don't have to replace the cable. I still hate them with every fiber of my being, but I'd say cheap grip shifters are slightly better than cheap trigger shifters.

I say this because we'll often have cheap bikes come in with just destroyed trigger shifters. After a while the cheap triggers just stop working, with no good way to fix them. Spraying them with some sort of lube sometimes helps, but it's a crapshoot. The twist shifters, on the other hand, are so simple they're slightly more robust. Again, just don't let the cable rust because replacing the cable is a royal PITA.
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Old 10-01-15, 08:48 AM
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I disagree...My wife & I both got new wal-mart bikes several years ago...her's with twist shifters, mine with trigger shifters. Hers was a pain, you always needed to turn it farther than you wanted to on upshifts till it actually shifted, then let it come back a bit.

Mine with trigger shifters worked much better, In fact I commuted on it and rode on group rides with roadies for nearly 2 years on that bike. No shifting problems. But I kept it clean.
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Old 10-01-15, 09:27 AM
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the SRAM company was started around selling indexed Grip shifters , to get them onto OEM Bikes they had to Sue Shimano .

In the Shop, Now, some of what is sold for fitting on low end bikes the cables are not replaceable ,
you throw the whole thing away. and Buy another if the cable needs replacing.

I do have 2 Bikes with a Grip shifter, but they are both 2 cable pull - pull, to shift a Rohloff Hub.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-01-15 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 10-01-15, 09:29 AM
  #7  
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Both my bike and trike have grip shifters. They work great, and I recommend them.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:08 AM
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I didn't like them and never rode with them until they were (replacements for oem trigger shifters) on an older mtb I was looking at buying.
I bought the bike, and found the grip shifters to be just fine. Definitely no longer a deal-breaker for me.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:16 AM
  #9  
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I've converted a couple of old 12 speed drop handlebar bikes to upright bars w/grip shifters. Grip shifters are indexed and will only work with compatible rear derailleurs. Grip shifters are very popular with women and casual riders. They work very well under light use.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:36 AM
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Between Greg Herbold winning the first ever World MTB Downhill Championship on twist shifters in 1990, and Gunn-Rita Dahl, the winningest women's MTB XC rider in history, recently winning the 2015 XC World Cup Championship title with twist shifters, there's 25 years of twist shift history in the hands of the greatest names in the sport, and the titles to go with it.

Are "grip shifters" good enough? Haha! The question is, are you good enough?


^^ That's Gunn-Rita Dahl, the best that ever has been, celebrating her 2015 World Championship title. Check the handlebars. Anyone who thinks twist shifters are only good for casual riding and light use, don't know what they're talking about. Period.

Last edited by chaadster; 10-01-15 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by NJgreyhead View Post
I didn't like them and never rode with them until they were (replacements for oem trigger shifters) on an older mtb I was looking at buying.
I bought the bike, and found the grip shifters to be just fine. Definitely no longer a deal-breaker for me.
Like I said before. I think grip shifters work fine, until you have to change a cable. Then you will hate them with every fiber of your soul.
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Old 10-01-15, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
I disagree...My wife & I both got new wal-mart bikes several years ago...her's with twist shifters, mine with trigger shifters. Hers was a pain, you always needed to turn it farther than you wanted to on upshifts till it actually shifted, then let it come back a bit.

Mine with trigger shifters worked much better, In fact I commuted on it and rode on group rides with roadies for nearly 2 years on that bike. No shifting problems. But I kept it clean.
Similar here. I can't stand my wife's twist shifters on her bike. They work... but I much prefer the triggers on my MTB.
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Old 10-01-15, 11:03 AM
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Here is the thing. The vast majority of bikes that come with grip shifts stock are very lowend bikes which come with very lowend grip shifts so yeah those suck. They give people a poor view on all grip shifts which isn't fair. Very low end tigger shifters aren't good either but for some reason that doesn't make people think all trigger shifters are crap. I run Sram X0, highend, grip shifters on my good mtn bike and they work great. No problems shifting under load and the cables are super easy to change.
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Old 10-01-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Like I said before. I think grip shifters work fine, until you have to change a cable. Then you will hate them with every fiber of your soul.
You'll also find out how disposable they are and will be motivated to get something better.
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Old 10-01-15, 11:31 AM
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Yes, twisters work well enough. Even though I replaced the SRAM twisters (both X5) on my two single bikes with SRAM triggers (X7 and X9) quite a while ago, am still using the SRAM twisters (X7) on our 5-year-old tandem because they work well enough.
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Old 10-01-15, 12:54 PM
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They're not my personal preference, but they work just fine. My young daughters seemed to grasp them more intuitively than triggers or bar-end shifters
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Old 10-01-15, 01:05 PM
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Gripshifters are my favorite flatbar shifters. Only the good ones, though.

Avoid Falcon, Shimano Revo, MRX Comp.

I haven't tried the Microshift units on that Schwinn, so dunno if they're good or not.

Should I upgrade to a bike with thumb shifters?
Thumbshifter bikes are pretty rare these days. For lowend bikes, you'll see twist shifters, trigger shifters, and sometimes rocker shifters.
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Old 10-01-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Between Greg Herbold winning the first ever World MTB Downhill Championship on twist shifters in 1990, and Gunn-Rita Dahl, the winningest women's MTB XC rider in history, recently winning the 2015 XC World Cup Championship title with twist shifters, there's 25 years of twist shift history in the hands of the greatest names in the sport, and the titles to go with it.

Are "grip shifters" good enough? Haha! The question is, are you good enough?


^^ That's Gunn-Rita Dahl, the best that ever has been, celebrating her 2015 World Championship title. Check the handlebars. Anyone who thinks twist shifters are only good for casual riding and light use, don't know what they're talking about. Period.
So you think they'll be kinda O.K.?
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Old 10-01-15, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Between Greg Herbold winning the first ever World MTB Downhill Championship on twist shifters in 1990, and Gunn-Rita Dahl, the winningest women's MTB XC rider in history, recently winning the 2015 XC World Cup Championship title with twist shifters, there's 25 years of twist shift history in the hands of the greatest names in the sport, and the titles to go with it.
Her gripshifter costs almost half as much as the OP bike, of course, so it probably works a little nicer than what's on there
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Old 10-01-15, 02:00 PM
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Sachs had its own grip shifters , the Sram Buy out eliminated a Competitor .
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Old 10-01-15, 02:01 PM
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I have them on a Trek 7200 and I despise that bike because of them. Why? Well a couple of times I have had to put the spurs to the bike to get across a busy street. Well when you bear down and pump harder while doing a standing pedal pump, weight shifts somewhat to your hands. This caused the bike to shift gears unexpectedly and both times my feet almost came off the pedals and I would have dumped the bike right there on a busy streeet! If I want to commit suicide I will do it some other way. I would like to meet the idiot who invented these....
My Trek is garaged now and if there comes a time I wish to ride it again (I prefer my C&V drop bar road bikes) I plan on replacing the grip shifters with thumb shifters...

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Old 10-01-15, 02:04 PM
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They work fine until they don't. Then you toss them and buy another set, or switch to thumb shifters. Even something as mundane has replacing a cable can be a nightmare with grip shifters. They're a prime example of marketing's triumph over practicality.
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Old 10-01-15, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mightymax View Post
I have them on a Trek 7200 and I despise that bike because of them. Why? Well a couple of times I have had to put the spurs to the bike to get across a busy street. Well when you bear down and pump harder while doing a standing pedal pump, weight shifts somewhat to your hands. This caused the bike to shift gears unexpectedly and both times my feet almost came off the pedals and I would have dumped the bike right there on a busy streeet! If I want to commit suicide I will do it some other way. I would like to meet the idiot who invented these....
My Trek is garaged now and if there comes a time I wish to ride it again (I prefer my C&V drop bar road bikes) I plan on replacing the grip shifters with thumb shifters...

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This problem can be solved with a longer fixed grip.

Hopefully you're not running halfpipe gripshifts, their twist grip section was so wide that it's tough to keep your hand off the shifty bit.

I just run full length grips, which provide plenty of non-shifty grip area for sprinting and bunnyhop uses.



I've been experimenting on one bike with the inner ribbed section of an Oury cut off, even that seems to provide plenty of non-shifty room to work with.
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Old 10-01-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
They work fine until they don't. Then you toss them and buy another set, or switch to thumb shifters. Even something as mundane has replacing a cable can be a nightmare with grip shifters. They're a prime example of marketing's triumph over practicality.
Once you sit down to figure it out, it's pretty simple to replace cable, actually. Some models are ridiculously easy. Others may take a couple of hours to figure out the first time.
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Old 10-01-15, 02:46 PM
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I buy all my bikes used - a couple decades old at least - and the one thing I've noticed is that the ones with grip shifters seem to work pretty well, whereas the ones with trigger shifters almost always dont shift right anymore. Trigger shifters are great - when everything works as it should, but due to the design they just seem to wear out much quicker. Even the top of the line versions dont seem to last.

So yeah, I think your daughter will do just fine with the grip shifters.
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