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What happened to grip shift?

Old 09-13-16, 01:44 PM
  #1  
corrado33
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What happened to grip shift?

I've been reading a lot lately about the history of some bicycle companies and component companies. I recently read that grip shift was extraordinarily popular at one time, being present on the majority of professional MTB racing machines at the time. Is that true?

Now-a-day any decent mountain bike wouldn't be caught dead with grip shifters on it (stock.) I know some people prefer grip shifters, and in all honesty I wouldn't mind one for my front derailleur, but today they're almost taboo.

What happened?
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Old 09-13-16, 01:57 PM
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SRAM Filed a Lawsuit, in order to break into the OEM sector to where the money was.. New bikes.

Sachs of Germany had a grip shifter too, so they bought out Sachs..

Moved all the Manufacturing Machines to TW, and that is where they are now..

Microshift, also in ROC, has some grip shifters too .. they are part of Sun Race Companies , that bought Sturmey Archer.



'It's Just Business'... that happened
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Old 09-13-16, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
SRAM Filed a Lawsuit, in order to break into the OEM sector to where the money was.. New bikes.

Sachs of Germany had a grip shifter too, so they bought out Sachs..

Moved all the Manufacturing Machines to TW, and that is where they are now..

Microshift, also in ROC, has some grip shifters too .. they are part of Sun Race Companies , that bought Sturmey Archer.



'It's Just Business'... that happened


So you've named two companies with rights to a grip shift design. Do they still make them?


Honestly, I've only ridden one bike with grip shift and hated it. Of course, it was also a WalMart bike so that may have something to do with it. I ultimately gave up on flat bars and went to all drop bars and am happy.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
So you've named two companies with rights to a grip shift design. Do they still make them?


Honestly, I've only ridden one bike with grip shift and hated it. Of course, it was also a WalMart bike so that may have something to do with it. I ultimately gave up on flat bars and went to all drop bars and am happy.
Pretty sure they do, and they even sell higher end grip shifters.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:39 PM
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Sun Race and Sram are still very much in Business ..

Oh and I Forgot, 2 more ; Rohloff ( I have that 14speed IGH ) and Nu Vinci CVR, another hub gear..

But Both are 2 cable Pull - Pull Mechanisms and all the gear ratio changes are in the Hub itself .

so quite off the spectrum ..
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Old 09-13-16, 02:45 PM
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I had a fuji mtb in the 90's with grip shift. It worked ok until you hit a big root/rock/bump and shifted by accident. My 12 year old son has a trek with grip shift and he simply can't even shift the bike if his hands are sweaty. I think modern shifters are far superior.
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Old 09-13-16, 03:17 PM
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Grip shifters seem to have quickly moved down market because they're simple (no clockwork) and so came to be seen as money-saving junk for cheapie $300 bikes. They have the same advantages as old-fashioned levers, being very fast to shift a lot of gears in one motion, but not as positive or precise as ratchets (especially not the cheap ones) for indexing.

SRAM keeps the flame for quality, precision, and 10-11 speed. https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/family/grip-shift

But they also sell cheapies https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/c...ister-shifters

The lefts now have many detents, not three, allowing for trim and for use with any FD. SRAM's cheapies are interesting for having the same body left and right, instead of symmetrical, so the action is reversed, which makes them both twist the same way around the bar for a harder gear.
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Old 09-13-16, 05:06 PM
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My Globe hybrid has Shimano RevoShift grip shifters; the Univega has Shimano thumb shifters (1990s vintage, Exage era -- don't know the exact model).

Overall I prefer the grip shifters. They're never slippery if I'm wearing gloves, even in rain. But Shimano uses soft grippy pliable rubber shells over the RevoShift. Even after several years they hold up well. Only drawback is the plasticky construction. I've replaced one RevoShift when the housing cracked. Hard as heck to shift when that happens. The few bits of metal, including the pawl, dig into the soft plastic.

Accidental shifts do happen if I'm holding my inner hand too close to the shifter. That hasn't happened since I switched to a narrower flat bar that puts my hands in a more natural position, with easy access to the shifters while not riding on the shifter barrels themselves. With the wider bar my hands would tend to rest nearer center, over the grip shifter barrels. That's why the accidental shifts happened.

Eventually I might try a higher quality grip shifter, if it's compatible with the same gear train. Particularly if it has multiple clicks to dial out slight chain rub in the front derailer on a triple chain ring.

I adapted to the thumb shifters better than I'd expected. Before buying the Univega I'd tried a few bikes with various thumb and trigger shifters and didn't care for them. But this older Shimano set is okay. Works great on the rear derailer, but is fussy for the front triple. Maybe just a hazard of the triple chain ring in exchange for the convenience.

Occasionally I get flareups of aching joints from arthritis and the thumbs are affected. We'll see whether I can still handle the thumb shifters when that occurs. No problems with the grip shifters, they were still easy to handle with arthritis flareups -- as long as the RevoShift itself is in good shape (that darned plasticky construction).
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Old 09-13-16, 06:26 PM
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Ugh, I hate grip shift. I prefer friction thumb shifters, to be honest. Stem shifters, better. Downtube shifters also better. Trigger shifters, better. Bar end shifter - you guessed it, better. Integrated drop bar brake lever/shifters - better.

I actually don't know of a cable-actuated shifting mechanism I like less.
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Old 09-13-16, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo View Post
I had a fuji mtb in the 90's with grip shift. It worked ok until you hit a big root/rock/bump and shifted by accident. My 12 year old son has a trek with grip shift and he simply can't even shift the bike if his hands are sweaty. I think modern shifters are far superior.

Back in the 90's, you could get different (more aggressive) grips for Gripshift shifters called "Mud Paws", or something like that. Made a huge difference when your hands were sweaty or muddy, but were also generally uncomfortable the rest of the time.
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Old 09-13-16, 07:19 PM
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I've got some old 2003 SRAM MRX grip shifts on my Bike Friday and they are precise! No lag, shift multiple gears quickly and efficiently. They work great. Better than the click shifters on my old Trek bikes, for sure. No slop, up or down.
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Old 09-14-16, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo View Post
I had a fuji mtb in the 90's with grip shift. It worked ok until you hit a big root/rock/bump and shifted by accident. My 12 year old son has a trek with grip shift and he simply can't even shift the bike if his hands are sweaty. I think modern shifters are far superior.
Yep ... I remember those features!
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Old 09-14-16, 10:23 AM
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I happen to love Grip Shift - I have 8sp on 2 bikes, and 9sp Microshift on another. They're inexpensive and work great! I even spent the money on that Hubbub thing to mount one on a drop bar bike.

Just don't buy into the notion that you can replace a cable without opening up the shifter...
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Old 09-14-16, 10:25 AM
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New redesign of Rohloff's Grip shifter became even easier to re cable than the original Tri Lobed grip.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:37 AM
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I could see them being a issue on a true mtb, but I have them on my 2001 Giant hybrid and they worked just fine for the type of riding I do, and I liked their simplicity. My new bike has Alivio rapid fire shifters, and I do like them better than the grip shifters, but I don't think there's anything wrong with using them.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:44 AM
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I've still got them on my MTB. I like them far better than triggers, but they do seem to have that "not-pro", big box bike offering connotation that dissuades people from using them

The ones on my MTB were trashed in a rear ending of my car, and I replaced them with a SRAM set last year. They're definitely still out there and available. 7spd wasn't the easiest to find, though.
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Old 09-14-16, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
Just don't buy into the notion that you can replace a cable without opening up the shifter...
It can be done on the Shimano RevoShift, but it's fiddly. I disassembled the broken RevoShift to see how a cable could be threaded through without disassembly. Good thing because the RevoShift isn't made to be user serviceable. It's all snap-together plastic and the snap locks will fatigue or fail from more than one dis/re-assembly process. Functional but cheaply made.
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Old 09-15-16, 08:57 PM
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Sram still makes good quality grip shifts. They are fairly popular here in Alaska for winter riding because virtually everyone has to use pogies to keep their hands warm and with a grip shift you don't have to fight for room at the narrow end of the pogie to get to the shift tab on regular shifters. I have them on my Fatback Corvus frame, although only on my right side since my bike is a 1x11. If you are hammering down a steep grade and slamming around a corner it might be easier to shift when you didn't want to do so with a grip shift so I can see downsides for some folks but my Sram GX grip shifts work great for my use and for folks using big gloves or pogies they have real advantages.
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