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Twist Shifters vs Trigger/Rapid fire - is one better or is it just preference?

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Twist Shifters vs Trigger/Rapid fire - is one better or is it just preference?

Old 09-22-08, 09:56 PM
  #1  
Raven87
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Twist Shifters vs Trigger/Rapid fire - is one better or is it just preference?

Twist vs trigger... I've read that it comes down to preference but with new components coming out, is there a reason one is better (if one is)?

My M500 Cannondale (15 years old) has the trigger shifters and I like them, most likely because I'm used to them. I rode two bikes today that both had twist grip shifters and while they were nice, to me they felt a little awkward. The Trek 7200 seemed more quick and responsive while the Cannondale Adventure 3's shifter seemed to have too much spacing between the 1-2-3 shifts on the front cogs.

Was it just my lack of time using the twist grips? Right now, I think I would prefer to stay with the trigger style but hey, I can learn to love the twist as well.

Opinions?
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Old 09-22-08, 10:11 PM
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Personally, I love my bar-ends, but if I had to choose between twist and triggers, I would choose triggers.

Torquing my wrists to change gears is kind of annoying.
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Old 09-22-08, 10:19 PM
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It may depend on what and where you are riding. On my MTB the trigger shifters seem to work better for me. On my Comfort bike the twist shifter works just fine, on my Road bike, neither.
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Old 09-22-08, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
Personally, I love my bar-ends, but if I had to choose between twist and triggers, I would choose triggers.

Torquing my wrists to change gears is kind of annoying.
I have bar-ends on two bikes, and I'm never changing, either. It's mostly preference--I've used them for years, and my hand just falls to that spot when I have to shift. But I do like having a friction option if I bend something, so I can trim the shifters without worrying about indexing.
If I had to choose between twist and trigger, I'd go with twist, but I can't give you a reason. I've only ridden one bike with triggers, and it just felt iffy, like I couldn't count on it. But it worked fine.
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Old 09-23-08, 02:53 AM
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IMHO- depends upon your bike set up and riding style.
My partner has twist shifters on her touring bike, she has a wrist/hand problem that makes it very
hard to actuate the trigger "upward", especially the front deraileur. The grip/twist shifter is easy
for her to operate. We have them on the tandem, it is set up like an overgrown comfort bike. I like them there as you can feather or trim the deraileurs into the exact needed spot, similar to a bar end, if needed. X.9 or X.0 shifters are much nicer and work more effectively than lower end models, well worth the additional costs; don't have to run x.9 or x.0 RD/FD unless you want to.
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Old 09-23-08, 03:09 AM
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It's mostly preference for a daily rider. Unless you are racing (integrated brake/trigger shifters are preferred there), either shifter type is fine.
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Old 09-23-08, 04:57 AM
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Friction Levers
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Old 09-23-08, 06:32 AM
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I have twist ones on my MTB and I hate them. It could be the setup but they are always getting torqued by me as I ride and changing gears. My road bike has the shifter/brake setup and I adore them. My next MTB will have triggers for sure.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:10 AM
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My Schwinn has grips, and my Raleigh has triggers. The triggers are quicker, more sure-shifting, and don't involve me twisting my hand position to change gears. The difference is negligible in my opinion, but since the grips broke, I'm more than happy to swap it triggers.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
I have twist ones on my MTB and I hate them. It could be the setup but they are always getting torqued by me as I ride and changing gears. My road bike has the shifter/brake setup and I adore them. My next MTB will have triggers for sure.
+1, my first mtn bike had triggers, its replacement had twisters and they sucked. Always switching gears when i didnt want them to. Maybe they were just cheap, it was just a $300 trek 800.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:22 AM
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I've never liked the grip shift/twist type. I once rode a bike with them on technical singletrack. More than once I accidentally shifted when going over a log. That was not good.
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Old 09-23-08, 09:07 AM
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I agree with those that do not like the twist shifters. Too many incidents of accidental shifting.
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Old 09-23-08, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
IMHO- depends upon your bike set up and riding style.
My partner has twist shifters on her touring bike, she has a wrist/hand problem that makes it very
hard to actuate the trigger "upward", especially the front deraileur. The grip/twist shifter is easy
for her to operate.
Ah, interesting; I never thought that trigger shifters would be difficult to operate, but I don't have grip problems (yet).

I don't like twist shifters either, and for the same reasons as others have said. I've also had accidental shifting problems with trigger shifters, but that's just because they came set up with the clamp right against the grip, and my knuckles sometimes would bump against a lever. So, I like to set up my trigger shifters with the clamp about an inch away from the grips -- which can't be done with a twist shifter.
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Old 09-23-08, 04:38 PM
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I prefer trigger shifters, but twist-grip works OK, too. I've seen some arguments for twist-grip that point out that they're quicker and easier to use when you want/need to make a shift by more than one gear at a time.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:28 PM
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love my triggers, much more than twisties.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:51 PM
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Steve,
My wife has older twists and I have rapid fire. The indexing on the twists doesn't seem to be as accurate as the triggers. I also can nudge the triggers to get a shift to happen when adjustment should
actually be needed. I keep hoping she doesn't ride my bike and realize how much easier it is.
Kevin
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Old 09-23-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
I agree with those that do not like the twist shifters. Too many incidents of accidental shifting.
Same here. The trigger shifters I bought to replace the twist grips are much, much better.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:15 PM
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When I looked at buying my bike, I tried several twist shifters and they were okay, if a bit sluggish. I ended up liking the Shimano rapid fire shifters better than the twist and I also liked the Shimano rapid fire over the SRAM thumb shifters...I just did not like the thumb for up and down shifting. My Cannondale Road Warrior used the flat bar 443 rapid fire shifters and my BIL GT used Shimano Deore rapid fires...no problem with either.

I bought some Paul Thumbies for a while and loved it with Shimano barcons. They were AWESOME. I ended swapping a moustache bar for my flat bar...good bye Paul Thumbies, hello barcons. So far I like the barcons best, but they do position the shifter a bit far for me...no big deal for me.
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Old 09-24-08, 12:15 AM
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I've used both on my mountain bikes and I never had any problems with either but I feel like the trigger shifters are more responsive and quick. I'd aim for the triggers if you're just basing your decision on brakes but go with the bike that feels the best overall.
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Old 09-24-08, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Raven87 View Post
Twist vs trigger... I've read that it comes down to preference but with new components coming out, is there a reason one is better (if one is)?
I have a "comfort"-type bike that came with grip-shifts and it was difficult to ride hard without inadvertently shifting the gears. Putting on some trigger-shifters was the best thing that happened to that bike.

That said-
The cheapest shifters are grips--the bottom-line Srams now are only about $15 a pair. They shift very poorly, yet these get stuck on a lot of cheaper (sub-$500) bikes as OEM parts. The cheapness may be a bigger problem than the shifter type.

When I switched to triggers I went to the next-up level, that cost about $50 a pair. If you can move up a grade, you'll likely get better functioning whichever you buy.
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Old 09-24-08, 05:46 PM
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I-I kinda like my twister. My old Gary Fisher Wahoo is the only one of my bikes with twists. The grips are roomy enough so that there is no accidental shifting.
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Old 09-24-08, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
Personally, I love my bar-ends, but if I had to choose between twist and triggers, I would choose triggers.

Torquing my wrists to change gears is kind of annoying.
I agree on both points. Friction shifting = yay.
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Old 09-24-08, 07:12 PM
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I found my rapid shifts much better and easier on my hands. The twist were big and bulky and hurt on long rides.
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Old 09-24-08, 08:47 PM
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I have had both cheap and better quality SRAM twist shifters. The higher priced ones work a bit better, but are much easier to maintain. Twist grip shifters are the best type for riding in heavy urban traffic where you may need to shift down suddenly through several gears.
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Old 09-24-08, 08:52 PM
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Not sure why multiple shifts are seen as a problem with trigger shifters; I can shove mine three cogs bigger in one movement (same with road brifters) and flick it to smaller cogs as fast as my thumb will move.
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