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Old 09-01-11, 09:59 AM   #1
Mysterious Lady
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Do SRAM VIA shifters feel like SRAM X.5 shifters?

OK, so I test rode a Giant Escape City early in the summer that had SRAM VIA shifters. The bike was fine, but the the trigger shifters felt "backward" to me. I can't remember exactly what the problem was, but the finger positioning seemed completely opposite of what I expected and the other bikes I had test ridden at that time (Specialized Sirrus/Vita, Trek 7.2 fx, etc.).

I mentioned it when I returned from my test ride to the part-time mechanic at the LBS who was helping me. He thought I didn't know what I was talking at first, lol, then he tried them and thought they felt "backwards" too in terms of finger movement on the triggers.

So my question is, is that just a SRAM shifter thing? If I'm considering a bike that has specs listing SRAM X.5 shifters, will they feel like the same configuration as the SRAM VIA? I mean, I guess one could get use to anything, but it's a concern.
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Old 09-01-11, 01:42 PM   #2
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Never seen VIA first hand, but the pictures make it look similar. You do all of the shifting with your thumb, where shimano is thumb and forefinger. The big forward lever moves to a larger chain ring (makes pedalling easier on the right rear shifter, harder on the left front shifter), the smaller button behind the lever does the opposite. This applies to the SRAM's I've used, X4, X7, and X9, and would be the same for X5. Don't know for sure on VIA.

I think whether you like or not is totally up to you. All of my bikes and family bikes are SRAM. With the Shimano, I couldn't find bar placement where the thumb and finger reach were both comfy.
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Old 09-01-11, 01:57 PM   #3
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Define 'backwards'. Shimano triggers have a thumb lever for shifting into bigger rings and a finger trigger for shifting into smaller rings;SRAM triggers have two different sized thumb levers next to each other which operate the same way. The 'big-larger,small-smaller' shift pattern is pretty universal with the exception of the triggers for Shimano's Nexus/Alfine 8spds(and a few oddball older Shimano setups,I've only ever encountered one of these). So the only difference is in where the smaller trigger is located. Note:SRAM recently began to offer Doubletap flat bar shifters that use only one lever,but I believe they are 10sp road only.

All SRAM triggers operate the same way from VIA up to X-0. Personally I prefer them to Shimano triggers because they're easier to use with thick winter gloves/mittens and you can keep a finger on the brake lever and still shift.

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