Home > bicycling, Geeky > Grip shifters; just say no

Grip shifters; just say no

August 17, 2009

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate grip shifters?  You know, those twisty bicycle handgrips that shift gears while you wreck?  Trigger, thumb, and plug shifters are much safer and as a bonus, easier to work on. 

There may be some kind of super-high-quality grip shifters I’ve never seen before, but mostly they just seem like something that a marketing expert thought of for low-end and low-mid-range bikes. A “sounds like a good idea until you think about it for ten seconds” kind of thing. And they make a ten-minute cable replacement into an hour-long ordeal because the cheap plastic parts cracked and I had to dig around in my spare parts buckets.  Fooey!

Categories: bicycling, Geeky
  1. August 17, 2009 at 23:58 | #1

    I had one when I was young—probably adolescence and young teen.  As I recall, it worked pretty well and never required maintenance.  That was in the ‘60s, so it’s likely that even a poor concept was implemented with more care and better materials.  Seem to remember it feeling quite solid and operated smoothly.  But I bet if it had failed it would have been a difficult repair.

  2. September 26, 2009 at 06:16 | #2

    I hate grip shifters. It’s not just the accidental shifting when braking (or turning, or not focusing on not-shifting) but the fact that they sound like high tech aliens.

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