March 31, 2012

A fine whine on a Friday night…

Is it just me, or did SRAM get rid of everything that made gripshift great with their new 10 speed setup?


-No more trimming your front derailleur. What? Why? That’s one of the best things about gripshift! Yeah, I guess you can probably just run an old 9 speed one on the left side (or just bail to 1x like me) but still. Lame.

-Ball bearings, complicated cable ports, lots of engineering. I have several sets of X.5 gripshifters from >10 years ago that have been in probably 60 races, thousands of miles of rides, and through all kinds of horrible conditions. They are made of cheap plastic, with one tiny spring and a bolt or two to hold them on the bar. They still work great except that the rubber part is mostly gone. So, um, I don’t want any stinkin’ ball bearings, guys.

-$200+ (or $300 for the XX!) for a set of gripshifters? Even with inflation, that’s highway robbery, unless you like paying for lots of extra (pointless) engineering and bearings.

-We waited how long? This should have been on the market like 2 weeks after 10 speed came out. Just remold the plastic barrels on the old 9 speed stuff for the correct cable pull and one extra click, and call it good.

I was intending to “upgrade” to 10 speed when my 9 speed drivetrains wore out, but maybe not anymore. I’ll just keep digging 9 speed shifters (lighter! FD trim! basically free!) out of the junk bin for a while, I guess.