Thursday, August 6, 2009

An open love letter to SRAM

To whom it may concern: I love you, dear SRAM persons, for doggedly sticking to the Grip Shift as a viable (well, who are we is not just viable, it is superior) alternative to flippy lever shifting. Push pull, pull pull, shove nudge, lift lever, love lever....whatever lever.

The twist rocks.

I remember the first models. They were less than stellar performers as I recall. They earned the nickname, "Grip S**t". You may remember that too. And the full width grip was a deal breaker ...too hard to hang on to the grips and not shift by mistake when things got rough. But when things got rough for you guys, you dug in and refined and improved. The half length grip in 8 speed that I used for years is still sitting in my parts box and still works as well as the day it was made if I wanted to dig it out and go all 8 speed retro. For now, I will keep my X9 rear stuff.

But I digress. I have been efficiently twisting through the gears for so long, my thumbs have lost the ability to flip a lever. I don't regret this at all and time spent on a recent bike with under the bar lever shifting brought that back to mind.

Multiple gear shifts? Sure. Dump the entire cassette in one wrist roll? OK. Trim the front der? Sure. Where do you want it? Simple, elegant, reliable, light weight, and a thumb in the eye to all the critics who scoffed 'back in the day'.

Please make this stuff forever. But if not, let me know so I can buy a spare set and ride till I die, twisting all the way.

Hugs and warm wishes,



Doug Brummett said...

Are you spying on me? Seriously I had a grip shift conversation just a few days ago. I haven't run gripshift since around 2005, but mainly out of the fact that I have bigger hands and don't dig half grips (that and I love lock-on grips). At any rate, I was marveling at just how simple and effective the 'ol gripshift is. And I miss the ability to trim the FD ever since swapping back over to thumbies.

Fonk said...

I never liked the grip shift myself, and its presence is reason enough for me to turn away from a bike. I think it's just one of those personal preference things though - like hard or soft, 26" or 29", etc. You either love or ou hate it...

grannygear said...

As wise old Yoda said many times: "Personal choice, the Gripshift is. Twist or not, yours, the choice remains."

I wonder how he found SPD shoes for those odd feet of his?

Brian said...

I have been using grip shifts for over 15 years starting with a Tomac replica (not same ones) I came from top mount thumb-shifters and I thought great plus I have a moto background and the gripshift just seems more intuitve. I use xo and works great no issues and when I ride bikes with the levers I miss the ability to quickly shift through the whole range. With the new sram xx grupo not having being levers only at this time I hope Sram is not getting away from them Rant over...