Written by Ryan Rumsey Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00
You’re hammering through very technical power sections, maybe a quick punchy climb is ahead or maybe you are on a tricky fast decent. In any case you can maintain a solid grip on the bar while shifting. Maybe you knock off 2, 3 or 4 gears with one thumb. There are many occasions where loosening your grip, moving your hand onto the grip shifter and shifting is just not that easy. You’re riding through this terrain, all while needing to pull on the bar and clear a tough line. Grip shift just makes that moment more risky than it may already be.
Review: I jumped on this bikeman product test ASAP. These things are a little pricey $$$ and to try them without having to purchase them was ideal. However, I may as well begin by telling you that I am going to continue using the rear trigger / front grip shift set up on my bike. I guess that means I bought them. Still a little pricey, but more reasonable, is purchasing the rear shifter pod only.
Out of the box you can tell that these are meticulously engineered and built to be abused, the materials are solid:
Machined clamp and shifter.
Carbon top cover.
Inner components have a snappy, fresh click to them when shifting.
Barrel adjuster is indexed; it has a snappy click with each turn.
Adjustable position of the whole shifter pod or the thumb lever is custom.
One really nice thing about the SRAM X0 Triggers is that they are not all plastic. The machined external parts and the snappy sounds that come from the inner components makes me feel like these things are built to withstand the test of time.
One thing that sets SRAM apart is its need for adjustment, you don’t need to make any!!! I put the shifter on my bike with new housing, cinched the bolt on the XO rear derailleur and shifting was flawless. Over the next few rides I used the indexed barrel adjuster on the shifter to make minor adjustments as I rode, under the elements, not on the stand. On my first ride I noticed that I had to stretch out away from the bar with my thumb to reach the shifter. Not really a big problem, but the position of the shifter is adjustable and moving the shift lever in under my thumb was a huge gain. Changing the position of the lever allowed me to keep a more certain grip on the bar while riding. I then noticed that the shifter seemed to be crowding my hand while just holding onto the grip. Again, another adjustment of the pod location and the lever location completely customized my shifter. No congestion near my hands while holding the grip and completely accessible shift levers. While riding and shifting you barely have to take your thumb off the bar to drop some gears, it’s so easy to reach the lever, firing one click at time or firing 6 gears in a flash. When shifting into an easier gear the snappy click makes it easy to distinguish between shifting 1, 2, 3 or 5 gears. 4 gears seemed to be about the maximum amount of pressure that I could easily apply to the shift lever. To get 5 gears the lever had to be pushed slightly further than my thumb could reach. Combined with some Avid Flack Jackets the shifting became even smoother and easier on the thumb.
So if you are asking yourself why you need these shifters, I may be of some help. Here are 10 potential excuses to sell them to yourself:
1. They are not made by Shimano.
2. They are thumb-thumb trigger shifters.
3. They have metal parts.
4. The adjustability is custom.
5. The loud snappy clicking sounds makes you happy. :)
6. The carbon top piece is trick.
7. The barrel adjuster is metal and it snaps with each turn.
8. SRAM just works really well.
9. Your thumbs will get a good workout.
10. They make shifting a pleasurable and safe experience.
I have since noticed that the SRAM XO trigger shifter is catching on. At one of the first New England mountain bike races of the 2006 season there were at least 15 bikes with the XO Trigger shifters mounted up. I soon expect to find that the popularity ratio of the Function & Trickness to Price ratio of the shifter pods will be 2 to 1. Enjoy!
|SRAM X.0 Trigger Shifter Set: The ultimate in trigger shifters. 4 position clamp mounting, 30 degree paddle positioning, 'Zero Loss Travel' cable pull technology, the list of features in these shifters goes on and on. Throw in a carbon top cover and you have the trickest trigger shifter ever. Rear shifter is 1:1 ESP compatible only, so if...|
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