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  1. #1
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    XT shifter fatigue....

    When riding/racing twisty XC trail my right thumb starts to get really tired from all the shifting into the lower gears (after about 2 hours), anyone else experience this and have solution ? Cables are clean with only about 400 miles and I've tried rotating the lever. I've never counted shifts, but could be every 10-20 seconds or so average / ride.

  2. #2
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    Why are you shifting so often? I don't understand the benefit of shifting so often and it sounds like it could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't think you can track cadence that accurately over a long ride so often.

    How is the trail terrain or pitch changing so often that a gear tooth or two will make a difference 3 to 6 times every minute? Shifting so often might even hurt efficiency since your not engaging the rear hub as well when you are shifting.

    If you live in Florida, maybe pick a rear cassette with a smaller granny cog but also smaller jumps between each gear?

    If you have lots of short, steep ups and downs, you might want to focus on making a little more power in your legs rather than trying to perfectly optimize gearing for a certain cadence. If you have lots of long ups and downs then IME there really is no reason to be shifting all the time. Pick a gear for the incline and ride. Maybe start with a slightly easier gear at the bottom of the downhill and shift every couple of minutes if you feel strong enough.

    Not to be a smart aleck, but the best way to avoid shifter fatigue is to stop shifting so often and make small adjustments in pedal cadence to accommodate small changes in trail terrain/grade.

  3. #3
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    I hope you're just over exaggerating and/or miss-remembering, if not HOLY FVCK As Gregon said, why would you be shifting that regularly? What you need to do is learn how to spin a gear over a wide range of RPMs, if you can't do this then practice.
    When I ride my fav trail I use about 3 gears and doubt I shift more than 20 times over the 45+ minutes it take to ride it. It is an undulating trail with quick downs and ups and rolling terrain and lots of tech, about 4 miles long.

    If you realise you did over exaggerate how much you shift, you might be like me and have weak thumbs (I tore the ligaments in both) and so a Rapid Rise RD might work better for you since it's natural spring action pulls the derailleur to an easier/bigger cog, which means it uses the small trigger to get to an easier cog instead of the thumb shifter to muscle to an easier cog. Unfortunately they didn't make it to 10spd, so if that's what drivetrain you're running, then you're out of luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog93 View Post
    When riding/racing twisty XC trail my right thumb starts to get really tired from all the shifting into the lower gears (after about 2 hours), anyone else experience this and have solution ? Cables are clean with only about 400 miles and I've tried rotating the lever. I've never counted shifts, but could be every 10-20 seconds or so average / ride.
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  4. #4
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    Gripshift

  5. #5
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    Ah, just noticed I put in wrong sub-forum. But, I am talking about racing XC, so yes, shifting a lot.....huge difference between casual riding. Checked with LBS and a lower-friction cable is available, but may change to XTR

  6. #6
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    XT shifter fatigue....

    I've experienced this a bit too. I moved my levers inboard to give my thumb more leverage. And I almost always use index or middle finger for upshifts (instead of thumb via dual release feature).
    M

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog93 View Post
    Ah, just noticed I put in wrong sub-forum. But, I am talking about racing XC, so yes, shifting a lot.....huge difference between casual riding.
    Not really, no. Not aware of racers shifting 3 - 6 x per minute. Again, what is it accomplishing? What are you gaining in terms of efficiency or energy expended from having your chain jumping gear to gear that many times?

    It's a data point from road racing, but back in the 90s, I remember reading that road racers shifted less than casual riders (over the same type of terrain). They had the muscle power to overcome frequently changing terrain. The loss in momentum from shifting (unloading drivetrain, waiting a short time for the chain to shift, and reloading drivetrain) wasn't worth the tradeoff for having optimal cadence.

    The act of changing gears is inefficient. You're not engaging the hub properly and you have to unload the drivetrain. That is even more reason in a race to not shift as often.

    Can you anticipate the terrain or grade better? That could lead to less shifting.

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    I'm with these guys, why are you shifting so much? Stand up when you get to the small stuff you need to muscle over, or at the very least when you're training you should stick to a harder gear to build some muscle so you don't need to shift so often...

    At any rate I have the Gore Ride-On cables and HOLY $#^@ are they smooth (combined with XTR levers). Been meaning to put them on my other bike with XO stuff to see how it helps there.

    You could also try grip-shift as someone else mentioned.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motivated View Post
    I've experienced this a bit too. I moved my levers inboard to give my thumb more leverage. And I almost always use index or middle finger for upshifts (instead of thumb via dual release feature).
    Yeah, might need to make a conscious effort to use index on upshifts, right now it's just automatic and my legs tell my hands when it's time to shift, so don't put any thought into it until my thumb gets tired at the end. And, as Porch mentions below the Gore Ride-On could make a difference.

  10. #10
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    As said, if you're racing you should shift less, it's not efficient and as said opens the possibility for stuff to happen. If you're seriously racing, heck just riding, you should be able to spin a gear combo from 50-100 RPM to accommodate for such changes in terrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog93 View Post
    Ah, just noticed I put in wrong sub-forum. But, I am talking about racing XC, so yes, shifting a lot.....huge difference between casual riding. Checked with LBS and a lower-friction cable is available, but may change to XTR
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    As said, if you're racing you should shift less, it's not efficient and as said opens the possibility for stuff to happen. If you're seriously racing, heck just riding, you should be able to spin a gear combo from 50-100 RPM to accommodate for such changes in terrain.
    It's corner after corner after corner. I have a single speed and can ride the same trails with such. But racing efficiently with geared bike is different. I know you are trying to help, but your riding is "different".

  12. #12
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    XT shifter fatigue....

    I had exactly the same problem with Shimano Deore XT trigger shifters a few years ago. My right hand was in a lot of trouble after I'd used them for several months.

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    I eventually went back to a SRAM X-0 trigger shifter, because that has an individually adjustable trigger position for the main lever, via an allen bolt, for better ergonomics. That sorted the issue for me.

  13. #13
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    Holy everyone telling the poor OP he is shifting to much. Lets just pretend we dont know how much he is shifting, and is just getting thumb pain.

    I totally agree w WR304 on the sram x0 shifter with the adjustable trigger position.

    Or race in a singlespeed class and not shift at all.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog93 View Post
    Yeah, might need to make a conscious effort to use index on upshifts, right now it's just automatic and my legs tell my hands when it's time to shift, so don't put any thought into it until my thumb gets tired at the end. And, as Porch mentions below the Gore Ride-On could make a difference.

    So are you saying that right now you use your thumb for upshifts and downshifts? If that is the case, switching to index finger for upshifts is an obvious fix. Plus I think it is faster and more intuitive, once you give yourself a little time to make it instinctive.

  15. #15
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    400 hours around here is ancient. Does the shift feel stiff though? Check someone else's bike as a comparison. Full housing with multiple bends? That makes my Nomad a bit heavy shifting in comparison to my hard tail.

  16. #16
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    This is the reason I went to grip shift in 96. Racing causes fatique. Smaller intricate muscle movements are effected first. When I would bonk or lose dexterity due to exertion, manipulating small movements with your thumb or finger can be difficult. Switched to twisters and never went back.

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