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  1. #1
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    I'll tell you what..grip shift sucks for the 3 females in my house.

    I took my wife and two daughters out riding last weekend. My wife has never liked her grip shift shifters, but my two girls cannot physically shift the gears on their bikes. The downshift for the rear requires too much torque for their grip and little forearms.

    My 10 year old has a Nishiki Pueblo 24" bought from ***** and my 8 year old has a Magna POS from Target. The Magna is gonna hit Craigslist soon but the Nishiki could be ok with some trigger shifters. What do you suppose that may cost? Maybe I should chuck that brick of a bike as well..

  2. #2
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    About $20-$40 worth of parts depending on where you buy them -- ebay v. online v. LBS.
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  3. #3
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    My boys (5 & 9) can shift, but say it's "too hard". The older boy had his first kiddie race last night and just stayed in the lowest gear the entire time.

  4. #4
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    How are the trigger shifters on kids bikes? My son can barely push my XT thumb shifter on my bike and I bought him the Marin Bayview which should be in next week. I am concerned about about the thumb shifter being too hard to push.

  5. #5
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    My son is nearly 10. He's usually one of the shortest kids in his class, but he's got good upper body strength from gymnastics, hockey and swimming. He doesn't seem to have any problem shifting his Marin Bayview. Teaching them to shift when they're not applying power to the pedals can help somewhat as well.

  6. #6
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    Grip shift sucks for kids but it's pretty much impossible to get anything else stock on a kid's bike. (I fail to understand why.) Replace the grip shift with a trigger shift for a few bucks and a few minutes of time and the kids will have a much better experience. I recommend above-the-bar as there's more of a lever for them to crank on.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmps View Post
    Grip shift sucks for kids but it's pretty much impossible to get anything else stock on a kid's bike. (I fail to understand why.) Replace the grip shift with a trigger shift for a few bucks and a few minutes of time and the kids will have a much better experience. I recommend above-the-bar as there's more of a lever for them to crank on.
    Running into this exact delimma myself for my step-son. He's 9 1/2, almost 10... but he's still super short for his age (compared to his gargantuan classmates). He's a tough little dude though, and rides his ass off.

    He's too small for a 26" wheeled, small frame setup, but doesn't like the 24" wheeled offerings from Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. He says they look "too kiddy". LOL.
    All of the offerings out there in the $350 price point seem to come with grip shift. WHY?!

    I've gotta teach him how to shift as well, as he's just used to riding his little 20" bmx-style bike around town with me.
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHit-Maniac View Post
    Running into this exact delimma myself for my step-son. He's 9 1/2, almost 10... but he's still super short for his age (compared to his gargantuan classmates). He's a tough little dude though, and rides his ass off.

    He's too small for a 26" wheeled, small frame setup, but doesn't like the 24" wheeled offerings from Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. He says they look "too kiddy". LOL.
    All of the offerings out there in the $350 price point seem to come with grip shift. WHY?!

    I've gotta teach him how to shift as well, as he's just used to riding his little 20" bmx-style bike around town with me.
    The Marin Bayview Trail comes with trigger shifters and doesn't look "kiddy". They're sold at bike stores and REI.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tubored View Post
    The Marin Bayview Trail comes with trigger shifters and doesn't look "kiddy". They're sold at bike stores and REI.

    Damn, that's not a bad bike. Time to see what prices it's offered at around here in Vegas.



    Thank you.
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  10. #10
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    Ordered these:

    Universal Cycles -- Shimano Altus M310 Single Shifters - 7 Speed

    Hopefully they'll do the trick.

  11. #11
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    problem with little hands is that the trigger shifters are hard to reach. I went with X9 grip shifter on my kids 1x9, no complaints from him. he just turned 8 and has been racing since 5yo

  12. #12
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    My wife (who has rather small hands) prefers the grip shift that her old crappy bike (Iron Horse build from Preformance) had over the 2x10 SRAM X0 trigger shift system she has now on her $2,000+ 9:zero:7 fatbike. Strange, I thought she’d be excited by having better components that shift properly, but the trigger shifters often confuse her to the point where I’ll periodically notice that she’ll be in a big/big or small/small combo, and I will have to stop and re-educate her on not consorting to chain-cross so as to prolong the life of her drivetrain components.
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  13. #13
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    Not tried it with kids but I replaced the twist shift for a nexus hub with an alfine trigger shifter and it was much better shifting even for an adult.

  14. #14
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    I have a nishiki mom bike with the same shifters that I use in the neighborhood. It is easier for me to remember which direction to turn it than finger or thumb on my mountain bike. But it is easier for my DH to yell thumb or finger than have him think what to tell me when he doesn't have the same kind of shifters on his bike. (I am new to mountain biking, so I have to have some leadership up and down the hills.)

    That being said, I rest my hands on the handles different and it pushes on my nerves and makes my hands fall asleep. The rest of the nishiki is "good enough for now" and now that you mention changing up the shifters, it might last another couple years.

    I'm such a novice though...wish I had found this board before buying the nishiki.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sya_unit View Post
    That being said, I rest my hands on the handles different and it pushes on my nerves and makes my hands fall asleep. The rest of the nishiki is "good enough for now" and now that you mention changing up the shifters, it might last another couple years.

    I'm such a novice though...wish I had found this board before buying the nishiki.
    Hands falling asleep (sometimes called cyclist's palsy) can be a sign of a poor fitting bike. You might want to go to a bike shop and have them look at your riding position. They might suggest a few small adjustments or a few parts swaps (stem, bars or grips) to make your riding position more upright. You might also want to look at changing to Ergon grips (or a knock off) as they help spread the pressure out and relieve numbness in the hands.

    Left unchecked, prolonged riding with numbness can lead to more serious issues like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). I have it - its no fun and I've undergone release surgery to deal with it. Just a friendly cautionary piece of advice.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the info , my son has the same issues and now I can fix them

  17. #17
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    My seven year old started on Gripshift but I changed him to triggers early on and he took to them like a duck to water...
    My wife on the other hand, has gripshift on her Cannondale. Any time I want her to try a bike with triggers, she gets all mad and refuses to ride it because she "doesn't get it"...
    Now, she wants me to build her a new bike and there is NO way I'm putting Gripshift on it.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Now, she wants me to build her a new bike and there is NO way I'm putting Gripshift on it.
    Women...


    Speaking as someone who has been married for decades -- just suck it up and put on the grip shift. But buy some good quality, like SRAM X9 or XO.

  19. #19
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    I bought the Bayview Trail for one of my kids and posted about it in another thread. To paraphrase what I posted - The triggers work well on the right for the rear, but on the left, there is a long way to push for little hands if you want to hit the big ring up front.

    I have 2 other kids - just bought 2 Hotrocks for them, one 2010 A1 FS 24 speed and one 2013 7 speed. Both have grip shifts, nobody has any trouble shifting them. After 30 seconds explanation of higher numbers for faster, and lower numbers for slower or climbing, my 10 and 8 year old were off and around the block shifting away, no problem.

    Maybe the grip shifters that are giving folks so much trouble are malfunctioning.

    Tom

  20. #20
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    Or, maybe, your 8 and 10 year olds have more grip strength than my 6 year old.

  21. #21
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    I'm struggling with this with my 9 year old daughter as well. The grip shifters on her Huffy are terrible. Guess I will throw some Shimano triggers on it and see if that helps.
    The good news is, she never gets out of the small ring so I only have to change one side to test it.

  22. #22
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    So, to add more fodder to this, my son had no issues with the left shifter until I had it adjusted. Now it is tough for him to get to 3. I am thinking adjustments have an impact on this.

    Careful with trigger shifters, in another thread I talked about how it is hard for my other son to push the thumb shifter down on the left far enough to get to the big ring.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearsth View Post
    I bought the Bayview Trail for one of my kids and posted about it in another thread. To paraphrase what I posted - The triggers work well on the right for the rear, but on the left, there is a long way to push for little hands if you want to hit the big ring up front.
    I'll agree with the comment. I also have the Bayview Trail that I bought for my son (when it was less than 1/2 retail price). The bike is too big for him at the moment but my 9 year old daughter likes to ride it.

    She likes the triggers for the rear and the ability to drop the front with ease is nice, but the trigger is too stiff for her at the moment to move up the front change-rings. This is fine for me for now as I can tell her to drop into the granny gear when we hit steeper terrain then when we reach the top (and she is recovering) I can shift it back into the middle ring for her. No ideal but quite doable.

  24. #24
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    Are you using under- or over- bar shifters? I put on the over-bar style with a big lever, and my daughter can just push it up with her palm.

  25. #25
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    The Marin comes with under bar triggers if I remember correctly.

  26. #26
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    Not sure if adding some lube to the cables / guides will help make the shifting require less torque, or at least check to see if the guides are full of gunk. My mom stopped riding one of her bikes b/c "it won't shift." Took just a few minutes to find out the cable had siezed up. Cleaned and lubed it, easy to shift now.

  27. #27
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    My kids both ride triggers. We added them to my son's 20" GT as we modded it.

    And, when we built a custom 3 speed 16" for my 3 year old, we started with them. Adjusted to the easiest trigger via normal procedure, she could shift down, but not up. But, a local bike guru showed us how to disassemble the trigger housing and lighten the tension even further. Now, she has complete reign of all three speeds, even with tiny little three year old hands. She "gets it" too, most of the time, though we sometimes have to remind her to "push up one" or whatever suggestion is appropriate.

    My very strong 7 year old could barely actuate his gripshift, despite good tuning. he could never get into first.
    7 yo BMXer/MTBer -modded 20" GT Stomper.
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  28. #28
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    So how do you lighten the tension in the trigger? Can you describe/share?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn View Post
    So how do you lighten the tension in the trigger? Can you describe/share?
    It can be done with any derailleur, front or rear. what you have to do is disassemble carefully, bend the actual spring to a lower tension (think spreading the spring on a clothespin, but in reverse) or replace with a lighter spring then reassemble. This will work with almost any unit and if you are using a trigger shifter, you won't over shift, but with a grip shift, over shifting is entirely possible.
    7 yo BMXer/MTBer -modded 20" GT Stomper.
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  30. #30
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    The 7-speeds out there with the regular "MRX" (Shimano-compatible) GripShift, and all the no-name crapola can be eaily replaced with Shimano's RevoShift. It's also a twist-shift, but it FEELS like a premium setup! Quick and easy shifts (almost effortless compared to others!), easy to adjust, and the sets my kids have on their bikes are in their 2nd season with NO issues.

    It may take a little 'creativity' to get hold of them; I forget right now which Wally bikes they came on, will have to look again. (They are actually the best stuff you can get on a Wally bike for less than $200....)
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  31. #31
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    OK, looked again; 7-speed RevoShift is spec'd on the Hyper Havoc ($129), and the 24" & 26" Next Power X (PX 4.0, PX 6.0), ($99.97). The Havoc will likely have long enough cables for most bikes.
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  32. #32
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    The Revo shifters are readily available on ebay in 6, 7, or 8 speed flavors:

    SHIMANO TOURNEY 3/7 REVO TWIST/GRIPSHIFT SHIFTER SET | eBay

  33. #33
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    The Revo shifters are readily available on ebay in 6, 7, or 8 speed flavors:

    SHIMANO TOURNEY 3/7 REVO TWIST/GRIPSHIFT SHIFTER SET | eBay
    Why didn't I think of looking there? DUUUHHHH...!

    That dealer is reliable, too, dealt with him(?) before. Just higher shipping than some.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  34. #34
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    One of the biggest factors everyone is ignoring are the rings.

    When I did my research for my son's bike, I started to notice that all the kids bikes come with ****ty rings, no or very little ramping etc....

    My son is on his new Marin Bayview, even though it has a trigger shifters, he noticed a huge improvement in shifting when I finally swapped out the stock crankset for the shorten Isoflows with Truevativ rings.
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  35. #35
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    I have never liked grip shifting and would never buy a bike with such a hokey setup. My wife however loves hers.
    Each to their own I guess.
    My 5 year old hasn't moved to a bike with gears yet so I hadn't even considered a kids ability to manipulate them.

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