SRAM XO Grip Shift Review

Jun 27, 2012
by Mike Levy  
SRAM XO Grip Shift
SRAM's ten speed Grip Shift shares the same basic principles as the original design, but take it apart and you'll discover that it is an entirely different animal inside.

SRAM XO Grip Shift details:

- Ten speed shifters
- Shifter barrel rotates on three rows of stainless steel ball bearings
- 7075 Alloy shift indexing
- Coil return spring
- Integrated lock-on grip
- Weight: 207 grams (shifters, clamps, cables), 287 grams (including interlocking grips)
- MSRP: $225 USD (XO Grip Shift), $295 USD (XX Grip Shift)


The details

The original Grip Shift was a relatively simple unit that consisted of only a few parts: the outer shift barrel, the body, and a flat spring, as well as the barrel adjuster. While the simplicity meant that there was very little to go wrong, SRAM knew that the old Grip Shift would require a complete redesign to meet today's standards. Inside of the new Grip Shift you'll find three rows of ball bearings for the shift barrel to rotate on, a much smoother and more robust setup than the plastic-on-plastic rotating parts within the original.

SRAM XO Grip Shift
The section view above shows the three rows of ball bearings, two on the outer end and one inboard, that the shifter barrel rotates on.

That old design also employed a series of ridges on the inside face of the plastic barrel that passed over a flat spring (that could be either plastic or metal), providing the shift indexing. Those plastic ridges would wear out in the longrun, causing the shifting to feel less defined and with an amount of free play. The internals of the new XX and XO units make use of a much more polished layout, utilizing an aluminum indexing surface for the flat spring to click against. This should not only provide consistent performance down the road, but also be exact enough to accurately manage the tighter tolerances of today's ten speed gearing ranges.

SRAM XO Grip Shift
The stock grips interlock directly with the shifter.

SRAM has designed an integrated lock-on grip system that joins the stock grips to the shifter, effectively turning them into a single unit. The grip itself is held in place with a clamping collar at its outer end (very much like a standard lock-on grip), and its inboard end features a split flange that clips directly into the the shifter. This not only helps keep both the grip and shifter stationary, but also allows the interlocking section to act as a seal to keep out moisture and grime. Want to use your own grips? Not an issue. Simply pop out a ring in the end of the shifter and slide in the included blanking plug that now acts as a seal.

The XO Grip Shift system in its entirety, including the shifters, all hardware and cables, as well as the interlocking grips, do weigh more than a set of XO shifters on their own. That is a bit misleading, though, given that you have to add a set of lock-on grips to the trigger shifter pile in order for it to be considered apples to apples. The totals add up to show that the Grip Shift system is lighter by 76 grams, not much by any means, and certainly not enough to warrant choosing twisters over triggers, but the weight weenies out there will might take it into consideration.


Installation and Setup

Installation and setup was a no-fuss job, requiring only a 3mm hex key to clamp the shifters and lock-on grips in place. Start by joining the shifters and integrated grips together or, if you're using other grips, simply install the blanking plugs into the end of the shifter bodies, then slide them onto the bar as one unit. Orientate the shifters so that their bodies and adjuster barrels don't interfere with brake levers, and then tighten the 3mm clamping screws on the shifter and grip clamps. Sorting out the proper cable tension follows the same routine as on a trigger shifter - dial out the barrel adjusters a turn or two in order to give you some room to work with, then pull the cable snug and clamp it in place with the anchor bolt on the derailleur. Make any required adjustments with the barrel adjuster and you're set.

SRAM XO Grip Shift
Changing a cable is a simple job that only takes a few minutes.

The system comes from SRAM with cables already in place, but we performed a cable change shortly after installing the shifters in order to see how easy, or hard, the task is. Begin by shifting the rear changer to the highest gear postion (or the lowest gear if you're working on the front shifter), then slide the brake lever inboard on the handlebar in order to make enough room for the next step. Loosen the inboard lock-on collar that holds the shifter in place, slipping it off of the split flange. This allows the cover to be removed, giving you access to the port on the shifter body to push out the old cable and slide in a new one. The procedure is the same for both the front and rear shifters, and is much easier than what was required of some of the older Grip Shift models. We'd even argue that changing a cable on Grip Shift is actually easier than changing one on any of SRAM's trigger shifters, which shouldn't be considered tricky themselves.


On The Trail

We had the chance to form some early opinions of the new Grip Shift when we first rode the system back in March, but a few solid months of riding on our more technical local terrain has shown us the strengths and weaknesses of the design. The question that most riders likely want answered is how they compare to the trigger shifters that we're all used to. The answer is, of course, that they are an entirely different animal requiring an altogether different technique. The key to getting the most from Grip Shift is riding with the shifter barrels just under your thumb and pointer fingers, allowing you to change gears by rotating your hands slightly. The motion will feel foreign at first to those who have never used Grip Shift in the past, but it doesn't take long before it becomes more familiar - we went from feeling a bit lost to completely at one with the system in only a few rides. We quickly found ourselves easily making required shifts in awkward trail situations, be it mid-corner or when on top of a technical section of trail, without any fuss. An issue arrises when you want to jump more than two or three gears at a time when braking, though, because it is quite difficult to rotate the shift barrel any more than that with a finger on the brake lever. Contrast this to trigger shifters where shifting doesn't require any wrist motion, allowing you to shift as many times as you like while on the binders.

Nevertheless, Grip Shift does have the advantage over triggers when it comes to running through a lot of gears quickly. Blow a corner and lose all of your speed? As long as you don't have your finger on the rear brake lever you can shift from your smallest cog to the largest in one motion by turning the right shifter barrel roughly 110°, allowing you to grab that easy gear if you get surprised on the trail. The same goes in the opposite direction as well. SRAM's current XO 10 speed trigger shifters, on the other hand, only allow you to grab five easier gears per full stroke of the thumb paddle, and going to a harder gear requires you to hit the release paddle for each cog.

SRAM XO Grip Shift
The shifter barrel provides plenty of traction without feeling coarse.

Shifting to a higher gear out back is met with a very SRAM-like ''ka chung'', but going the opposite direction results in a bit softer of a feel and sound. You still are very aware that a shift has been accomplished, but it doesn't have that same super positive feel that shifting to a higher gear produces. The shift detents are quite firm, with a strong enough force to overcome that we didn't find ourselves over-shifting, but not so strong as to require a lot effort to roll the shifter barrel through. This is a significant built-in attribute that greatly lessens the chance of an accidental shift when jumping or working the handlebar aggressively. In fact, we never once shifted by accident while jumping, manualing, or playing around in general. Up front, the amount of rotation needed by the shifter to go between the chain rings is very manageable, and the effort required to rotate the front shifter is also substantially less than that of older Grip Shift models. There is no trimming that would allow the user to move the front derailleur cage by only a millimeter or two in order to prevent chain rub, but we never found we needed that feature.

SRAM XO Grip Shift
The lock-on grips that come stock with Grip Shift are entirely too long, putting your hand too far away from the shift barrel.
SRAM XO Grip Shift
We cut down a pair of ODI Ruffian grips so that they were 10mm shorter than the stock Grip Shift versions, a mod that brought the system to life.

While trigger shifters stay out of the picture until you need to shift, Grip Shift plays a more prominent role on the handlebar because your hands are constantly in contact with them while riding. It's for this reason that SRAM has clearly put quite a bit of effort into designing a shifter barrel grip that makes sense, with the result being a user-friendly feel that provides an intuitive interface. Yes, you can feel the shifter grips under hand, but not enough to become bothersome at any point during a long ride. More importantly, the shape provides more than enough traction to allow your hand to turn the shifter barrels without needing to grip them tightly. We never had an issue with our hands, gloved or un-gloved, slipping on them when making a shift. This was true even when they were covered with rain water or mud. We can see long-term use by ungloved hands possibly causing some irritation, however, so take note if you ride with unprotected paws.


More Grip With Grip Shift


The system's ergonomics, how it's setup when it leaves the shop on a customer's bike, is going to have a massive effect on how Grip Shift is perceived by mountain bikers out there. And we're not talking about it having the proper shift cable tension, but rather the postion of the shift barrels relative to the user's hands and other controls on the bar. This is a setup point dictated by the lock-on grips that come stock with the Grip Shift system, grips that are entirely too long in our opinion, putting the shift barrels too far inboard. This results is the brake levers having to also be mounted too far inboard, making for a bit of an awkward setup. With our hands on the grips in a natural position out near the end of the handlebar, we actually had to slide them in to make a shift - not ideal when concentrating on the terrain. The long grips also meant that braking could only be done with one finger, not a huge issue given that that is how most riders brake anyways, but those two finger stoppers out there won't be happy. This was the case with both Avid and Shimano brakes. The same goes for the Reverb remote - it simply sits too far inboard when using the stock grips.

Swapping out those long stock grips for a set of cut down lock-ons was the obvious answer, with us trimming a set of ODI Ruffians to measure 10mm shorter than what Grip Shift comes with from the factory. The difference was night and day: the shift barrels were now positioned near perfectly, with their outer edges resting under our thumb and pointer fingers (see the photo at right). We were no longer required to change hand postions when shifting, making for a much more ergonomic feel to the setup. There was also less
of a need to anticipate shift points ahead of time because they could now be done exactly when required without having to loosen our grip. The shorter grips also meant that our brake levers could be positioned in a better place relative to our hands, with two finger braking becoming a possibility if required. The Reverb remote, while still more of a stretch than we'd prefer, was also easier to reach.

The triple row ball bearing internals have proved to stand up much better to the elements than the original design's plastic-on-plastic internals, with perceived shift effort not changing throughout the duration of the test. This includes what most riders would call excessive wet weather riding, followed up by numerous cleanings with the jet washer. The shifter barrel grips are certainly showing some wear after two months of hard use, but we wouldn't call it excessive.


Issues

Grip Shift's biggest shortcoming has to be shifting while on the brakes - it's just plain difficult to make more than two or three shifts of the rear changer while also pulling the right hand brake lever. We noticed this anytime that we wanted to grab an easier gear while trail braking into a corner, a riding technique that we hadn't realized was so prominent until we had difficulty doing it. Trigger shifters come out far ahead in this regard, not requiring the extra anticipation that Grip Shift does when riding on your personal limits. This is a trait that was present regardless of replacing the stock lock-on grips with shorter versions.

As mentioned above, we couldn't get along with the stock lock-on grips provided by SRAM. The extra length hindered shifting, and they were also a bit too thick for our liking. We're also surprised at just how large the outer clamping collar is, standing up high above the grip itself. If you're like us and ride with your hands close to the edge of the bar, you'll likely find that the tall collars bother your hands quite a bit.

We managed to crack the rear shifter's body where it extends down to meet the barrel adjuster. Granted, the damage was inflicted by a violent over-the-bars crash that we were lucky to walk away from, but it does highlight the vulnerable nature of the design. We remember cracking multiple Grip Shift bodies on the original shifters many years ago, so hopefully this isn't also a trait of the newer version. Having said that, rotating the shifter body so that the barrel adjuster is tucked up close underneath the brake levers will go a long way to protecting them in a crash.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSRAM's new Grip Shift may bear a name from the past, but it is an entirely new animal in our minds. Shifting is precise and positive feeling, with none of the foibles of the original design. And while there were a lot of comments made by users about accidental shifting with Grip Shift, this has proved to be a non-issue. Simply put, we never once shifted when we didn't mean to, blowing that theory out of the water. We are surprised that the system comes stock with such long lock-on grips, though, a design that handicaps the shifters from the get-go. Fortunately, this can be remedied by using shorter grips, a simple alteration that brings the system to life. SRAM also has plans to offer shorter grips at some point in the future. No, Grip Shift isn't going to be for everyone, but doubters need not panic - trigger shifters are not going anywhere. SRAM has brought another option to the table that allows riders to choose the system that makes the most sense for them. As for us, we'll be continuing to rock Grip Shift now that we've made some adjustments to the lock-on grips that we're using it with. - Mike Levy


www.sram.com


175 Comments

  • 66 2
 its a cool idea, but i would not have it on my bike, my X0 trigger gets the job done just fine!
  • 27 4
 I don't feel like paying $200+ for something my XO triggers does the same job and allot cheaper.
  • 45 56
flag cyberhawk (Jun 27, 2012 at 2:16) (Below Threshold)
 fixies.. niners.. and now grip shift again.. devolution has started,.. its all downhill from here..
  • 156 1
 downhill you say? sounds fun
  • 11 12
 Really Cynerhawk?
As far as i can remember srams x.9/0 gripshift is hardly what you call a devolution. Neither a 29'r
Whats wrong with stuff that works really well?
They aren't cheap, but unless you are a total tool these should outlast your bike, unlike triggers...
  • 18 22
flag Rolas (Jun 27, 2012 at 3:07) (Below Threshold)
 just say NO. Unless Shimano does one and we'll see it on Gwins bike
  • 12 25
flag cyberhawk (Jun 27, 2012 at 3:32) (Below Threshold)
 belgians.. lol silly people.. read the article again .. and dare to say again they outlast your bike ..
  • 16 4
 You say what price..... and then i need to take a hacksaw to a set of good grips and GHETTO fix a top end product just to reach my brakes. nice to ee the R&D department doing there job lmao. im going to keep my sram rocket (lol) till it dies then shimano can have my money. didnt any1 with small hands test em? props to pinkbike for keeping us all informed about such a silly design flaw. RANT OVER
  • 9 34
flag iffy (Jun 27, 2012 at 3:54) (Below Threshold)
 mountainbiking is....dressing up as a human cannonball taking a lift to the top of the hil and rolling down a bit out of control and trying not to hit a tree or fall off...there is no other form of biking!
  • 14 5
 iffoverload - there is only one outdoor sport in which you can dress yourself into full on "race-kit" and still be allowed to a 5 star restaurant: Golf. You look like a prick straight away and as if your grandma chose your clothes. Still, the after-salad-vomit pattern race kits from Fox or TLD - just don't wear them in the public...
  • 8 2
 ^made my day lol you'll be very welcome with full xc "race-kit' in a "restaurant" called "Blue Oyster" lol ..i think i earned dozen of neg props
  • 9 8
 Rolas, don't worry about the negprops - there is nothing worse than a person that can't take a joke... unfortunately the more serious one is about his outfit usualy the less sense of humour he has. No matter if he's dressing up like a slick sperm or attendant at a best-pyjama-contest that wants to get a winning edge by putting a toilet seat around his neck...
  • 4 0
 I just can't see these being a great idea. Trigger shifters were invented to replaced these! Maybe some people will prefer these but I can't image that SRAM will be making much money on a $200 grip shift.
  • 17 3
 NO NO NO NO!!!!! Didn't we all grow out of grip shifts when we were 10??
  • 4 0
 Vano, trigger shifters were around before the original Gripshift, from both Shimano and Suntour, and even Campy.

The shifters are what is too long. The best way to use then is with your 2 fingers on the edge, so why do you need such a long shifter unless you are riding a comfort bike or hybrid? I remember them making a shorty version back in the day. Or maybe you could cut them down?

Some people with wrist or hand issues need these, so I guess it's kind of cool for them to being back their original product.
  • 1 0
 I'm curious if you could remove the outer clamps, cut the grips and re-install them instead of hacking up nice grips to get the same effect.
  • 3 0
 It's all personal preference. I ride one and I like it way better than my shifter, but others may not
  • 6 0
 definitely personal preference Wink

in the early to mid 1990s I was part of the Bombproof Factory Downhill Team, and we were sponsored by Sachs (now SRAM)

we all personally chose the SRAM grip shifter on our DH race bikes because it was darn good, and allowed you to "dump" gears when sprinting at a much faster rate than Shimano Rapidfire shifters of that era

never suffered any accidental shifts even when racing DH or dual slalom, and no maintenance issues to report either?

here was the bike, you can easily see the red grip cover of the shifter:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/5488180
  • 6 0
 totally going to buy this, i love grip shifts on my bike when i was kid. just my opinion though
  • 3 3
 brb while i DONT buy this. Sram must be loling massively at the fact they probably product this for less than a tenner.
  • 3 0
 if you like X0s you can have my old oneslol

full story here www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=131292&pagenum=1#commentid4319560
  • 2 0
 it is personal preference but cant sram cut back and charge maybe 50 for the shifters not 200 so we could all atleast try it to see if we like it?
  • 2 0
 It will trickle down finnrambo
  • 1 0
 iffoverload, don't know about you but I always seem to be control of my bike when I bomb down the hill. Except for when Im goin so fast I cant see the trees. . .
  • 1 0
 Hey Rob. Bomproof all the way! I still have some of those old parts in a box somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @NZRalpy

wow so good to hear from you, was recently thinking about the "good old days" at Bombproof and those weekends sneaking into Wilkinson-Sword to use their CAD equipment Wink
  • 22 1
 Holy cow, $225?! Think I'll stick rather than twist.
  • 2 0
 Wahey!
  • 8 1
 I used to love my old XO grip shifters because they were so cheap! But $225 is ridiculous!
  • 2 4
 Same dude! Its a high price for such old tech!
  • 2 1
 My thumbs are mad!
  • 1 0
 @bolloksitsmeee It's not old tech, in fact for grip shifters it's completely new tech but it's still a high price especially when there are so many tried trusted extremely high quality trigger shifters out there for half that price SRAM could definitely been a bit more competitive.
  • 2 1
 Im not convinced, bikes that are cheap have twist shift, so having triggers for me is an upgrade!
  • 1 0
 I like trigger shifters, but wouldn't be against at least tryin these. My hope is that they come out with an x7/x9 version so I actually CAN..
  • 1 0
 @six66: If you're running 9 speed still just pick up the old XO for about $30 brand new. But I doubt they're going to make a x9 10 speed version if that's what you meant.
  • 1 0
 I don't think I would use them either but it's still fairly new tech for gripshifters.
  • 2 0
 Right on, thanks skierdude. They wouldnt have the same tech as these, tho.. And thats what Im interested in.
  • 17 4
 You either love these, or hate them. I am the latter..
  • 6 5
 Hate them!!!!!.......but never tried them.........idk............I'll try them......keep the receipt.
  • 8 1
 I knew that braking would be an issue with these. Maybe a good idea for xc, not so much dh....
  • 8 0
 Sanders, I said the same thing 'bout fat chicks, then decided I needed to heed the adage "don't knock it til you try it.." I can still say the same about fat chicks though, but at least I can speak from experience.. Point Im getting at is, just TRY em. You might be into fatties! Er.. I mean grip shifts.
  • 3 0
 I'll give you props for that one bro! Wink
  • 6 0
 that analogy just blew my mind!
  • 1 0
 Yeah six66. . .
  • 6 1
 I changed from 2011 9sp XT, to 9sp X0 gripshift (with X9 rear der) to try it out as it was on sale. After 3 months I don't like the thicker grip all that much but usually don't notice that and instead always enjoy being able to immediately change up or down the whole cassette. No accidental shifts. I run the shifter with the front brake lever on the right but it's so fast to change gears that braking doesn't interfere with being in the right gear. I secretly like the dumb feeling I might be riding a motor sickle and twisting the throttle. I'm sticking with the gripshift for now I think it's better than triggers.
  • 17 13
 Yes! I think it is an awesome idea, trying to do something less complicated than what's available at the moment is indeed a novelty these days. The cockpit looks cleaner thanks to that and it's great to read it works! Bummer about the grip length though such a big a design flaw - ergonomics is everything! Good write up Mike and Thumbs up SRAM!
  • 6 6
 Fk neg props again even on positive vibe towards a product... in the words of Johan van der Smut a.k.a. Goldmember: there is no pleasing you!
  • 4 1
 Anywhere that uses a 'rep' system will get abused... I just gave you -ve to prove the point Wink
Try not to let it bother you.
I'd rather see a system that only allows +ve. It's still not perfect, but helps to avoid conflict.
Smile
  • 1 0
 I might be weird but the way i run my current grip shifts is with just short of a full hands worth of grip and then the actual shifter, but i might be weird in liking that
  • 2 0
 It does indeed clean up the cockpit, but I'll stick to my triggers with matchmaker clamps, in my case HOPE brakes w/ XO shifters.
  • 3 0
 @T1mb0 still people will complain, facebook only allows positive props and 14 year old girls still bitch about it
  • 1 0
 Thats because facebook is an unmoderated minefield. I'd assume at PB the guys that work here have a little more passion.
  • 1 0
 this is true, I still get enjoyment scrolling down to see what the below threshold comment people said
  • 5 1
 Long time lurker, first post.
Had a chance to try the XO version on a couple of demo rides. I'd add a few +/-
-: the shifter barrel is fat and uncomfortable to ride in the web between thumb and forefinger. I have huge hands but this still pushed me outboard on the bars and onto the end of the grip. I ended up using the grip shift by sliding over and then twisting and it felt slow. Maybe this would get better with more time in use.
-: biggest advantage (multi gear change) is wasted on the front derailer.
+: if you've tweaked your thumb, as I think we all have or will at some point, the grip shift feels like a relief over SRAM trigger shifting. Easy to actuate, and doesn't require adduction of the thumb.
+: over old version. I highly doubt you will get accidental shifts by pulling on these.
I chose trigger on my new ride, but could see buying a set to keep riding after a gnarly thumb injury.
  • 5 1
 My redditor senses are tingling
  • 1 0
 A friend accidentally smashed my thumb a couple of years ago in a bike stand while I was adjusting it. It's still painful to shift my bikes with SRAM and Shimano front derailleurs. I think you make a really good point I've never considered.
  • 2 1
 Upvote for Reddit. I shall shortly be changing my default picture on here to a cat riding a bike.
  • 1 0
 What is Reddit and what does it have to do with cats? Seriously, had to google redditor when I saw this. Not my intent at all.
  • 6 3
 The appeal of gripshifts used to be that they were cheap and simple. Now they're neither. Plus, now that we have trigger shifters that are as tunable and versatile as they are, why has Sram invested in something that is at best for a niche market and at worst an outdated antique, and then charged an arm and a leg for it? Frankly, this is why i'm a Shimano fan. That and Saint.
  • 8 1
 I think they are trying to cater to the many XC riders that still want to rock grip shifts on their 10spd and like the article said the old design didn't have the tolerances to accomodate a 10 speed system.
  • 4 1
 Ive used this product, and to all the people on this forum, get off the hatting band wagon and try it for your self!!!! I think all will be very surprised on the response and ease of use here. Ive used it on my trail bike, and once on my DH. not having to take ya thumb and fingers off the grip, makes sense!!!
  • 3 1
 Funny how much abuse these things have got, but still the huge amount of coverage they've recieved. Even if SRAM never sold a single unit, the extra brand exposure they've recieved has made the whole exercise worthwhile. After all, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?
  • 3 1
 thats bullshit guys, my dad has gripshifts on his old raleigh dated from 2000-2001, they are soooo fuckin sweet that he doesnt want to trade them with me for triggers. if the price was any lower, id made a transition to them, despite the sawing of a new product and making a ghetto fix to reach the brake lever, im sure its worth it, plus, no more triggers on the bar, jut my oppinion, but i hate the triggers
  • 2 0
 If you go back to 9 speed you can pick up the old XOs for about $30 brand new!
  • 2 0
 I'm using Grip shift Attacks that I cut down so the fit is better. I purchased my shifters for 20 bucks! I thought what the hell! And put them on my AM bike. I have broke many trigger shifters. The grip shift is venerable where the cable comes out. My shifters are still working flawlessly after about a year of thrashing. I like the solid click. I like the fact you can pull a whole bunch of gears with a quick rotation. Not many people will shell out over 200 bucks for a shifter......make a plastic bodied version for 100 bucks ......ill think about it.
  • 1 0
 Fully agree on the cheaper option!
  • 2 0
 I've been rocking the grip shift on my DH rig for over 10 years. I still have the same shifter and it feels the same as the day I put it on. Got a new ride with triggers this year and HATE them! I've never shifted so much by mistake. My thumb sits right on the shifter and through tech sections it gets bumped. The new trigger shifters are integrated to my code levers so i can't move them. Gripshift is the answer!
  • 1 0
 For what its worth, man, you can replace the matchmaker clamps on your brakes to regular clamps and get the standard mounts for your trigger shifters, then you could at least move them, and maybe decide youactually DO like triggers.
  • 2 0
 So many stong opinions here. I just built up a new ride and started with the xo triggers and then swapped for the new gripshift and think it rocks. The triggers are great too but I have issues with my hands going numb on long rides and that's where I have trouble shifting trigger shifters. The new XO gripshift is far superior to the old XO gripshift. The shifting is amazingly crisp and responsive. They really shine when you are climbing really technical trail up out of the saddle and need to shift. Instead of flaring a thumb out to shift you simply apply pressure and twist. Gripshift in the rear and trigger in the front. Great setup.
  • 1 0
 i tried using X9s ....a bit plasticy..work well for me. ¿¿¿¿¿...MSRP: $225 USD, $295 USD?????? plus a pair of gripslol

true about trail braking, very difficult to finely feather your braking in a turn and change gear, .... let go of the brake and let it drift!
i dont think its a big deal unless you are shaving 10ths on a DH run, on a long XC ride would it really make a difference?
  • 1 0
 The example was used to highlight the ergonomic differences between triggers and Grip Shift. I found it very noticeable on XC rides because you often want to be in a lower gear coming out of a corner that has a climb after it.
  • 1 0
 I still have a pair of 7-8 y/o XO grip shifts on my bike and they run perfect, love they way they feel and for me i just love the motion. Now wat made the old grip shifts awesome was the simplicity, user serviceability, and front deraileur trim..... All of these are gone for the new grip shifts and i am sad to say that i will not be upgrading to these when i finally go to a 10 speed system. I know sram will have their variable yaw front derailuer out soon and thats probably y the opted out on the trim off but i mean common! Also the fact that they are not user serviceable kinda blows, crazy muddy day of racing? no problem crack them open clean them out regrease and everything is like brand new. I know sram says that nothing should get inside to foul them up but i mean common.... if that ever tru for anything?
  • 1 0
 I've tried the X0 9sp gripshift with X9 RD for 3 months as it was available cheap, for a change over my XT. I like it for quickchanging many gears but the thicker grip is occasionally annoying. But I'm keeping it on the bike and the 2011 XT bits stay on the bench. Won't change to 10sp until prices come down.
  • 1 0
 For me it makes a lot of sence just on the front delaireur, even more for enduro or allmountain, where you shift very few times if you have 2 rings. It´s safer your bigger ring won´t change by mistake if you run gripshift. While for your cogs the main problem with gripshift is you can´t actually brake and shif at the same time (it would be too dangerous) and this is not good for competition...
  • 1 0
 I have old grip shifters on my ride and don't really like them. That being said, you can a lot of gears really fast.

As for the shifting while breaking or doing something crazy techie... yeah it sucks. Running brakes Euro-style (rear on left, so brake rear on rleft whilst shifting rear on right) helps but i don't do it.
  • 1 0
 Outta curiosity, why not run 'em moto style? I mean, shit, most people are right handed, so you can both squeeze your front harder and modulate it better with the increased dexterity of your more developed right hand. Not to mention less weirdness if/when you do get on a moto.. On that note, does anyone actually know why bikes are setup front-left/rear-right? Who started that and why?
  • 1 0
 i have been runnin x0 9speed on my dh bike for years due to multiple thumb sprains dislocations and cant run triggers. what i have to do is cut down the gripshift grip and sand down the grip surface to match the cut down lock on grip. after that is all done its great feels like part of the lever and it works perfect still. i wish the new 10 speed grip was not so big in diameter. i dont think i can cut down that grip very well to get the same outcome. i will bet on parts distributers blowin out the 9speed xos and stocken up.
  • 1 0
 because of the extreme length of grip and shifter, it makes it hard to get a brake position for someone like me who rides way out on the edges of the grips. my hands arent small and i set up one of these on my bike but was unable to ride it due to not being able to grab the brake lever properly because it was simply to far inward on the bar....... i will note that all these problems are solved with a simple trigger shift of which i dont have to adjust to and i can just concentrate on the ride
  • 1 0
 can you cut the shifter barrel down 10mm without affecting the twist mechanics of it if you use an aftermarket grip? it would atleast help bring the brake lever out when you hang out at the edge of the bars more. I remember trying xrays and always having to run ziptie rings on the barrels on wet days.
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't recommend cutting down the barrel.. it would allow gunk to get in (even if the grip was pressed up agains't the shift barrel) and would also compromise the shifter barrel grip's attachment to the barrel itself. It would allow the lever to be moved to a more ergonomic position, but wouldn't solve the other issue of the barrel not sitting outboard enough.
  • 1 0
 that being the case, mike, do you think the barrel could be shorter for better ergos?
  • 2 0
 LOVE grip shift, have it on every bike we own. Bought my carbon RM Altitude 70 partly because it came spec'd with SRAM XO. First upgrade was to order XO grip shift and toss the triggers in the trash!
  • 1 0
 not in the trash!!!
  • 1 0
 Hey don't slag the grip shift. After repeated thumb injuries, I use both grip shifts and triggers....sometimes on the same bike. I like both set ups. There are more important arguments to have than how one shits, I mean shifts.
  • 1 0
 I've run everything from Suntour friction thumbies up to XTR triggers including the old Grip Shift, after a while shifting becomes intuitive it seems. Like someone mentioned, you can get the Attack shifters very cheap so why not try them first? I think public opinion killed the Grip Shift not that they didn't work OK, just read all the unsubstantiated negative comments! I don't think Sram is dumb enough to invest in these twice if they weren't valid.
  • 1 0
 When you mention that the original grips are too long and they place your hand "too far away from the shift barrel", your hand is clearly in a different position that is nothing to do with the ODI grip.... In the pic with the ODI grip, you have your hand half over the twist grip giving the impression that your hand is better placed for the brake lever.... not true is it !
  • 2 0
 yes, the hand position in the photos is clearly different. Perhaps cutting the grip did make a difference, but its definitely not proven by those pics.
  • 2 1
 Didn't notice the difference in hand postion until it was too late, but the fact of the matter is that trimming 10mm off of the grip made a huge improvement. I don't see how trimming the grip wouldn't result in the shifter moving out, so yes, it is true.
  • 1 0
 Naw, why would I give 250 bucks for something that has one single advantage, will break in a matter of weeks and doesnt get the job done as fast??? And as it looks like, if the casing breaks you either have to get a whole new shifter or a whole new casing, reinstall the cables...etc. No. Too much money for too little.

(gripshifters have one advantage which is the ability to shift from gear one to 10 in a shorter time that trigger shifters)
  • 1 0
 I've got nerve damage in my right hand, greatly weakened forefinger strength and cannot extend middle finger to grab brake. I can contract the middle finger just fine. This requires lifting my right hand off the grip to place middle finger on the brake lever. So grip shift sounds perfect for me, except I love my Ergon grips. Do you think I could use Ergons with the grip shifters?
  • 1 0
 225$ for an illdesigned crappart? I just say no to this school of thought.

Had Gripshift, kids had Gripshift. Now its x5, x7 with thumbswitch. They now ride single speeds park hardtails to school and tend to prefer ride dh and parkstyle with single speed.

If they feel cogsize is to small on dh, they can swap.

For me this means less maintenance hassle, spending money on parts that really thoughen up the bikes. 225$? Crazy!

So we are using up all the shifty shady leftover parts and be done with it.

Now if they make a 3-5speed gearbox hub with a lot of life - I might be tempted....Like the automatic Sram.
  • 1 0
 My fiance still rides my old HT that has the original GS on it and she loves it. The triggers on my bikes confuse her sometimes (she'd pick it up quickly if she spent more time on them) and she likes the feel of having her whole hand wrapped around the grips and being able to shift at the same time (she's not past the "death-grip" phase yet but she's coming along). I can see the whole "not being able to break while shifting very well" thing being an issue for some riding, but I feel like in a DH race situation it would be perfect: Runn your front brake on the left and your shifter on the right so you can break with your stringest brake when needed and still be able to swing your whole gear spread in one rotation. May not be for everyone, but I can see them getting popular again. Hell I never fell out of love with them before, they just vanished. Glad to see them coming back aye.
  • 7 3
 I think paddle shifters prove way more normal And comfy while riding
  • 5 2
 Id totally put that on my dh bike thatd prolly be so much fun to shred itd be like being a kid again haha
  • 8 6
 I had the original design years ago and hated them. Would often accidentally shift when pulling on the bars to hop or lift the front wheel.
  • 3 2
 Twist shift have been around for donkey years.. I used to hate racing in the wet with them.
  • 1 0
 I don't like that you either have the lever a mile from your hand or the grip shift is right under your palm. I like my grip the same diameter all the way across. Any other way give me hand cramps.
  • 2 0
 I went nuts doing cable changes on the old ESP stuff years ago, I got so fed up I switched over to XT Rapidfires and I haven't looked back since.
  • 2 2
 Who wrote this, Gollum? "We managed to crack the rear shifter's body where it extends down to meet the barrel adjuster. Granted, the damage was inflicted by a violent over-the-bars crash that we were lucky to walk away from" ... "As for us, we'll be continuing to rock Grip Shift now that we've made some adjustments to the lock-on grips that we're using it with"
  • 3 0
 The housing cracked, likely from hitting my knee, when I went over the bars. The shifter still functions just fine, though, and I've been using it for many rides since then. I'll continue to do so.
  • 2 2
 Sorry Mike, I guess the Gollum reference was too vague! I was just noting some examples of how odd it is to write this in the plural. "we cracked the body" "we were lucky to walk away." Conjures humorous images of multiple people crashing while riding a single bike together. Anyway...
  • 2 2
 nice to see censors are working against freedom of speech at pinkbike, I'll try again, almost all of sram's products are rubbish, the only decent item they make is chains, I wouldn't use or recommend anything else they poduce.
  • 2 0
 It's funny you mention chains as I tried a PC-951 chain despite negative reviews; how could a chain not work as long as it's the right width and installed right? Well it didn't work very well on a new Shimano cassette and the problems disappeared after putting a Shimano LX chain on. I always ran CN-7701 chains but took a gamble and lost!
  • 2 1
 Your comment wasn't deleted, it was automatically cessed because it recieved too many negative props from other users. We don't delete negative comments, only those that don't contribute to the discussion.
  • 1 1
 of all the products you think of theirs that is actually good, you pick their chains? wow
  • 1 1
 never had one snap or have any other problems, so why wouldn't I say I think that their chains are decent, I never said great as I know there is better out there, but as I have had issues with anything else of theirs I'll still stay away from SRAM.
  • 1 1
 I don't know what the hype, this is only an update to the XO 9 speed shifters SRAM already has. The review is like 'Ooh how novel, twisty shifters', when people have been using the 9 speed shifters all over the place for a long time. Yes, way back in the gripshift days they were crap and index shifters were leagues past in performance, but SRAM dialed the XO grip shifters and they are really good. I've been using a pair for the last 5 years mated to a pair of half sized ergons and it has been super comfortable and dead reliable. Fast accurate shifts up and down in the rear and the ability to trim the front. They are also super light and cheap compared with XO trigger shifters. I noticed that the new XO and XX grip shifters are more than 2x and 3x the price of the 9 speed XO shifters. What a deal. I can't imagine what they could have done to the XX shifters to make them $80 more than the XOs. SRAM is making money hand over fist. I hope they sell well.
  • 1 0
 Compare an old twist shifter to these and you'll see that they are entirely different inside... Same motion, completely different execution. Far from just being an update. We also reference older Grip Shift a number of times in the article, especially when discussing the internals.
  • 1 0
 matter of preference I suppose. I just don't like them. When am rolling down a steep and bumpy hill, last thing I want to do is compromise my grip on the handle bar, in order to shift.
  • 6 3
 Why do they keep investing in these things ???
  • 1 0
 If i had unlimited money to spend on a dream dh bike, i'd get a gripshift! Trigger shifting will never be as fast as a gripshift...
  • 1 0
 I would like to see a comparison showing how much modification would have to be done to a 10-speed X.0 trigger in order to make it as light as a stock X.0 twist shifter.
  • 1 0
 i find if your hand slips they will shift when you don't won't them to un like triggers u don't have to worry about a unsuspecting shift
  • 4 3
 I love gripshift.. have ridden them on xc and am bikes dont like the design where you have to use their grips though
  • 2 0
 Not convinced, they were a pain back in the day, but you never know!
  • 2 0
 That shift is so great on XC a specially on the up-hills...
  • 2 0
 Being able to go from the smallest cog, to the biggest in one shift must be great for xc.
  • 2 0
 SRAM XO Gripshift 10-Speed...Just in time for SRAM 11-Speed.
  • 1 0
 XX1 is likely going to be a very user specific drivetrain. I'd bet that 10spd isn't going anywhere.
  • 2 0
 how did it test at a bike park?
  • 2 4
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/6791475 ---- changed some of the goodies on this (my personal bike) a little since posting this pic...


been doing it for years now --


left side twist

right side index


mix matched the brands too --- call me crazy.


X.9 (twist) shifter on the left

Saint (index) shifter on the right


main reason -- 9-1/2 fingers --- missing half my thumb so index shifters are sorta hard to use.

** even if l had that missing digit, l think l'd still do the same set up.

l like the micro shift of twisting SRAM shifters.

l run 29/38 rings up front, 11/34 9spd in the rear

love the combo


side note --- l also reverse the brake levers -- front/right, left/rear.... since only a few people do it like this, it's fun to watch people freak out when they test ride my bike ...... as they pedal away, "brakes are reversed"....... "what?"..... "brakes are reversed".... almost doing an endo ------ "oh.... brakes are reversed, now l see".
  • 4 1
 Ah, you have the brakes on the correct sides then ^_^
  • 1 2
 ha ha --- you blokes from over the pond been doing it that way for years, haven't you. funny quick story -- l was doing a repair on a bike that was shipped here from Germany. the shifting was all outta wack and the store the person brought it to before me couldn't figure it out. shifters were reversed as well so the clicky- was not right. aka when they put new cables on the bike, they didn't hook them up on the correct sides.
  • 2 1
 wouldn't let you near my bike.
  • 3 4
 @ PedalShopLLC

Blah blah blah ! ... lets all make ourselves out to be a bike shop expert zzzzzzzzz
  • 1 4
 good thing --- you all drive on the wrong side of the road anyway. now shut up and slide me some more tea and porridge
  • 2 1
 Tea is nice in winter, and porridge is a good source of morning energy after a jog Wink
  • 2 4
 FISH n Chips!!!


switching subjects ---

cool device
www.swivl.com
  • 2 0
 wow, xenophobic much, try getting out in the world.
  • 1 2
 ha ha --- cute. gotta a ton of dead relatives out your way, no worries mate.
  • 1 1
 that makes about as much sense as websters.
  • 1 1
 @gogsie31: It's funny you call people out like you do when you seem to think that just because someone's from the US they're a moron... I'm from the US... and I'm also a dual citizen of Scotland. So how exactly is Pedalshop a Xenophobe for not being familliar with some wonky set-up??? Hell if HE couldn't figure it out right off I'd guess nobody can, it sounds like he's no stranger to oddball set-ups with the way he's got his rig set-up... I'm guessing that if a person brought YOU a bike and never told you the shifters were flopped that you might also find it troublesome to get working correctly (were not talking flipped brakes here, the shifters a WEE bit les obvious when something like that is done). So who pissed in your deep fried breakfast this morning???

Edit: Pedalshop, sorry mate, I accidentaly neg. propped you for your comment... not my intention aye.
  • 1 0
 No prob The Medic, some people just don't get light humor when they see it. and the shifter story from a German customer l have, is nothing more than a comment -- along with a lot of what l write. just comments, all of which can be taken with a grain of salt. l couldn't care less if "they" agree or disagree with what l write. funny thing is --- most of the customer relationships l have with pinkbike users are with people from outside the U.S. Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, UK, and so on. l would guess it's about a 70/30 ratio.
  • 1 0
 I called who out?? I think if you read the comments properly, you'll see I made a bit of a joke comment in reference to pedelshops choice of mix and match shifters, his reply's were stereotypical comments usually by American's when trying to piss off the English, (which I'm not) so stall your mangin mort @the medic if your really Scottish you'd understand.
  • 2 0
 Right on, or how the Brits so often say, "Brilliant"... l thought we were running into another SMT of Pinkbike. Glad to see it's all just pokin' fun at each other. l certainly wasn't trying to piss off any Brits....

ok, l'll admit, l don't do the twist/index combo because l only have a half-thumb on my left hand and using index shifters is difficult...l do it for the same reason l flip the brake lines, it doesn't criss-cross all funky like --- it's a more direct route. as shown in the photo: www.pinkbike.com/photo/8329737

and l don't flip-flop the brake levers because l used to ride motocross ... that was almost 30 years ago. l flip-flop the brake levers because of the half-thumb thing. It's a dexterity issue, lop off half your thumb and you'll see what l'm talking about.

cheers, err ahh, later...
  • 1 0
 no thanks, already lobbed the tip of left index off, sh&t happens, good banter anyway, I also meant take the piss out of not piss off, I typed that at 6:30am mistakes are easy made at that time of day, take it easy and maybe next time the banter won't be interrupted.
  • 1 1
 at least when you hitch-hike, you make it to your destination, me... l only get half way.


no worries mate ----- American "English" translation: giddy-up and take it easy my brother from another motha'.
  • 1 0
 said to see Sram doing a long grip that makes bad ergonomics. strange from Sram
  • 2 0
 You get my triggers only when you pull them from my cold dead hands.
  • 1 0
 I'm still rockin the old grip shift , SRAM ESP FTW, not a problem love it to bits . I wear with no gloved if your wonderin !
  • 1 0
 After watching this vid youtu.be/eL75bTwFYsY (Waring! Bike porn!) I'm gonna give grip shift a shot.
  • 3 2
 Trigger shifters were invented for a reason!
  • 2 5
 the phots showing one grip to be too long and the next a cut down grip by 10mm.....what a effing joke. you can clearly see the hand has just moved more inboard....you could do that with a longer grip. it didnt have to be cut down for your hand to move inboard! what tripe this review has turned out to be.
  • 4 0
 Try using yer brain. Cutting the grip width by 10mm actually moved both the shifter body and the brake lever the same amount closer to the end of the bar. Pretty much everyone rides with their hands as wide apart as their bar width allows them to and still comfortably reach the shifter and lever. Simply moving your hand 10mm closer inwards is the same as running a 20mm narrower bar than not moving them because the grips are too long.
  • 1 2
 Down shifting and braking at the same time, like entering a corner, would be impossible. It might work forsome, but ill leave that to grandma ,
  • 4 1
 It's like everything else on a bike, u adjust to it, the motion isnt that far so I dont have an issue with that personally. Also anyone that has ridden moto knows all about throttle control and front wheel braking and this is not entirely dissimilar.
  • 1 0
 yeah, KFITZ I know it sounds like a problem, BUT in reality it's not that difficult. It may sound/seem strange in reading and looking at pictures of the system while imagining how it will work, but as I've said, I ran Grip Shift when it first came out and it was never an issue. A lot of guys were initially put off by the idea of trigger shifters (versus the old index levers on top of the bars... yeah, I'm that old-school in this sport) and look how that's become the standard of "intelligent shifting"... Nobody's saying you have to use them, but this new version is a good thing and a LOT of riders are gonna be really happy with the new product IMO.
  • 1 0
 how can I shift the gear while braking?
  • 1 0
 censorship rules! pinkbike knows this!
  • 3 2
 ill pass
  • 4 3
 No intrest
  • 5 6
 Next time I buy a hybrid grocery bike i'll consider a pair or gripshifterz.
  • 2 2
 Triggers are the way to go. 200$+ For old tech, no thanks.
  • 3 0
 Keep in mind that todays trigger shifters are based on triggers from many, many years ago. Neither system is "old tech", but both do have roots in much older designs.
  • 1 1
 Spot on Mike Leavey... It's only "old Tech" because most of these kids weren't around when mountain bikes were invented. I had the "first production mountain bike" (a Schwinn Mirada) and frankly, the whole shifting/derailleur/drive-train systems are "old tech"... Hell, I'm personally surprised that trigger shifters made it seeing as their fore-fathers were utterly HORRIBLE designs (remember the big "two buttons, one under the other" style "thumb shifters". The Dropper seat-post has a strikingly similar effect to something called a "hite-rite" that my dad still has on his old "historical mountain bike" and ya know what... it may not be nearly as effective as a new style dropper post, but it worked and that's the root of where the idea for dropper adjustable seat-posts came from. I fail to see how you can even ride a bike without being concerned with "old tech" seeing as how the whole bicycle is nothing but re-designed "old tech"...
  • 1 0
 The Hite Rite was awesome, it just needed couple of brass washers to shim it so it would stay straight, I'm actually trying to put it on my Rocky. If I was going to be in the saddle long enough to care I could spend 5 seconds to manually raise my post, or in a rough section just get off the back of the saddle with it somewhere between my navel and my nads...yeah, that's what the old farts did and there's no seat post in the world worth $250!
  • 1 0
 Well said mate... Good luck with the Rocky, that's awesome to hear someone else still has one of those around!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kids these days would be horrified if they saw what the first "Freeride" bikes ever made looked like aye. The way they get on about the angles of this and that (aka internet engineering) and how "that doesn't work" or "that'd be awful and I'd never ride it..." I just laugh and think about ripping down the side of Mt. Hood on a steel HT with a 2.1" travel ELASTOMER "suspension" fork, a 70deg HA and Cantilever brakes... Apparently I should have blown up or something.
  • 1 1
 Umm did anyone else have this set-up on there huffy growing up?
  • 1 1
 i dont want to transform my bike in a wal-mart one
  • 11 12
 You lost me at Grip Shift.
  • 9 1
 Why did click on the article just to post this comment if the title said "SRAM XO Grip Shift Tested"

Haters gonna hate cuz they have nothing better to do...
  • 2 4
 Grip shifts are found on £100 supermarket bikes with 5 gears so it's nothing to brag about
  • 3 0
 that would go for every other part that makes a bike. the difference is quality.
  • 1 1
 stupid comment is stupid
  • 2 2
 wow, "Domparsley42" that might just be one of the stupidest comments ever posted in a gear review... no small feat considering this is Pinkbike and RC works for them...
  • 1 1
 man dont take it as an offence...its my opinion
  • 2 2
 Yeah well it's a fairly uneducated opinion... That seems to be getting really common among you bloody poms in this article.
  • 1 2
 i love reading the STUPID comments whenever Gripshift is mentioned on PB.
  • 1 1
 Too spendy. I'll pass.
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