Thumbless shifting options

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  • Thumbless shifting options
  • stompy
    Member

    Long story short…. After a battle, and subsequent loss, with a large saw it looks like I’m going to be down to half thumb length on my right hand.

    Obviously this has some minor life implications, especially as I work with my hands, but being the sad git that I am I’m more worried about shifting gears. I figure I’ll be ok on the drop bars but trigger shifters are going to be out I think.

    I always fancied trying modern grip shift but that would mean moving from Shimano to Sram….. Not the end of the world but I’d prefer to stay with Shimano if possible.

    So really I’m after people’s experiences with modern grip shift and thoughts on any other efficient flat bar shifting options you have used.

    Also, I guess, anyone’s experience with life with half a thumb? I’m pretty adaptable but it is a major part of general dexterity…..

    nickjb
    Member

    My left thumb doesn’t work very well due to an old injury. I’ve got everything on the right side (dropper and 1x gears) and that works just fine. The right thumb would be more of an issue. You could maybe look at modifying a 3x front trigger shifter to become a rear shifter and do everything with the left hand. Or modify a standard right trigger shifter so it works with what movement you have.

    stompy
    Member

    Unfortunately my left thumb, although there, doesn’t bend due to a previous saw related accident….. Think I’m in the wrong game.

    Adjusting lever length on the right may be an option but that depends on what movement and thumb length I retain.

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
    Subscriber

    If you are happy with 9 speed then you could use a Shimano dual control shifter.

    I’ve probably got one in the workshop you could try?

    Shred
    Member

    Gripshift.
    It just works well. Made life much easier in the freezing cold in the Manx100 this year when I couldn’t drop my seat due to my thumb not working the leaver properly, but could change gears.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Di2 or AXS, then have someone fashion something on a 3D printer to make the paddles more ergonomic

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    Di2 and use the position the buttons (not the paddles) so you can use a finger to operate them.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    Shimano dura ace bar and shifters, you can get adapters to use them like a, er, thumbshifter, on top of the bars.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Shouldn’t you change your username to stumpy? 😉

    stompy
    Member

    Cheers chaps….. I’m looking at grip shift now, sounds like a good cheap option. Anyone have any 11 speed grip shifters for sale?

    Don’t fancy di2, mainly because I don’t like the idea of a battery that I’d forget to charge…. Plus the cost.

    Shouldn’t you change your username to stumpy? 😉

    🤣 F off….

    alpin
    Member

    Five beers for me and the lads at the saw mill…. null

    stompy
    Member

    Ha….. Funny as I do actually own a sawmill and did my thumb ripping down timber 😆

    http://www.facebook.com/oaktreemill

    alpin
    Member

    I’m a chippy. Few friends have managed it. So far the worst I’ve managed it getting my index finger squashed and pulling it out and removing my finger print.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Give up cycling and take up hitchhiking?

    escrs
    Member

    Rather than looking to change shifters why not look into some kind of prosthetic thumb extension, something that would strap to your hand to help with support

    Would save you having to change shifters and would help you carry on as normal as possible in every day tasks

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    Rather than looking to change shifters why not look into some kind of prosthetic thumb extension, something that would strap to your hand to help with support

    You could try the fake thumb tip magicians use for disappearing tricks?

    I think Shimano do grip shift-Revoshift? My daughter had gripshift on her 20″ Trek and I’m pretty certain it was Shimano

    iamanobody
    Member

    should you change your username to @stumpy instead of @stompy

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I came here to say Di2. It lasts ages, so you shouldn’t forget to charge it as it’ll be low for a while before cutting out and you can charge it whenever you remember. Plus it’s really good by all accounts. Might be able to put a spare in the bag, not sure.

    What sort of riding do you do? If it’s more adventure type biking you might enjoy drops or moustache bars or something on your MTB. Not suitable for techie type trail riding though.

    Finally, and I’m not being funny, you could look for thumbshifters. They can be operated with the palm of your hand easily, in fact I used to do this as a matter of course despite having a working right thumb. I dunno if anything is available in 11sp though.

    EDIT this maybe – cheap and easy to try:

    https://www.bike-components.de/en/microSHIFT/SL-M11-R-11-speed-Thumb-Shifter-for-Shimano-MTB-p70322/

    EDIT2: wow, they do loads of options, including SRAM and Shimano 12sp:

    https://www.microshift.com/en/product-category/mountain/mtb-shifters/

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    My only thought with gripshift is will you be able to grip it sufficiently with only half a thumb?
    If not you could fit it on the opposite side and use it backwards, assuming you are going 1xN, a bit of a faff but doable.

    In fact I do wonder if you’d be better off in general looking for ways to move all shifting and/or dropper functions to the left side of the bars as gripping and braking with a partial thumb is going to present enough of an ergonomic challenge on it’s own I reckon…

    Alternatively this is the sort of thing Di2 or other leccy shifting options should lend themselves to, assuming you have the budget.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Give up cycling and take up hitchhiking?

    But he’d only get half way there, sorry

    fooman
    Member

    With age related stiffness coming into my thumbs I plan on going AXS or similar when the time comes. The buttons are so light and of course you could rig buttons anywhere – AXS has dropper option too of course.

    stompy
    Member

    My only thought with gripshift is will you be able to grip it sufficiently with only half a thumb?
    If not you could fit it on the opposite side and use it backwards, assuming you are going 1xN, a bit of a faff but doable.

    My left thumb doesn’t bend at all at the mid knuckle due to a previous saw related incident…. The most recent right thumb injury will at best leave me with a full thumb with a slightly deformed tip and restricted movement. Worst case, and most likely, is I will lose from just below the nail line…..

    So…..I have worked timber all my life so I think I’ll have enough grip strength to work grip shift, even with a thumb tip missing.

    Di2 is out of my budget at the mo and the misses ain’t very happy with me anyway so spending big money is out…

    I have two drop bar bikes and I’m pretty confident I’ll get on fine with them. I just need a solution for the flat bar which is the one I take the kids about on and therefore the most important.

    stompy
    Member

    Rather than looking to change shifters why not look into some kind of prosthetic thumb extension, something that would strap to your hand to help with support

    Would save you having to change shifters and would help you carry on as normal as possible in every day tasks

    😆

    windyg
    Member

    I have 2 bikes with Sram gripshift 11spd and 12sp really needed them earlier this year when I bent my thumb right back and couldn’t use the thumb shift on the other bikes.
    I couldn’t actually bend my thumb fully around the grip but had no trouble with it rested along the top i still had enough grip to be more than safe.
    The 11spd has a Shimano rear mech bit fiddly to set up but it works

    trumpton
    Member

    I run an 8 speed gripshift and a 9 speed gripshift. Both are the short stubby ones. Love them for town riding and xc. for freeriding they are no good as you cannot get a decent grip on the grip for jumping around.

    chowsh
    Member

    Could you use something like Sugru https://sugru.com to mould to the gripshift or thumbshifter to give additional grip or leverage?

    Wasn’t there a “finger trigger both ways” shifter a while back?

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    chowsh

    Member
    Could you use something like Sugru https://sugru.com to mould to the gripshift or thumbshifter to give additional grip or leverage?

    Alternatively use the sugru to mould a thumb tip.

    tjagain
    Member

    I use Sram rocket twisties with shimano 9spd. Much better shifting that cheap gripshift and IMO better than triggers.

    I think to many folk have bad experience of cheapo twisties so write all off

    The rockets altho SRAM are shimano pull ratios. I don’t know if they do them for 10/11/12 spd but with earlier gear set up the sram trwisties with numbers where for sram mechs and the ones with names for shimano mechs

    Other advantage is multiple shifting in both directions and ability to trim a front mech

    longmover
    Member

    Could you use an eagle gripshift with everything else shimano 12spd?

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    Bar end shifter on the end of a bar end time trial style.
    Would look special AF, but work well.
    “I think to many folk have bad experience of cheapo twisties so write all off”
    This^^ is true also.

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