a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco, Ca
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2009
Strengths: All-in-one, light design. (Kind of a side note, but it's awesome with a rapid rise derailleur (it un-reverses the rapid rise)).
Weaknesses: It may take a bit of getting used to, as it's a pretty radically different system from traditional trigger shifters. Looks bulky.
This is an XT component, and Shimano usually doesn't go wrong, or they wouldn't be Shimano. This is no exception. It works flawlessly, exactly how it's supposed to, shifters and brakes, both. It looks bulky, but this is more because the shifer pods are in front of, not behind, your brake levers, not because they're actually too big.
If you're like me, and want to take care of multiple upgrades at once, this set up is a no-brainer. I looked on ebay, boom...an XT combo shifter/v-brake lever set up: Perfect. And, man, you can find these suckers for amazingly cheap on ebay. Guess people don't want to stray from the traditional component set ups, so these are not that in demand.
A tip: These are "reversed" from the usual set up in that you use the thumb lever to shift into your higher gears and your finger to shift into your lower, climbing gears (by pressing the the brake lever to the side, like a road bike). But this presents an opportunity for another great bargain upgrade. I had recently bought a used XTR rapid rise derailleur from a buddy for dirt cheap. It's an amazing component, but even after several rides, call me lame, but I just couldn't totally adjust to the "reversed" rapid rise shifting (which is why I think rapid rise has been a bomb, even though it really IS superior in my opinion). But fortunately, this was remedied when I installed this brake/shifter set up. It "un-reversed" the rapid rise shifting. I really dig rapid rise, except for them being reversed from what we've all been using for years. Problem solved with these shifters. And even better, if you check out ebay, there are steals to be found on rapid rise derailleurs (including XTR stuff) because they're just not that popular.
Favorite Trail: SF Bay Area has too many. Can't pick.
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: ebay
Bike Setup: Older Gary Fisher Tasajara hardtail. This is one of the occasional upgrades from original components I make to "old faithful." (Finally have the dream bike, Blur LT2 on order. This is gonna be my city/Marin headlands fire road bike.)
a Weekend Warrior
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2009
Strengths: very easy to install, great capabilities for tuning, once you get used to the design, it is great
Weaknesses: Left lever (front shifting) feels a lot harder to shift up than my previous version (Shimano deore) of shifter, one key is to do it while you are having a good cadence, otherwise, will feel really hard.
Really a great product, but my only concern is the left lever, don't know if it is because the set up and tuning is faulty, or because the derailleur has a much stronger spring, but feels more harder to shift up, no problem shifting down.
Bike Setup: Kona Dagw Primo frame, Shimano deore XT components all around, fox RL AVA Rear shock, fox talas RL front shock
a Cross Country Rider
from Sanford, Fl USA
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2008
Strengths: Weight, Consolidated shifting & braking, easy adjustments & maintenance, single lever is more resistant to braking (make sure to tighten the mounting clamp very snug).
Weaknesses: After some repeated tuning, these things are finally dialed in and precise. Took sime time to get familiar with using this design. Rear brake modulation is kinda weak compared to Avid lever. Co$t.
After getting used to a new design, I finally like these shifters. I'm glad I stuck it out, and gave them a fair chance. After getting all the new cables and adjustments dialed, the performance of this single lever design is tight. I dont' have to use my thumb to shift, just a single finger. This gives me a better more consistent grip on the bar. The shifter pressure side is easier to use, and the release side is smooth and reliable. The front brake is very precise, but the rear brake leaves a little to be desired. Overall the brakes are good, and do not let me down.
If you are ready to move up a level or two in your cockpit componentry, this dual control lever set up is very cool.