Shimano XTR 2003 Shifter

One of the most exciting new functions of the redesigned XTR off-road racing group is seen in the new Dual Control Lever. This lever represents the first of a new generation of shifting systems. It lets you shift gears up or down, from various hand positions, allowing the rider to focus on the trail.

-V-brake and Disc Brake versions available

User Reviews (42)

Showing 1-10 of 42  
Bud   [Jul 18, 2003]
Strength:

Extraordinarily smooth; one finger shifting, durable, keeps most of your fingers where you need them.

Weakness:

None that I've found.

Liked these so much that I quickly got a second 03 XTR groupo for my other bike. Adapted to them in one ride. Several crashes have caused no problem (always run my brakes, shifters, etc. a little loose on the bars). I like being able to top a hill and quickly rip up to a high gear. I've had no problems anticipating the correct gear when approaching climbs -- this all means I like rapid rise. People riding behind and front of me comment on how quiet the shifting is -- very road like. Raced on them last Nov and 5 times this year. Flawless.

Similar Products Used: Sachs, Sram, and Gripshift.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Travis Brown   [Jun 28, 2003]
Strength:

Very innovative and user freindly. I don't know why people are complaining about this new system. It is simply sweet! Possibly, people are just not used to the idea yet. It only took me a few minutes to get use to.

Weakness:

None

This new system is simple to adapt to. They are the next generation of shifters, although it may take a while for people to catch on. I love them.

Similar Products Used: Nothing so far. This is new. The closest I have come to this is some rode bike systems, but they are not the same.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave T   [Jun 09, 2003]
Strength:

This is a follow up review
"Intuitive" - Just like Shimano said it would be.

Weakness:

None that I've found

I've been on the new XTR for a while, raced the 24 hour @ Laguna Seca, crashed the hell out of both shifters and NOT EVEN A WIMPER FROM THE NEW BENCHMARK IN SHIFTING & BRAKING. In fact I like it so much, the old XTR came off my hardtail and on with the new! Like it or not, Shimano has got Rapid Rise working flawlessly now and these babies can take a beating!!!

Similar Products Used: Old XTR
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pablo   Cross Country Rider [Apr 06, 2006]
Strength:

Ultra high performance, ease for shifting, completely intuitive, very very durable, maintenance free, light, beautiful, flawless.

Weakness:

Pricy if bought retail.

I waited quite a long time to write this review because one aspect I was really unsure about was their durability.

The shifting is wonderfull. I am not going to lie that it takes a few rides to get used to them before getting the full advantage of their potential. When I mean getting used to is only to move the lever, not to the rapid rise derailleur that is extremely intuitive and you'll use with no problem as soon as you jump on the bike. After a few kms using these they are a breeze. Shifting comes effortlesly. Shifting while braking is easier than ever. Even when fast shifting is requiered, it is not a problem. Basically they are fast, accurate and effortless.

Going back to durability. When I first saw the dual controls I thought: One good smack on these things and they'll rip apart. I was totally wrong. I've had several crashes and they only get scratched. Rapidfires used to get broken optical gear displays, bent levers and broken parts. I guess that these are so resistant first because they are tough, but mostly because the lever can move in three directions and the body in one. So basically they move out of impact.

They work very well specially in long epic rides and energy demanding races because of how good they work and how effortless shifting and braking is.

The rapidrise is the logic way a derailleur should be and makes you wonder what was the first derailleur manufacturer thinking. The spring puts the chain over cogs while the only thing you have to spend energy in is in putting it down. However, the main advantage is that when you do downshifts is because you need a stronger gear, so you are putting a lot of strength on the pedals. In a normal derailleur, you'll hear your chain jump and struggle if you change while this load is applied, in a rapid rise this does not happen because the spring provides a precise linear force to change the gear substituting the tired and unaccurate hand.

If you have the money to pay for this get them. Even the lx work like a dream. The xtr and xt have now a newer more ergonomic whith less front shifter lever travel version(apparently weak handed people couldn't shift before, this new versions solve that). However, be open minded and give yourself a couple of weeks before you start critizising them. Shifting just came to a new level of performance and comfort with these.

Similar Products Used: Sram x9, xo, shimano xtr, xt, lx rapidfires, shimano xt and lx dual control levers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Amrit Bhatia   Cross Country Rider [Jul 09, 2007]
Strength:

Crisp, strong, reliable, genuinely easy to use.

Weakness:

Expensive replacement parts, expensive.

I must have been one of the youngest to ever use this at the mere age of 14! Got a stonking bargain on the bike and used all the money I had in the world and pleaded to get the bike.. which I used, and achieved a lot on. The XTR dual shifters were my first shifters on a "real" bike, and Im sticking with them.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Burnie Leach   Cross Country Rider [Apr 03, 2004]
Strength:

ergonomics, maybe?

Weakness:

You can only shift one gear at a time. Pretty lame.

I am amazed that not a single person in this review forum has mentioned the most crucial flaw with these shifters. Often on the trail, or in a race, you come around a turn and there is an unexpected steep ascent. In such an event it is absolutely necessary that you be able to go from your highest gear to your lowest gear as quickly as possible. With this new XTR design, you can only downshift one gear at time. That is a critical flaw in the design when compared to gripshift where one simple twist will cycle through the entire cassette. Even the old rapid fire designs could cycle through 3 to 4 gears with one push of the thumb lever. I don't know what shimano was thinking when they came up with such an impractical mechanism. My advice to shimano,leave Dura Ace shifters on the road bikes. With the necessity to rapidly cycle through a cassette on unpredictable terrain, these shifters have no place on a mountain bike.

Similar Products Used: grip shift, XT rapid fire, old school XT thumb mount.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Phil   [Apr 06, 2004]
Strength:

they look cool I dont know anyone else that has em

Weakness:

i dont think they are very well made. already have covers falling off stuff is getting lose.. pay for the XTR not for quality (IMHO).

keep with the rapid fire let them work out the bugs in the dual control stuff. I wish I woulda waited untill I got mine, they might be good for a race bike but i wouldnt reccoemend them to a person that rides everyday. o well maybe I can get them warrantied. probally not those fawk shimano.

' I hope the shimano people read this

Similar Products Used: XTR rapid fire
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
JJ   Cross Country Rider [Apr 28, 2003]
Strength:

looks very "smooth", great engineering on these guys kinda?, makes you look rico suave'

Weakness:

suceptible to getting smashed in a crash, price is stupid, sometimes you brake and accidentally shift

I'm doing this review for a friend first off....here is what he told me to write: If you are an XC-racer only...these might be good for you. All others that do REAL trail riding should boycott these silly things. You could stop on the trail to rest, etc... with your brakes on, and all of a sudden you've pre-shifted yourself so you grind gears when you take off again. This also applies to tizight singletrack...they just are too touchy. If you ask us...we would represent with the "old fashioned" rapidfires. They work great and are cheaper than these monster levers. Keep it real folks!

Similar Products Used: previous XTR rapidfire shifters, sram sucks!!!
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Marcus75   Weekend Warrior [Dec 11, 2003]
Strength:

Unique design, love the shift reader on the wire. Short learning curve. On the fly shifting because of the effortless levers. Durable

Weakness:

The thumb shifter could be little longer. You can accidentally shift gears because the lever is very sensative.

These came with my enduro pro and its the best shifters that I used. I got used to these in no time, in fact after the demo ride in the shop I got the hang of it. Although I had a problem reaching for the thumb shifters at first. I just had to position my hands inward to fix this problem. Love the shift reader on the wire because its out in front of you. The shifting is very effertless, only need to apply little preasure to shift gears. But you can accidently shift gears because the levers are so sensative.

As far as durability these are solid! Survived several major accidents where the shifters got pretty beaten up with only surface damage.

I would recommend these for any cross country riders, racers and for people who likes to shift a lot because of the effortless shifting.

Similar Products Used: LX on my old ass bike.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
loco   Cross Country Rider [Mar 08, 2004]
Strength:

Excellent performance, XTR level:smooth ,yet, precise.
Great ergonomics.
Clean handlebar setup.

Weakness:

Non maintenance friendly:
The tiny bolts holding the cover are not hold in place when unscrewed,so are easily lost(I remember older XTR pods had a ring holding the bolts with the cover when unscrewed)
Left shifter pulls the cable end with a slotted hinge, which is very nice for easy replacement and housing/cable maintenance, but the barrel adjustment is not slotted(?) The right shifter has neither cable end nor barrel adjustment slots so you have to pass the full length cable through that tiny hole and through the whole housing.
Can´t fit Gore ride on housings with the indicators!
About durability? Time will tell...

Great shifters !
If you´re a Shimano fan and want something new regarding ergonomics at a xtr precision and performance level ,get them !I removed the "transition" lever before installing them.
Who said you can´t brake and shift at the same time?
Large leverage gives an effortless shifting action.
They´re not so expensive! afterall, you´re getting a set of XTR shifters and XTR brake levers at once.Similar price to the "old" ones.
I wouldn´t but I have to give "only" four chillis for the tricky cover fittings, the incompatibility with Gore housings of the indicators and the not-hold-in-place bolts.If they solve this they´ll be perfect!

Similar Products Used: Older xtr pods, xt pods, lx, deore..but none really similar!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 42  

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