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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My son is showing enough interest in riding that he got his first mountain bike this past weekend. unfortunately, he wasnt able to ride for long b/c he wore a blister on his thumb trying to shift gears. the bike is a 1x7 set-up and came with a Shimano SL-RS31 Revo shifter and he struggled with it so much that he just wanted to go home... not the result i had hoped to achieve. i noticed after doing a little research later that other shifters, like the SRAM 3.0s, appear to use the inside of the base of the thumb and palm instead of the outside of the thumb like the Revos. this seems like a far superior design, but i am not familiar enough with grip shifters to know if this would remedy the situation for him.

so, my questions would be:

1. Would another grip shifter work better for him?
2. Would we be better served abandoning the grip shifter for a paddle shifter?

if anyone has any first-hand experience here that would also be hugely helpful.

thanks!!

EDIT (03/01)

okay, i have done a little more research and i think i have narrowed the options down to:

1. Sram MRX grip shifter - will there be a noticable difference b/w the MRX Plus and the MRX Pro?
2. Sram X3 trigger shifter
3. Shimano Altus trigger shifter

does anyone have any experience with No.2 and/or No.3? i have checked the reviews and there is nothing for the X3 shifter.

one last thought... how much does the rear derailleur play into how difficult shifting is? if i want to make shifting easier, should i be looking at a new rear derailleur, too?
 

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A cool pair of gloves might be fun and take care of business.

You don't say how old he is or how long you rode.
 

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I'd say ditch the grip shift. They all seem like they would all be a bit hard to turn with kid hands, and are pretty big in that respect too.

I would go with some higher end Shimano trigger shifters as they tend to have a very light action and seem to be pretty small hand friendly. You could probably find some old XT or XTR units if cost is an issue.

I also think the glove idea would be one worth looking into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Berkeley Mike said:
A cool pair of gloves might be fun and take care of business.

You don't say how old he is or how long you rode.
he was wearing a pair of kids bike gloves. while they were half-fingered gloves, i would rather fix the root cause which appears to be the shifter since i dont think he'll much care for wearing full-fingered gloves in the Atlanta heat in the summer.

he is eight years old and on saturday we rode 11 miles but sunday we only made it about 4 miles. these rides were on paved trails, but we do off-road rides, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
big_papa_nuts said:
I'd say ditch the grip shift. They all seem like they would all be a bit hard to turn with kid hands, and are pretty big in that respect too.

I would go with some higher end Shimano trigger shifters as they tend to have a very light action and seem to be pretty small hand friendly. You could probably find some old XT or XTR units if cost is an issue.

I also think the glove idea would be one worth looking into.
thanks for the feedback, man! he was wearing gloves, so that option is off the proverbial table. also, the Revo is a grip shifter, so if i were to consider another one it would have to be a better design with smoother/lighter action if is one like that exists.
 

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I'm guessing he may find the thumb trigger too hard to push, maybe not. How bout taking him to a wallyworld or performance and let him test them. You can shift up or down one gear without pedaling the bike without doing any harm. Plus, letting him be part of the decision making process may further his interest.

Don't know what side of town you're on, but I have a x3 rear der. if you need it. Be glad to donate it to the cause. Does the bike have a der. hanger or does the der. mount to the axle? That may limit your choices if you have to stick with the same der.
 

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Before you spend the money on a new shifter try replacing the cable and housing. Most hard shift problems are caused by piss poor quality cable and/or housing. The Shimano Revo shifters are usually quite light in their action, as are the SRAM MRX shifters. This is the reason that you see them on many multi speed youth bikes, they should be very easy for them to shift. I work in a shop and have dealt with this same problem before on new youth MTBs. About 9 times out of 10 there is a cable problem involved. It could be anything from a kinked cable inside the housing, to a mis-routing of the cable at the pinch bolt. You'd be amazed at what a difference it can make if the cable is clamped on the wrong side of the pinch bolt! There are a couple of other things it could be. Possibly the derailleur or the shifter, though not likely. If you bought the bike at a shop, a good call would be a return trip with the bike and a description of the problem. It should only take 10 minutes or so for a good mechanic to figure out what's going on and recommend a solution.

Good Dirt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
we bought the bike this past weekend at REI (i am an REI junkie). i will take the bike back over there and tell them what he experienced and see if they can do a once-over on it and see what they find.

rlouder said:
I'm guessing he may find the thumb trigger too hard to push, maybe not. How bout taking him to a wallyworld or performance and let him test them. You can shift up or down one gear without pedaling the bike without doing any harm. Plus, letting him be part of the decision making process may further his interest.

Don't know what side of town you're on, but I have a x3 rear der. if you need it. Be glad to donate it to the cause. Does the bike have a der. hanger or does the der. mount to the axle? That may limit your choices if you have to stick with the same der.
i am over in Norcross. where in the ATL are you? and i greatly appreciate the offer, man! if the trip back to REI (Perimeter Mall) doesnt work out then i'll hit you back. again, the gesture is greatly appreciated!
 

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Not in Atl. I'm in NE GA but I'm down that way fairly often, so anything on the NE side wouldn't be a problem. Ride chicoppee often, so it's not far. pm me if you need it. Maybe REI will get it straightened out for you.

Let us know how it works out.
 

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I don't think kids would have any problem figuring out or getting used to any shifting system. I take my niece and nephew out on the trail they ride their bike at first, then they tried my wife's different shifting then my bike another shifting system. They got stumped for about 2 second then it's back to riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i bought an MRX Pro shifter, threw it on, and had REI dial it in for me (which they did for free). he loves it and all is good in the world now. thanks, everyone!
 
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