Introducing different types of bike shifters
Bike shifters are operating the derailleurs via cables in the mechanic and via circuitry in electronic shifters. On most bikes the right-hand shifter controls the rear derailleur and the left-hand shifter controls the front derailleur.
To operate and use shifters, you'll need to push the lever sideways until you hear a click. Also, the majority of mountain bike shifters are working in a way that you shift the gears by using set paddles operating with your thumb.
Let's take a closer look at each type one at a time:
- Trigger (aka thumb) shifters are most common on commuter and mountain bikes. Levers are mounted on the handlebar. We can find two of them, one on its left side that shifts up and down through the chainrings, while the right lever shifts through the sprocket at the rear of the bicycle. Optionally, sometimes it can be displayed which gear we are riding at the moment.
- Twist grip shifters can be found on the mountain, commuter or casual bikes. Twist grip shifters are mounted on straight handlebars, so we can use them by twisting shifters forward for higher, or backward for a lower gear. A good advantage of this type is that shifters allow us to multi-shift, or choose more than one gear in a single motion. Also, they are dialed, so it always shows us the current gear we ride in.
- Down tube shifters are often attached on older types of bikes, fixed to the frame or down tube. Their advantage is that they use much less cable, but the downside is that to change gears, you'll need to ride one-handedly every time you need to switch gears.
- Bar end shifters are mounted on the end of the handlebar with drop bars. Shifts are made by moving the two levers, up or down, in a way that one controls the front derailleur, and the second one controls the rear one. These shifters are durable, simple and strong, which makes them perfect for touring drivers.
- Integrated shifters are a common type nowadays, designed for new types of bicycles, so nearly all of them use shift levers integrated with brake levers. How do they work? Simply, if you push the brake sideways, rather than pulling it back to start breaking, it will engage the mechanism and gears will be shifting. These shifters provide superb performance because shifting is very fast and with great precision. Yes, they are more advanced, more sophisticated and require professional maintenance, and they are more expensive, but they will provide you with top-quality shifting, and at the end of the day that's what counts, especially if you are a professional cyclist.
- Electronic shifters are the product of the latest shifter technology. This type of shifter requires no cables for transmitting force to the derailleur because the small motor does everything. Instead of a lever, shifting the gears is done by just pressing the button. Indeed, they are still very expensive, but their performance is beyond comparison.
It is up to you now to decide which model is for you, based on their specifications, your dedication to the sport and how much you are ready to spend.
Take a look at our offer
At Velo Deals you will find the best deals on various bike shifters from the best makes like Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM, and others.
If you have any questions regarding the purchase of your brand-new bike shifters feel free to contact us and we will be more than ready to assist you!