Grip Shifter too tight? How to loosen?



ccallana

New Member
Aug 14, 2010
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We recently moved my 8 year old up to a larger bike (hand me down from a friend)- it is his first bike with hand brakes and a shifter. The shifter is a 7 speed Grip Shift. works great going from 1 (Big Cog) to 7 (Small Cog) - but going back up, the shifter is so tight his little hands can't twist the thing.

Is there any way to make the shifter less tight? Its an older bike, so probably needs a tune-up, so I could have the LBS look at it, but wanted to see if there was anything I could do myself to make it easier for him.

Thanks!
 
ccallana said:
We recently moved my 8 year old up to a larger bike (hand me down from a friend)- it is his first bike with hand brakes and a shifter. The shifter is a 7 speed Grip Shift. works great going from 1 (Big Cog) to 7 (Small Cog) - but going back up, the shifter is so tight his little hands can't twist the thing.

Is there any way to make the shifter less tight? Its an older bike, so probably needs a tune-up, so I could have the LBS look at it, but wanted to see if there was anything I could do myself to make it easier for him.
As clever as the basic Gripshift design is, it inherently has only a fraction (1/3rd?) the leverage that almost any other shifter ...

This could be easily corrected if the people at SRAM weren't so arrogant.

Beyond lubing and/or changing the cables, I think the only thing which you can do (and, I suggested this previously BUT don't know if my suggestion was ever followed) is to increase the diameter of the Gripshift's shift ring and thereby increase the leverage ...

The increased leverage will, of course, make it easier to effect the shifts.

I guess the easiest (?) way would be to remove the rubber collar (or, NOT!?!) ... measure the OD of the shift ring ... and, make a WOODEN donut whose inner diameter is slightly smaller than the OD of the shift ring (with-or-without the rubber collar) ... flute/knurl/cross-hatch/whatever the outer circumference. Split the donut & rejoin the halves around the original shift ring with screws AND/OR epoxy it in place with some JB WELD.

How big should that outer circumference be?
The NEW circumference of the DIY "wood" (?) collar can probably be the size of a glass ketchup bottle -- I reckon that circumference will reduce the effort to about 50%.
There are certainly OTHER ways you can increase the leverage -- someone suggested attaching a single shift lever onto the shift ring ... that could work, too!

I think that HOW you choose to increase the leverage simply depends on how handy you are (now, don't you wish you had taken that Shop Class when you were in school!).
 
BTW. Another option is to replace the Grip Shifters with a set of TRIGGER SHIFTERS which you can certainly buy off of eBay.
 
I have a grip shifter on my commuting bike and it is extremely easy to go up and down.

It might be that you need new cables / housing, or maybe there's a problem with the derailleur.

Good luck.
 
I'm sure I could gerry rig a solution, but this is for my kid, his hand is small, so adding circumference to the shifter probably isn't going work since he wouldn't be able to get his hand around it.

I may look at a thumb shifter possibly....
 
ccallana said:
I'm sure I could gerry rig a solution, but this is for my kid, his hand is small, so adding circumference to the shifter probably isn't going work since he wouldn't be able to get his hand around it.

I may look at a thumb shifter possibly....
I can't believe his hands are so small that he can't hold-or-grasp a ketchup bottle (or, equivalent)!

Go around your house and start gathering progressively larger & smaller bottles and see what he can grab onto ... his hand does NOT have to fully encircle EITHER the bottle OR the DIY enlargement to the shift collar ...

Putting flutes/knurling/cross-hatching will give the surface traction ...

OR, you could even make a "rubber band" cut from a "narrow" MTB inner tube and use it as the gripping surface.
 
I realize that this is old, but I was looking for the same answer myself, and this didn't answer it. I went back out to the bike and found that the grips which weren't original, since I wanted some with more padding, were pushing against the grip shift. I moved the grip shift and brake away from the grip about a millimeter or so, and it helped immensely. I used a 2.5-mm on the grip shift allen screw and 5-mm on the brake allen screw to loosen them.

This following may help:

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/shift-levers-shifters

I would definitely look at tuning the derailleur, but if they are shifting fine otherwise, then it probably isn't the problem.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/front-derailleur-adjustments
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/rear-derailler-adjustments-derailleur

I am going to lube my cable and the grip shift as well.

I hope that this helps.

By the way, I don't work for Park Tool, but found their site useful for finding tools and instructions.
 
I realize that this post is old, but I was looking for the same answer and found that this didn't answer it. I went back out to my bike and found that the grips were too close to the grip shifts. I had installed some newer grips that were cushier and had pushed them too close to the grip shift. I loosened the brake with a 5-mm Allen wrench and the grip shift with a 2.5-mm Allen. I then moved the brake and grip shift inward by just a millimeter or so and this seemed to help immensely.

 
I am planning on lubing the cable and the grip shift mechanism, so this also might help as well.

 
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/shift-levers-shifters

 
I would look at tuning the derailleurs, but If the shifting is smooth otherwise, I don’t think that this is the problem.  Here are some links that I found helpful.

 
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/front-derailleur-adjustments  

 
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/rear-derailler-adjustments-derailleur

 
I hope that this helps.

 
By the way, I don’t work for Park Tool, but found their site useful for finding tools and instructions.

 
Happy New Year!