Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

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Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby desertguns » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:22 pm

So many folks discard the SRAM MRX shifters found on big box Mongoose, & other bikes, and switch to triggers without looking back. "They're crap, they don't work," etc, blah blah... When in truth the problems have more to do with bad derailleur stop setting, underutilized barrel adjusters, cable problems or the inability to train yourself to use the shifter properly. I can relate to the last one which is why I have a trigger on the left side.

What these shifters are not, is crap, but they are not all the same either. They are efficient in their simplicity, react as fast as your derailleurs will allow, and nearly impossible to break due to impact - non of which can be said of trigger shifters. And do not sit on the Walmart display bikes & twist them like a motorcycle throttle. That's not good for anybody. :P If you see someone doing this, slap him up side of his head, show him the right way to wear a ball cap, and tell him to pull up his pants!

Anyway, before you jump on the trigger band wagon, check out the other two Shimano compatible SRAM grip shifters - The MRX Comp (also called Pro) and the Attack shifters. Also think about that 8 or 9 speed shift process, particularly downshifting, with triggers.

From left to right, the Attack (Shorty), MRX Comp & stock MRX. There's also a variant on the Attack with a grip twice as long as the "shorty". Probably good for smaller or weaker hands but that extra surface area would mess with me..
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The first thing you notice is the numbers on the MRX are reversed from the Comp or Attack. This is simply because the pointer is stationary on the shifter body & the numbers move with the grip. The Comp & Attack have a movable pointer on the grip & the numbers are stationary. All are turned counterclockwise for lower gears.

The stock MRX & Comp look similar but are really very different. The Comp's grip is rounder & more ergonomic than the MRX. Both use a flat spring which seats in a plastic groove for indexing. But the Comp's spring is twice the size of the MRX, and the internal barrel is larger & easier to rotate. Overall the Comp is smoother & easier to actuate than the stock MRX. Even the barrel adjusted is smoother on the Comp. Also, both the MRX & MRX Comp have to be disassembled for a cable change. Yes, there is a pin hole in the grip & you can theoretically push the cable out through the hole - theoretically, but not practically. If either has gotten very wet, or is old & hard to twist, it should probably be disassembled, cleaned (dish soap & water) & generously greased.

Now the Attack is better still. The grip also overlaps the body as a partial guard, is made of better material, & the indicator visibility is much better (although fogs in rain). And you don't have to tear it apart to replace a cable. ;) The body is still plastic (Grilon) but is thicker than the Comp, while internal are similar, as they are all the way up to SRAM XO. It looks very similar to the SRAM X.9 shifter, including the housing design & material spec.

Just some food for thought. If your preference is triggers, that's great. Just don't buy them because it's the cool de jour, or your buddy the bike "expert" said all twisters are junk. This is where Boomer or Houndog says, "All twisters are junk" 8-)
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Re: Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby Irishmongooserider » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:06 pm

I'm all in on twisters! This is a good place for this link, check out my side-by-side shifter comparison video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvzLOt15 ... el&list=UL

DG, you're pretty close as to where the Attack shifters are placed as far as what level they are, they're priced pretty much right at X-7/X-9 pricing...

Also, Sram's Shimano compatable lineup includes (in pricing order- cheapest to most expensive)

Triggers: TRX (7/8 speed); Attack (8/9 speed)
Twisters: MRX (5/6/7 speed-O.E. only); MRX Comp (7/8 speed); MRX Pro (7/8/9 speed); Centura (8/9 speed); Attack (8/9 speed)

These options are useful for riders wanting to gain a more ergonomic shifter without having to replace an entire drivetrain. I'm a huge fan of Sram's X series, as the 1-1 ratio offers just that extra bit of crispness to the shifting, but I understand those who wouldn't want to swap their full drivetrain to gain a small, but noticable advantage.
My bikes: Mongoose Valiant, Tyax Elite, Switchback SS, Blackcomb, and the old DXR

Other: Origin8 Uno SS/fixie

See my YouTube vids @ https://www.youtube.com/user/mongoosejake
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Re: Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby desertguns » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm

Glad you mentioned the Centura, Irish. I like the look but was only thinking about MTBs. Those nice indicators look like they might not take a good crash but would be cool on a comfort or road bike. Not keen on the longer grips for MTB either.

I also put the Pro in brackets next to the Comp because they are identical, however, I see the Comp has been dropped from the SRAM website. Maybe changed the name to Pro when they made it 9 speed compatible? But the Pro, Comp & 3.0 (1:1 SRAM only) all seem to be the same cosmetically & mechanically.
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Re: Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby Irishmongooserider » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:21 am

desertguns wrote:Glad you mentioned the Centura, Irish. I like the look but was only thinking about MTBs. Those nice indicators look like they might not take a good crash but would be cool on a comfort or road bike. Not keen on the longer grips for MTB either.

I also put the Pro in brackets next to the Comp because they are identical, however, I see the Comp has been dropped from the SRAM website. Maybe changed the name to Pro when they made it 9 speed compatible? But the Pro, Comp & 3.0 (1:1 SRAM only) all seem to be the same cosmetically & mechanically.


DG, the Centera use the same housing/build as the X-5 twisters (if you really wanted to use them, I'd go for it, the display actually would be out of harms way-its just like the X-5's), while the X-3 and MRX Pro use the same housing, with the indexing unit being reworked on the X-3 to operate on the 1-1 ratio. The MRX Comp doesn't show on Sram's website, but its in my JBImporters catalog, so its still available for shops at least.
My bikes: Mongoose Valiant, Tyax Elite, Switchback SS, Blackcomb, and the old DXR

Other: Origin8 Uno SS/fixie

See my YouTube vids @ https://www.youtube.com/user/mongoosejake
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Re: Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby Hokum » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:12 am

Is it worth getting an Attack over a MRX Comp or Centera, talking about ease of shifting? There are still Attacks out there, but they'd be used, or more expensive as NOS.
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Re: Types of Shimano Compatible SRAM Grip Shifters

Postby dddd » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:22 am

With all of the Shimano-compatible Sram twist shifters, there is a groove in the twister part that acts like a sliding ramp, "camming" the cable out to a bigger diameter loop while taking in cable.
I've found that these seem to barely work at all unless their special SRAM JONNISNOT GripShift grease is used. Regular bike greases leave the cable binding itself tightly around the twister ramp groove, making the twister very hard to turn.

The good news is that their special grease works FANTASTIC on all cable wires that run in poly-lined cable housings, since their lube is formulated specifically for a metal cable sliding against plastic.

1:1 shifters work more like a motorcycle throttle, no sliding action except where the cable bends to exit the shifter, just cable wrapping around a spool, so no special lubricant really needed.

Here's the materials I use for the gripshifter and for cleaning and lubing cable housings.
I use the dri-lube solvent spray with the bent-up cable wire to scrub out the housings, then blow them out with an air pump and finally use the SRAM JONNISNOT grease on the cable wire. Works really well, usually better than new.

Image
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