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Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider

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AlDavison Offline
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Athens, GA
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #1
Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Hello,

I'm new here but this looks like a great site to get help and suggestions.

My wife is slightly "handicapped" due to some issues with her thumb on her left hand. She is also rather small with small hands.

She has recently acquired a 2010 Cannondale Quick SL with rapid fire shifters (I don't know the model) and due to her thumb issues, she cannot move the lever far enough to get into the 3rd (largest) chain ring. We've tried some minor adjustments to no avail - the throw on that shift is just to long and too stiff for her. It hurts her thumb so badly that she has just given up on using the higher gear range.

I'm looking for the simplest and least costly remedy. Could we maybe put a SRAM Gripshift on the left side? Any other ideas?

Thanks!
Al
Jul 9, 2012 08:34 AM
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nfmisso Offline
Veteran Member

San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,326
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #2
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Al; I would go with the SRAM gripshift as you mentioned - I would purchase the set, as it is only a few dollars more, in case she decides she wants gripshift on both sides.

http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-Bicycle-Twist-Shifter-7-Speed/dp/B0017YX2OO/

Nigel
Jul 9, 2012 11:10 AM
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AlDavison Offline
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Athens, GA
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #3
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
(Jul 9, 2012 11:10 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  Al; I would go with the SRAM gripshift as you mentioned - I would purchase the set, as it is only a few dollars more, in case she decides she wants gripshift on both sides.

http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-Bicycle-Twist-Shifter-7-Speed/dp/B0017YX2OO/

Thank you for your reply!

Does anyone know if these are really compatible? Will they actually work?

Actually, she has Gripshifts on her "townie bike" and she doesn't like them all that much but it may be what she has to have on the left side. She's not having any issues on the right hand side since that hand is fine.

Oddly enough, I also have hand issues with my left thumb - not the same or as bad as her's - so, I just recently figured out that I cannot ride a road bike with drop bars. My old injury hurts whether I'm in the drops or on the hoods so, I just ordered a new "flat bar" road bike.

Getting old, following a reckless youth, is not for whimps!

Thanks, again!
Al
BTW: I'll take any more advice or suggestions from anyone else that is willing to offer them.
Jul 9, 2012 01:19 PM
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painkiller Offline
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Peoria, IL. USA
Posts: 1,411
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Hello Al, is your SL a 8 or 7 speed rear cluster ? and do you have a double or triple crank up front? and your girls bike is a flatbar correct.
In earlier years I have swapped out components for special need customers during the purchase process, in your case to late and to new. The gripshift would be the least expensive way to go.
Plan B would be to go a little retro and find some Deore II or DeoreXT top mount thumb shifters 7 speed and replace the rear cluster assuming you have an 8speed and add the spacer because of your 8speed hub. and brake levers if so the case.
This is exactly the reason why I wish they would still offer high end top mount thumb shifters.
plan A about $20 and plan B about $200 depending on how much you pay for the shifters once you find some.If you think you might like plan B let me know I can always find shifters now and again.
I am kind of a bike part Hoarder Smile


There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Jul 9, 2012 06:37 PM
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AlDavison Offline
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Athens, GA
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #5
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Thanks, painkiller!
Well, her bike is a triple on the front and she has no issues at all on with the RD - it's an 8 just to answer your question, though.

It's just the one hand - the left - that she has her issue with. No problems with the right thumb or hand at all so the triggers work fine for her on the RD.

Gonna try more adjustments and maybe a top-of-the-line cable before we try the Grip/Twist shift. If that doesn't work, we may even try an "old-school" lever shifter.

Thanks!
Al
Jul 9, 2012 08:23 PM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,150
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #6
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Does she really do a lot of shifting on the chain rings. The terrain I ride in I just use the center chain ring and shift on the derailer a few gears.

As per handlebars, here is what I did with my drop bars IMO better than flat bars.

Yep 10-4 to now feeling bumps from youthful exuberance. :-))


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Never Give Up!!!
Jul 10, 2012 10:34 AM
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AlDavison Offline
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Athens, GA
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #7
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
(Jul 10, 2012 10:34 AM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Does she really do a lot of shifting on the chain rings. The terrain I ride in I just use the center chain ring and shift on the derailer a few gears.

As per handlebars, here is what I did with my drop bars IMO better than flat bars.

Yep 10-4 to now feeling bumps from youthful exuberance. :-))

She does want to use her full range of gears since we ride a lot of different routes - some pretty flat, some quite hilly.

I like what you did with your bike but it won't work for us. Since we both have issues with the thumb and thumb-pad area of our left hands then neither of us can ride in that position. I tried but one short test ride on the hoods hurt my hand for 3 days. It's an odd coincidence that we both have lingering injuries and weakness on the same hand in the same area but, it is what it is....we have no choice but to use flat bars. She also has a shoulder issue that makes it impossible for her to get in and out of the drops on a drop-bar bike.

So, our hands have to be perpendicular to the frame - no chance of either of us ever being able to ride with our hands in a parallel to the frame position. (if that makes sense the way I described it)

I think we've decided to just switch her drivetrain over to a compact double...I'm getting my new Giant Rapid 1 next week that has the compact double/10-speed rear/105 setup so I can evaluate if that will work for her then.

Thanks for all the help!
Al
Jul 13, 2012 09:41 AM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,150
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #8
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
Ye hand injuries are a PITA. I have mild CTS in both wrists and wear body glove soft wrist supports. As per handle bars the idea is to have several hand positions so you can have different grips and not be stock with one hand hold. On my bar I can ride on the horns or on the crossbar like most sport bike riders do, Only racers ride the lower position and they rest too.

Keep on trying, ergonomics are very important proper angle and lever set up etc. On a flat bar add horns so you have several grip points.
My other bike.

Good Luck.


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Never Give Up!!!
Jul 13, 2012 11:43 AM
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AlDavison Offline
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Athens, GA
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2012
Post: #9
RE: Shimano front shifter issues - "handicapped" rider
An update of sorts on this issue:

I got a new bike - a Giant Rapid 1 which is basically a Giant Defy 1 with flat bars.

The new compact double with the R770 (I think) shifters has 2 great advantages for both my wife and me. For one thing, the FD spring isn't so stiff since it only has to make 1 jump. For another, the left shifter has a sort of ratchet kind of movement so you can actually shift up in 2 short throws instead of just 1 long throw.

So, even though it will cost more than I planned to spend, we're going to go ahead and put the full compact double with the 10-speed rear on her bike. Not only will this overcome her current difficulties, it will be a huge upgrade for her and we plan to keep this bike for several years.

Thanks for all the help!
Al
Jul 19, 2012 01:27 PM
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