MTB Shifters: Everything You Need to Know

What exactly are MTB shifters? This component regulates the gearing systems and lets the rider choose the right gear ratio. An internal hub gear system is frequently controlled by them. Easily change gears with the finest mountain bike derailleur. The greatest mtb shifter is smooth, quick, and silent. Even though the derailleur seems to be a little element, it is one of the most important components of your mountain bike. So long as the right shifter is in excellent working shape, you can climb greater hills and ride longer. Choosing the right gearing is where the best mountain bike derailleurs come in.

Part 1: Introduction to MTB Shifters

Getting a superb mtb shifter is one of the best mountain bike modifications you can make, aside from upgrading to one of the best MTB groupsets. A new mountain bike shifter will not only allow you to run a larger cassette for better gear ratios, but it will also promote smoother & better shifting while protecting the chain from slipping on rough terrain.

What factors should I consider while purchasing a mountain bike shifter?

Mixing different manufacturers of drive terrain components, even if they have the same number of gears, is usually not a good idea. The easiest method to decide which mountain bike shifter seems to be to check them both out before making a purchase and see which one you like.

What kinds of shifters are there?

Generally speaking, there are two sorts of shifters:

  • Triggers with two levers
  • Shifters that twist
  • Shifters with electric motors

Trigger shifters with two levers. They have two triggers one for shifting up a gear and the other for shifting down a gear and are the most prevalent form of mountain bike shifter. Shimano (Rapidfire) as well as SRAM X-ACTUATION and Exact Actuation, the two most popular mountain bike groupset manufacturers, both employ twin-lever shifters.

11-speed SRAM XX1 Shifter with Discrete Clamp

These are shifters that twist. They function by twisting a mechanism in the handlebar grip. Other companies produce the Grip Shift twist shifter, but SRAM makes it. SRAM XX1 11-Speed Grip Shift with Locked Grips. SRAM XX1 11-Speed Grip Shift with Locked Grips. In mountain biking, Shimano has released the XTR Di2 electronic shift system. Shifts are completely quick thanks to the battery-powered Di2 system, and you can also hold down the shifter to shift gears over the full cassette in one stroke.

Shimano-XTR Shift Switch Di2

Shimano-XTR Shift Switch Di2 What makes them so good? Shifters are geared to provide exact shifting, eliminating sliding or misalignment of gears. Friction shifters are still available, but they are primarily used for front derailleurs on lower-end bikes. IWith ndexed shifting, mountain bikes stay in the right gear while riding across tough terrain. Unlike Grip Shift, Trigger best mountain bike shifters allow you to adjust the shifter in a number of positions. Trigger shifters may be mounted at different angles on the handlebar, and the triggers can be placed separately.

best mtb shifters

Part 2: Guide About MTB Shifters

How do I make a decision? When it comes to deciding which type of shifter is best for your mtb, it all comes down to personal choice and preferred groupset. The group set you to choose for your mtb May limits your shifter options; for example, Shimano’s current series of shifters solely employs under bar trigger shifters.

SRAM, on the other hand, continues to provide both the underbar trigger shifter and multiple length Grip Switch shifters. Mixing different manufacturers of drive terrain components, even if they have the same number of gears, is usually not a good idea.

The easiest method to decide which mtb shifter is to check both out before making a purchase and see how the one you like. When the grip gets greasy or dirty, twist shifters can be difficult to use, although this should not be an issue when riding with gloves.

Gear shifters are an important part of the transmission line because they allow you to shift up and down the gear range to meet the demands of terrain speed, and other factors. There are several sorts of derailleur gears, but they all perform the same thing: they pull specific lengths of gear cable, to move the derailleurs & change gears.

In addition to the front derailleur, the rear derailleur is typically 9/10 speed on most road and MTB bikes, with 7/8 speed on certain city bikes or older MTBs, and 11-speed on high-end road racers depending on the number of sprockets in the rear cassette.

Part 3: Types That Are Common

Shifters with Indexes VS. Shifters with Friction

Assuming the gears are set appropriately, the great majority of modern shifters (road and mountain bike) are indexed. Older models used friction shifters, and the user had to learn how much to press the shift lever to change gear.

Shifters on the Road VS. MTB Shifters

The most major differential between road and mountain bike shifters is between shifters intended for bikes with drop handlebars (‘racing’ bikes) and those created for cycles with ‘regular’ handlebars. The former is positioned beneath the handlebars, just inside the grips, and are activated by the thumb and fingers.

While a correctly indexed gear system is enjoyable to operate, it does necessitate routine maintenance and adjustment. Cable quality is one of the key causes of shifting performance decrease. Cheap cables will stretch and/or corrode quickly, impeding gearing adjustment, and cable housings can become blocked with dirt and water. Invest in high-quality cables, lube them regularly, and replace them if you ride in terrible weather. If you’re updating or changing your road or mountain bike shifters, ensure sure they fit your current gearbox. It’s best to avoid mixing and matching gear parts from several manufacturers because they might not be compatible. Since various manufacturers use different criteria, replace similar with like (e.g. the quantity of cable actuation and the lengths of cable pulled every individual shift differs depending on the manufacturer).

Part 4: Type of MTB Shifters

Trigger shifters and twist shifters are the two most prevalent types of MTB gear shifters.

Trigger shifters are a type of shifter that allows you to change the direction these shifters, sometimes known as ‘rapid fire’ shifters, are positioned beneath the handlebar. Riders change to larger sprockets with a thumb button and downshift with a little index-finger controlled ‘trigger.’

Off-road riders may use Shimano’s brake/shifter combination, although MTB shifters and other non-drop handlebar riders prefer separate trigger shifters for their simplicity and adaptability. SRAM has produced the most popular twist grip shifters for MTBs, which are identical to those seen on motorcycles. Commuters and racers want to lose weight like them, although trigger shifters are the most popular.

MTB Gear Shifters are available for purchase. Most drop handlebar road bikes now incorporate integrated brake and gear shifters, whose names and functions differ between Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM. Shimano’s is known as STi (System Total Integration), whereas Campagnolo’s is Ergopower, and SRAM’s is known as Double tap.

Part 5: characteristics of Mtb Shifters

The three mechanical standards have the following main characteristics:

  1. With some lower end groupsets, riders utilize a little lever on the inside of the brake hoods pushed with the thumb to downshift.
  2. With a pulley below the brake lever, and a button under the hoods. But Ergo only indexes right, unlike SRAM and Shimano (not for shifting between chainrings which are friction shifts). In contrast, Shimano-SRAM shifters must be precisely matched to the chainring size and number.
  3. Lever-shifting SRAM Double-tap: You touch the button in one direction but by different amounts each time. Short, rapid taps shift the gears up while a longer stroke of the lever shifts the gears down.
  4. With the advent of electronic groupsets, all three manufacturers now provide digital shifter units Shimano Di2 Campagnolo EPS. (SRAM Red).

Unlike mechanical systems, adjusting the gear lever sends an electrical signal (through cable or wifi) to the accompanying derailleur.

Part 6: Advantages and Disadvantages of Mtb Shifters


The biggest benefit is that if properly calibrated, they are exceedingly difficult to screw up when shifting simply push the button & let it handle the rest. They also happen to work in tandem with a road bike’s brake, allowing you to shift & brake from the main riding positions. For good reason, you won’t find a gripping shifter on a road bike.


The main disadvantage is that you must change your mountain bike shifters since there is no Shimano grip shift compatible. There’s a little learning curve to realize which direction is down, but triggers are the same way. Overall, they’re fantastic if you are dealing with a variety of terrain that necessitates quick, unexpected movements.

Part 7: Conclusion

Shift the ring on the front-rear derailleur with the left-hand shifter. That’s how you change huge gears. If you have triple chainrings, start with the chain on the middle gear and move up or down as required. (If you have 2 chainrings you can start with anyone.)Shift your chains to the smaller front chainring if you want to make pedalling easier (like climbing hills). If you want to make cycling much harder (for example, if you’re travelling downhills and need.