Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Polygon Cozmic CX3.0: SRAM GX Eagle Gripshift Setup

The Polygon Cozmic CX3.0 MTB gets yet another modification, so that I can try out different components! This time, it is the less common Gripshift that is made by SRAM. Most MTB shifters on the market are trigger type shifters, that are operated by thumb/thumb (SRAM) or thumb/finger (Shimano).

The benefits of trigger shifters is that you can keep a firm grip on the handlebars during shifters, as you only need to use your thumb and/or finger during shifting. However, the disadvantage is that multiple gear shifts take a bit longer as the shift lever needs to be pressed multiple times.

As for Gripshift, the whole hand is used to rotate the grip on the shifter, which also allows multiple gear shifts in both directions. The downside is a less solid grip on the handlebar as the hand needs to loosen the grip for shifting.

Most of the Revoshifters (Shimano) you see on the market are on entry level bikes, and also kids bikes, as it is easier for kids to shift compared to trigger shifters. They are also many other China and Taiwan brands which makes these shifters, such as Microshift. On the other hand, SRAM markets these Gripshift (SRAM) as a mid to high end product, which is completely different from other companies. Let's see how it works compared to other shifters!

I got the SRAM GX Gripshift and the rear derailleur as a set, and installed these new components onto the Polygon MTB. I had to move the whole SRAM NX groupset to another bike, so I had to swap the cassette to the S-Ride cassette as well.

The handlebar grips are included with the SRAM Gripshift as well, which allows it to blend and match nicely with the shifter. Overall length of the shifter + grip is quite long.

Still using the good old Deore M615 hydraulic disc brakes.

As there is only 1 right side shifter, the left side handlebar grip that is included is a full length normal grip. Might as well use it to complete the look.

As the overall length of the right side shifter + grip is long, the brake lever had to be shifted inwards. Subsequently, in order to maintain left and right symmetry, I also had to move the left side brake lever inwards. The ergonomics has been changed, from two-finger braking to one-finger braking. I will need to get used to this as I have not really used one-finger braking like the pros.

SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed rear derailleur. Looks slightly nicer than the SRAM NX RD, but the difference is not very big.

S-Ride 11-50T, 12 speed cassette back on the bike!

1x12 speed drivetrain. S-Ride cassette, SLX crankset, SRAM GX Eagle RD, unknown 12 speed chain (which came with the S-Ride groupset).

After testing, I found that the shifting action of the SRAM GX Gripshift is quite light! The shifting stroke is rather short, and the shifting force is quite low, which makes it easy to shift gears. Compared to other shifters, this one is definitely better.

However, it is best suited to urban usage only, as there is no need to have such a firm grip on the handlebars when riding in the city or park. When riding off road, I found that having to relax my grip on the handlebars to shift is not ideal, especially when going downhill. For serious off road riding, I would still prefer to use trigger shifters.

In summary, it is an interesting setup, and I would continue to use this setup, until the next experiment comes along!

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