Shifters for kids bike.

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scale20
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Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 13:42 pm

My daughter currently rides an Islabikes Beinn 20 with the SRAM grip shift.

Islabikes swear by the grip shift saying it's easier for kids over the levers but she really struggles to change up the block, changing down is not an issue. She is 6 years old and rides it like a rocket but the fact she cannot change up is holding her back.

Anyone have suggestions on how to combat this? is it worth trying trigger shifters, Islabikes say that kids cannot push the shifters with their thumbs.

Cheers in advance,

Martin :)
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Mike Healey
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby Mike Healey » Thu Oct 25, 2012 21:28 pm

We've got quite a few kids on Islabikes and it doesn't seem to crop up as a problem, so I've got a couple of questions (which may be teaching a granny to suck eggs - sorry if that's the case):

1. Can you check to see if there's any mechanical problem with the gear cable or the grip itself - say, a bit of dirt or corroson in one or t'other of them?
2. Is it simply that, at 6, she's a bit lacking in grip or wrist strength? I'd suggest that she try to change gear off teh bike, with you holding the rear wheel up while she uses the shifter. If she can do it when there's no load on it, then that may indicate this, assuming that you've cleared the cable/shifter as the source of her difficulty, that is.

If it is a lack of strength, then it's not likely that changing to trigger shifters will solve things, as small fingers may well have reach problems anyway.

scale20
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 08:38 am

Cheers for the reply Mike.

Cables are fine, its just the force needed to shift that spring on the rear mech. I think it is a strength issue, when static not riding she can move it a couple of clicks.

A bit more practice I think, either that or get her a powerball for Xmas!
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baudman
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby baudman » Fri Oct 26, 2012 08:53 am

Lube down the cable? Make it as easy as possible?
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scale20
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 09:37 am

Going to change the cables for some low friction.

I have been told that Shimano Revoshift are a lot easier for kids, anyone got know if this is the case?
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby Mike Healey » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:59 am

I'll keep an eye on our kids and see if there are any who are that young who have trigger shifters and find out if they find it easier. Ah hae ma doots, tho'

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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby madtam » Sun Oct 28, 2012 16:52 pm

When my kids were younger they also struggled with the grip shifters and yet they could manage to shift using the standard levers on older kids bikes. The real difficulty is finding small enough bikes that have anything other than grip shifts as it really is an industry norm.
As they get older and stronger it does start to get easier and the best thing I could do was to keep everything as friction free as possible.

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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby othello » Wed Oct 31, 2012 09:39 am

Both my kids had the same problem -- they just couldn't change gears on grip shift, even with brand new cables, shifters lubed everything. They could pull down on them, but pushing up they didn't have the strenght.

So I've switched them over to rapidfire shifters and the change has been amazing. They can shift easily & they are picking the right gear as they feel confident to change! A big thumbs up from me and worth the money.
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby Mike Healey » Wed Oct 31, 2012 09:53 am

othello wrote:Both my kids had the same problem -- they just couldn't change gears on grip shift, even with brand new cables, shifters lubed everything. They could pull down on them, but pushing up they didn't have the strenght.

So I've switched them over to rapidfire shifters and the change has been amazing. They can shift easily & they are picking the right gear as they feel confident to change! A big thumbs up from me and worth the money.


That's very interesting. I'll definitely keep an eye on our younger members when they're using our smaller Islabikes - in fact I'll try some gear exercises to see what happens.

scale20
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:19 am

othello wrote:Both my kids had the same problem -- they just couldn't change gears on grip shift, even with brand new cables, shifters lubed everything. They could pull down on them, but pushing up they didn't have the strenght.

So I've switched them over to rapidfire shifters and the change has been amazing. They can shift easily & they are picking the right gear as they feel confident to change! A big thumbs up from me and worth the money.


Thanks for that, I might try and get hold of a cheap SRAM trigger and give it a go.
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othello
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby othello » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:31 am

I picked up a pair of Shimano Altus M310 7 speed shifters, which were cheap and have a light action. Needed new grips too, but the total cost has made such a difference it has been worth it.
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby othello » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:43 am

scale20 wrote:Thanks for that, I might try and get hold of a cheap SRAM trigger and give it a go.


You might know this, but you need to be careful with SRAM shifters and mechs and activation ratio's.
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scale20
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:46 am

My daughters Islabikes Beinn 20 only has a single up front and 7 speed at the rear. just had a look at CRC and they do a SRAM X3 7 spd shifter.

Will see how she gets on with my other halfs bikes shifters before I buy, see if she can shift them. I use SRAM XO Gripshift so no use there!
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scale20
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby scale20 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:02 am

othello wrote:
scale20 wrote:Thanks for that, I might try and get hold of a cheap SRAM trigger and give it a go.


You might know this, but you need to be careful with SRAM shifters and mechs and activation ratio's.


Yeah, I have been thinking about this one. I've not used Shimano for as long as I can remember, it's possible that the pull ratio on the Shimano might be a bit easier on little hands.
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby mattrixdesign2 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 15:36 pm

My lads Carrera Bast came with Gripshift, fine at the start, very soon they went stiff, despite lubing cables, checking rear mech etc, nothing could be done to improve things... Solution was Sram X3 underbar shifters, work brilliantly but quality control can be ropey (3 attempts to get a decent one, Evans were very good at replacing the duff ones).

Gripshift are a poor choice, and not ergonmic IMO.

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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby booktownman » Thu Jan 03, 2013 23:46 pm

My boy, 5, is having the same problem shifting down on his Beinn 20 - just doesn't have the strength in his grip. I came on the forum to ask if anyone could suggest an alternative. It seems I'm not the only one with this problem. I'll see if I can pick up a cheap SRAM x3 and see how he goes.

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97th choice
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby 97th choice » Fri Jan 04, 2013 15:24 pm

Swapped over to x3 trigger shifters on my son's carrera blast, he finds the rear mech much easier to operate.
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby booktownman » Fri Jan 04, 2013 15:48 pm

Is that 7 or 6 speed? Can't find six speed SRAM shifters anywhere...

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97th choice
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby 97th choice » Sat Jan 05, 2013 08:29 am

7 speed, but I bought a second hand trek for my daughter which had seven speed shimano shifters and the rear wheel had been swapped for one with a six speed cassette. It worked fine so if you adjust the H and L screws properly you may be able to use a 7 speed dram shifter
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Re: Shifters for kids bike.

Postby booktownman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 16:38 pm

My bad, the Isla is seven not six speed!


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