SRAM revealed at last summer's Interbike show that they were relaunching their Grip Shift system, and they've now released the first pictures of the production 10-speed shifters, which will be available from April.
Not much appears to have changed compared to the prototypes we saw in Las Vegas, though SRAM are remaining tight-lipped about details and haven't released any technical specs. All they'll say is that the new shifters are designed to work with 2x10 drivetrains and will be available in XX and X0 form.
The new Grip Shift was fitted to Jaroslav Kulhavy’s Specialized S-Works Epic when he won the 2011 UCI Cross-Country World Championships. In a video posted on SRAM's website, Jon Cancellier, from SRAM's hush-hush BlackBox product development programme, says: "He really likes the fast shifting. We've taken our time to make it so there's less effort to go from gear to gear, and he was really impressed by that."
Video: SRAM Gripshift (Courtesy: SRAM)
Launched in 1988, Grip Shift was the product that put SRAM on the map. It was originally aimed at road riders and triathletes but a variant was soon developed for mountain bikers. The company went on to develop trigger shifters and Grip Shift fell out of the limelight, although it remained in the SRAM line-up at the behest of cross-country racers, who loved its light weight. This is the first time a version compatible with modern 10-speed cassettes and double cranksets has been produced.