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 2×10 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.