MTB shifters are the heartbeat of any MTB drivetrain. While fancy rear derailleurs often get the admiring glances in the showroom and out on the trail, it’s the humble gear shifter that makes the biggest difference. Fit a fancy derailleur to a bike with a cheap shifter and most won’t notice the difference. Reverse the roles, however, and the improved quality of shifting will be immediately obvious. It’s worth than getting the best shifter you can, so you can revel in the silky-smooth shifting it provides.
Whereas road bike shifters are generally quite uniform in appearance and function, mountain bike gear shifters can be either a trigger-style pod or a grip shifter. While grip shifters are more commonly found on kids bikes, for many they offer a more ergonomic design and a lighter shifting action than trigger shifters which require a push or a pull from the finger or thumb, but are the most commonly used type of MTB gear shifter. The most important thing to remember when choosing which gear shifter to go for is compatibility. Check your chosen shifter will work with your rear derailleur before purchasing and then, once you’re all set up, you can enjoy smooth shifting for years to come.