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, MTB 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. Trigger-style shifters require a push or a pull from finger or thumb and are the most common type of MTB shifter. Most importantly though when choosing which shifter to go for, is compatibility. Check your chosen shifter will work with your rear derailleur before purchasing. Once you’re all set up you can enjoy smooth, slick shifting for years to come.