SRAM’s Grip Shift 10 speed is now officially official. They sent out a little press release this AM, and we’ve got some hands on with Jaroslav Kulhavy’s world cup winning bike’s pair.

Compared to the old Grip Shift, the barrel end is a little bulkier, but it’s alloy rather than the composites of past. Click feel is solid enough that it should prevent mis-shifts in most cases (OS downhill drops might be another story), but it still feels easy to dump gears when you want.


The rubber is really grippy, but feels like it’s sitting on a large enough bezel that they can keep it relatively thin. In other words, you shouldn’t be slipping when you try to shift, but it’s not mushy either.

Basically, fans of Grip Shift should be happy when it finally does get into production. While weight isn’t specified (nor is pricing or availability), SRAM is saying they’re answering the call from weight weenie racers.


Kulhavy’s bike had an interesting set up. The saddle was pushed all the way back and the stem was super long and flipped low.


More interesting from a spec standpoint was the Red front road derailleur he was running on it. Like all their 1:1 road and mountain stuff, looks like the Grip Shift twisters will be equally compatible across the board.

Now, we can look forward to a couple years of trickle down…we’re guessing X7 twisters for 2013 bikes!


  1. “Like all their 1:1 road and mountain stuff, looks like the Grip Shift twisters will be equally compatible across the board.”

    Minor correction, but “Exact Actuation” isn’t the same as the old “1:1” ratio the mountain stuff used before 10 speed. You can’t use a Force shifter with a 1:1 9-speed derailleur, for instance.

  2. Interesting that he went with a Red FD. Unless it’s one of those “pro” versions with the steel cage, I would think the Force FD would be a better choice for MTB, given the stiffer (albeit slightly heavier) cage. Any insight there?

  3. @ James

    I’ve seen at least one smaller frame builder use a braze on (ByStickel). I don’t think I’ve seen any larger scale production models do it though.

    I like the idea, it lets manufacturers chop the chainstays a bit more and still have more mud room. Never had the chance to wrench or ride one though…

  4. @ Phlat albert

    Might look like a cross setup, but not a chance that course was ridable on a cross bike. Did you see the creek crossing (gap jump)? Or some of those root sections down by the river? Pretty intense….

  5. I’ve always been a fan of GripShift. The shift mechanism is simple, and its use is intuitive.
    In fact, I’m still using 8spd GripShift on my ol hardtail.

  6. if a customer of mine walked in with that bike i’d have said the frame was too small of a frame for them. lol.

    as for the shifters: i get the impression that the left/front shifter is fully indexed (2 clicks only for double chainrings, 3 for a triple), and not multiple small clicks (like campy ergos)…?

  7. Yep, forgot to mention there’s no micro indexing on the front shifter, just two positions. I asked them andrhey said you don’t need it with 2×10 because you won’t get chain rub. I think there might be some with extreme cross chaining, but that really just means you need to shift the front anyway. Most likely, the exclusion of micro indexing is to simplify (read: lighten) the mech and make it so there’s no guessing during a race situation, it’s just one click to shift. Still it would be kinda nice.

  8. a 39 on a 29er is about right.

    A lot of guys are running their doubles more or less as a single ring with a bailout gear. 39 (or 38 if you have xtr) is a good driving gear and most pros will stay in that gear 90% of the time

What do you think?