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Replacing grip shifts with rapid fire.
I just bought a used Giant Cypress DX with Grip shifts. I never used grip shifts before and I don't think I like them after a few rides. The bike has an 8 speed Shimano 11-30 cassette and a Shimano Alivio rear derailleur. Also, I like to have alternate hand placement to keep my hands awake.

I few years ago I bought a Delta(I think) MTB Ergo handlebar with sort of built in bar ends. The ergo bar is a few inches shorter than the existing riser bar so the bar room will be a bit smaller. I would like to replace the bars, brake levers and shifters. I am looking at the Shimano ST-M410 Alivio V-Brake Shift/Brake Lever 8 Speed Set or the Shimano ST-EF50 Acera EZ Fire Plus Shift and Brake Lever. I don't know the pros and cons of these shifters over each other. Also, would I be better off using the Shimano SL-M410 Alivio 8 Speed Shift Lever Set and a set of Exage Trail brake levers I have on hand. Will any or all of these combinations work. Should I spring a few more $'s for something better? I'd rather not break the bank but if it's worth it maybe ....

I have been away from riding for a while and I always used road components so excuse my newbieness.
Am I the only one who thinks the phrase "comfort Bike" is an oxymoron?
Yeah those will all work, and to be honest there really isn't that much in it between them. They're all budget shifters, I think the Alivio is slightly higher end (though none of them are "high end" to be fair) but don't quote me on that.

I personally don't like brake/shifter combis, as I can't get the levers and shifters where I really want them. I prefer having the brake levers nice and low, but with a combi set this puts the shifter parts in a rather awkward position. I also run my brake levers a fair way inboard, which doesn't work with these sets as the shifter's then too far away. They're a handy unit for space saving, but I doubt that will be a real issue on that bike

I assume you're just using this for commuting (I looked it up on Giant's website and that's basically what it is), if so then the ones you have to hand will be fine (assuming you've got an 8-speed casette).

Fit them and see what you think, if they don't work for you then look at something a little bit more expensive. The only ones I can name that I'd recommend are more MTB ones which probably have too higher price tag for what I assume you're using it for.
Thanks JonB. I bought the bike primarily for trails and local riding. I always used a road/touring bike with 700x28 or or 700x35 tires for the local trails which are packed limestone and fairly smooth. I'm planning to do the Pittsburgh to DC Great Atlantic Passage/C&O towpath this summer and the C&O towpath is very rough in places. I had a chance to get the CypressDX for a reasonable price and I thought the 700x40's and fork and seatpost suspension would make the ride easier.

I figured the combinations would be less flexible in shifter position but I wasn't sure. I think I will go with the Shimano Alivio SL-M410 shifters and a pair of unused Exage Trail brake levers I have from a previous project. The brake levers may be a bit more inboard but I think they will be fine. I got a bit confused with the 1:1 and 2:1 ratios but I figure an Alivio shifter should work with an Alivio derailleur.
Good luck with that. Whilst those shifters aren't fantastic they should be fine for what you're doing.

Having never owned an Alivio I can only go with what the manufacturer says. The two should be fine, and I believe the mech will work with any rapidfire shifter, so if your shifting isn't great you could get something like a Deore or LX shifter and it (in theory) will be fine. It's generally best to throw money at the shifter end rather than the mech to improve shifting as you see more of a benefit. To be honest though, unless you're properly going for it round your local trails and continually shifting gears those Alivio ones should be fine.
My Cannondale Q5 has Alivio Rapid Fires on a flat bar and they work very well. As has been said you lose the ability to locate the brakes in a different position from the shifter but it's a pretty easy thing to get used to. The shifters are smooth and work well even though they are, as Jon B points out, budget shifters. It could also be said with some correctness that at $450 the bike itself is a budget bike but it does exactly what I need it to and very reliably so I see no reason to spend more unless by doing so I am soothing my need to spend money on my hobby.
Things are getting worse faster than I can lower my standards
In my opinion, even friction thumb shifters are better than any rotary!!
(01-19-2011, 12:24 PM)trevgbb Wrote:  In my opinion, even friction thumb shifters are better than any rotary!!

I have SRAM rotary shifters on my Cypress and had them on my old Sedona and I actually prefer them over the Tiagra shifters on my road bike. I can shift across multiple gears in one motion and the shifting is smooth and easy. This is great when going up a hill or a bridge. Although I am getting used to the shifter/brake combination on my Defy, I still like the rotary shifters on the Cypress.
HCFR Cycling Team
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