Since 6 months review in Jan 31 2018, I have taken a lot of pictures, I have improved this review a lot, but I might update it again.
later may 21 2019 I added videos and improved the text.
The barrel adjuster is nice easy to adjust the wire tension.
A look inside:
A closer look at the mechanism:
The back plate is made of plastic and is secured with tree thicker bolts and a tiny screw.
Here you can see the top of the mechanism, the hexagon keeps the shifter to rotate, the bolt goes through the hole. the white stuff you see is the original Factory grease.
A closer look at the mount:
The carbon down shift lever got scratched, but it was fine:
I have managed to scrape up the Carbon trigger, I don’t know how or when, but probably in one of the few crashes I had, probably on asphalt or rock, but it held up well without any cracks or other damage, even after a year after this scratch happen.
Removal of bottom cover requires moving it over the lever, be careful doing this so you don’t damage the cover
Triggers withstood winter use
The shifter triggers withstand winter use,the downshift lever is made of carbon, The up shift trigger seems to be made of plastic carbon mix. Unlike some other plastic triggers shimano had to offer in the past, these don’t fail after few months of winter use,same goes for the xt version, but xt version has alloy downshift lever, and plastic trigger, but it can withstand winter use.
Where I live winter can be as – 10c midwinter, January, February, also a lot of temperature changes up and down, and very varied temps and conditions on the start and end, but they withstood it all very well, zero cracks.
No position adjustment:
Currently there does not seem to be a trigger shifter on the market that fits me, and have all the adjustments to make it fit me. also the fatigue I get from shifting makes Electronic systems interesting like Archer Components: https://www.archercomponents.com/
I have have tried the latest Sram shifters in my local sporting goods store, they too were not made for my hands, but at least they got a adjustment to the downshift trigger, to adjust the angle, but that’s not enough, but just by looking at it I could tell it would not work for me, also I can tell the other shifters I have seen won’t work well for me. I haven’t had the chance to try the latest 12 speed Shimano shifter yet, but I can see from reviews on YouTube and pictures on in the magazines, it does not seem like they would fit me well.
Shifters has to have adjustments to make it fit big and small hands and all in between, having one size does not work well. this has bothered me for many years, but most things with contact points on bikes has been fixed, some even like they read my mind, but I am sure I am not the only one who wished for many of these things.
The thumb will rub against the lock on clamp when shifting with the XTR M9000 shifter, but this is not the Grips’s fault, I would like some more adjustment for the XTR shifters, but so far this has not been an issue yet, this of course leads to wear where the thumb rubs.
here you can see thumb at the down-shift lever.
Another thing is when using the up-shift trigger with my index finger, I have to move my finger in uncomfortable way, I have to reach for the trigger or move my hand to actuate the trigger, but when using my thumb it will rub, but if I place it where it would be natural to place it, it sits half way on the trigger.
But as this is a shifter it’s not wearing as fast as a rear derailleur would, so it will last for ears, not much play has developed, if any, but I also have serviced it several times, to keep it running smoothly.
The lack of adjustment makes it impossible to set up properly even if this shifter fits you, with some brake s it might not work good.
With the new Shimano brakes(M7000, M8000, M9000), there is more room for clamping position.
XTR Shifter & TRP Spyke lever is not a good combo, with the Spyke lever I have less room to play with shifter placement.
This shifter does not fit me:
I would like to change the position of the shifter, for a better fit but the XTR M9000 shifter does not allow me to do this by default, I haven’t looked at alternative mounting solutions much, but the times I looked I did not find anything.
With my thumb joint issue causing the thumb to misaligned sure does not help when shifting, the big movements and pressure from the spring tension is fatiguing on it’s own, but the issues I have can cause even more problems, also make it more painful to shift when it happens, and having a Shifter that does not fit me, creates even more fatigue.
The shifter also has a firm click, it’s significantly different, from other Shimano shifters from the past, so you can feel the actuation better, but this adds to the fatigue I guess. But not as much as a rear derailleur with a clutch too tight, for example the first gen Box One ,which is actually abusing my thumb, to the point in the tip of my thumb like a needle, if I do too much shifting, it can take days before my thumb is back to normal.
Both triggers have play, the play has been present in all Shimano shifters I have used or tried.
The clamp is well engineered, for lightweight, but the connection between the mount & the shifter is flawed, there is slight rotational play between the mount and the shifter.
I have used it the XTR m9000 shifter with the Box One first generation rear derailleur, but the spring is a lot firmer than the spring on Shimano XT M8000 rear derailleur, so this makes it harder to downshift, more fatiguing, but even with the Shimano XT M8000 rear derailleur shifting is quite fatiguing, but that’s the negative part of a mechanical shifting rear derailleur.
Issues with bolts getting damaged too easily:
I have experienced too soft bolts on several drivetrain components, shifters, rear derailleurs, So this was not a surprise.
The bolt holding the shifter to the clamp was not tight enough when I checked it, so I unscrewed it applied Loctite 243 and screwed it back in, the bolt got damaged some, the stronger bolt should have been used, this is disappointing, but the bolt is supposed to be titanium, but there is too much wiggle room, which results in damage, even with a hex hey or bit that has great tolerances, it still will be bad, I have experienced this problem with several bolts from shimano, they all suffered from this, but not all have gotten as damaged yet, but they probably will eventually, you should insert tool and turn and not have wiggle room, but I can move the hex bit or key in evry direction, this is not something most people aspect from a high-end component, But I do, sadly there I see too many shortcuts in the bike industry.
I have tested several positions, and none of them worked well for me. but I settled on this one, but it will not be perfect.
For better grip I installed Tesa Anti Slip tape, on all controls, including the shifter, this has gave a much more secure shifting experience. of course there are other options, I just got this tape from one of my local hardware stores.
The difference in feel between XT & XTR:
Shimano XTR Shifting XT M8000 RD
First things I noticed compared to the Xt m8000 was the different feel, which is difficult to explain, but it’s different.
Shimano please make mounts and other components compatible with cheaper shifters, for example, the clamps, covers, and so on.
as you can see that xt clamp is overbuilt, unless they use different type of material, that requires it, though the rest of the shifter is not.
but it would be nice if there was just on shifter with several versions instead of the making it different just to be different and not compatible.
Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbhLWey