I'm looking into a hopefully short-term solution for my daughter's small hands for shifting the left/front. Current setup is Shimano Sora with triple on the front. She can shift the right side fine, it's just the front/left. We've already had the shop add the shims to bring the shifter levers closer to the bars, but that's not really the problem. The problem is that her hands are to small/weak to overcome the resistance of the derailleur spring (going from smaller chainrings -> larger...going large to small is no problem).

I'm trying to avoid changing out the whole drivetrain, and I want to retain as much of the existing gearing that she has.

Ideas I had:

  • SRAM double-tap. Probably not viable as I believe it is double-only, and I think I would also need to use a SRAM front derailleur as well since the cable pull ratio is different.

  • Shimano TT bar-end shifter. Not sure these are available for triple?

  • Downtube shifter(s). Not sure about this one as the frame has an oversized downtube and no standoffs for shifter mounting.

  • 1
    Most bar end shifters are suitable for triple chainrings. Since she can use her whole hand, it would be a good deal easier to shift and trim when needed. Also, you can swap in one shifter and leave the indexed brifter on the right (and use the left brifter as a brake only).
    – WTHarper
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 2:11
  • I am guessing electronic shifters are out of the question. It would solve the problem but presumably a very price solution. I actually get cramp in my hands at the end of long rides and find it difficult to shift gears. My solution will be either this one or SRAM double tap in future.
    – robthewolf
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 12:35
  • I did think about electronic shifters, a little. Definitely pretty spendy new, but maybe I can find a used one that won't break the bank.
    – djangodude
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 15:33
  • FYI-RivBike sells individual bar-end shifters: MicroShift brand for $46. A piece of housing, some bar tape, and a new shifter cable and she's back in business!
    – WTHarper
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


You could run a bar end or downtube shifter in friction mode to accommodate a triple.

You can run a sram shifter with shimano FD, but they only work for double as you suspected. For the most part, FDs are dumb, it's mostly just the shifter that has all the smarts.

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