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I just bought a new bicycle and I just read and watched some videos of how mountain bike gears work.

I noticed that the bike is a triple but the left gear shifter has more combinations than 3 (like the ones I saw in the videos). If I am not mistaken, there are the same amount of combinations as there are on the right gear shifter (something like 8).

Can someone explain how this works?

Thanks.

  • 2
    If you search for "trimming" here, you'll find why that is. – Batman Nov 4 '16 at 19:39
  • It varies with the type/brand/model of shifter, but with my brifters the left steps 3 steps when you FULLY operate the lever, but can be made to go one or two steps with a smaller movement. This lets you "trim" the front derailer position based on the rear sprocket chosen and the resulting "chain angle". – Daniel R Hicks Nov 4 '16 at 20:57
  • I wish I had trim on my triple - you're lucky! clatter-clatter-clatter – Criggie Nov 4 '16 at 23:48
  • Is it a gripshift with micro indexing? – Nathan Knutson Nov 5 '16 at 0:04
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Sounds like a friction front gripshifter with a "Micro-Adjust" shifter. As mentioned in the comments, that will let you "trim" the shifting a bit. As you change gears in the rear gears, the chain moves a little side to side, and may rub the front derailleur. That shifter lets you move the front derailleur cage a little bit to alleviate that chain rub.

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