I am changing to bullhorn handlebars and I'm having some difficulty figuring out what sort of derailleur and shifter I should get. I would like to use a 9 speed bar end shifter as I currently have a SRAM X5 1x9 drivetrain running 11-34 - 9 speed cassette with a 42T chainring.

I will be mostly commuting and I don't want 'bottom of the barrel' as far as price but I also don't want 'top of the line' professional components either.

  • It's not clear if you are looking for a shifter unit, or a rear derailleur or both. Nov 16, 2017 at 2:28
  • I'd like a 9 speed thumb shifter and I'm willing to change the derailleur if need be. I currently have a SRAM X5 9 speed shifter but I have no allegiance to SRAM. Nov 16, 2017 at 15:58
  • In the question you say "bar end shifter" and in your comment you say "thumb shifter". Those are two different things. This a pretty broad question and is basically asking for a product recommendation. There are so many possible options out there that we can't really give a definitive answer. I would say, find the shifter you want then pick a derailleur that's compatible. Nov 17, 2017 at 20:45
  • ok you are correct and thank you. I meant thumb shifter. I'm realizing now that what I want is the use the Paul thumbies to turn a down tube shifter into a 'thumb shifter'. But I appreciate your final suggestion. It's helped me a lot! Much appreciated! Nov 18, 2017 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


After some searching I did not find any SRAM 9-speed compatible bar end shifters, so as you say the easiest path forward is to swap out the derailleur as well.

Microshift makes a range of Shimano MTB compatible bar-end shifters in 8, 9, 10 and 11 speeds.

If you want to stick with 9 speed you need an Alivio or below (Acera, Altus) derailleur. Alivio is definitely not 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' and is perhaps a step up from SRAM X5. An Alivio 9 speed derailleur will work with your cassette.

If you want to upgrade to 10 speed then Deore and SLX derailleurs are options. You will obviously need to get a 10 speed cassette and chain as well.

  • You can also use a jtek shiftmate too
    – Batman
    Dec 24, 2017 at 22:23

We don't do product rec here, but I will note that SRAM rear derailleurs are compatible across road and mountain groups for 9 speed, as are Shimano.

So, if you have a Shimano rear derailleur, buy another Shimano shifter and keep the existing derailleur (or Shimano compatible, e.g. from Microshift). If you have a SRAM rear derailleur, replace Shimano with SRAM in the last sentence and ignore the parenthesis.

  • sorry I'm new to this forum so what's 'product rec'? And yes I did search for a SRAM (or any other for that matter) bar end shifter but was unable to find any. That's the reason for this post. If there is a bar end shifter that would work with the SRAM X5 then great. Please direct me if so. I haven't been able to find any in my research which is why I was thinking I would have to change the derailleur to Shimano in order to get a bar end shifter that would work. Nov 16, 2017 at 15:59
  • 1
    Product recommendations Nov 16, 2017 at 16:05

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