The 10 Best Mountain Bike Shifters with Buying Guide

Understanding the components of your mountain bike is important. You need to understand what each part does, how it works, and how it can be replaced to keep your MTB in great condition.

A mountain bike shifter controls the gearing mechanism on your bike. Mountain bike shifters move the bike’s chain between the chain-rings and the cogs on the rear cassette. These shifters are found on the handlebar for easy access and use.

There are two main types of mountain bike shifters twist shifters, and thumb shifters, along with a variety of different types of compatibility which must also be taken into account when choosing what mountain bike shifter to purchase.

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Quick Answer – Best Mountain Bike Shifters

Selecting the best mountain bike shifters is essential in order to maximize both your performance and enjoyment during your mountain biking adventures.

Mountain bike shifters help you maintain a steady speed regardless of the terrain by allowing you to quickly upshift or downshift depending on the slope of the trail. This will help you save energy allowing you to ride longer and tackle more difficult trails.

As I’m sure you know mountain bike shifters are one of the most essential components on a mountain bike, and if you choose the correct mountain bike shifter for your needs, they will automatically improve your mountain biking experience.

Throughout the rest of this article, I will give you my professional opinion on a number of different mountain bike shifters that I have used during my time riding both road and mountain bikes.

Hopefully by the end of this article, you will have learned everything you need to know about mountain bike shifters in order to make an informed and appropriate purchase for you mountain biking needs.

We hope you enjoy this article about mountain bike shifters and as always if you have any suggestions about what you want us to cover next please leave a comment down below and we will get to it as soon as possible. With that being said lets jump into my all-time favorite set of mountain bike shifters!

Bike gear shifter

Finding the best MTB shifters is not a difficult task if you know what to look for. Even if you aren’t a professional mechanic, you can pick the most suitable shifters for your bike. Here, we review some of the best products on the market and we also explain how to pick the most reliable shifters for your next mountain biking adventure.

Reviews of The Top 10 Mountain Bike Shifters

Not all mountain bikes are made equal, there are some good, some not so good, and some that we wouldn’t recommend to our worst enemy. When choosing a mountain bike you are free to pick whatever level you want from a cheap beginner bike to an expensive, high-end bike designed for the pros. However, if you are at a level where you are looking to replace and upgrade your mountain bike shifters, you should at least be buying some decent quality equipment. There is no such thing as “entry-level” mountain bike shifters, especially when you are looking to upgrade the shifters that came with your mountain bike.

If you are buying new mountain bike shifters you should be looking for high quality products which is why I will only be covering shifters that I have used personally, and know are high quality. Good mountain bike shifters should be durable, efficient, and relatively quiet among other feature. They should be responsive to you touch but not so responsive that they sometime shift gears on accident.

Finally they should be completely, 100% reliable so that you know, when you get on your bike, your shifters will perform exactly as you expect them to.
After my many years in the mountain biking industry I have gathered a good deal of experience with different shifter from your more beginner twist shifters to the most high end trigger shifter you can find. In this section, you will find my professional opinion on what I believe to be the ten best mountain bike shifters that you can currently find. These products have all been hand tested by myself and my team, both on off-road trails and more flat urban roads so that you know exactly what you getting when you decide to buy one of these excellent shifters.

We decided to test some products, trying to find the best bike shifters. In this section, you will find our honest opinion as we mention the pros and cons of each type in our reviews of the best mountain bike shifters. This will give you the information you can rely on for a good purchase decision.

1. SRAM X1 11-Speed Trigger Shifter

While not the most expensive or high end mountain bike shifters on the market, the SRAM X1 trigger shifters are, in my opinion, the best mountain bike shifters in the world when you take into account price, performance, and reliability. Produced by SRAM, one of the most famous cycling companies in the world, these mountain bike shifters have never once let me down.


I have spent more money on supposedly “better” shifters and in my opinion no other shifters have ever outperformed the SRAM X1. With these shifters, you can rest assured that you will never miss a gear and thanks to the excellent technology employed by SRAM you will enjoy some of the fastest and most effortless shifting ever. These durable and lightweight mountain bike shifters deliver top of the line performance at a price that is extremely reasonable compared to some other high end mountain bike shifters.

The designers made sure that these shifters are going to deliver precise and smooth shifting and with precise shifting, you will never miss a gear whether you are going up or a down a rough trail. In addition to having great performance, these mountain bike shifters are also very comfortable. They fit my hand and grip extremely well and I have never had any hand cramping while using them, which is not true for all mountain bike shifters.

These shifters are matchmaker X-compatible which is a great feature and come with a clamp that eliminates bar clutter. This means that you can attach everything within reach for better performance. Overall these are my clear number one pick for best mountain bike shifters. Over my many years riding mountain bikes I am yet to come across a set of mountain bike shifters that perform significantly better than the SRAM X11 for anything close to the low price that you pay for these top of the line mountain bike shifters.


  • Strong aluminum body with aluminum pull lever.
  • Zero loss engagement for instant gear shifting.
  • Easy trigger shifting.
  • Switching gears is easy and effortless.
  • X-compatible clamp to minimize bar clutter.


  • Some users found them difficult to install.
SRAM X1 11-Speed Trigger Shifter

SRAM X1 11-Speed Trigger Shifter


2. Shimano Tourney ST-A070 STI Shifter

As most of you probably know from reading some of our other reviews, Shimano produces some of the best mountain bike components in the world and the Shimano Tourney shifter is no exception. Weighing almost nothing and providing impressive responsiveness and control these shifter have been a god send for my flatter riding outings. Not exactly a mountain bike specific set of shifter the Shimano Tourney is designed more for a road bike however, due to their versatile nature they can certainly be used on a mountain bike, after all I have used them on my mountain bike for years and they have never been an issue.


Compatible with nearly every type of system you have the Shimano Tourney is one of our absolute favorite set of shifters due to their high end performance, and reasonable price point. After using these mountain bike shifters for a long time I have had a lot of experience with them and can confidently say that they will not disappoint. The Shimano Tourney shifter shifts smoothly, quietly and efficiently, giving you complete control over your bike and its speed.


  • Easy to install and comes with all necessary tools except for cable cutters
  • Super responsive shifting that takes little to no effort
  • Compatible with a variety of different set ups making the install process much easier
  • High quality, durable component that is built to handle everything you throw at it
  • Produced by Shimano, one of the best producers of mountain bike shifters in the world


  • Somewhat heavier than other shifters, but this will not make a noticeable difference on the trail
  • Slightly more expensive than other high quality shifters
Shimano Tourney ST-A070 STI Shifter

Shimano Tourney ST-A070 STI Shifter

3. XTR 9000 MountaBike SShimano hifter

in These bike shifters are lightweight, durable and some of the more high end mountain bike shifters that you can find. Like all Shimano products the Shimano XTR 9000 mountain bike shifters are extremely well made and I have never had an issue with them. That is one of the great things about buying from a well-known, and highly respected company like Shimano, you will almost certainly get what you are expecting in terms of quality and performance. These mountain bike shifter are no exception and although they are not my absolute favorite Shimano shifters they are, in my opinion, the second best Shimano brand shifters that you can find right below the Shimano Tourney.


One of my favorite features of the Shimano XTR lever shifter is the length of the levers. These levers are what you use to actually change gears on a mountain bike shifter and sometimes companies make them very small and short. This results in a lever that is a bit more difficult to reach, especially when you are going downhill on a rugged mountain bike trail. On the Shimano XTR the lever are quite long which allows me and my short thumbs to reach the levers quite easily without changing my grip or looking away from the trail. 

Now I know what you might be thinking, if the levers are so long isn’t there a good chance that you hit it and change gears accidentally. I thought this at fist as well, however after testing out these mountain bike shifters I came to the conclusion that this would never be a problem. The levers are place at an angle where during routine hand repositions they would not get in the way, however when you are looking to change gears they are readily accessible. Overall I would give these shifters an 8.5 out of 10, they are some of the best mountain bike shifter I have used and if you are looking for new high quality shifters that can handle rugged terrain, look no further than the Shimano XTR 9000.


  • Easy installation and calibration of your mountain bike shifters
  • Long levers which allow to simple gear changing anytime during your ride 
  • Extremely ergonomic production that provides comfortable use of your mountain bike shifters
  • Produced by Shimano


  • Not the most attractive shifters in the world, could have a more sleek design
  • Might be less effective for intense downhill mountain biking as they were not specifically designed for that
XTR 9000 MountaBike SShimano hifter

XTR 9000 MountaBike SShimano hifter

4. Shimano Ultegra 6800 STI Shifters

The Ultegra 6800 STI shifters offer a refined mountain biking experience for riders who want to experience some of the highest level of gear shifting technology. These mountain bike shifters have a durable cover made of a dual-compound rubber composite which provides reliable performance along with unmatched comfort while riding. Unlike the bulkier models that I have ridden with, these shifters are noticeably slimmer which has provided me with easy access and shifting during some of my more intense rides. This is a very important feature as being able to access your shifters no matter what is happening during your ride is something that all high performance riders must consider. The mechanical components of these mountain bike shifters are made of durable carbon fiber, which is one of the most versatile and high performance materials in the world. Finally they feature an outward curve design that is suitable for most hand shapes, and one of the things I most like about these shifters. The curve perfectly matches my hand position while riding which ensures that I remain comfortable through my ride no matter how long it is.


The shifting mechanism is essentially perfect. The lever stroke has been shortened almost by 13% which means that you don’t have to go the full length to push the lever. This guarantees faster and more reliable shifting which is definitely required when buying a high priced sent of mountain bike shifters such as these. This also reduces the effort you need to expend while you  are mountain biking on a challenging trail. With minimum effort, downshifting becomes as easy as upshifting. The cables are polymer coated for flawless performance with almost zero mechanical drag.

Although the SRAM X1’s are still my overall favorite mountain biking shifters, if you are willing to spend a bit more money the Shimano Ultegra shifters are the smoothest and most reliable shifters in the world. The difference in performance between this and the SRAM X1 mountain bike shifters is nothing ridiculous, however, for a high performance cycler investing in professional grade mountain bike shifters like the Shimano Ultegra’s is highly recommended. 


  • Durable carbon fiber shifter.
  • Polymer coated cables for fast shifting.
  • Shorter lever strokes.
  • Outward curved design to suit most hands.
  • Crisp upshifting and downshifting.


  • Although there is little lever resistance, you still need to do that extra effort for the big cogs.
  • Expensive
Shimano Ultegra 6800 STI Shifters

Shimano Ultegra 6800 STI Shifters

5. SRAM MRX Comp Twist Shifter

The first set of twist shifters on our list of best mountain bike shifter, the SRAM MRX twist shifters are some of the finest twist shifters that you can find. Unlike trigger shifters, twist shifters are integrated fully into the handlebar of your mountain bike and can even be used as a sort of extension of the handlebar. Usually for twist shifters the left shifter has 3 speeds while the right has as few as 5 and as many as 7 speeds. If you are riding a bike that is capable of 21 speeds, aka it needs the correct drive train and derailleurs and gears, to calculate the gear your in simply multiply the left speed number by the right speed number. For example, to get to speed 15 simply put the left twist shifter into position 3 and the right shifter into position 5.


Twist shifters are the only real beginner mountain bike sifters and they are great for beginners because they keep things simple. Full handlebar integration and shifting that occurs through a simple twist of your hand can make beginner mountain bikers feel comfortable and safe on the trails while changing gears. What I believe makes the SRAM MRX mountain bike twist shifter so great is that it is reliable. One of the biggest issues with twist shifters is that overtime they lose their touch and become far less responsive and reliable. I use these mountain bike shifters for one of my more inexpensive mountain bikes and have hand them for over 5 years. Since buying them they have never been replaced and have only been adjusted once. This is a remarkable level of durability for twist shifter and one of the main reasons that I decided to put these twist shifters so high up on my list of best mountain bike shifters. 

Although you will never get the precision shifting of a trigger shifters with a more inexpensive set of twist shifter, that does not mean that they are useless. These SRAM twist shifters are great for people looking to get high quality shifters on a budget, for a kids bike that will be outgrown soon and doesn’t need high end components, or on a cheaper bike that you do not want to put a ton of money into. For whatever reason you’re buying new mountain bike shifters if you are looking for a decent quality set of shifter that does everything you need the SRAM MRX twist shifters are a great choice. They are not as precise as some of my other shifters but at their price that is to be expected. I have not been disappointed in my decision to buy these mountain bike shifters and if you are looking for some entry level shifters this would be a very solid option. Additionally if you ever need help with your shifters there is a full article about the SRAM MRX twist shifter that discusses everything you need to know about these mountain bike shifters. 


  • Very easy to install
  • Inexpensive compared to the vast majority of other mountain bike shifters
  • Simple and intuitive twist shifting that all riders will understand 
  • Smooth and quick gear shifting
  • Compatible with a number of different brands including Shimano 


  • Twist shifters in general are less precise than trigger shifters
  • Somewhat heavier than other more high end shifters
  • Not as many speeds as trigger shifters

6. Shimano Acera SL-M310 Rapid Fire Shifter, Left

This is one of the best 7-speed mountain bike shifters because they are lightweight and extremely reliable. These shifters are very affordable, yet are designed to provide miles of accurate and smooth shifting. They are the best shifters to save your effort and help you maintain a steady speed regardless of the nature of the terrain.


These sturdy shifters are made of durable steel that is designed to withstand rough handling. The body is rugged enough to help you shift gears for as many miles as you desire to go. The bracket is made of painted aluminum and the base is made of long-lasting resin.

These shifters are made for flat or riser bars with an ergonomic thumb level. Your fingers will not get pinched or hurt as you are trying to shift gear on a challenging trail. They also come with an index finger trigger for the easiest shifting experience. Moreover, they come with an optical display that tells you exactly which gear you are in. They are the perfect shifters for various hand shapes.


  • Budget-friendly shifters.
  • Aluminum painted bracket.
  • Accurate and precise shifting.
  • Suitable for flat and riser bars.
  • Ergonomic thumb lever.


  • Installing these shifters is not very easy.
Shimano Acera SL-M310 Rapid Fire Shifter, Left

Shimano Acera SL-M310 Rapid Fire Shifter, Left

7. Shimano 105 ST-5800 11-Speed STI Shifters

These Shimano shifters feature the same high-class shifting technology from the Dura-Ace line but in a much more affordable package. They are ergonomically designed to suit mountain bikers who have small hands. Every time you shift gears, you can rest assured knowing that your finger and thumb are going to be safe. You also don’t have to go the whole length to shift to the next gear.


These shifters provide smooth and precise shifting in addition to more power when you are riding on challenging trails. They are exceptionally slim and are not bulky like other models. This makes them stylish in addition to being highly practical and functional. They feature a curved arc that follows the natural contours of your hand. They also feature an inward shift stroke whose distance has been reduced for precise gear shifting.

These shifters come with polymer coated cables. They can also be easily adjusted to fit all hands. They are extremely reliable and durable because they are designed for the best performance when riding on the hoods.


  • Sturdy alloy shifters.
  • Polymer coated cables.
  • Slim design.
  • Curved arc for reliable performance.
  • Inward shift stroke with reduced distance for precise shifting.


  • These shifters are heavier than other models.

8. SunRace Mountain or Folding Bike Twistshift Shifter

These are the lightest and the most affordable shifters on our list. Nevertheless, they do the job just like high-end products allowing you to enjoy your time on the trail without having to break the bank. If you are not a professional mechanic, you’d definitely love how easy to use and install these shifters are.


If you are tired of pricey shifters, then you can install those on your mountain bike because they are Shimano and Sram compatible. They come with all the needed instructions in addition to high-quality galvanized cables for the best performance on the trail.

These are the best shifters for your beginner’s bike because they are very easy to use. They can also be used on your kid’s mountain bike, opening up their eyes to a new world of adventure with the family.


  • Very lightweight design.
  • Affordable low-profile shifters.
  • Suitable for beginners and kids’ bikes because they are easy to use.
  • Shimano and Sram compatible.
  • Come with high-quality cables.


  • These are not designed for heavy duty riding.
SunRace Mountain or Folding Bike Twistshift Shifter

SunRace Mountain or Folding Bike Twistshift Shifter

9. SRAM X5 9-Speed Trigger Mountain Bike Shifter Set

Are you looking for a pair of shifters that will last a lifetime? Look no more. These amazing 9 speed shifters are very smooth and easy to use with no mechanical drag as they will work smoothly with your cogs. They are made of durable metal and are ergonomically designed for fast and guaranteed shifting.


These shifters are among the ones that you can easily install and completely forget about them. All you need is your thumb to shift gear in a fraction of a second. You can even upshift by operating the small lever using just the knuckle of your thumb. These shifters take the term “short strokes” to a whole new level. This means that you would still be able to hold your handlebars normally with your focus 100% on the trail you are exploring.

The simple yet reliable design of these shifters allows you to enjoy fine grain adjustments. They are not as expensive as other models but they are extremely reliable. They are the perfect fit for any handlebars you have on your MTB.


  • Long-lasting metal shifters for smooth shifting.
  • Affordable shifters.
  • Easy installment with the ability to make fine adjustments.
  • Fast shifting between gears.
  • Knuckle shifting to keep your hands on the handlebars.


  • These shifters are a bit heavy.

10. Shimano Dura-Ace Barend Bicycle Shift Lever

These bike shifters are lightweight, durable and quite affordable. In a Shimano mountain bike shifters comparison, these definitely stand out because they are very well made. These 8-speed shifters can handle a double or triple crankset. They are very easy to use and are quite reliable. They are the best to rely on when you are trying to explore challenging trails.


The front friction makes shifting super easy. The rear can be used indexed or in friction mode which allows you to use your shifters in any setup. Users love the accurate and reliable shifting they get with these lightweight shifters as they prevent mechanical drag for the smoothest experience. They interface well with the derailleurs for best performance.

The best thing about these shifters is that they are very easy to install. You don’t have to be a professional mechanic to get the best shifting experience for your bike. Moreover, you get to enjoy the easy calibration.


  • Affordable, lightweight shifters.
  • Easy installation and calibration.
  • Work with a double or triple crankset.
  • Front friction and back indexed or friction shifting for a smooth shifting.


  • The cable housing is too short. You need to get a longer one especially if you are a tall rider.
Shimano Dura-Ace Barend Bicycle Shift Lever

Shimano Dura-Ace Barend Bicycle Shift Lever

11. Shimano Acera SL-M390 3 x 9 Speed Trigger Shifters NEW

These are great shifters made of aluminum and plastic. They are very sturdy but they are lightweight and sleek so they won’t cause any clutter on your bars. These trigger shifters are the best for fast and reliable shifting when you are going on a rough trail.


These are the perfect shifters for 9-speed bikes because they are they are fast and precise. You get an immediate response every time you use them although they are quite affordable. If you are about to climb an elevation, all you have to do is to press these shifters for 3 seconds for a quick downshift. This can hammer down 3 sprockets at one go.

They are very rugged from a quality standpoint. These are designed for serious riders who tend to use their MTBs on rough trails. They come with a reliable cable for easy and fast installation. They look basic but they will never disappoint you.


  • Durable shifters.
  • Sleek design.
  • Trigger shifters for a quick downshift.
  • Rugged for rough performance.
  • Easy to install.


  • They don’t come with cable housing.

12. Shimano Rapidfire Plus SL-M670

Shimano is one of the leading manufacturers in the field of mountain bike accessories. They put a great emphasis on the quality of their products and these shifters are no exception. They are well made with an improved ergonomic design to accommodate the natural contours of your hand. The ergonomic design allows you to enjoy the reliable and exceptional performance every time you decide to switch gears on the trail.


The shifting operation is easy so you can have your whole focus on the trail ahead of you. Thanks to the 2-way release, you can now enjoy shifting from various riding positions. They click right into place and can drop 3 gears at one go with one quick swift. Using your finger and your thumb, you can alternate between upshifting and downshifting to maintain the right speed for your trail. Shifting is clean with no mechanical drag that can affect how your mountain bike will function on different terrains. If you are looking for the best bicycle thumb shifter, then this is definitely the one to consider.

The shifters don’t need any adjustment before delivering the best performance. They will work as great with 2X and 3X setups to accommodate your bike regardless of its type. Moreover, the shifters come with an optical display that shows you what gear you are in. If you don’t like that, you can replace the display with a face plate which makes the shifters lighter and less bulky.


  • Ergonomic design that puts less pressure on your hands.
  • Alternating between index and thumb motion for fast upshifting and downshifting.
  • Shifting from various riding positions.
  • Works with 2X and 3X setups.
  • Come with an optical display which can be replaced for a less bulky design.


  • They don’t come with cables.
Shimano Rapidfire Plus SL-M670

Shimano Rapidfire Plus SL-M670



How to Choose the Mountain Bike Gear Shifters?

Mountain bike shifters are some of the most important parts on your mountain bike and unless you are are a pretty stringent budget, we believe it is one of the components where you should be looking to get a more high level piece. Mountain bike shifters will help you to enjoy your ride more by allowing you to change gears easily making pedaling easier regardless of the terrain. 

Because you will be using your mountain bike shifters every single time you head out to the trail, it is important that you pick a high quality shifter that is right for your needs. Choosing the right mountain bike shifter is not the easiest thing in the world but in order to ensure your safety, comfort and performance on the trail it is something you need to do.

Making sure that you buy reliable, durable, and compatible mountain bike shifters are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a new pair of shifters and all of the items we have reviewed today check off most of those boxes. However because all mountain bikes are different you need to be sure to check the compatibility of the shifter with your bike’s derailleur. 

Over this last portion of our article on the best mountain bike shifters, we will go over some things to look out for when buying new mountain bike shifters, as well as some helpful information on some things such as the compatibility of your shifters. 

i. Compatibility

Before evaluating a pair of shifters for their performance, you need to make sure that they are compatible with you mountain bikes derailleur. As mountain bike shifters improve so too does their ability to be compatible with more types of derailleurs however, that does not mean that compatibility is no longer important. Many mountain bike shifters are compatible with a variety of derailleurs but you still need to check to make sure the mountain bike shifter you’re buying is compatible with your specific derailleur. Unfortunately this is more of a case by case basis depending on the shifter that you decide to buy, but if you are looking for some more information on mountain bike shifter compatibility, this article in BikeRadar does an excellent job explaining mountain bike shifter compatibility.

ii. Material

The material that your mountain bike shifter is made out of is also very important. Most often mountain bike shifters are made either out of metal or carbon fiber. Alloy or metal shifters are less expensive and might look basic but are often good enough for reliable shifting. They are the best shifters if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, however if you are looking to upgrade your current mountain bike shifters we strongly recommend carbon fiber shifters. Carbon fiber shifters are more expensive but they are very lightweight, less bulky, and far more durable. 

If you want to keep your handlebars looking neat and elegant then you might want to invest in the pricier, but clearly better, carbon fiber mountain bike shifters. They are the best in terms of durability, and performance, and will not disappoint. In my opinion if you are going to be upgrading the shifters that come with your mountain bike it would definitely be worth it to invest in something a bit more high end, however if you are just looking to replace some old twist shifters, carbon fiber might not be necessary. 

iii. Friction or Indexed Shifters

When it comes to the type of shifting in mountain bike shifters there are two types of shifting that you should be aware of: friction shifters and indexed shifters. We will give a quick overview of both but if you would like a more in depth analysis of mountain bike shifters and their types, this article on is an excellent resource.

The type of mountain bike shifters that you are all probably familiar with are indexed shifters. In indexed shifting there are notches that regulate the shifting and control the distance that the shifter moves. This regulation allows for uniform movement and enables anyone to be able to change gears on the bike without any practice, almost like an automatic car transmission. In comparison, friction shifting is more akin to a manual car. These days friction shifters are far less common as they require a decent bit of skill and some practice to perfect. Mountain bike shifters that are friction shifters work in the same way as indexed shifters but without the notches. Because of this, the shifter can move freely rather than taking steps, imagine indexed shifters as moving up stairs where each step is a different speed, and friction shifting as walking up a ramp. Both types of shifters can be in the same speed but there are many intermediate levels to friction shifting that cannot be accomplished with indexed shifting.  

All this may sound quite intimidating and if I am being completely honest I prefer indexed shifters, however with a little practice friction shifters can be as good, if not better, than indexed shifter. They are more precise, more quiet, and once you are good enough, more efficient as well. For a seasoned mountain biker, it might be worth it to investigate whether or not you prefer friction shifters, however in my professional opinion indexed shifters are almost certainly the way to go. INdexed shifters are far more common and are much more intuitive to operate and because of this friction shifters have grown less and less popular over time. Indexed shifters are more common nowadays because they are very easy to use. All you have to do is to click a button on the shifter, and it will automatically shift to the next gear.

If you want to learn more about one of the most popular gearshift systems ever made, check out the Shimano Total Integration system (STI).

iv. Thumb or Twist Shifters

not you want twist shifters or trigger/ thumb shifters. Almost all of the highend mountain bike shifters are trigger shifters as they are more durable, precise, and efficient. Most of the mountain bike shifters that we covered in this review were trigger shifters however that does not mean that all twist shifters are bad. Twist shifters are less expensive but if you choose the right option they can still be quite reliable. I would recommend twist shifters to someone looking to replace a twist shifter on their bike, rather than someone who is looking to upgrade the mountain bike shifter. 

One of the benefits of twist shifters is that they are much cheaper than trigger shifter and they are great for beginners who have little experience with multi speed bikes. I know that whenever I have taken out a beginner mountain biker I always put them on a twist shifter bike at first because it gives them exposure to gear shifting without overwhelming them which having to use different fingers to change gears. Twist shifters are very straight forward and helps beginners focus on riding rather than being distracted by their complex trigger shifter. 

For the more experienced rider however, thumb or trigger are the clear choice and why we included so many in our best mountain bike shifters review. Trigger shifters allow for faster and far more efficient shifting. These high end models are much more expensive than twist shifters but will last a significantly longer time and are built to accommodate much more rugged and intense mountain biking experiences. Additionally, after just a little bit of practice using a trigger shifter will become as second nature as using a twist shifter and you will see how much better your biking performance can be when using these superior models.


Mountain bike shifters are crucial components to your mountain bike and although they require nothing but your hand power, they feature an outstanding amount of technology allowing you to enjoy your mountain biking experience with minimum effort. Making sure that you get the best mountain bike gear shifters is not a simple task and we hope that after reading our guide on the best mountain bike gear shifters you have learned a lot about what to look for.

We hope that this guide on the best mountain bike gear shifters has been informative and as always if you have a suggestion on what we should write about next please leave a comment down below and we will get to it as soon as possible!

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