New gear shifter gadget could help children learning to ride
A simple solution to a challenging problem
Sure Shift has designed a gear shifter extender designed to help overcome the challenging progression between riding a single speed and a fully geared bike.
The brand - which is an in house operation at distributor MooreLarge - says this device could transform the experience for children moving through the phases of learning to cycle.
Currently only compatible with popularly spec'ed Shimano M310 and M313 shifters, the brightly coloured rubber device simply slides over the 'up' leaver, creating a larger surface area that reduces the shifters tension and shortens the leverage arc.
According to Sure Shift, this addition simplifies the process of changing gear, making it more comfortable and easier to explain thanks to it's bright, easily identifiable colour and tactile material.
"Children learn to ride pedal bikes at a very young age, but the natural progression to a geared bike is really tricky for little hands" says Lauren Ryan, Sure Shift Project lead and innovator.
"I've worked with a lot of children in my previous role as Cycling Advocate and Leader at Derby Council, and I seen the joy of learning to ride diminish as soon as kids progress on to a geared bike as they're often too small to reach and understand the concept. Knocking it down the gears is easy for them, making it too hard to pedal and often just sees them loose interest."
"Some manufactures use a twist grip system, but that just delays the learning process, and can still be hard to use in the wet and mud, where as Sure Shift just simplifies it".
>>> Best Kids' bikes: tips for choosing a children's bike
Ryan says the idea was born after seeing parents wrap bar tape round the shifter as the most effective way of overcoming the problem, and the concept of a silicon extension was created.
"Children learn very cognitively when they're little" she explained, "and having a bright yellow big button that makes it easier to use allows children to just focus on the route ahead, meaning more challenging terrain can be tackled and controlled."
The first production is available to purchase now from local MoorLarge dealer bike shops priced at £15.00.
The plan is to extend the range to encompass more brand compatibility and colour options in the future.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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