Tiny Gated Manual Shifter Lets You Bang Through Your Bike’s Gears

This one’s a 10-speed, so just like Fast and Furious.

byDec 9, 2021 11:41 AM
Tiny Gated Manual Shifter Lets You Bang Through Your Bike’s Gears
Share

Normal drivers and cyclists usually have a somewhat contentious relationship, but let me tell you, it doesn't have to be that way. We both have wheels, right? And maybe if there were a few more similarities between cars and bikes, we would have more common ground to stand on. Take this tiny bicycle H-pattern shifter for example; what a perfect way to get car enthusiasts more excited about the wonderful world of cycling. 

As posted on Cycling Tips, this particular shifter has been in development for some time. The tinkerer responsible for its creation, Ryoichi Inoue, just posted a video of an updated version of the system being tested with an electronic derailleur—that's the device that moves the chain around on a bicycle to adjust its ratios. 

Really, this tiny H-pattern stick is just an electronic switch that tells the derailleur which position to move into. It's not connected up mechanically to the bike's drivetrain in any way. There are no linkages or steel cables sprouting from the bottom of it; it's just a tiny shifter mounted to the handlebars that sends commands to change gear via what looks like an Arduino. In a post on CyclingTips.com, Inoue states the shifter uses an axis sensor very similar to what's found on the joystick of a Playstation controller to get the job done.

As it's a 10-speed derailleur, the gated shifter has ten slots, something you're not going to find in a car. Honestly, trying to find the right gear while you're riding using the tiny stick might not be very practical, but we're car people. We're not known for loving what's most practical. If the bike was something like a four or five-speed, it would be a lot easier to shift on the move. You also don't need a reverse gear or a clutch, and if you accidentally shift back into first instead of third when you're trying to do a peel, well, the damage is gonna be a helluva lot cheaper to repair.

We've reached out to Inoue to get more information about the gadget and his future plans for it. He's said before that it isn't weatherproof at all, so using it outdoors might be a bit of an issue. In somewhere like California though? Rain is not a problem. I could see a lot of cyclists in the Golden State getting onboard with this shifter, even if it's just a novelty. 

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: peter@thedrive.com