There's a RIGHT and a LEFT shifter.
(They aren't compatible with Paul Thumby mounts. This isn't an oversight or a defect. We started from scratch and didn't copy anything. It works great.)
For thumb shifters, the O mounts on the LEFT, inside the bar. The X mounts on the RIGHT, inside the bar. Think of the animal OX. The O is on the left, etc. For bar-end shifters, it's the opposite. You can remember this by considering that in the real alphabet, O comes before X, and we read from left to right, so the X goes on the left and the O goes on the right, which is just the opposite of the way we read. You can put the X on the right and the O on the left for bar-end shifters, too, but the reasons that this works well also tend to make you worry about something that's not worth worrying about. We're working on boxes for these, but as of early July, we have zero.
Short story: These are friction shifters with a light ratchet. They don't index. They are beautiful, versatile, wonderful, and require skill. They're easy, though.
Longer story: They're our 2020 model version of SunTour’s 1982 XC mountain bike thumbshifter. We copied what was perfect: The idea, the guts, and the shape. We surgically inserted the SILVER1 guts (the light ratchet inside, which SunTour dubbed “power ratchet.” It’s a slight improvement over the original SunTour ratchet.
We polished them better and designed a more versatile mount, so now you can put them nearly anywhere, super conveniently—thanks to the hinged clamp—and most wonderfully, you can point the cable exit barrel in sixteen different directions, instead of three. Sixteen is ridiculous, of course, but we wanted the fineness-of-increment, not the quantity. There's no drawback or complication, it's just a bunch of notches, like more teeth on a cog.
These have been a long time in the making; more than five years, and three and a half years of designing and prototyping. They’ve been stupidly expensive, the details of which we’re not going to divulge, because it would make us look like stupid businesspeople.
But they are worth it. They came out better than we’d hoped at our most idealistic, because they took so long and we discovered theretofore unrealized possible improvements on the way.
You get more than a widget. Buying these means buying into an approach to gear that is curiously freakish these days, and has been for 35 years. It’s the idea that a mechanism or tool can be mechanically perfect and virtually un-improvable, while at the same time allowing its user to flub up a shift.
If you want skill-free perfect shifts, and a lot of the time that makes sense, get indexing. If you want to work harmoniously with your mechanical-object bicycle, if you enjoy that level of control and are willing to accept the possibility of flubbed shifts as hey no biggie, then get these.
The SILVER2 X & O shifters are beautiful, mechanically honest (they don’t shift for you, but they give immediate and accurate feedback, so you learn quickly), and are anachronism in 2020, bound to baffle archeological bike geeks in 2060, when they can't find references to them in the '70s or '80s, yet they're clearly weird for any time after that.
Friction shifting isn’t hard, but it takes practice, and these days you can buy shifters that shift for you. This is how to shift:
1. Pedal like normal until your right foot reaches 4:30. SHIFT.
2. Float your right foot to 12:00 and let your left foot move to about 6:00 but with ZERO pressure on it.(let it move, no pressure on either pedal) until it reaches 12:00. If you truly "floated" the pedals, by the time your right one reaches 12:00 (sometimes 1:00), the shift will be complete, and you can power on or whatever.
If you tension the chain by pushing EVEN A LITTLE on the pedal during the FLOAT stage, the chain will be too tensioned to move to the next cog. To drive home how important it is to detension the chain, get off your bike, push down on the pedal with maybe ten pounds of force, and then push the upper section of chain inward. Don't drive the bike forward, just push down on the pedal and push the chain inward, toward the tire.
You'll see the chain doesn't move.
Now unweight the pedal and try it. It wiggles inward easily. This is the state the chain must be in for the shift to take.
INDEXING doesn't overcome a stiff chain. When you shift in index, the shift still happens the same way--only when the chain is slack.
If the above lesson seems hard, it isn't. Try it. If you don't want to learn to shift, you can still have a great time riding a bike with indexed shifting.
As stated above but it can't be said too often: These shifters give immediate and honest feedback, which means you'll learn fast. They as good as you are.
You can also buy our BAR PODS to mount Silver2 shifters onto the ends of most of the bars we sell. Almost all. There are two pics showing these on BAR PODS but the PODS ARE NOT INCLUDED. Shifter cables and housing aren't included either, sorry.
Here’s how to buy shifters, depending on how you set them up:
SILVER2-O: Bar-end RIGHT, Thumby LEFT (inside or behind the bar)
SILVER2-X: Bar-end LEFT, Thumby RIGHT( inside or behind the bar)
These will shift up to 11 speeds when used with, are you holding onto your hat?—when used with a 9/8 speed rear derailer. They'll do it with a 10-11-or even 12 sp rear derailer, but the lever will require about 180-degrees of movement. Stick with "normal" rear derails, and no problem. You still have to use a chain to match your cassette, but the 9sp rear derailer works better than a 10-11-12'er.