Electronic Shifting systems for person struggling to change gear

Hi ,

Apologies if I'm not quite on the right forum. My wife suffers from arthritis and is finding it increasingly difficult to change gears on her trail bike. The bike is old and knackered and I wondered if manufacturers are fitting electronic shifting systems to bikes that might be in our price range and will let her change gear without having to apply pressure on her hands? I've only noticed them on high end road bikes with price tags to match and wondered if anyone could point me in the right direction please.




  • shirley_basso
    shirley_basso Posts: 6,195
    Shimano Di2 is the obvious place to look. The issue is that it's quite expensive.

    You can go second hand, but then you are at greater risk of an install going wrong, so needing to buy more parts.

    The latest Shimano 105 is now Di2 so that may solve your problems as a cheaper groupset, but still by no means 'cheap'. It's also disc brake only (I think), which may not work for you.


    for £600 for shifters and mechs for a road bike.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    You're in the MTB section Shirley...

    The lowest price electronic setup for MTBs is SRAM GX Eagle AXS. This only tends to be on higher end bikes, but the rest of the drivetrain is compatible with mechanical Eagle. That means you could buy a less expensive bike with, for example, NX Eagle and then upgrade just the shifter and mech to GX AXS.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    If her bike is as old and knackered as you imply, is she partly struggling to change gear because it’s knackered. Some of the more recent mechanical systems don’t require much effort to change gear.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,559

    You're in the MTB section Shirley...

    Good information as always from whyamihere. But, a sentence in which surely and Shirley are genuinely interchangeable elevated this to a higher level, I doff my cap to you sir.
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,446
    If the trigger shifters are working as well as they can (good point @webboo), then consider twist grip shifters. They fit these to children's bikes because they require less effort. This should be relatively cheap to do and you won't have to change anything else.

    If the arthritis is better in one hand than the other, then consider going to a single ring up front. That will require only one shifter. But although considerably cheaper than electronic shifting, it will require some changes to the rest of your transmission, the cost will depend upon what you have and what you need.

    Don't ignore the point made by @webboo. New cables (inners and outers) can make an astonishing difference.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,096
    edited July 2023
    ^my experience with twist grip (albiet lower end) is quite the reverse - my kids couldn't work them
  • Munsford0
    Munsford0 Posts: 647
    Mine too. Very hard work
  • Thanks everyone. She had twist shifters on a previous bike and we should revisit those, as a quick peak at new bike prices left us running for the hills! I will check back once we've found a solution in case it's of any use to other arthritis sufferers.