A set of sleek, carbon bar-end shifters that return to the pre-set neutral position after each shift.
It would be nice if the levers had a slightly wider profile, similar to the Zipp Vuka shifters, which would provide a bit more comfort. Also, the shift levers themselves can be a little tight at first. However, after a little bit of a break in period they loosen up nicely.
A great addition to any SRAM equipped time machine.
Basically, the shifters have a 'home' or neutral position that the shifter returns to after each shift. You can adjust your 'home' position to your preferred setup with 40 degrees of adjustment. This allows you to find the best mix of aerodynamics and ergonomics for your particular bike setup. The shifters each have indicators to help you know what gear you're in since you can't just glance down and tell by the position of the shifter itself.
The SRAM R2C shifters use the idea that less is more when it comes to shifting gears on your tri bike. The shifters themselves have a very narrow blade-like look and feel. This minimalistic design allows for a lightweight and aerodynamic profile. We were a little concerned that the narrow design might not hold up. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the overall durability and sturdiness of the shifters.
The R2C shifters incorporate a spring loaded ratcheting action that allow you to shift with a simple click of the lever up or down. The right shifter allows you to shift up or down through the gears one at a time or skip up to three gears at once. On the left, the shifter has four positions that not only allow you to shift between the big ring and the small ring, but also allow you to 'trim' the front derailleur when needed in cross chaining situations.
You will take a bit of a weight penalty if you choose to go with this setup. At roughly 40g heavier than SRAM's traditional TT shifters we feel the weight penalty is "outweighed" by the benefits gained in comfort and the overall ease of use these shifters provide.
Does it Work
The TriBomb verdict...a resounding YES! We've tested and in some cases abused these shifters and have yet to find much to complain about. Through bad weather and hard use these shifters have stood up to every thing we have thrown at them. We like the crisp, quick shifting that we've come to expect from SRAM and these R2C shifters continue that tradition. Couple that with the added comfort gained when using these shifters and you have a winning combination.
All this comfort and panache does come with a pretty hefty price tag. These are easily some of the most expensive bar end shifters you can buy. That being said, after using these shifters for an extended period of time we can't imagine going back to traditional shifters. We feel the cost is justifiable considering the benefits gained. Plus, we are pretty sure your spouse won't even notice them. So we say go for it!
TriBomb Bottom Line
We're all for a new designs, especially one that's more aero and more comfortable so long as it performs as good or better than the original. We feel that it's mission accomplished when it comes to these shifters.