Ken Iizuka from Tokyo, Japan, launched FRXBL with the intention of producing a modern thumb shifter. The idea was born after spending time restoring vintage mountain bikes and developing an appreciation for friction shifters. According to FRXBL, finding appropriate shifters that work with vintage bicycle components can be a challenge.
The new FRXBL Thumbster shifter aims to address this relative gap in the market, offering an aesthetically pleasing and functional friction shifter that works well on wide range of bikes. Available to back on Kickstarter today, the Thumbster will initially only be available as a right-side shifter due to the popularity of 1x drivetrains.
The Thumbster is made of Aluminum 6061 and weighs 84.5g. It is designed to have a cable pull length of 27.7mm. The clamp size is 22.2mm, and the shifter will work with drivetrains from 5 to 10 speeds. After the Kickstarter campaign is over, FRXBL hopes to have the shifters manufactured in two months, then shipped out to backers.
There are a few ways to support the project, though they don’t come cheap. Those who pledge ¥11,600 (~$90 USD) or more will receive a silver Thumbster Model S in black or silver, ¥22,000 (~$170 USD) will get you two shifters, and there are options to receive up to a dozen if you’re regularly restoring bikes. See more at Kickstarter.com.
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