Gear shifting technology has come a long way. The latest groupsets offer unrivalled shifting performance, with electronic shifting and autonomously calibrating derailleurs now available at the very top end of the Shimano spectrum.
But I still prefer thumbshifters, namely Shimano’s 7 speed Deore and Deore XT early 90s. In fact, I still use thumbshifters on most of my mountain bikes.
* low cost (typically 20-30 GBP per pair).
* reliable, virtually indestructible, they just work.
* allows the user to trim the front mech to avoid chain-rub on the mech’s plates.
* they have a hidden extra click, allowing use with an 8 speed cassette.