What is a shifter from Aliexpress for under 70€ good for? How does a 3D-printed shifter from Spain perform? This short review aims to answer these questions and introduces two different concepts for budget shifters.
Ordering and shipping
The shifter from Aliexpress can be ordered from various retailers in different configurations (6-8 speed, with sequential mod or without) and is priced at a little under 70€ depending on the version. My recommendation is to choose a dealer with shipping from the EU to avoid possible customs fees, in my case the delivery took less than a week when shipping from France. Unfortunately, I cannot judge to what extent warranty claims can be enforced here, in any case the return shipment has to be borne by yourself.
The SHH shifter can be ordered directly from the manufacturer’s website for 98€ + 5€ shipping. The delivery time is stated to be about one month, again different configurations and also colour choices are possible: https://www.shiftershh.com/es/3-shifters
Scope of delivery
The scope of delivery of the shifter from Aliexpress is very clear. In addition to the main product, only screws with matching nuts are included for fastening.
The package from SHH is more comprehensive and offers the following components:
- Replacement gear knob
- Simple tool kit
- Depending on the option chosen, the appropriate fitting accessories
Both shifters pursue different concepts, but rely on very robustly designed inner workings, which suggest a (very) long durability. SSH uses magnetic sensors on two circuit boards, which promises a very long service life without significant wear in this area, while the shifter from China relies on classic switches (see photo).
The two designs also take different paths with the housings. While SHH relies on a quite stable 3D-printed housing here, the H7R-Shifter from China is made entirely of metal, which makes it look a bit more high-end.
The two designs also take different paths with the housings. While SHH relies on a quite stable 3D-printed housing, the Chinese model is made entirely of metal, which gives it a higher-quality appearance.
Both shifters supported use as a classic H-shift as well as operation in sequential mode. For the SHH shifter, the shift knob only has to be pressed down, then turned 90 degrees and the mode changed on the housing. This is done in a few seconds. For the Chinese shifter, a 3D-printed element is used which prevents lateral movements and prevents the shift linkage from engaging in the respective end position of the third or fourth gear. (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRf9L6LEjaw)
Each of the two shifters feels rich and allows for fast shifting, at this point the favourable price should be emphasised once again. Especially the shifter from Aliexpress gives a very rich feedback when engaging the gears, so shifting is hardly possible, but this is bought by a very loud and somewhat “rough” operation. In sequential mode, the restoring force could be a little higher.
The model from SHH is somewhat more sensitive and less gruff than its counterpart from China, but does not offer quite as much feedback on the engagement of the individual gears. There are advantages, however, in the sequential gearshift mode, which provides a somewhat more pleasant shifting experience in comparison.
Neither shifter needs to fear comparison with a TH8A from Thrustmaster; I would prefer them both. Logitech’s gear shifter is clearly outclassed, of course.
Both shifters are recognised by Windows as plug&play game controllers without additional driver installation and can be easily configured in any current simulation. Operation on a console is not intended.
There are already countless DIY mods for both shifters, usually as 3D prints. So you can find other gearshift shifters just as you can find a self-designed SQ mod for the shifter from China.
Thigiverse SHH: https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=shh+shifter
Both models are absolute value for money recommendations. For 70€, the model from China is an absolute bargain if you don’t have a problem with the handling via Aliexpress. The SHH shifter offers more accessories and has slight advantages in sequential mode, but uses a plastic housing and costs a little more.
Overall, however, both are a clear recommendation, also regardless of the low price.