John Calendrille knows a thing or two about bicycle shifters. He’s spent decades designing them and consulting for brands like TRP and Box, and now he’s selling his own: the Vivo F3 Shifter. It’s designed to work with Shimano 12-speed and SRAM Eagle mechanical derailleurs.
“I wanted to do a shifter that was just completely uninhibited and push it to the max,” he told me over the phone. “I wanted to almost create a piece of art that was functional as well.”
More to the point, the Vivo F3 can be customized to give riders the fit and feel they want. Various upper and lower paddle shapes are available, and each one offers a slightly different Thumb Reach Rating. So riders with smaller hands may prefer a shifter with a shorter reach, while others will choose a textured convex or concave shape based on feel alone. And for those with a SRAM derailleur, the Vivo F3 adds the ability to pull shift levers from behind using an index finger unlike the regular SRAM shifter offerings.
In addition to the paddles, the clamp, barrel adjuster, and cover can be customized as well. The black 3D-printed parts use a special plastic material with embedded glass beads for UV protection and durability. Calendrille says in the future it may be possible to customize the colors of the 3D-printed parts. In all there are currently 30,000 possible combinations.
Vivo F3 Shifters are assembled in New York state using parts CNC’d and 3D printed in the United States. All of the internals are designed and manufactured specifically for Vivo with an eye toward simplicity and durability. Materials include anodized aluminum, stainless steel and titanium.
Priced at $315, the Vivo F3 Shifter is not cheap. In a world that seems to be moving toward electronic shifting, the Vivo F3 is clearly targeting riders who appreciate a unique mechanical system.
“There’s never been a shifter that shows off some cool CNC aluminum bits. So I wanted to be sure to show as much of that on the shifter. It’s almost a piece of jewelry.”