Originally Posted by TWM Shifters
Why is a heavier shift knob better you may ask yourself? The answer is simple and relates to basic physics. A heavy shift knob carries with it more kinetic energy and has greater momentum than a less massive (lighter) shift knob travelling at the same speed. Kinetic energy is defined as the energy possessed by a body because of its motion, equal to one half the mass of the body times the square of its speed. Momentum is defined as the product of the mass times the velocity of an object. Since kinetic energy and momentum are directly proportional to an objects mass, the more massive (heavy) an object is the more kinetic energy it carries with it through it's movement, and it has a greater momentum than a less massive object travelling at the same speed.
This theory applies to a shift knob in the following manner. While shifting, the shift knob is set in motion by the driver. While the shift knob is travelling between gears, it has a certain velocity and carries with it kinetic energy. The additional kinetic energy the heavy shift knob carries with it helps it to engage in to the next gear. Essentially, the shifter with a heavier shift knob is more "difficult" to stop because of the added kinetic energy, which actually helps it engage in to the next gear with less direct effort from the driver. The net result is a smoother engagement in to the next gear with less effort put in from the driver on the shift knob to get it in to gear. It is for this reason that a heavier shift knob feels much smoother to shift than a shifter with a stock shift knob.
It takes a bit more energy to get it moving- but that is offset by the assistance the heavier knob gives you advantage while moving the gears.