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  1. #1
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    bar-end shifters can't be removed from drop bars

    A friend has an old road bike that she rarely uses, and it has SunTour bar-end shifters that are in good shape. She said that I could have the bar-end shifters (swapped out for stem shifters) in exchange for tuning up the bike.

    Well, I unwrapped the bars, and removed the shift-lever part of the bar-end shifters, and then tried to loosen the expander bolt that holds the bar-ends into the ends of the drops. The bolt wouldn't budge on either side. I tried a bit hard on one side and stripped out the bolt. On the other side I've been careful, but the bolt doesn't come close to moving. (And I am turning it the proper direction; I've got two other bikes with bar-end shifters and know how the expander plugs work. And even if it was reverse threaded, I'd expect it to turn just a little.)

    My guess is that the bolt (which is steel) has chemically frozen in the aluminum piece that holds the shift lever. Probably the same sort of corrosion that freezes an aluminum seat post in a steel frame.

    I sprayed WD-40 through the center of the bolt (which has a hole for air- or liquid-flow) into the inside of the handlebars, and then turned them with the bar-ends facing down so the liquid could penetrate into the bolt's threads and help loosen. But nothing came of it. Perhaps I could use ammonia, but that corrodes the aluminum as well and I don't want to mess up the handlebar itself or the bar-ends.

    I'm figuring that it's hopeless to get these guys out of the handlebar, at least if I want them to be in usable shape. I plan to just re-install the shift levers and set the bike back up with the bar-end shifters and leave it at that.

    But if anyone has any tricks or thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Are you sure that they're Suntour? I just went down stairs to check a pair of Suntour barcons that I have. They come out by turning the entire lever counterclockwise three or four turns then pushing the lever into the bar.

    Shimano barcons are a little trickier. With those you unbolt the lever and use an allen wrench to loosen the expander bolt. I didn't take the time to remove my Shimano bar ends but, if I remember right, you have to turn the expander bolt BACKWARDS to loosen it.

  3. #3
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Are you sure that they're Suntour? I just went down stairs to check a pair of Suntour barcons that I have. They come out by turning the entire lever counterclockwise three or four turns then pushing the lever into the bar.

    Shimano barcons are a little trickier. With those you unbolt the lever and use an allen wrench to loosen the expander bolt. I didn't take the time to remove my Shimano bar ends but, if I remember right, you have to turn the expander bolt BACKWARDS to loosen it.
    Both Shimano and Suntour use the same sort of expander bolt to hold the whole thing inside the bar, and in my experience both of them are removed the way you describe Shimano removal. I just built up two bikes (the Centurion and Schwinn) with barcons, one with modern Shimano and one with vintage Suntour Rachet (the same type that this post is about).
    Perhaps there are two types of Suntour barcon bodies? (That said, I've seen four pairs of old Suntour barcons, and they all have the same structure, and attach the same as all three sets of Shimano levers - including one old friction set - that I've seen.)

    That said, your method of removal may work. I'll give it a try (vice-grips holding the aluminum bar-end body, with a rag so it doesn't leave marks).
    Last edited by TallRider; 03-28-07 at 06:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Agree with TimCup My 2cents as a newb...

    My Dura-Ace bar-ends have an expansion bolt that uses reverse thread....to loosen expansion bolt, (after you remove shifter lever), you turn it clockwise (just as stated prior).

    But another reason I can think of.....Shimano says "fits most bar-end tubes for 19-21 mm diam.". My tube diam is 19 mm....but I beat the he*l out of the body to get it into the tube....IMO....19 mm is a pretty tight fit. I don't even need an expander bolt it's so tight. That baby's never coming out and will die whatever death is in store for the handelbar. Their mated for life now. Whats the tube diam on your setup?

  5. #5
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Just to note, the expander-plug thingie that tightens bar-ends is NOT technically reverse-threaded. It is true that to tighten it, you turn it counter-clockwise, and to loosen it you turn it clockwise. However, this is because it's threaded normally, and turning it counter-clockwise pulls the bolt toward you (as is the case with all normal-threaded bolts) which tightens the expander.

  6. #6
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCatDaddy
    another reason I can think of.....Shimano says "fits most bar-end tubes for 19-21 mm diam.". My tube diam is 19 mm....but I beat the he*l out of the body to get it into the tube....IMO....19 mm is a pretty tight fit. I don't even need an expander bolt it's so tight. That baby's never coming out and will die whatever death is in store for the handelbar. Their mated for life now. Whats the tube diam on your setup?
    This is a friend's bike, and I don't know the internal diameter of the bar at the end of the drops, because I can't get the bar-end shifter out in order to measure it

    But this wouldn't be the problem in my case, because it wouldn't cause the problem that I've got (which is that the threaded plug bolt won't turn in the shifter-holder body, probably because it's seized.

  7. #7
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    Can you salvage the actual shift levers, saw off the mounting bodies to make the bars their former length and replace the now defunct bodies with Rivendell's aftermarket barcon adapter bodies? That might be the least hassle-filled way to go. Otherwise getting out the 5mm drill bit and trying to drill out the center bolts is about all I can suggest and that might not work either.

  8. #8
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Can you salvage the actual shift levers, saw off the mounting bodies to make the bars their former length and replace the now defunct bodies with Rivendell's aftermarket barcon adapter bodies? That might be the least hassle-filled way to go. Otherwise getting out the 5mm drill bit and trying to drill out the center bolts is about all I can suggest and that might not work either.
    The Rivendell option ain't worth the cost ($25) combined with the amount of work.
    And a 5mm drill to drill out the center of the bolt still wouldn't help things, as the bolt is frozen to the shifter-holder-body. I'm just going to re-assemble the bike as-is, a ****ty bike for an infrequent rider with nice Suntour barcons that can't be removed. There are worse things in this world.

    edit: wow, bikeforums' software replaces swear words with asterisks, and does so automatically.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    The And a 5mm drill to drill out the center of the bolt still wouldn't help things, as the bolt is frozen to the shifter-holder-body. I'm just going to re-assemble the bike as-is, a ****ty bike for an infrequent rider with nice Suntour barcons that can't be removed. There are worse things in this world.

    edit: wow, bikeforums' software replaces swear words with asterisks, and does so automatically.
    The drill would eliminate the bolt and allow you to separate the body from the expansion cones which are probably what are really corroded in place.

    And yes, the software really does censor this site pretty effectively. Maybe the image of civility is worth it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've clamped the ends of the bars in a vice to do this. Then attach the proper bit to an impact-driver and hammered it. The shock loosened the corrosion, spun the bolt a little in the correct direction, and the inward impact broke loose the inner expander from the outer pieces. Those were corroded to the bar too and required tapping with 6" socket-extension to loosen.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 03-29-07 at 03:28 PM.

  11. #11
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    HillRider and Danno, both suggestions make sense, but sound like more work than it's worth to salvage an in-good-shape set of SunTour barcons. I'll just leave them on the bars as I finish tuning up the bike. I'm about done building up vintage road frames anyway, and if I've got one more I'll just use old mtb friction thumbshifters and mount them on the bar tops, as Rivendell likes to do. It's something that looks kinda cool and I've got a pair of thumbshifters sitting around, so may as well try it.

  12. #12
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    I'm about done building up vintage road frames anyway
    Everybody says that!

  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I think Tim's had enough for a while, eh?

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