Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    585
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Shimano RSX STI Shifting Problem

    Hey Guys,

    I'm not all that familiar with STI. This is my first bike with STI shifters. I have Shimano RSX 3x7 Speed shifters controlling a 7 speed RSX rear dérailleur on a 7 speed cassette. The issue I am having is when I shift from the second smallest to the smallest cog or the third smallest to the second smallest cog or the fourth smallest to the third smallest cog it doesn't always shift. I push in the inner control lever on the shifter but it doesn't click. It is like pushing air. If I push it a few times, sometimes it will shift. If I try and pull the lever toward me and then in, it will shift most of the time. It doesn't always do this but it happens often. Once in a while it will shift with out me having to fidget with it at all. It never happens *knocks on wood* when shifting from a small cog to a larger one.

    Does anyone have suggestions on what I can adjust? I'm guessing it is not with the rear dérailleur.

    Thanks all,

    -Podolak

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,079
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    RSX STI shifters get dirty easily. There are folks here who may be able to post about spray cleaning one. Taking one apart is usually not a good idea. (don't ask how I know).

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
    Posts
    25,592
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shimano STI's have nothing you can adjust and they aren't repairable.

    One possible fix is to thoroughly wash the shift mechanism out with a solvent like kerosene or mineral spirits followed by liberal lubrication with a light oil such as Tri-Flow. This often washes out accumulated dirt and gets the mechanism working again.

    BTW, how old are the shifters and how many miles? 7-speed RSX hasn't been current for many years.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    585
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They are on a 1997 Trek 520 that I purchased used. I would presume they are from 1997 though I couldn't tell you the mileage that the bike had on it prior to my purchasing it. The bike looked generally well maintained.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hose them out with tri-Flow or WD-40 until they work again. I'm still using RSX brifters of that vintage everyday.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  6. #6
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with hosing them out. It's about all you can do anyway. I just bought a '95 Scott road bike with RSX stuff and it works perfectly. I have to assume it's because the original owner was rather fastidious about cleaning. Shifts as good as my 105/LX on my '98 520. Shifts better than my '06 105 on my Sequoia Elite.

  7. #7
    Your mom
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,546
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 to the hose out. I'm riding the same setup on my Cannondale R300. No shift problems.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You just have to use more then you think you need.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  9. #9
    Your mom
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,546
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I've heard a whole can of WD40, or the like.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Rider & Mechanic Trekbikedude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Delaware
    My Bikes
    Superlight, Dragon Team, Eclipse, Om Flyer
    Posts
    686
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The shifters get gummed up inside. You gotta take the top cap off and put some type of other lubricant in there like tri flow, liquid graphite or wd 40, which isn't a lubricant, but a degreaser. They should index after you do this. I would reccomend the liquid graphite because that's what we do in the shop.
    On top of the world.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    585
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Trekbikedude View Post
    The shifters get gummed up inside. You gotta take the top cap off and put some type of other lubricant in there like tri flow, liquid graphite or wd 40, which isn't a lubricant, but a degreaser. They should index after you do this. I would reccomend the liquid graphite because that's what we do in the shop.
    It seems that the tri flow did the trick. I appreciate all of your help. This winter I'll tear down the shifters and give them a really thorough cleaning. Thanks again to all who offered suggestions.

    -Podolak

  12. #12
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dallas
    My Bikes
    03 Raleigh Professional (steel)
    Posts
    6,896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Podolak View Post
    This winter I'll tear down the shifters ...
    So you're in the market for new shifters?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  13. #13
    Your mom
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,546
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might tear them down, but you will have some serious trouble un-tearing them, which is what DMF is getting at. They are just not meant to be overhauled, sadly. Use and dispose.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Podolak View Post
    It seems that the tri flow did the trick. I appreciate all of your help. This winter I'll tear down the shifters and give them a really thorough cleaning. Thanks again to all who offered suggestions.

    -Podolak
    NO! You'll regret that all the way to the bike shop to buy new shifters. Just hose them out again if you need to.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  15. #15
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
    My Bikes
    Giant OCR-C, Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 05 Rockhopper, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 01 Bianchi Campione, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 97 Lemond
    Posts
    8,925
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    NO! You'll regret that all the way to the bike shop to buy new shifters. Just hose them out again if you need to.
    +1 If need be clean them out again with WD-40 followed by tri-flow. No need to remove the shifter from the bars. I have the same set up on my C'dale. Two cleanings this season did the trick. Those old RSX units are rugged and bounce right back.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  16. #16
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    My Bikes
    Soma Double Cross, Raleigh Rush Hour, Fuji America Fixed, "Modernized" Gitane
    Posts
    1,135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think someone ought to mention that it is not a good idea to take apart a Shimano STI shifter, they are not user serviceable...or mechanic serviceable...or magician serviceable...well ok maybe magician serviceable, but they won't touch the things for less than like 500 bucks.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
    Posts
    25,592
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is possible to remove the entire shifter/brake lever unit from the base without removing the base from the bars. You remove the brake and shifter cables, then loosen the little allen head (2 mm IIRC) set screw under the lever body that's holding the pivot pin in place and drift out the pin.

    NOTE: there is a return spring and a pair of plastic bushings at the lever pivot so be sure to pay attention to how they are installed before you remove anything.

    Take the lever/shifter assembly and soak it in mineral spirits or a similar solvent with plenty of agitation for several hours. It's amazing how much crud comes out. Drain and let the solvent dry then lube profusely with Tri-Flow or similar.

    Reinstall on the lever base being sure to fit the return spring and bushings correctly, insert the pivot pin and the set screw. Reinstall the cables and you should be good for quite a few more miles.

    As noted, the shifter mechanism itself is non-servicable. Lots of folks have taken them apart. I don't know anyone who has successfully put one back together.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    585
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    NO! You'll regret that all the way to the bike shop to buy new shifters. Just hose them out again if you need to.
    Hehe, sorry for the confusion, what I meant was I would be taking them off the bars and soaking them, not actually taking the shifters themselves apart. Sorry!

  19. #19
    Vintage Cyclist
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SW Virginia
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Road Bikes, Mongoose MTB
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had the same problem on the front shifter on an old RSX equipped bike. The downshift to the small CR's would not catch. I read on a post and was confirmed by the LBS mechanic that Shimano was using a grease that hardened up with age and would cause shifting problems. The solution was long inverted soaking with TriFlow or equivalent to dissolve grease and free up mechanism. Do not disassemble!! You will regret it and have to go the cost of the replacement.

  20. #20
    Going on a Paramount Hunt TIOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    My Bikes
    1987 Eisentraut Rainbow Trout, 1970? Coppi, 1986 TREK 500 Tri Series, 196? Legnano Super Sport, 1993 Klein Rascal
    Posts
    188
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bump...

    I just revived some RSX brifters by using a lot of WD40 to loosen up the front and rears on a bike I'm going to sell. The rear reacted better than the front to the WD40 spray and freed up easily after a few minutes. The front took over two hours of shifting / waiting for the spray to loosen up the jammed up gears but now it all works again. I was about ready to give up! A little Tri-Flow and graphite Lock-Ease spray should keep them working for a while. Time to make some money...
    TIOS = The Illusion of Speed
    1987 Eisentraut Rainbow Trout
    1986 Trek 500 TRI SERIES
    1993 Klein Rascal

    "...Because I don't know what I'm talking about..."

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Trek 5500, Colnago C-50
    Posts
    9,119
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd just hose them out really well with WD40.
    You can also improve shifting performance by replacing the shift cables and cable housings, especially the short housing found just before the rear derailleur. It tends to collect dirt, water, and crud. It's the derailleur spring that pulls the cable through the housings as you shift to smaller cogs. Excess friction in the housings can cause the symptoms you have described. So can dirty shifters.

    Al

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •