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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 10-31-07, 07:11 PM   #1
SVOboy
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STI shifters not shifting

Tried searching, but I couldn't find anything too helpful, might have been searching the wrong stuff...will continue as I have time but I'm a college student so I can't sift through stuff endlessly unless I want to be up all night,

So here's the short: Bought a bike off ebay, took a while to get it here, but it got here all right and I'm pretty happy with it. Had to fix a broken spoke but it rides great, it's my first non-70s schwinn steel, so I'm excited. The problem it does have is that the brifters don't do anything. If I push the hell out of them I can get the big ones to push up towards a bigger ring on both the front and the back, but even then it just falls back. The smaller shifter doesn't do anything.

When I was at the bike shop buying a tube/pump/spoke/spoke wrench the guy told me it was prolly just that the lube in the brifter got old and gunked up. He sprayed some junk in there and then it went from nothing to the little movement it has now. I, of course, want it to shift like it should, so now I need to know what to do.

The bike: Specialized Allez Comp, carbon tubes butted with aluminum. It's in great shape except for this. Triple up front and 7 speed on the back. Brifters are 7speed RSX I believe, everything is shimano 105.

Any ideas? Thanks a bunch everyone!
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Old 10-31-07, 07:25 PM   #2
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The LBS mechanic was on the right track. Spray more then you think is needed of WD-40, or chain lube, into the shifter mechanism of the brifter. I had to do this when I got an RSX equipped bike four years ago and it hasn't let me down yet. You may want to get the shifter cables adjusted too.
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Old 10-31-07, 07:33 PM   #3
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Shifter cables seem to be in good shape, but I'll hit it up with some WD40 tonight, thanks for the tip!
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Old 10-31-07, 08:55 PM   #4
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This comes up pretty frequently. Flush them with copious quantities of degreaser and then lightly apply a light lube. If that doesn't get them going, they're toast.
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Old 10-31-07, 09:27 PM   #5
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The right/rear one is going pretty decently know, going to blast it some more in a bit.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 11-01-07, 01:34 AM   #6
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I had RSX; same story. Doused em liberally with lubricant, worked fine for a while, then died.
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Old 11-01-07, 02:24 PM   #7
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LOTS of wd40. A canful. Follow with Triflow.
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Old 11-01-07, 02:47 PM   #8
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Also, try a strong stream of water from a garden hose, in addition to the solvent + lube.
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Old 11-02-07, 04:12 PM   #9
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Thanks all! I finally got both of them working tip top, took them out for a test ride and shifted a hell of a lot to work them in, then came back and put some light oil on them.

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Old 11-05-07, 11:04 PM   #10
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And that's what it's all about!
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