ok. Today Shimano USA called me in response to a letter I wrote requesting 'good will replacements'. They basically said since i was not the original owner I was SOL. The guy was pleasant, and we chatted a bit; he explained that STI shifters are assembly by machines, not intended to ever be taken apart. I told him that all this greif could be avoided if they design in 'extraction holes' for this repair... we'll see if they do or not.
In the meantime, all seems to be well with my repair. I suspect there may be a few chips of metal floating around in there from drilling, which I hope won't cause problems, but all is well for now. I am attempting to attach some pix.....
Congratulations! Necessity is the mother of invention.
holy exploded cables batman...
good job with that.
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
yeah.... I figured I didn't have much to lose... I hope this helps out some other people. I did just write Shimano and am submitting the idea to be built into future models of shifters, and circulation to repair shops. Shall we make bets as to whether they do it? or pay me a small royalty?!
Just think of all the grams it would save too.
I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC
I've had this happen. I fought hard before giving up and taking it into the LBS. They looked at it for about 5 seconds before telling me to warranty it.
I had this on my Ultegras. My LBS and I fished with a dental tool for ages and finely got it all out.
I am now replacing cables every year, no matter what.
Is this a design flaw, or are we all crimping and weakening our cables when we install them?
WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
Website at curtis.corlew.com —— Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com
But yes, I too will replace cables annually, or at the very least inspect in there before big rides...
Condor admitted that my shifter was defective. They replaced it with a new one under warranty. This suggests that earlier shifters may have a defect. Before this, when I was trying to extract the broken end, it appeared to me that, as the shifter pulled the cable to the lowest (slowest) gear position, the shifter squeezed the cable so tight that it began the process of slow wear, ending in my 3-monthly breaking.
It remains to be seen how the replacement shifter fares, but I'll be trying to check the cable condition about every 3 months.
I don't think this is enough an issue for most people for Shimano to make a hole and would the hole you drilled work for EVERY possible place a stuck cable end could fall?
I want to say THANK YOU !!
Your method of drilling a hole - especially being able to see pictures, worked a treat!
My hole started 1cm (3/8?) from cable slot end , and then got a safety pin - made a small hook on end so i could pull the cable end out of the hole (a bit fiddly). My hole size was 6mm (1/4) which was big enough to get in and reach.
Otherwise it would have been down to the bike shop for $100 minimum, if not more... Good luck to anyone else who tries!
ps: my shifters are shimano ST-5400 (Tiagra)
P.S. Thanks for suggesting this idea to us. I tried your idea of drilling to remove a broken cable head from an ancient Altus A10 rear shifter this February. It gave me more months of life out of the shifter before it broke for good. (I think it broke because of old age, not because of the 1/16" hole I drilled.)
THANK YOU! This is a perfect solution. Yesterday, 50 miles from home, my rear shifter cable snapped at the head. It was a tough ride home. Today I bought all the necessary replacement parts thinking it was going to be an easy repair. WRONG!! After removing the old cable I realized that the frayed stop inside my shifter wouldn't budge (and many expletives at the mechanical engineers at Shimano) I don't even know how they replace this cable under good circumstances! The drill hole idea worked perfectly. I used a 5/16 drill bit and needle nose pliers to pull the sucker out.
Here's a link to a couple of pics: http://gallery.me.com/donlutkus#1001...lack&view=grid
Thanks for this post. Today about 70 miles into a century my rear derailleur cable snapped off at the head. Wound up using the info in the first post to get out it saving me a $200-300 shifter replacement.
I have Campagnolo on all my bikes and have never suffered from this issue. I have fished out a few for friends, though - requires patience, perseverance, dental tools, and a little luck.
"Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."
S. J. Perelman
I've never seen this look like happening on any of my STIs... never had a cable fray at the head.
And I wouldn't go drilling holes... I'd muster up the gumption to disassemble. May as well overhaul em while you're at it...
It's a tedious, painstaking task, but it really doesn't require a lot more than the necessary tinkering experience and vigilant caution.
Work on a white sheet on the floor, in order not to lose any of the many tiny parts... figuring out reassembly is intimidating, but a bit of mechanical genius and a lot of perseverance should get you through. Paying as much attention as possible and taking pics as you disassemble will help here, too.
It can be done.
I had this same problem. Cable end broke off and cable was frayed so that the barrel would not rotate back to where I could grab and remove the end. As one last attempt before getting out the drill, I used a small hex wrench and poked it down the hole to try to push the frayed cable strands down. It took several attempts, but finally the barrel came loose and rotated back up to where I could grab the end and remove it.
This was the second time that shifter cable had broken. I think I will be replacing the cable on a regular, preventive mtce. basis from now on.
I just realised a possible reason why this has never happened to me; I rarely find myself on the small side of the cassette.
The cable would get fatigued by shifting between the highest two or three gears, I guess.
dtbaker61 - followed this step by step and recovered the frayed cable end. many thanks for very innovative solution!
Remove the lever from the bar it will be much easer to remove it.
But good job removing it!
Last edited by JTGraphics; 02-21-11 at 02:15 PM.
It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
My shifters are shimano ST-5400 (Tiagra). Cable was about 2-3 years old.
BTW: To all the people who reckon you can get these things out with any of: small instruments; careful pulling; or dismantleing I can say that I am very sure that those methods would not have worked for me.
Learning: Replace rear derailleur cable yearly or this design fault causes a lot of trouble.