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Old 11-05-09, 10:01 AM   #1
aljohn
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sora brifters

I've just bought a bike with triple chainrings, 7 sprockets, sora gears and brifters. The gear change, er, isn't!
The lever moves the front changer from the small to the large, missing the middle ring. operating the small lever sends it back to the small ring, again missing the middle ring. I've searched the forums for descriptions,
etc., of the lever mechanism but can't find anything to help. I'm sure I've looked at some very helpful posts/links some time ago, but as I didn't have any problems at the time didn't really take them in !
I bought the bike knowing of a few faults and intend to strip it and re-assemble it, but I've never worked on
these brifters and I'd like to sort them out before I rip anything apart..... I don't think it's relevant, but I can't tell you the make of cycle (need to ask prev. owner), advert said Bianchi Sheffield. That may just mean it was bought from the local bike shop - Sheffield Cycles.
Any help greatly appreciated, as always.
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Old 11-05-09, 11:43 AM   #2
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Are you getting to the big ring with one movement of the brake lever? What happens if you try to use the small chainring/large rear cog combination?
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Old 11-05-09, 12:21 PM   #3
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Can you pull up the shifter hoods and verify that they are the correct models for a triple? The model should be ST-3303 for a triple and ST-3300 for a double.

I had a pair of ST-3300s on a bike for a while. That bike was a double, and required 2 clicks to get between the two chainrings. The first click was to trim the deraileur, and the second click would move the chain. I would imagine that the ST-3303 would have even more clicks to account for the extra chainring.
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Old 11-05-09, 01:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I couldn't find any numbers, but the top of the brake says Flight Deck Triple. I haven't tried other rear/front combinations. The rear looks as if the range of movement just needs adjustment, the wheel is badly in need of drastic trueing so I haven't bothered with the rear gear mech. I must admit that I posted this message in the morning, then went and soaked the internals of the brifter with WD40, tonight there does appear to be 2 movements of the front mech - occasionally - but the return button/lever still goes from largest to smallest. When I get a chance I'll remove the rear wheel and chain and check the range of movement etc. But I would like to see a diy guide to setting the gears up, before I dismantle the lever and end up wishing I hadn't !
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Old 11-05-09, 01:52 PM   #5
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www.parktool.com for how to set up the front and rear derailler.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:12 PM   #6
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Disconnect the cables from the derailler and check the number of cable movements holding the cable with your fingers, for both full swings of the brake lever and half swings. You described the problem with the front der - does the rear der make the necessary shifts across all the gears (6 clicks)?
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Old 11-06-09, 08:32 AM   #7
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sora brifters

I haven't had a chance to fiddle with the bike yet. Looked at Shimano site. My triple lever is Shimano Flight Deck Triple. Any idea what number that is? Are they the st 3304 orsomething else? I want to download the correct pdf before/in case I end up dismantling anything. Hope it's just adjustment and not why the bike was sold (only kidding...)
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Old 11-06-09, 09:02 AM   #8
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The setup and adjustment for all of Shimano's brifters is basically the same. Download the tech doc for 3304 and follow it precisely.
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Old 11-06-09, 02:17 PM   #9
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Thanks, I'll download and let you know how I get on.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:56 PM   #10
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Well, at last I've managed to find a few minutes to look at the front derailleur ( I think the rear just needs adjusting). I undid the cable from the gear and held the cable in my hand. Using the lever the cable retracted into the lever with each action. Each click of the button let a small amount of cable out of the lever. These were quite positive actions, so I assume that the lever action is correct. However, after clamping the cable back on to the gear the original problem occurred. The lever only clicked once when I moved it and the gear went from the small ring straight to the largest ring. Clicking the button it dropped back to the small ring. There did seem as if there was a tiny hesitation, almost as if it thought about stopping at the middle ring each way - but perhaps it was wishful thinking.....
It seems to me that the lever/button mechanism works correctly with no load, but when a load is applied something is slipping in the middle position.
All I want now is for someone to come up with a brilliantly simple solution ! I never like putting pressure on this forum ;-)
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Old 11-11-09, 09:49 PM   #11
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Since you now know the shift lever mechanism works correctly, go to the Park Tool website and follow the adjustment instructions with absolute exactitude, from beginning to end. http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75
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Old 11-11-09, 11:13 PM   #12
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I've been running Sora 8 spd's for five years on my everyday ride, and have been happy with them. Follow joejack951's advice about following Shimano's directions, and pay particular attention to cable tension. Make sure you have the index in the lowest gear (smallest chainring) and put just enough tension to take the slack out of the cable. I find that too much tension caused more shifting problems than too little.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
Since you now know the shift lever mechanism works correctly, go to the Park Tool website and follow the adjustment instructions with absolute exactitude, from beginning to end. http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=75
+85 billion

I had the same exact problem as you, followed that guide and the advice of a BF member and had my bike shifting so smoothly. Make sure that you can shift via direct pulls of the cable and THEN index it.
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Old 11-12-09, 06:51 AM   #14
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One thing to check. Is the FD the original one or at least one from a road group? If it has been replaced with one from a Shimano mountain group you may get this problem.
Otherwise, it sounds like the derailleur is not set up correctly as others have suggested.
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Old 11-12-09, 03:01 PM   #15
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Many thanks for all the helpful replies. I did as suggested and downloaded Park Tools repair section and went through the procedure and that sorted it. Well, apart from finding the derailleur cage had obviously come off worst in some confrontation! I straightened it best I could but it was hindering the changes, but I can sort that out later. I was thinking along the lines of the advice but I was getting paranoid thinking that if the fault lay with the levers they looked as though they'd be a right swine to fix! So, now I can take all the fittings off and rectify the parts of the frame that need repainting. And strip, clean, regrease and adjust correctly all the bits and pieces. Well, that's the plan ; I think my wife has other ideas on how I can spend my time over Christmas.........
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Old 12-02-09, 04:39 AM   #16
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Just a quick update, in case anyone is looking.... After riding the bike around the block to try it out I found that the gear change didn't always work exactly as intended. Most times all gears worked a treat, then occasionally they wouldn't shift to either end cog, or the chain would miss the middle ring again, but ,say, one in ten changes. After spending a couple of nights checking everything out I couldn't find anything amiss. Then I read a thread where someone had the same problem and a suggestion was to check if the plastic, under bottom, cable guide was loose. Doh !!! When I first checked the bike over I'd noticed that the retaining screw was loose and wouldn't tighten. I made a mental note (silly to stick it there) to fit a replacement screw. Then forgot all about it ! Reading the thread reminded me, so I fixed the guide, readjusted the gears and all was well with the world - at last ! I was so irritated with myself for not remembering the loose guide, but was I glad I joined the forum.
I also used Park Tools site to fit two new bearings the the headset. I've never owned a threadless fork before and was surprised how different to an older, conventional fork it was. A nice, easy job - until I lose a wheel on the road ;-) Thanks again.
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Old 12-02-09, 04:45 PM   #17
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Even if you could take the brifters apart there are no parts available from shimano. You would have to find another of the same type and rob parts.
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