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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Brifter Questions

    I am a brifter novice, and just bought a used bike with brifters. First question: I assume these are not Shimano brifters, since there's no name anywhere. Correct?

    For the rear derailleur brifter, moving the smaller lever usually does nothing. If I futz with it, I can get it to shift. Any suggestions on what I can do to fix this? My searches suggest that spraying lubricant in there might help.

    Brifters 002.jpgBrifters 003.jpg

    Thanks,
    Last edited by TromboneAl; 02-14-10 at 09:01 AM.
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  2. #2
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Some of the older Shimano SORA brifters had very little markings, which could disappear over time. Post some pics and someone will identify.

    Yes, you have the first line of attack on repair. There is a guy on ebay that rebuilds brifters. I have not used him yet, but he lives in my area so I will probably give him a try.

    Again, I have not had personal experience with him, but here is his facebook page.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100856572916
    Last edited by wrk101; 02-14-10 at 10:09 AM.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I am a brifter novice, and just bought a used bike with brifters. First question: I assume these are not Shimano brifters, since there's no name anywhere. Correct?

    For the rear derailleur brifter, moving the smaller lever usually does nothing. If I futz with it, I can get it to shift. Any suggestions on what I can do to fix this? My searches suggest that spraying lubricant in there might help.

    Brifters 002.jpgBrifters 003.jpg

    Thanks,
    Are you sure there is no model # visible when you peel the hood back, on the side? Those look like very early gen shimano brifters. Before you blame the shifter, verify that it's not working before spraying anything in there. E.g that it does not pull cable or that it cliks are not registering 100% of the time. You'll need to disconnect the cable from the rear derailleur anchor point to do this test.
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  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Those look like Shimano 600 brifters, with the name plate missing. Good news as that is a major step up from the Sora model.

    There should be a model number under the rubber hood.

  5. #5
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Those look like the 8s 600s I had. Mine had the same problem. Flushing helps, but I found technique was just as important on worn mechanisms. Push "up and out" on the small lever. It'll make more sense once you try it. I used mine that way for quite a while until I sold it.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Germany_chris's Avatar
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    or RX 100 or RSX or any brifter under DA...remember shimano brifters are not rebuildable...those are real "classics" and in my opinion uncomfortable....I would futz with them a bit and try to get them to work and if not barcons it would be...You will find those on ebay for $20-$40 but...

  7. #7
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    How would I flush them?
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  8. #8
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Push "up and out" on the small lever. It'll make more sense once you try it.
    Thanks, Bob! That works -- I push the -- well, you're right it's hard to describe in words. I'll see if it is practical when riding.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    The lube that Shimano used on some of those old brifters, is notorious for hardening up over time, and causing the problem you're describing.

    Take a couple old shop towels or rags, and wrap them tightly around the brake hood area, then pull down on the brake lever and spray the hell out of it with WD40. Work the lever a bunch of times to see if it loosend up and starts working - reliably, then spray some silicone dry lube in it. Repeat this this periodically, if/when it starts to act up.

    I resurrected my old "sticking" Shimano RSX brifter, after reading similar advice from others here on BF, and it's been working like a champ for the past 2-1/2 yrs now.

    Good luck with it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Thanks, Nota, I will do that.

    On the side, under the hood it says "ST 6400." Shimano?
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Nota's Avatar
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    I might be wrong, but I think "6400" group is Ultegra 8spd '91 - '96

    If that's what you have, and you can get the "sticking" one working okay with the "solvent followed by lubricant" trick, then I believe they'll probably hold up and serve well for many years. No need to replace the, not unless you've got money to burn or just luck up on a fantastic deal on some newer ones.

    It's been about a year and half since the last time I had to douse mine with lubricant. Here's a pic of mine, taken after riding in the pouring rain up to the top of Mt. Mitchell. They work just like "buddah".





    .BRP bike tour 138.jpg
    When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years. Mark Twain (apocryphal)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nota View Post
    The lube that Shimano used on some of those old brifters, is notorious for hardening up over time, and causing the problem you're describing.

    Take a couple old shop towels or rags, and wrap them tightly around the brake hood area, then pull down on the brake lever and spray the hell out of it .... Work the lever a bunch of times to see if it loosend up and starts working ....Good luck with it.
    +1

    I 've resurected several old shifters. As Nota says it's grease drying out that prevents a a soft spring from engaging a little pawl. I use a light dry teflon/wax spray lube. The solvent carrier is enough to soften and wash out the drying grease and the lighter lube will remain.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Is Elmer's Slide-All (teflon-based lubricant) as the final lubricant good enough, or should I buy something else?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    BF member Bikedude stated in another thread that he has had great success using auto carburetor cleaner to get things unstuck and then K&N filter oil as the lube. Haven't tried it yet myself, but I have a right 9 speed unit that WD40 has not worked, so I am planning on trying the the carb cleaner later this week.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
    BF member Bikedude stated in another thread that he has had great success using auto carburetor cleaner to get things unstuck and then K&N filter oil as the lube. Haven't tried it yet myself, but I have a right 9 speed unit that WD40 has not worked, so I am planning on trying the the carb cleaner later this week.
    Carb cleaner is a carbon solvent, not a grease solvent. I would expect grease solvent to work better. But it won't hurt to try.

    Al

  16. #16
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Yup, old 600 - just like the ones I overhaul here.

  17. #17
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    The WD40 treatment fixed it like a charm. You guys are awesome, thanks!
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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