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  1. #1
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    FD will not index

    I have a compact double with shimano 105 shifters and ultegra FD. I am out riding today doing sprints with the wind and all of a sudden the FD will not work. I went to the small ring then moved the cable around got it to shift back to the large ring ( I am in the large ring 90% of time.) Well I got home to check it out and I don't know. The lever will not click to move the derailluer to the small and I cannot click the whole lever to the large ring. It seems that both levers will move but no clicks they just fall back into place. The FD moves as I am trying to move it to the large ring but then goes back as the lever moves back.

    Where do I start and I am a bit afraid to take apart the STI system but is that difficult to put back together? It seems that is where I need to check. The cables all look ok I undid them and the FD and greased put the cable back on that seems fine no binding anywhere. I have done things with my bike but those little parts in the brakes and shifters have the me worried please give advice I generally can do things if I start correct.

  2. #2
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    Except for an anointed few, STI brifters are considered unservicable. Sometimes soaking them in solvent (mineral spirits or kerosene) followed by squirting a copious amount of light lube like Tri-Flow into every opening will resurrect a sticky or gummed up one, but if there is a broken part, it can't be repaired.

  3. #3
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
    I am a bit afraid to take apart the STI system but is that difficult to put back together?
    Yeah, it's difficult. But if you rate your skills, it's prolly worth a shot if flushing it with WD40 doesn't sort it.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-rebuild-guide

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Except for an anointed few, STI brifters are considered unservicable. Sometimes soaking them in solvent (mineral spirits or kerosene) followed by squirting a copious amount of light lube like Tri-Flow into every opening will resurrect a sticky or gummed up one, but if there is a broken part, it can't be repaired.
    +1 Soak them in Acetone then use Tri-Flow. Works incredible!

  5. #5
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    I'd try shooting it full of WD40, this will often resurrect STI's from the dead.

  6. #6
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgreydd View Post
    Soak them in Acetone
    That's a good idea (as long as acetone doesn't eat plastic), given the awful grease Shimano used on my 8spd ones... some of it was caked up pretty hard.

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    I must add I never ride the bike in the rain and I really take care of it. I just cannot figure why it would suddenly give out? I really seldom change to the small ring and while the FD is always more work than the rear it always shifted. My question is that does the indexing work up at the shifting lever, or does the derailleur have a part in this? I hope I am making myself clear but when I took the cable off the FD moce by hand fine, I assume it does not have any "stop" points in the system? I also assume that if it is working correct then as I tight the cable the indexing keeps it in place and this is really all in the the shifters? Do these shifters levers fail frequently? They seem pretty expensive compared to other things.

    I upgrade the brakes from Cane Creek to Ultegra's and put an new 11-23 cassette on the rear, also managed to get new Vred tri Comp tires. All these were easy and based on the price to get a new lever it looks like this could be expensive?

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    If the shifters are not too old you may be able to get Shimano to replace them under warranty. There have been some problems with 10-speed 105 shifters when used with a double crankset, and in some cases Shimano has replaced these shifters with a double only front shifter.

  9. #9
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    The indexing is done at the lever.

    STI levers are prone to gumming up as the grease hardens with age, cause of their ridiculous complexity and numerous tiny pawls.

    I'd advise considering switching to Ergolevers in future; they're a much simpler and intrinsically robust design. Some models have had reliability issues, but IIRC it was a result of silly weight-saving on the upper groups.

  10. #10
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
    I must add I never ride the bike in the rain and I really take care of it. I just cannot figure why it would suddenly give out? I really seldom change to the small ring and while the FD is always more work than the rear it always shifted. My question is that does the indexing work up at the shifting lever, or does the derailleur have a part in this? I hope I am making myself clear but when I took the cable off the FD moce by hand fine, I assume it does not have any "stop" points in the system? I also assume that if it is working correct then as I tight the cable the indexing keeps it in place and this is really all in the the shifters? Do these shifters levers fail frequently? They seem pretty expensive compared to other things.

    I upgrade the brakes from Cane Creek to Ultegra's and put an new 11-23 cassette on the rear, also managed to get new Vred tri Comp tires. All these were easy and based on the price to get a new lever it looks like this could be expensive?
    The indexing is in the shifter, not the derailleur. All the shifter does is pull and release cable. The indexing function is nothing more than incremental pulling and releasing of the cable.

    Unfortunately, your situation is not all that unusual. And aside from the already mentioned use of solvents to possibly loosen things up inside the shifter, there's not much you can do about it. We've had two very lightly used Shimano 105 shifters at our shop jam up in the last couple of days. They have identical symptoms: the shifters are in the big ring position, and they won't release the cable to allow the shift to the small chainring. I spoke to one of our suppliers yesterday, he mentioned that they are hearing about a large number of newer Shimano 105 left shifters, the ones with black brake levers, having this problem. I don't know if it's just a coincidence or not.

  11. #11
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    I don't know if it's just a coincidence or not.
    It's crap design. STIs are Shimano's worst components by a long chalk, in my book.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    It's crap design. STIs are Shimano's worst components by a long chalk, in my book.
    I should have been clearer. I meant I didn't know if it's just a coincidence that the shifters that have recently jammed up in our shop are fairly new105's with black levers, and the supplier said the ones with black levers are the ones that are failing in large numbers.

  13. #13
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    Over the last year there have been several reports of problems with the left 105 shifters jamming on the big ring.
    Try the "Search" function.

  14. #14
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    yup had a new bike with 105 jam up in in the front today. if you over shift a double it tends to get stuck even with the proper limit screws set. usually solved by undoing the cable and releasing it.

  15. #15
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    usually solved by undoing the cable and releasing it.
    Please explain.

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    so when the shifter gets stuck from over shifting(get heavy handed while testing the bike on the stand). the bike wont shift from the big to small in the front. undo the cable at the fd and hit the release(shift to small front ring) to free up the shifter. then put the cable back on

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    Quote Originally Posted by upgreydd View Post
    +1 Soak them in Acetone then use Tri-Flow. Works incredible!
    I'm not so sure that I'd use something as aggressive as acetone. Mineral spirits or brake cleaner would be a much safer alternative.

  18. #18
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    so when the shifter gets stuck from over shifting(get heavy handed while testing the bike on the stand). the bike wont shift from the big to small in the front. undo the cable at the fd and hit the release(shift to small front ring) to free up the shifter. then put the cable back on
    Interesting, but not our experience. The whole problem is that hitting the release lever has no affect, with or without the cable attached. I've completely removed the cable from these jammed shifters and no matter how much you mess with the small plastic shift lever (release) and the brake lever/shift lever, the internals of the shifters won't work. Again, these shifters are practically new in terms of how much they were used. WD-40 flush didn't help either, although as new as these shifters are I didn't really think gunked up factory lube was the problem anyway. These shifters are done.

  19. #19
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to see the problem on the new levers... on my old one it was this little pawl getting stuck on its pivot pin, I think...



    The small lever wasn't engaging with the rest of the mechanism.

  20. #20
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    So now how do you just buy 1 Front STI shifter they are always sold in pairs nothing in e bay and I want to ride. The bike is 9 months old with about 1800 miles will shimano do anything I bought it new but on e bay.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
    So now how do you just buy 1 Front STI shifter
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...5&category=771

    And to elaborate on my brief post, any (well, maybe not old Dura Ace) Shimano road integrated shifter will work as a replacement for your 105 10 speed lever. If you wanted to save some money, you could find a used Sora lever on Ebay and use that until you can justify the price of a single 105 lever.
    Last edited by joejack951; 03-10-10 at 09:57 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    That's a good idea (as long as acetone doesn't eat plastic), given the awful grease Shimano used on my 8spd ones... some of it was caked up pretty hard.
    acetone eats polycarbonate pretty effectively.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    Interesting, but not our experience. The whole problem is that hitting the release lever has no affect, with or without the cable attached. I've completely removed the cable from these jammed shifters and no matter how much you mess with the small plastic shift lever (release) and the brake lever/shift lever, the internals of the shifters won't work. Again, these shifters are practically new in terms of how much they were used. WD-40 flush didn't help either, although as new as these shifters are I didn't really think gunked up factory lube was the problem anyway. These shifters are done.
    i am talking about new bikes straight out of the box. this i probably where our experiences differ. but the 105 will jam up if i push the lever too far on a new bike.

  24. #24
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    I think you've got a warranty issue.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    I think you've got a warranty issue.
    This. 105 has had a lot fo these problems. Go to your shop and they should be able to warranty it for you.

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