Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
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These brifters are 12 years old and were Shimano's entry level even then so don't expect a lot.
Try drenching them in WD-40 as dnomel suggested by spraying it copiously into every opening you can find, let it drain and repeat a couple of times. Let it dry and then lube with a light oil such as Tri-Flow. If this doesn't correct the problem, look for replacements as these brifters are not servicable.
The Klein Stage and Stage Comp (same frame but with 105 components) were decent bikes but were actually rebadged Treks as Trek had bought Klein a couple of years earlier. My son-in-law has a '97 Stage Comp so I'm familiar with the bikes.
BTW, a weak spot on these frames was the mounting of the downtube shifter bosses. They are not welded but held in place with a very thin threaded bolt that goes through holes in the downtube and both bosses. The thread can strip if subject to much loading and the bosses will then fall off. I've worked out a fix if it happens to your frame as it did to my son-in-laws.