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Old 07-25-09, 04:37 PM   #1
JohnnyGalaga
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$250 To Replace Shifters?? (!!!)

Mmmmkay, brought the bike to a bike shop cos the rear derailleur won't downshift. They said I need new shifters and they cheapest ones they sell are Shimano Ultegras to the tune of $250. Ouch! They said that the Shimano RSX shifters aren't made to be repaired and if they break you gotta replace 'em. Meanwhile, I only paid a few hundred bucks for the bike used 8 years ago.

Why do they cost so much? Are these not just a couple of metal levers that go on the handlebars? Isn't there a cheaper option? Why in the world should I buy more Shimano stuff when it costs a fortune to replace and they can't be repaired?
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Old 07-25-09, 05:10 PM   #2
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Why do they cost so much?
I have wondered this many times. It's like eye glass frames. They charge high prices because people are willing to pay them.

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Isn't there a cheaper option?
eBay, possibly. I have been looking for a set of brifters the last week or so and there are some to be had on eBay for around $200. Maybe less if you don't mind dents. Ultegra brifters for $250 sounds like a good deal. You can go with bar end shifters. I got a set of Dura Ace ST-7801 10 Speed brifters for $169 (incl. shipping) but they are three years old and have some dents on the caps.

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Why in the world should I buy more Shimano stuff when it costs a fortune to replace and they can't be repaired?
It's not just Shimano that's expensive, they all are.
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Old 07-25-09, 05:27 PM   #3
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Bar ends should only be about $60.

A quick search for downtube shifters pulled these up.
http://www.ebikestop.com/sunrace_7sp...ers-LD1242.php
Only $20 shipped.

Last edited by c_m_shooter; 07-25-09 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 07-25-09, 05:45 PM   #4
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Are you sure they are toast? Lots of shifter problems are due to simpler things; worn cables, grucked-up drivetrain, etc.
Though they are not repairable, most of these Shimano components are as reliable as hammers.

I just picked up an old Giant with 105 Brifters, and the left one appeared frozen. I shot it full of WD-40 and...Problem solved.
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Old 07-25-09, 05:49 PM   #5
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Bar ends should only be about $60.
.
They're right about the no repair thing. Shimano is notorious for that; it's one of the reasons I hate the company. But one of the reasons I used Shimano anyway is that even the fairly low-end stuff works pretty well. My two road bikes are worth at least $6000 together, but they're both running bar-end shifters. They last forever, work great and have a friction option.
If I were really a purist, I'd use $20 downtube shifters, but I'm not...
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Old 07-25-09, 07:31 PM   #6
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Well screw that then, and I'll never buy Shimano stuff if that's how they wanna be. Maybe I'll try to sell the bike as defective for $100 bucks on craigslist or something, otherwise I might as well throw it in the trash can.
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Old 07-25-09, 07:56 PM   #7
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I'll give you $100 for it. But I doubt you live in the Montreal, QC area.
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Old 07-25-09, 07:57 PM   #8
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+1 on the WD-40. I Got a pair of Shimano 9 speed shifters that wouldn't shift at all working fine by hosing them down liberally with it. Spray, let soak, spray again. Work them back and forth many times while spraying to get it on all the parts. If they start working, then let dry and lube. I used chain lube.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:15 PM   #9
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I have 2 sets of these shifters. Spray them out with WD-40 (like said before) and I can almost guarantee you they will work.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:54 PM   #10
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Sounds like a winner. $250, you rode it for eight years, and sell it for $100.00 with defective shifters.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:14 PM   #11
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Well screw that then, and I'll never buy Shimano stuff if that's how they wanna be. Maybe I'll try to sell the bike as defective for $100 bucks on craigslist or something, otherwise I might as well throw it in the trash can.
Bikewer's right, though--they do last forever, and it's possible-to-likely the problem is in the cables or the der. pivots, maybe a lack of lube. I'd check everything over, clean it and lubricate whatever needs it, including anyplace where a bare cable passes over or under anything (like the bottom bracket).
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Old 07-25-09, 11:30 PM   #12
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Are any shifters "repairable"? ,even old thumbshifters were'nt something you could take apart-or more accuratly put back together.Down tube friction shifters were probably the last and there basicly was one moving part so you would'nt have to repair it anyway.All in all shimano does have a pretty bulletproof line of shifters , even the cheap stuff has some long life.All that being said 200$!-if i need a watch i wo'nt spend that , but , if i can't tell what time it is at the right moment on a climb i wo'nt have a problem getting to the top.You could try and find a used bike for around that.Good Luck
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Old 07-25-09, 11:39 PM   #13
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Well screw that then, and I'll never buy Shimano stuff if that's how they wanna be. Maybe I'll try to sell the bike as defective for $100 bucks on craigslist or something, otherwise I might as well throw it in the trash can.
There are 3 other levels of shifter/components in the Shimano line. $250 for Ultegra is in the ball park for that level. But Sora or Tiagra would be more in keeping, price-wise, with the RSX you have. Changing shifters really isn't that difficult if you want to save money. Do a google for Sora shifters and you'll find single shifters for from $50 to $70. These guys even have a 7 speed rear for around $50.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:44 AM   #14
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Well screw that then, and I'll never buy Shimano stuff if that's how they wanna be. Maybe I'll try to sell the bike as defective for $100 bucks on craigslist or something, otherwise I might as well throw it in the trash can.
You won't find anything different with other bikes.
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Old 07-27-09, 01:52 PM   #15
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Well other than the suggestions about using WD-40, I would ask at another bike shop. I'm not sure what's going on, but I looked at your pic and I'm not even sure a Ultegra shifter would work - you appear to have 7 rings on your rear chainring, which (I would think) would mean you would need a 7 speed shifter...I think? Anyone else? I don't think a new Ultegra 10 speed shifter would work.

Or perhaps the shop meant that the only 7 speed shifters they have are the rather old (edit) Ultegra variety. Hmm.

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Old 07-27-09, 04:01 PM   #16
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+1 for some bar-end shifters. Cheap and bulletproof. Brifters they are not, but many people prefer them.
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Old 07-28-09, 07:23 AM   #17
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I've seen a guy on Ebay that repairs those shifters.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:54 AM   #18
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I feel your pain, I dug my Cannondale R900 out of the shed last weekend (it had been sitting for ten or more years) to find the shifters seized up. Took it to the bike shop $200 for shifters and $30 to have them installed. Oh well the bike was given to me and thats alot cheaper than a new bike.
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Old 07-29-09, 08:36 AM   #19
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I've recently "repaired" both a left-hand 105 brifter and a pair of old Shimano MTB brifters. In both cases, a generous application of WD-40 turned the trick.
Inside these mechanisms is a ratchet and pawl system somewhat similar to what you'd see in a watch.
(back when watches had mechanical parts inside...)
I found that the pawl mechanism had seized up due to dirt and dust.

Spritzing the pivot out with WD-40 while working it back and forth with a screwdriver freed them up, and then a bit of penetrating lube restored full function.

Might give it a go; WD-40 is much cheaper than new shifters....
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Old 07-29-09, 12:48 PM   #20
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I'll add another recommendation to the WD-40 + lube camp. I have RSX brifters on my old allez, and they were giving me problems (not shifting regularly...sometimes not shifting at all). Half an hour and half a can of WD-40 later, they were shifting flawlessly. Add some synthetic lithium grease and you're good to go. At the very least it's worth a shot before you go spending money on a whole new setup.
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Old 07-29-09, 12:56 PM   #21
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RSX shifters on a bike we used to have. The front shifter stopped working. WD40 didn't fix it. I pulled it partially apart and there were a few broken parts inside. Found another RSX shifter that also didn't work. That one cleaned up with WD40 and started to function again.
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Old 07-29-09, 01:52 PM   #22
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Try another shop. It looks to me like you have an 8spd, which really limits your options. Most new parts are made for 9 and 10 speeds nowadays.

Instead of getting hit for $250, I'd ebay an older 8 speed Shimano Tiagra and learn to swap it over myself. It's definitely something within reach of any do-it-yourself guy.
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Old 07-31-09, 12:16 PM   #23
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Another vote for the WD40 thing. I bought my 1992 bike with 600 Ultegra brifters last year off CL and the rear shifter didn't work. I took it home, hung it by the back wheel and spray the crap out of the shifter mechanism a few times with a towel underneath to catch all the runoff. The shifters have worked great now for the past year. Total cost was a few sprays of WD40.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:31 PM   #24
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And yet another vote for WD-40. Similar story with a '95 Specialized Sirius. RSX rear brifter froze up after sitting in the garage for several years. WD-40 and a little exercise solved the shifting problem.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:08 PM   #25
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I tried the wd-40 trick and it didnt work for me . soaked them for a week and they where still stuck. I guess when a bikes sits for 10 years something is bound to be broken..
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