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Cannondale R300 shifting problem

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Cannondale R300 shifting problem

Old 07-07-15, 03:10 PM
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Cannondale R300 shifting problem

I have acquired this bike in as new condition. It has a Shimano RSX group. The only problem the bike has is the shifters in the brake levers don't work well. I am guessing that the grease is old and dry. I have sprayed the insides with WD40 and it has helped the action some but they still don't work near as well as they should. Is there anything that can be done to improve or eliminate this problem. I haven't researched the bikes age but the top tube is still horizontal and down sloping as current style seems to dictate. The problem has came about from no use. I don't think there is a scratch on this bike.
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Old 07-07-15, 03:24 PM
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What... exactly... is the problem? How does it not "shift well." What does it do wrong?
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Old 07-07-15, 03:39 PM
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it does not go to next gear. Shift again and it skips gears. Sometimes it just does not want to shift at all and takes several movements of the shift lever. I haven't ridden it much. It is quite hilly here and gear shifts are frequent and need to be timely. Up and down hill and few flats. This old fart needs lots of gear changes. The lever seems to not ratchet properly. I am not familiar with anything but the old friction shifters located on the down tube. I just think the grease inside the levers is old and dry from non use. Sorry I can't explain it much better
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Old 07-07-15, 03:49 PM
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If you're talking about shifters that are incorporated into the brake levers? Those often break. If it IS ratcheting, it may just be a bad cable/housing/friction somewhere. Disconnect the cable from the rear derailleur and try to shift while holding the line taught. Then unthread it through all of the housings and try again. Is there a significant difference? If so then you need new housings/cable.

That's kinda a last ditch effort though, many other things to try first. (Honestly I hate the shifters that are incorporated into the brake levers.)
EDIT: Note, I'm talking about mountain bike shifters that are bolted to the brake levers. Not brifters.)

Last edited by corrado33; 07-07-15 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 07-07-15, 03:53 PM
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You need to replace the lube (dried or otherwise) that you blew out with degreaser. Remove the brake and shifter cables from their housings and clean and lube those too. Replacement cables are recommended.
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Old 07-07-15, 04:02 PM
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Are you suggesting that I take what looks like a complicated little mechanism apart and re-lube all them little bitty parts and springs? I am not sure I am capable of doing so. I have totally built several bikes or completely disassembled and cleaned and lubed but these look to be quite complicated. I have not blasted anything out of these levers. Just a good soaking with WD40.

These shifters are built right into the brake levers. The brake lever is pushed towards the center of the bike to shift to a lower gear. To up shift there is a little lever inside the brake lever that must be pushed towards the center of the bike to up shift.

Last edited by dit; 07-07-15 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 07-07-15, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dit View Post
Are you suggesting that I take what looks like a complicated little mechanism apart and re-lube all them little bitty parts and springs? I am not sure I am capable of doing so. I have totally built several bikes or completely disassembled and cleaned and lubed but these look to be quite complicated. I have not blasted anything out of these levers. Just a good soaking with WD40.
Apparently you have mistaken the removal of gunk with the necessity of lubricating the shifter mechanism. Sure soak the shifter to your heart's content but shoot some silicone spray up there when you're done. Lubricants act to move dust and dirt away from moving parts and your shifters will wear much faster if you leave them WDdry.

Don't forget those cables.
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Old 07-07-15, 04:10 PM
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Please, do NOT attempt to disassemble brifters. That can only end badly.
Flush liberally with WD-40,working the mechanism frequently. T
hen blow as much of the solvent out of the brifter assembly as possible.
I am not sure what lubricant is recommended; possible some aerosol white lithium grease.
Clean and lube the cables/housings to eliminate internal friction and/or gumming up.
Good luck!
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Old 07-07-15, 04:20 PM
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Please, do NOT attempt to disassemble brifters. That can only end badly.
I can sure believe that. I think a watch would be easier to work on just by looking.

I think the only cables that I have ever had to clean and lube were on a couple of cheap bikes that I worked on for friends. I wasn't aware that good cables were ever lubed but I will take a look at them.
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Old 07-07-15, 06:14 PM
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Many modern cables have teflon liners............but not all.
Clean any gunk out and give a ight rub with teflon grease.
'Specially in the areas of sharp bends....
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Old 07-08-15, 06:29 AM
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There's a guy in NC or SC who rebuilds these and does a fantastic job at a very reasonable price with a quick turnaround. Do a Googly search and you'll find him. While you're at it, might as well send him both units.
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Old 07-08-15, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
There's a guy in NC or SC who rebuilds these and does a fantastic job at a very reasonable price with a quick turnaround. Do a Googly search and you'll find him. While you're at it, might as well send him both units.
Good advice. Sometimes the grease will harden in a spot, or to a degree that flushing alone fails. I have rebuilt one STI successfully, but it was just a case of blind luck and I won't attempt it again. The RSX STIs are nearly bomb proof and worth the effort, IMO.

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Old 07-08-15, 07:59 AM
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I soaked them both with WD40 over night and rode it this morning. Worked better so maybe I just need to give it some time. I don't think this bike has a 100 miles on it. Thanks to all for their help
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