Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

help I hate the shifters on my new bike Tiagra Flat bar (10 speed)

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

help I hate the shifters on my new bike Tiagra Flat bar (10 speed)

Old 08-25-15, 08:10 PM
  #1  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
help I hate the shifters on my new bike Tiagra Flat bar (10 speed)

I just bought this puppy, last year's model. Love it. Truly I do. HOWEVER, the shifters are very stiff. I have had bicycles now for as long as I've been alive, and I have NEVER encountered this situation. They are so stiff that my thumb hurts for a week after a 20 mile ride. Now I'll admit I'm getting older, but really? The right thumb hurts the most obviously, but last week I did only front derailleur shifting and that thumb hurts now too.

I am trying to research 10 speed flat bar shifters. I'm finding Tiagra, which I have, or I can step down to Sora level. eek. Are there no other competitors for 10 speed flat bar shifters that will work with Tiagra derailleurs? Even the bike shop didn't seem too interested in helping me with this. We did move the levers a bit, but I can't say that helped.

edit: Sora is 9 and Claris is 8, they won't work either!


Specialized Bicycle Components

just found this one... would this work?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003RLDOQG/...XAM9KQ8B&psc=1

Last edited by dmiller91; 08-25-15 at 08:19 PM.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-25-15, 09:27 PM
  #2  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,026
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by dmiller91 View Post
I

just found this one... would this work?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003RLDOQG/...XAM9KQ8B&psc=1
No. SRAM shifters are not compatible with Shimano derailleurs. You could install them if you changed to a SRAM rear derailleur.

I have no problems with my Shimano flat-bar shifters, but that doesn't extend to 10-speed. Also- do you have small hands? Mine are rather large.

Shimano changed the shifting ratio on the mountain 10-speed (aka Dyna-Sys), so changing to mountain shifters would mean a rear derailleur change anyway.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 08-25-15, 09:46 PM
  #3  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I actually can't find a thing that could be swapped in. I had no idea. I'm female, but I don't have particularly small hands. I feel like a wimp, but truly those shifters are STIFF.

The bike shop told me they won't "loosen up" much either. Great
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 02:01 AM
  #4  
corrado33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,096

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1125 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dmiller91 View Post
I actually can't find a thing that could be swapped in. I had no idea. I'm female, but I don't have particularly small hands. I feel like a wimp, but truly those shifters are STIFF.

The bike shop told me they won't "loosen up" much either. Great
If the shifters are really that stiff, then there's something wrong. Any properly adjusted shifters (regardless of price) will shift smoothly with little effort. I'd hazard a guess that you have some sort of binding along the shift cable (or a rusty cable.)

Here's my advice. If you know how to adjust a rear derailleur, disconnect the shift cable from the derailleur. Then try to shift. It SHOULD be extremely easy with little to no effort. (You'll need to apply tension on the cable in order for you to be able to "shift" in one direction.) If it is NOT easy, then you have a messed up cable/housing. Even new bikes can have messed up housings if someone crushed it or bent it at too sharp of an angle.

I've taken very old bikes with exactly the same problem you have, replaced the cable and housing, and it shifts like a dream afterward. Cables and housing are extremely cheap as well. You'd probably pay $5-10 for a set to replace your shifter cable.

For reference, I'm able to shift a properly adjusted rear derailleur with a hyper extended thumb. I couldn't even hold on to heavy things, but I could still shift a well adjusted bike.

Last edited by corrado33; 08-26-15 at 02:05 AM.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 03:08 AM
  #5  
trailflow1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Try lubricating the inside of the shifters. A spray can lubricant with a straw attached will be easiest. Stick it through a hole and give it a generous squirt. Also squirt the cable exits holes too. See if that helps.
trailflow1 is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 05:06 AM
  #6  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,586

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1184 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 41 Posts
Shimano's newest 10-speed downtube and barend shifters are pretty stiff shifting but not to the point they should hurt anyone's hands. This sounds extreme.
HillRider is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 10:24 AM
  #7  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,300

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 269 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Since you just bought it, take it back to the shop (assuming you got it at one) and see if they can help you out...
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 11:56 AM
  #8  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 2,973
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
If the shifters are really that stiff, then there's something wrong. Any properly adjusted shifters (regardless of price) will shift smoothly with little effort. I'd hazard a guess that you have some sort of binding along the shift cable (or a rusty cable.)

Here's my advice. If you know how to adjust a rear derailleur, disconnect the shift cable from the derailleur. Then try to shift. It SHOULD be extremely easy with little to no effort. (You'll need to apply tension on the cable in order for you to be able to "shift" in one direction.) If it is NOT easy, then you have a messed up cable/housing. Even new bikes can have messed up housings if someone crushed it or bent it at too sharp of an angle.

.
This.

Find a shop that will investigate what the problem is. It could be the shifters, or it could be the cables\housings.
leob1 is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 01:28 PM
  #9  
blakcloud 
Senior Member
 
blakcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 1,914

Bikes: Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Brompton S/M3L (modified), custom Winter Cycles

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 318 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 9 Posts
I agree with others and think there is something wrong with the shifters, it shouldn't be that hard.

If you end up still wanting to change your shifters you could go to Dura Ace bar end shifters mounted to Paul Thumbies. This would be an expensive upgrade but they do work. The other suggestion would be Microshift 10 speed shifters for flatbar (SL A10's)
blakcloud is offline  
Old 08-26-15, 01:33 PM
  #10  
obed7
Senior Member
 
obed7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Porter, Texas
Posts: 4,125

Bikes: Trek Domane 5.2, Ridley Xfire, Giant Propel, KHS AeroComp

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1648 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
another who believes that you have something wrong with your shifters/set up....
my wife has small hands and hers are smooth and pretty much effortless....believe me, if they weren't, I would not have had any peace until they were... she is picky about her stuff.
oh, and since she does not read here, I can tell you she is old too.
obed7 is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 11:28 AM
  #11  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
another who believes that you have something wrong with your shifters/set up....
my wife has small hands and hers are smooth and pretty much effortless....believe me, if they weren't, I would not have had any peace until they were... she is picky about her stuff.
oh, and since she does not read here, I can tell you she is old too.

LOL cracks me up. I can shift effortlessly too, UNLESS IT'S THIS BIKE. I know it's something with the new bike, but I've never used Tiagra shifters before. I've had 105's and Deore, and both were dreams. These suck. My husband road the men's version of this bike, and his sucked too. He is strong though and it doesn't make his thumb sore.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 11:29 AM
  #12  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
I agree with others and think there is something wrong with the shifters, it shouldn't be that hard.

If you end up still wanting to change your shifters you could go to Dura Ace bar end shifters mounted to Paul Thumbies. This would be an expensive upgrade but they do work. The other suggestion would be Microshift 10 speed shifters for flatbar (SL A10's)
Thanks for this tidbit. I found these and wasn't sure. I was about to write SRAM, but another poster said they aren't compatible with shimano crackset... but their website says they are.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 11:31 AM
  #13  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
This.

Find a shop that will investigate what the problem is. It could be the shifters, or it could be the cables\housings.
yeah, I took it back the shop. The guy was great. He adjusted the position, which didn't help. Bike is BRAND NEW. He said he agreed they are stiff, and he also told me they won't break in. I"m hesitant to order shifters through them as I will pay an arm and a leg. I thought I could research them on my own, and then maybe ask them if I buy them will they do the install? Their service manager is a really good guy, so I imagine they will help. My fear is I will order and get no improvement. It's both shifters so I don't think it's a cable/housing. I think it's the stinkin design.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 12:28 PM
  #14  
practical
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Middelbury, Vermont
Posts: 1,104

Bikes: Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I had a Cannondale CAAD 8 road bike converted to a flatbar. It had tiagra components. I replaced the shifters with SRAM grip shifters and it worked fine.
practical is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 03:37 PM
  #15  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by practical View Post
I had a Cannondale CAAD 8 road bike converted to a flatbar. It had tiagra components. I replaced the shifters with SRAM grip shifters and it worked fine.
Question for you... not sure I like grip shifters.. but why did you replace the Tiagra?
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 04:11 PM
  #16  
SlowJoeCrow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 405

Bikes: Redline Conquest Pro, Kona Cinder Cone, Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Is the problem that the shift levers themselves are very stiff, or is the cable binding? If it is the cables, replacing the OEM stuff with a good quality cable kit and routing to avoid sharp bends often helps. If it is the shifters, Microshift makes trigger shifters and thumb shifters for Shimano 2x10 road derailleurs and Universal Cycles stocks them.
SlowJoeCrow is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 05:46 PM
  #17  
wesmamyke 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 860
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by SlowJoeCrow View Post
Is the problem that the shift levers themselves are very stiff, or is the cable binding? If it is the cables, replacing the OEM stuff with a good quality cable kit and routing to avoid sharp bends often helps. If it is the shifters, Microshift makes trigger shifters and thumb shifters for Shimano 2x10 road derailleurs and Universal Cycles stocks them.
I have no experience with the above mentioned Microshift shifters but they are the cheapest option. Almost bought them recently just to try. I had a similar problem with absurdly stiff Shimano 10spd shifters and Shimano was no help at all. I wound up buying a much lower model that didn't have the fancy instant release and the shifter feels much better.
wesmamyke is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 06:08 PM
  #18  
practical
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Middelbury, Vermont
Posts: 1,104

Bikes: Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dmiller91 View Post
Question for you... not sure I like grip shifters.. but why did you replace the Tiagra?
I replaced the drop bar with a flatbar which means I had to replace the shifters.
practical is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 09:35 PM
  #19  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,026
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by dmiller91 View Post
Thanks for this tidbit. I found these and wasn't sure. I was about to write SRAM, but another poster said they aren't compatible with shimano crankset... but their website says they are.
The crankset is irrelevant. As above, if you want to use SRAM shifters, you must use a SRAM rear derailleur. You should be able to retain the Shimano front derailleur you have on the bike now.

There's several different ways to make different shifters work. However, I'm with other posters: if you've got a problem on a new bike, take it back to the dealer and tell them to make it right. If they don't, complain to the company directly.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 08-28-15, 11:23 PM
  #20  
ClarkinHawaii
Senior Member
 
ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wahiawa. Oahu
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Madison is supposed to be a cycling Mecca--get some other opinions from other shops before you spend more money. I think your present shop, while nice guys and all, may not be the ones to handle this problem.

Very simple--just wheel the bike into another shop and ask the wrench to shift and ask him if it's supposed to be so stiff.

Repeat at least 3 times before you accept as truth.
ClarkinHawaii is offline  
Old 08-29-15, 08:14 AM
  #21  
dmiller91
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
dmiller91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 190

Bikes: Specialized vita comp disc, trek 7500 multitrack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
Madison is supposed to be a cycling Mecca--get some other opinions from other shops before you spend more money. I think your present shop, while nice guys and all, may not be the ones to handle this problem.

Very simple--just wheel the bike into another shop and ask the wrench to shift and ask him if it's supposed to be so stiff.

Repeat at least 3 times before you accept as truth.
LOL. Okay, will do. The guy at the first bike shop said it was indeed stiff. But adjusting the shifter position didn't help. Another week since a 20 mile ride and my freaking thumbs are sore. I'm surprised no one else has noticed this with Tiagra shifters.
dmiller91 is offline  
Old 08-29-15, 08:33 AM
  #22  
habilis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Morris County, NJ
Posts: 1,102

Bikes: 90's Bianchi Premio, Raleigh-framed fixed gear, Trek 3500, Centurion hybrid, Dunelt 3-spd, Trek 800

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2167 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Please don't take this badly, but the easiest, least time-consuming approach to a problem is usually self-help. (Yes, I do tend to be preachy.) Several posters have suggested the best, most obvious solution:

1. Check whether the shifter moves more freely if disconnected from the derailleur. If yes, your problem is a damaged or rusted derailleur, or possibly one that just needs lubing of the moving parts.

2. Lubricate everything that moves in the parts between your thumb and the derailleur, including the derailleur. Remember that WD-40 and similar products are not long-term lubricants; they just free up stuff that's stuck. They should be followed up with an oil that's heavier and has more staying power. Powdered graphite mixed with light oil - though somewhat messy - does wonders on moving parts. Even poorly designed stuff works much better when properly lubed.

3. Look for kinks in the cables and replace if necessary. Even if no kinks are apparent, a badly cut housing can bind against the cable (and eventually wear through it). If the cut end of a cable needs to be opened up, you can do it with an ice-pick or awl - even a long nail.

The above items require no special tools or experience. The time you will spend on these tasks will be less than the time spent dragging your bike to various shops, and will make you a better diagnostician and home mechanic. Not trying to talk down to you, just sensing a reluctance to address the problem yourself.

Last edited by habilis; 08-29-15 at 08:38 AM.
habilis is offline  
Old 08-29-15, 10:19 AM
  #23  
ClarkinHawaii
Senior Member
 
ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wahiawa. Oahu
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here are Amazon reviews of this product. I like to use them on stuff I purchase to see if other people may be having the same problem as I am, and what solutions they have found. Also very helpful in deciding what to buy.
Amazon.com : Shimano Tiagra 10-Speed Flat Bar Road Bicycle Shifter Set - SL-4600 : Bike Shift Levers : Sports & Outdoors
ClarkinHawaii is offline  
Old 08-29-15, 10:57 AM
  #24  
BikeWise1
30 YR Wrench
 
BikeWise1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oxford, OH
Posts: 2,007

Bikes: Waterford R-33, Madone 6.5, Trek 520

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What kind of bike? Are the cables routed internally? This has caused problems in my shop.
BikeWise1 is offline  
Old 08-29-15, 11:01 AM
  #25  
habilis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Morris County, NJ
Posts: 1,102

Bikes: 90's Bianchi Premio, Raleigh-framed fixed gear, Trek 3500, Centurion hybrid, Dunelt 3-spd, Trek 800

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2167 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
Here are Amazon reviews of this product. I like to use them on stuff I purchase to see if other people may be having the same problem as I am, and what solutions they have found. Also very helpful in deciding what to buy.
Amazon.com : Shimano Tiagra 10-Speed Flat Bar Road Bicycle Shifter Set - SL-4600 : Bike Shift Levers : Sports & Outdoors
OP, the reviews (those that I read) seem to indicate that the problem is NOT with the design of the shifters, but rather with set-up and/or lubrication of your shifters, cables, and, possibly, derailleurs. Everybody else seems to like the shifters.
habilis is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Juggy_Gales
Hybrid Bicycles
7
02-10-19 09:40 PM
SteveDave
Road Cycling
53
10-05-10 12:22 AM
tspek
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
35
02-16-10 01:40 PM
concernicus
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
1
03-02-06 08:28 PM
swaco
Road Cycling
1
12-30-04 11:51 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.