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Shimano 9 Speed Ultegra Brifter Issue

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Shimano 9 Speed Ultegra Brifter Issue

Old 05-25-20, 08:16 PM
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mikebian 
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Shimano 9 Speed Ultegra Brifter Issue

My wife and I are mostly tandem riders, but she has an old Lemond Zurich road bike that she uses on an old trainer. It has 9 Speed Ultegra brifters on it. Recently, the right side brifter has a weird issue. The smaller lever (to shift to a smaller cog) just moves across without actually releasing the cable to allow the der to move down a cog. But, if I hold the larger lever from moving at all when I press the small lever, it shifts fine. When you just press the small lever, as you normally would, if moves the larger one a millimeter or so at the start of the small lever travel and that seems to cause the shift to not work. Any clue if this is repairable? She doesn't use the bike much so I don't really want to upgrade it. I am very mechanically inclined, but I've heard that Shimano brifters aren't easily repairable.

I am not sure of the model number as I can't find it, but a pic is attached.



Thanks
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Old 05-25-20, 08:31 PM
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This vintage of STI suffers from a couple of common issues. One is the very well posted aging of the lube. The old grease becomes gummy and the little ratchet pawls don't freely move on their shafts so don't hold the position they are asked to. The other is a spring breaks that keeps the primary lever (the brake lever) from moving with the release lever. The former is easily services with flushing out the old gummy lube and replenishing with fresh lube, many dozens of references can be found on this. The later is the death knell unless you are good at micro surgery/watch like repairs (and have a known donner lever). Since the two issues overlap in symptoms I generally suggest a flush and relube because it's low cost and just might do the trick. But don't hold your breath. The need to hold the primary lever stationary (especially when in the smaller cogs) can be a bad sign. Andy
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Old 05-25-20, 08:36 PM
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There are videos for flushing those out. The grease gets hard and clogs the pawls inside. Could be a cable fraying inside also.
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Old 05-25-20, 09:35 PM
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I’ve successfully revived three Shimano shifters by flushing and relubing. I followed this video, except I didn’t apply the grease. The Boeshield was the only lubricant.


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Old 05-26-20, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for the advice, but unfortunately, it didn't work. I tilted the handlebar down, put a pan underneath, and flushed it several times with WD-40 while moving the levers. The WD-40 dripped out dark, so it did take out a lot of grease, but it didn't help the problem at all. I took the brifter off the bike and I'm going to try opening it, but I don't expect much at this point. Even if I see what's broken or worn, where would I get parts?

PS. The cable was in perfect condition.

If I fail (as is likely) on disassembling / fixing the current brifter, I'm thinking of buying a set of Microshift R9 brifters to replace them as they are only $120 and get decent reviews for the price point. And the bike just sits on the trainer mostly.
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Old 05-26-20, 05:25 PM
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Microshift sounds like a good plan. I wouldn't waste any more time on trying to repair the old shifter. Actually, for trainer use you could put on a downtube shifter if the frame has a boss.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:06 PM
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Discovering how things work is always a cool idea. But the success rate of reassembly is pretty low for Shimano units (but I guess it depends on how far you go). As to parts Shimano never made available internal parts for any of their indexed shifters that I know of. Very early on they sort of offered their own servicing if the shifter was sent back (IIRC by a qualified dealer) but that went away rather quickly. So the source for replavement parts is another shifter. Of course if that second shifter has an intact primary lever spring it also likely works as it should so why take it apart to fix a broken one...

Micro Shift work well enough and many end up preferring the fixed brake lever blade, like Campy and SRAM uses. However I suggest that you experience the different ergonomic aspects as some don't like the release "button" position. Also these can be more challenging when cold weather gloves are used. Andy
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Old 05-27-20, 08:04 AM
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I took it apart this morning and found wear on a ratchet that makes it un-repairable. Then I took it ALL apart. Buying the Microshift brifters now. Thanks for all of your input.

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Old 05-27-20, 09:07 AM
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That looked like fun. People are always looking for those top caps.
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Old 05-27-20, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mikebian View Post
I took it apart this morning and found wear on a ratchet that makes it un-repairable. Then I took it ALL apart. Buying the Microshift brifters now. Thanks for all of your input.

You've accomplished what I dream of!
Luckily you don't have to assemble it for a morning ride tomorrow.
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Old 05-28-20, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mikebian View Post
I took it apart this morning and found wear on a ratchet that makes it un-repairable. Then I took it ALL apart. Buying the Microshift brifters now. Thanks for all of your input.

Those covers plates are a high demand item
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Old 05-28-20, 05:23 AM
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That is an awesome picture. I had no idea there were that many parts, holy smokes.
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Old 06-20-20, 08:54 PM
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Hoods too

THos hoods are also in high demand... Speaking from current experience. If you're looking for a home for the plate and hoods my aged drifters are in need.
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