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Ultegra Flight Deck STI mystery piece + Threadless headset question

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Ultegra Flight Deck STI mystery piece + Threadless headset question

Old 10-15-21, 10:13 PM
  #1  
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Ultegra Flight Deck STI mystery piece + Threadless headset question

Ahoy y'all.
Got this 2001 Cannondale R1000 for my buddy and we're in tear down mode. I took the brifters off to clean them - and we took out all the cables since we're putting new ones on. While I was cleaning them, I noticed that one of them was really difficult to click the shifter mechanism. Then I noticed that there was this weird piece that seemed to be jammed in one of the cable outlets, and the other shifter didn't have it at all. They are circled in the pics below - anyone know what's going on here? That little piece seems to be real jammed and I can't move it.




OK next question - probably a really dumb one:

Same bike, I took the bars and stem off. And pulled the fork out. This is really my first time doing a build with a threadless headset - every single project bike before has been a classic/vintage with a 1" threaded. So, like, how does the fork/steerer stay up in the headtube? With a threaded headset there's...threads, and the locknut. But there's no mechanism to "catch" the steerer and keep it up in the headtube while it's up in the bike stand. Did I drop a mystery piece or am I missing something stupid easy?
The cups are still pressed into the head tube, and I've got the 2 bearing cartridges - and everything else I can see in diagrams online. Does it require the stem & the top cap & blot in order to snug everything together?

Thanks.
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Old 10-16-21, 02:11 AM
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I'm pretty sure that bit that's 'stuck' in there is the part of the shifter the cable head sits in - left and right aren't made the same. You'd be lucky if these shifters still work properly, but a solvent flush and re-lube with heavy oil might make them good again. I think maybe the 9s ones have other typical failure modes beyond the old gummy grease though.

And yeah, the fork won't stay in the frame without either the stem clamped or at least the top cap fitted, unless the wedge ring is stuck.
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Old 10-16-21, 07:41 AM
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I agree, that's the cable socket on the left shifter, in its highest shift position. First step is to try cleaning it with extended soaking in a cleaner and lubrication, see if you can get it to downshift. If that doesn't work, find another one that does, or undertake some clock repair-type work to disassemble and find the stuck part, probably a small spring-loaded pawl that's stuck.

The cap and bolt that threads into the star nut in the steerer is only used to adjust the bearing. The stem clamps it in place. After that, the cap and bolt do nothing.
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Old 10-17-21, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions / Iíll see what I can figure out. Will report back.
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Old 10-17-21, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
OK next question - probably a really dumb one:

Same bike, I took the bars and stem off. And pulled the fork out. This is really my first time doing a build with a threadless headset - every single project bike before has been a classic/vintage with a 1" threaded. So, like, how does the fork/steerer stay up in the headtube? With a threaded headset there's...threads, and the locknut. But there's no mechanism to "catch" the steerer and keep it up in the headtube while it's up in the bike stand. Did I drop a mystery piece or am I missing something stupid easy?
The cups are still pressed into the head tube, and I've got the 2 bearing cartridges - and everything else I can see in diagrams online. Does it require the stem & the top cap & blot in order to snug everything together?

Thanks.
If you need something to hold the fork in place during assembly, a toe strap is tailor made for the job. Loop it around the downtube and the fork, then assemble everything. Once the top cap is in place and the bearing is loaded, it will stay in place.
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Old 10-17-21, 02:36 PM
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I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get that piece back inside. That sucker is hella stuck. Iíve tried prying and pushing with screwdrivers and hole punchers and pliers. I canít get it to budge. I donít think it has anything to do with built up grease or grime. Itís just somehow gotten out of position and lodged.
I was able to identify what I think the piece is by looking at the other shifter. I have no idea how it could have gotten so dislodged while we were breaking down the bike and pulling out the old cables and housing.

at this point it looks like a lost cause. Not sure what Iím going to replace this set with - current Ultegra is not 9 speed and I donít want to put Sora on this bike with an Ultegra RD and 105 FD. Maybe Microshift R9?

either way this wasnít in the budget.
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Old 10-17-21, 08:03 PM
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That is the cable stop for the ieft front shifter. Yes, you need to flush it with a solvent or wd40. Apparently the pawl is stuck. Hopefully you haven't damaged it by prying on it.
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Old 10-18-21, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get that piece back inside. That sucker is hella stuck. I’ve tried prying and pushing with screwdrivers and hole punchers and pliers. I can’t get it to budge. I don’t think it has anything to do with built up grease or grime. It’s just somehow gotten out of position and lodged.
I was able to identify what I think the piece is by looking at the other shifter. I have no idea how it could have gotten so dislodged while we were breaking down the bike and pulling out the old cables and housing.

at this point it looks like a lost cause. Not sure what I’m going to replace this set with - current Ultegra is not 9 speed and I don’t want to put Sora on this bike with an Ultegra RD and 105 FD. Maybe Microshift R9?

either way this wasn’t in the budget.
If you activate the large (brake) lever, does the piece (cable stop) move further out? If it does, then it is possibly a sticking pawl that is restricting the small lever from operating properly. When you tried pushing on the cable stop, were you also trying to move the small lever?

When you removed the cable, did you have the cable stop in this position? It should have been in the low gear position (after operating the small lever) for removal.
What was the condition of the cable? Was it frayed and have strands breaking off? Was derailleur end cut off cleanly before removal or was a kinked end yanked through the cable stop?

A flush with a solvent may dissolve some of the old grease and solve your problem. If something is jammed in there (loose cable strand/...?) or one of the pawls is out of position, then a disassembly is the only option. Something that is more difficult than most people are willing or capable of doing.

Last edited by KCT1986; 10-18-21 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-18-21, 03:56 PM
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In the first pic. Is that the new shifter cable you said you put in? Might be just shadows on the pic, but that doesn't look like a proper end on a Shimano shifter cable. Nor even for Campy.

At any rate, it's not seated properly IMO, but I have not used STI's of that period.
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Old 10-18-21, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
In the first pic. Is that the new shifter cable you said you put in? Might be just shadows on the pic, but that doesn't look like a proper end on a Shimano shifter cable. Nor even for Campy.

At any rate, it's not seated properly IMO, but I have not used STI's of that period.
There is no cable in the pic. That is what the cable stop (hook) looks like in these shifters. It has a slight bend, and ridge around it that looks like it could be 2 pieces, but this is what it normally looks like. See the hollowed out area? That is where the barrel end of the cable sits.

Here's a better pic of the area from a ST-5500 that I have laying around.



Last edited by KCT1986; 10-18-21 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Pic added
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Old 10-18-21, 05:04 PM
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Thanks everyone. I did hit it with some WD40 and let it sit a while and then tried activating the shift levers and it worked. The small shift paddle now moves the cable stop to the most inside & flush position. The big shifter paddle clicks and rotates that piece back outward. It does kinda get a little stuck if I go too far but it will click back if I jimmie the small shifter.

So should I put some lube into it now or what? All I have is chain lube at the moment.

I was also a little concerned because the front chainring is a 2x, and it seemed like the shifter was doing more than 2 clicks both ways. I dunno maybe itíll be fine when itís got a cable going through it with some tension.

quite relieved though, thanks for the help!
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Old 10-18-21, 07:23 PM
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You can pull the hood back by the handlebar clamp and it will have a 6500 number. 6503 would be a triple. Yes, spray some lube in there.
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Old 10-18-21, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
You can pull the hood back by the handlebar clamp and it will have a 6500 number. 6503 would be a triple. Yes, spray some lube in there.
For the 65xx series of shifter, they are all double/triple capable. Models are 6500 pre-Flightdeck, 6501 w/Flightdeck, 6510 updated model w/Flightdeck.

The 6503 marking was used on cranks and front derailleur but not on the brifter since all worked with triples.

The left shifter should have multiple clicks for FD trimming. Clicks are as followed:
. From smallest chainring to large; 2 small clicks for trimming on smallest ring and third click for middle ring (full stroke of large lever). Another click for large ring (another full stroke).
From large chainring to small; 1st stroke and release of small lever shifts to middle ring. Light (click) release of small lever to get trim position on middle ring, Full stroke of small lever to get to the smallest ring.

For a double chainring set-up, use the position for the smallest and middle position so trim positions are available. Connect cable to FD while in the lowest position on the shifter. This will give you 2 trims while on the small ring. While on the big ring, you'll have 1 trim position towards the small ring (light release of small lever).

Not sure about what lube to use. Maybe not something that would create a waxy build-up that would be hard to clean by flushing in the future.
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Old 10-19-21, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
I was also a little concerned because the front chainring is a 2x, and it seemed like the shifter was doing more than 2 clicks both ways. I dunno maybe it’ll be fine when it’s got a cable going through it with some tension.
Knowing the exact model number will tell the most about the extra clicks you seem to feel. So as another said, pull up the hood and look for the exact part number on the body of the shifter.

But on a 2x front there is an extra click for trimming when in the big big.

It's not quite a full throw of the lever. At least on my ST-5800 series it wasn't.
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Old 10-19-21, 09:42 PM
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As requested here’s the brifter model Iride01 KCT1986

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Last edited by the sci guy; 10-20-21 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 10-27-21, 10:19 PM
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UPDATE: is this shifter hosed?

I got the thing all installed and cabled up but when I tried to shift it, it wouldnít shift up to move the front derailleur over the big chainring. It seemed to hit a wall - and the down shifts were funky too.

After trying it again today, I noticed that something was sticking out of the same hole as in my first picture and the cable guide was catching on it, and also the cable guide was still trying to come out of the hole instead of rolling down forward past it.

Any idea what this piece is? Honestly it looks like a twist tie you close a bag with at the grocery. But it also runs back down inside the Brifter - no idea what itís purpose is. It looks like itís been busted. Thoughts? Is this thing done for?




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Old 10-28-21, 05:28 AM
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Looks like a destroyed ribbon cable (for the flight deck functions). At this point I would cut it out and remove as much as you can (since the cable is ruined and is in the mechanism)
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Old 10-28-21, 07:33 AM
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Ditto the above. I haven't worked on the Sora wiring, but other models have a terminal block under a cover plate under the rubber hood. If not there, you may have to dismount it from the bars and pull it out from the back.
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Old 10-28-21, 07:56 AM
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Ditto #2 to removing the wiring. Nothing lost and no more worries of it getting caught in the shift mechanism. Cant remember the last time I saw anyone using a Flight Deck computer.
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Old 10-28-21, 08:19 AM
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Ah I had no idea it was wiring for a computer - I thought it was some crucial cable part of the shifting mechanism. Ok. Iíll see what I can do about yanking it.
Thanks!
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Old 10-28-21, 08:17 PM
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Have you gotten this figured out?


Here's what it looks like under the plastic housing (rear shifter in the pic). Green arrow to cable and the sensor unit. Blue arrow to the shifter cable end stop/hook. The sensor cable just run above the shift mechanism, just under the plastic housing, and is pinched at the point where it passes above the steel brake cable bracket (red arrow). There is no other attachment point of the sensor cable.
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Old 10-29-21, 12:18 AM
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Yes I was able to cut the wire and then used needle nose pliers to carefully pull it out where it was stuck in the cable mechanism. This seems to have fixed the action of the mechanism.
Ive since tightened up the cable to the front derailleur and while I havenít put a chain on yet the lever seems to move thr derailleur cage to the right positions over the crank both outside and inner.
So fingers crossed weíve licked it!

Many thanks to everyone!

Carry over question - does anyone know what year was the last these side-exit cable Flight Deck STIs were used before switching over to all under the bar tape cabling?
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Old 10-29-21, 02:26 AM
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Glad that you got it taken care of.

Under the bar tape cabling began about 2009 with DA 7900 series and trickled down to R2000 in 2017 or so.
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Old 10-29-21, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Carry over question - does anyone know what year was the last these side-exit cable Flight Deck STIs were used before switching over to all under the bar tape cabling?
You mean when Shimano went from a smart system to something really stupid? I agree with KCT1986.
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Old 10-29-21, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by KCT1986 View Post
Glad that you got it taken care of.

Under the bar tape cabling began about 2009 with DA 7900 series and trickled down to R2000 in 2017 or so.
That's about what I seemed to find as well - I'm asking because I'm helping a friend try to find a bike on FB Marketplace and are seeing a lot of bikes with the Flight Deck era STIs and still asking $1300 for it.
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