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Lever Reset on Handle Bar Gear Shifter

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Lever Reset on Handle Bar Gear Shifter

Old 08-09-23, 06:23 PM
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Lever Reset on Handle Bar Gear Shifter

My handlebar gear shifter broke and I am replacing it with an identical, brand new SHIMANO ALIVIO Right Shift Lever 9-speed shifter. This style of shifter has a “trigger” to shift to higher gears and a thumb-push lever to down shift one, two, or three gears depending on how far it is pressed, after which it should automatically reset its position.

The problem I think I am having is that the downshift lever seems sticky, in the sense that it is very slow to reset or, more commonly, does not reset and just stays pushed in unless the rider pulls it back out. This has been my observation operating the shifter before installing it on the bike, where the cable is not under much tension. Should it require the cable tension to help retract and reset the downshift lever? I thought it should move both up and down the indexed positions automatically with an internal spring, or maybe I am mistaken. Could this part be defective? The up-shift trigger seems to work fine and I can move up in single-gear increments (and the trigger resets) without issue.
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Old 08-09-23, 07:08 PM
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The lever for the thumb should reset automatically. It has a spring that should pull it back that is independent of the cable pulling/releasing part of the system. It just has a pawl that should 'ride' over the gears in the return action.

Either the spring is weak, or wasn't installed correctly & is dragging on something.

Cable tension doesn't really move this lever.

A return & inspection is probably best.
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Old 08-09-23, 07:19 PM
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How does it work when you actually are riding and PEDALING?

A flush with WD-40 fixes many ills on these when the grease gets gummed up.
Gummed up cables will restrict crisp shifts to a smaller cog.(higher gear)
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Old 08-09-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KCT1986
The lever for the thumb should reset automatically. It has a spring that should pull it back that is independent of the cable pulling/releasing part of the system. It just has a pawl that should 'ride' over the gears in the return action.

Either the spring is weak, or wasn't installed correctly & is dragging on something.

Cable tension doesn't really move this lever.

A return & inspection is probably best.
That is what I suspected, but I wanted a sanity check before I tried to return it. Nothing looks obviously wrong with it on the outside but something seems to be restricting the lever's automatic reset.
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Old 08-09-23, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SamSam77
That is what I suspected, but I wanted a sanity check before I tried to return it. Nothing looks obviously wrong with it on the outside but something seems to be restricting the lever's automatic reset.
For a new shifter, returning is probably best.

If you're interested, the pic is what the inside of a SL-M410 (left/front shifter) looks like. Flat spring (blue arrow) is pinched below the shift lever with the end engaging the lever through a hole (yellow arrow) to provide return tension. If the spring is not positioned correctly, it could cause drag and wear, or the end can disengage.


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Old 08-09-23, 09:53 PM
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i've seen two things that can cause a "slow lever".. One is old grease that gets tacky.. I use PB blaster since WD can actually CAUSE stickiness over time...

the other cause is a Bent Lever touching the Other lever or the housings...

lube that sucker up and give it a few minutes to soak... then start moving the levers repeatedly... i bet it frees up.

Note: the nut on top can be a REVERSE THREAD... and THE SHAFT MAY BREAK if you twist it the wrong direction. the Hollow ones are the worst about this...
you have been warned. i found out the hard way.

And it's best to maintain tension on the Cable while exercising the Mechanism.. the cable can sometimes back out of the reel and Become Bent or stuck if tension isn't maintained.

Last edited by maddog34; 08-09-23 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 08-10-23, 05:08 PM
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I partly disassembled the shifter to have a look inside. Everything seemed fine when I was actuating the trigger and lever over and over. When I reassembled it, the shift lever started functioning properly and would automatically reset, which also worked fine over many cycles. I installed it on the bike and it started to work, shifting the gears up and down, then suddenly the lever froze in place, would not move either direction, and my continued pushing seemed to snap something inside such that the lever moving had no effect on the cable. I looked inside again and saw a small bit of metal had broken off and was now loose inside. Anyway, so much for that shifter, I will try again with another brand new one from a different source.
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Old 08-10-23, 07:13 PM
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I suspect the return spring took a set after somebody put it in the "1" position and left it for .. 15 years ?

that would do it. Good luck finding a spare part

/markp
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Old 08-11-23, 07:24 AM
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Check that a brake lever or handlebar grip isn’t interfering with the shift lever’s movement.
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