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Are my RSX shifters dead?

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Are my RSX shifters dead?

Old 05-07-07, 08:53 AM
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Mudnyereye
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Are my RSX shifters dead?

I have a touring bike with RSX shifters. I picked up this bike at a garage sale for cheap and it has served me well. This Spring I started having problems with the shifters. The shifter for the front derailer won't shift up to the larger rings and the rear shifter is sticking on cool mornings. (It won't shift up). I do some maintenance on my bike but this is beyond my skills.
I took the bike to a bike shop as I figured maybe changing cables would solve it but they say I need new shifters at about $200+. Heck that's more than I paid for the bike!
There is a guy on E-bay that says he can fix them for $50. Does anyone know if these things can be fixed or am I stuck buying new ones?
I can't believe my bike season is on hold again.
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Old 05-07-07, 09:09 AM
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ebow3d
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AFAIK Shimano sti shifters can't be repaired. And yeah, they do cost more than most used bikes - silly really.
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Old 05-07-07, 09:17 AM
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TallRider
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Shimano brake/shift levers can't really be taken apart and repaired or parts replaced. But lots of people have had good luck flushing them with solvent to clean out grit and gummed-up grease, then re-lubricating them. You can remove the rubber hoods to soak them in solvent, or just flush the insides with WD-40 first and see if that cleans things up.

If that fails, you can get a set of Tektro brake levers for cheap, and get some 7-speed down-tube shifters. Or get Shimano replacement 7-speed shifters (made in the Sora setup).
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Old 05-07-07, 09:36 AM
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Al1943
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RSX shifters were a good design but not meant to last. Try the WD40 flush as timcupery suggested and you could try new cables and cable housings but in the end you may need to replace them, and new Shimano STI shifters come with new cables in the box (been there, done that).

Al
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Old 05-07-07, 10:38 AM
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MD45
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Do you put sugary drinks into your bottle cages? If so, it's possible they leaked down the frame tubes and gummed up the cable guide that is under your bottom bracket. I've had shifters suddenly act up just like yours because of this goo gumming up the cables. Try scrubbing off the cable guide with a brush and warm water. Might not be the issue but it just might be and could save you buying new shifters.
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Old 05-07-07, 03:32 PM
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I've rehabilitated a few RSX shifters by spraying a ton of Tri-Flow in the works and moving the levers around. You should be pretty persistent, sometimes it seems like nothing has changed even after working on it for ten minutes, then all of a sudden something catches and it shifts (almost) like new again. You can do this without removing the levers or any of the cables, though it can make quite a bit of a mess.

Granted, I don't know how long the fix will last, but I haven't had someone bring one back broken again, not yet at least. If only STI levers weren't so cost prohibitive to replace on most bikes.
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Old 05-08-07, 05:30 AM
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Mudnyereye,
I've got a set of 7-speed RSX brifters that came off my (used) Volpe when I bought it off Ebay. I never used 'em (replaced with Barcons) so I can't vouch for how well they work and now they are just gathering dust in the shop - if you want to pay for shipping I will be glad to give them to you.
John
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Old 05-08-07, 05:47 AM
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HillRider
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I've rehabilitated sticky STI levers by soaking them in mineral spirits with lots of agitation for several hours. It's amazing how much crud gets flushed out. This was followed by drying and then lots of Tri-Flow squirted into every opening. As Tim noted, remove the rubber hoods first.

You can simplify the cleaning by removing the entire lever/shifter mechanism from the base so you don't have to unwrap the bars or take off the hoods. Of course you still have to disconnect and remove the cables.

Look under the levers. Below the pivot there is a recessed 2mm allen set screw. Remove the set screw and drive out the pivot pin noting very carefully how the return spring is positioned. With the pin out, the lever/shiftor body comes off the base and can be solvent soaked and lubed more conveniently.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:39 AM
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Mudnyereye
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Originally Posted by MD45
Do you put sugary drinks into your bottle cages? If so, it's possible they leaked down the frame tubes and gummed up the cable guide that is under your bottom bracket. I've had shifters suddenly act up just like yours because of this goo gumming up the cables. Try scrubbing off the cable guide with a brush and warm water. Might not be the issue but it just might be and could save you buying new shifters.

All I use is water. I suspect it's just years of use and neglect. I clean and tune the otehr parts of my bike but for whatever reason, I ignored those.
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