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Are sti levers repairable?

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Are sti levers repairable?

Old 09-21-07, 12:21 AM
  #1  
christo.murphy
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Are sti levers repairable?

I have a problem with the right (rear derailleur changer) sti lever (Tiagra) on my touring bike. Every so often perhaps one in ten changes, the lever moves without any effect upon changing gear. It feels completely free as if it has missed the cog or ratchet (or whatever is inside it) that tensions the cable to effect the change. As these are expensive items I wondered if they are repairable. I have never seen components listed for sale.

Any ideas?

Christo
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Old 09-21-07, 12:27 AM
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markw
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Not repairable. You can flush them with cleaner, and then regrease what you can see. I had a set of Dura Ace do the same thing. Flush didn't do it, so I chucked them actually sold them for parts and went to Campy brifters, huge improvement.
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Old 09-21-07, 12:57 AM
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repairable

sure they're repairable, if you've the patience of job. the exploded diagrams are available at shimano.bike.
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Old 09-21-07, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lechat View Post
sure they're repairable, if you've the patience of job. the exploded diagrams are available at shimano.bike.
They are not designed to be repaired. This means that they were also not designed in such a way as to facilitate repairs. Even if you can get it apart and back together, where can you buy replacement parts?

If it is already damaged (you're sure) I'd give it a try purely from curiosity. I have heard of people repairing them, so it is possible, but I wouldn't count on being successful.
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Old 09-21-07, 05:37 AM
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Flush with WD-40. If it's the paddle rather than the lever, I found that if you push forward on it at the same time you're pushing sideways it will grab better. I shifted for over a year on an old set of 8s 600s this way, and they were still going when I sold the bike.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:52 AM
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I've heard flush with WD40 (a canful), then lube with something like Triflow.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:21 AM
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On my 105 theres a little bolt that screws into the upshift lever way up near the pivot. Mine has fallen out and when it does, I get the same problem you describe.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:51 AM
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+1 on non-repairable and flushing/cleaning. Nightmare to even try a fix.

Interestingly, I ran into a guy on Ebay a while back who was doing STI repair. Was even paying for old shifters (for parts I guess). Just tried to find him but no go- maybe wrong search criteria?
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Old 09-21-07, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
+1 on non-repairable and flushing/cleaning. Nightmare to even try a fix.

Interestingly, I ran into a guy on Ebay a while back who was doing STI repair. Was even paying for old shifters (for parts I guess). Just tried to find him but no go- maybe wrong search criteria?
He could have a thriving business if he managed to collect a lot of "broken" STIs. Interesting business model - I'd like to see it.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by gmason View Post
He could have a thriving business if he managed to collect a lot of "broken" STIs. Interesting business model - I'd like to see it.
Indeed! Sure wish I could find him again.

Yeah, the Shimano shifters when new/good condition work so perfectly but then you can't fix 'em when they go bad! It's like the best/worst engineering all at the same time.

I haven't owned Ergopower, but I understand they're quite durable and repairable.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:17 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
... It's like the best/worst engineering all at the same time.
Possibly best engineering, best marketing.

Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
... I haven't owned Ergopower, but I understand they're quite durable and repairable.
Mine have been, and those of my friends who have them.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:19 AM
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I had the same issue with a set of Shimano mtb brifters. Was told they weren't repairable, but then I went into a LBS who said they were always able to get them working by submerging them into their sonic parts cleaner bath. I tried it, and they work good as new. The tech told me it has something to do with the grease that Shimano uses hardening up and not permitting free movement of the tiny parts. I might try this before the do-it-yourself approach.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:29 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
I haven't owned Ergopower, but I understand they're quite durable and repairable.
I have them on two bikes and it's too early to tell if they are durable (3000 and 5000 miles respectively) but I like them and they are repairable. The cost of repair parts is fairly reasonable but having the repairs done by a shop (Branford Bikes is one that does it) can be quite costly. Branford says ~$75 for parts and $50-$60 for labor so the rebuild is $125 - $135 per lever. That's cheaper than replacement but not by a lot for Chorus and below.

Branford sells an Ergo repair manual for $6 and has all of the parts so if you can do the job yourself, it becomes quite attractive.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:41 PM
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Friend put her new 9 spd 105 brifter (near new) into sand when falling. I sold it "as is" for her on eBay. We tried the flush method extensivly without fix. Got $37 plus shipping. The guy wrote back and said he had "fixed it". Was going to sell it. I wonder if he advertizes.... "had sand in it"?

We bought a discounted new set on eBay....used the new rear brifter, and sold the front brifter seperatly.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:56 PM
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This may be the seller you guys are looking for.
I bought a repaired set from him, haven't got them yet but I'll let you know how they work when I get them

Item # 140158948644
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Old 09-21-07, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bct555 View Post
This may be the seller you guys are looking for.
I bought a repaired set from him, haven't got them yet but I'll let you know how they work when I get them

Item # 140158948644
That's the guy! Please start a thread when you get/use them.

I sent him an email to offer a bunch of DOA Rapidfire pods and some 105 8sp STI.
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Old 09-22-07, 11:45 PM
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christo.murphy
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Thanks to all who replied. On balance I decided that a repair was not the best option. So I bought Dura ace shifters - 7800 double.

BUT

The front mech lever requires two separate pushes for the mech to operate the shift from the larger to the smaller ring. Surely this can't be correct.

Will any Dura Ace owners out there please advise - Cheers Christo
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Old 09-23-07, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
+1 on non-repairable and flushing/cleaning. Nightmare to even try a fix.

Interestingly, I ran into a guy on Ebay a while back who was doing STI repair. Was even paying for old shifters (for parts I guess). Just tried to find him but no go- maybe wrong search criteria?
In fact, a guy who fits that discription has multiple listings on ebay right now. He has a cluster due to complete around 7pm Sunday 9/23, if you are interested.
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Old 09-23-07, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by christo.murphy View Post
The front mech lever requires two separate pushes for the mech to operate the shift from the larger to the smaller ring. Surely this can't be correct.

Will any Dura Ace owners out there please advise - Cheers Christo
Why can't it be correct?

Tim
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Old 09-23-07, 06:00 AM
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I bought a set of sti shifters from the ebay seller I posted about in this thread. They came yesterday and I was able to get the left one installed and adjusted. It shifts up and down very nice. The right shifter has nice crisp clicks up and down .
I just needed the left shifter but ended up buying a pair so am sending my other shifter to the seller to repair for what I think is a very reasonable price.

I wouldn't have a problem buying from this fellow again.
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Old 09-23-07, 11:54 AM
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Quite right Tim - I should watch my semantics. However, I should have said that it seems odd to me that a race quality shifter should have this function which seems somewhat slow. Subjectively I found the action quite harsh, rather than the silky smooth I expected. Also, not as easy as my Ultegra or 105 shifters which I have on other bikes. I presume the other contributer is correct and that this "double" action is connected with trimming. Perhaps I will get used to it.

Thanks for your reply

Christo
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Old 09-23-07, 02:07 PM
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Trim is a necessary function of any FD shifter, you can monkey with the front indexing if there's no position where you're in the small ring and one shift gets you to the big one but chances are it's indexed properly right now. Shifting rings is a pretty rare event in racing compared to shifting cogs, and shifting up from small to large is just a matter of pushing the lever farther, not twice, so it's not really slower. Dura Ace has a very sharp feel compared to 105, Ultegra is much smoother as well. It's just a matter of the shape of the pawls and ratchets inside, as well as how the materials used transmit the "feel", they all do the same thing, which is to say pull or release some exact amount of cable every time you hit the lever.

Don't flush them with WD40, use something that will entirely evaporate out and leave no residue, mineral spirits is a good option, I guess kerosene would work as well. I like mineral spirits followed by 95% isopropyl for stuff like this, less smell and whatnot. The leftovers go into the same tank I put used motor oil in and get taken to the auto shop that takes my used oil.
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Old 09-24-07, 02:09 AM
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Again thanks for an excellent reply.

Mineral spirits - not sure what this is. Would it be what we (Brits) call methylated spirit (Methyl Alcohol)?
As for Isopropanol I'm not even sure that you can buy it in the UK, at least not from retail outlets.

best wishes

Christo
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Old 09-24-07, 05:06 AM
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mineral spirits is paint thinner. You buy it a hardware or paint store.

Isopropanol is sometimes called rubbing alcohol is the US. you buy it in a drug store if you want a small quantity. Look in the area where the diabetic supplies are for 99% alcohol. Regular rubbing alcohol is about 30% water. Some gas line antifreezes ("Heet") are also isopropanol.
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