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I screwed up (Tiagra shifter problem)

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I screwed up (Tiagra shifter problem)

Old 05-30-14, 07:17 PM
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SouthFLpix
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I screwed up (Tiagra shifter problem)

While replacing the shift cables on my Tiagra 9 speed shifter, I pushed the cable through without making sure that the head was firmly seated in the guide. When I ran the cable through and tried shifting up to adjust my derailer, the head of the cable got stuck in the shifter.

The cable didn't break or get frayed, but because the 'head' of the cable is stuck in the shifter now the shifter wont' shift to the highest gear to let me remove the cable. What are my options? I can only shift down about 5 clicks.
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Old 05-30-14, 07:26 PM
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You need to extract the cable and either reseat it or, if damaged after removal, replace the cable. This can be a frustrating process as it's not a cut and dried procedure that uses a set tool or method. I'd first try to force the cable out with needle nose pliers pushing on the cable just outside the shifter cable port. As you do this pushing try running through the shifter's click positions. Sometimes slight twisting of the cable will help free up the end from it's jammed position. Sometimes the cable can be pushed only a small amount but enough to allow the shifter to ratchet down to the high gear position then the cable might be able to be extracted.

Ever watch a lock smith work on an old door lock? It sometimes involves a lot of this and that force/movement. Andy.
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Old 05-30-14, 08:44 PM
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Update: Ok, after some effort, I managed to get cable out of the shifter, and I discovered that the problem was perhaps not on my end. The shift cable I ordered had a 'stop' that was just slightly smaller than the one on my standard Shimano cables. The cable worked fine with my front shifter, but for some reason on my rear shifter the head of the cable was just small enough to 'slip' through the cable stop and get stuck inside my shifter as I tried to upshift (and therefore put tension on the cable).

These were the cables I ordered: VO Metallic Braid Derailleur Cable Kits - Cables - Shifting - Components

I'm not sure if I got sort of unlucky, or if my Tiagra shifter is older and not compatible, but please be advised in case you have a similar problem. I know it was the cable itself because I tried it a second time after being sure it was seated properly in the shifter and pulling cable, and it pried itself loose again. I will get a standard Shimano cable from my LBS tomorrow.


Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
You need to extract the cable and either reseat it or, if damaged after removal, replace the cable. This can be a frustrating process as it's not a cut and dried procedure that uses a set tool or method. I'd first try to force the cable out with needle nose pliers pushing on the cable just outside the shifter cable port. As you do this pushing try running through the shifter's click positions. Sometimes slight twisting of the cable will help free up the end from it's jammed position. Sometimes the cable can be pushed only a small amount but enough to allow the shifter to ratchet down to the high gear position then the cable might be able to be extracted.


Ever watch a lock smith work on an old door lock? It sometimes involves a lot of this and that force/movement. Andy.

Thank you for the help. It was really frustrating to get the cable out, but I managed to get it done after several failed attempts.
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Old 05-30-14, 09:47 PM
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I wonder if your inner cable was Campy sized. It's head is slightly smaller then those of Shimano spec. Too bad that Shimano choses to use a plastic cable spool in their shifters, I suspect that a metal one wouldn't have "opened up" and let the cable head slip through. I hope that a proper Shimano cable end won't have more seating issues with what might be a damager shifter cable spool. Good luck. Andy.
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Old 05-31-14, 02:06 PM
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Update #2 : The Shimano branded cable worked, thankfully. I am using the housing from Velo Orange but I feel let down that one of the cables didn't work out. Should I contact their customer service?
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Old 05-31-14, 07:39 PM
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Well, you're the first person who has posted on this problem, cable end pulling through the shifter seating spool, AFAIK. I suspect that others have installed campy cables in Shimano levers, assuming this is the case with your install. But we don't see other problems reported (either in the shop where i work or here in Bike Forums). So one might think that the cables are the problem. BUT I'd check the cable specs first and then if they say they are campy compatible I'd consider that Shimano would blame you for installing the wrong cables.

But what do i know. I don't have the cable specs in front of me. I didn't go through the frustration and extra cost. If the cables have no docs or specs then contacting the company might help. Andy.
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Old 06-01-14, 03:48 PM
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I've found some of the more recent and cheaper STIs are prone to do this, even with standard cables.

Don't let the cable get loose; keep it taut until you clamp it, bit of a trick.
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