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Barcon Bumps, cable snags

Old 08-22-15, 01:30 PM
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Barcon Bumps, cable snags

Today I started assembling the Motobecane Le Champion which has been sitting forlornly in the basement. Got BB and headset assembled with no trouble. Ran into a snag or two, actually three. The bar had Suntour ratcheting barcons which I am hoping to use. Alas, they may be dead. The cable heads are seriously stuck in the levers. Maybe one of you has a trick or two for getting them out.

But wait, there's more! (Now how much would you pay?) I got the levers out of the bar but on one side the three aluminum wedges are stuck tight inside the bar. I could cut them out with a hacksaw blade or coping saw blade if a hacksaw blade won't fit. They might still be usable since the bolt could simply wedge them further, but I'd rather not go that route unless necessary.

Anyone got any advice? I've never used barcons and would be tempted to toss them or just give them to one of you except that I have all the other original parts or replacements, including a shop-installed Stronglight triple and even the invoice listing everything. I was hoping to do this bike as a restoration. But the barcon thing might put an end to that unless I pick up some other barcon levers.
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Old 08-22-15, 02:13 PM
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You can look into the end of the handle bar and see the wedges, right? I would heat up the end of the bar, then use a punch and a hammer to pop'em loose.
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Old 08-22-15, 07:27 PM
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Pardon my question... you did loosen the bolt that holds them in the bar? Allen head that turns to the right to loosen, then tap to release the tension, similar to a threaded stem.

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Old 08-22-15, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eom View Post
Pardon my question... you did loosen the bolt that holds them in the bar?
No pardon required. It's a reasonable question, and the answer is "Of course." I have completely removed the shell and slipped the bolt around the bar and out the other end. The other end was clear because the lever on that side came out easily. On this one they are just plain stuck.

So what about stuck derailleur cable ends??? That's a bigger problem. I struggled with one before and finally gave up.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:04 PM
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Cable ends... Carefully drill them out with increasing sized drill bits. Did this before with success.

Good luck.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:43 PM
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@jimmuller - for stuck cable ends I cut the cable short, mount the lever in a vice and use a small awl or the like to gently tap them out from the back side. Don't despair, they will come out.


For the 3 pieces of the bar end shifters I would use penetrating oil or Kroil and let it sit for 24 hrs or so. Then some sharp blows to outside of bar (not enough to damage, but the shock helps break the connection between metals when using penetrating oil. I would mount the bars in a vice and use a hammer and something fine like a small screwdriver to pry or chisel the edges away from the bar. If there are slight spaces between the 3 pieces perhaps use the edge of a screwdriver to run back & forth down those spaces to remove whatever is holding them there.
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Old 08-22-15, 09:05 PM
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Are the wedges oxidized to the bar? Try soaking the wedges/surrounding bar in some penetrating oil (plug that end of the bar). A punch and jewelers hammer or deadblow after the soak might do the trick.
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Old 08-23-15, 07:51 AM
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@jimmuller,


If all else fails, despite all the fantastic advise given thus far, I have plenty of spare Suntour barcons in various states of disrepair. Therefore I have plenty of spare parts to get you up and running.
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Old 08-23-15, 10:35 AM
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If all else fails, and the barcon bits are worth more to you than the bars, you could cut the bars off just past the wedges and use a screwdriver to push them "further in", whack it with a hammer, whatever it takes to get them out.

I seem to remember someone in the pastchopping down their handlebars so that the ends were about where the ends of the drops would have been. Guy told me he never used that part of the bar anyways, and he sometimes hit the shifters with his knees. If you were willing to live with that, you could still reuse the bars.

But I'd try everything else recommended here first. I'm pretty sure they'll come out.
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Old 08-23-15, 10:57 AM
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Could you stick your head to the bottom of a steel girder?

NOW how much would you pay?



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Old 08-23-15, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Could you stick your head to the bottom of a steel girder?
That's a Superglue commercial. I'm trying to unstick it!
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Old 08-23-15, 02:57 PM
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Pastorbob,
Here I am still contemplating sending you a SunTour freewheel in for rehab, and NOW you tell me you have ST BarCon parts??? I need a couple of Winner 6-speeds rebuilt and a tiny (#11) screw to eliminate the annoying shifter buzzing as I have endured for the last 25,000 miles!!!!


Please PM me me!!!!
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Old 08-23-15, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
That's a Superglue commercial. I'm trying to unstick it!
It can cut through a tin can and still slice a tomato paper thin!

NOW how much would you pay?


Don't answer yet!
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Old 08-23-15, 03:12 PM
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@jimmuller

Since you have one of the barcons out, why not shoot some PBBlaster down the bar tube and let it sit overnight? I would plug the stuck end to keep all of the blaster in there so it can do its work.
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Old 08-23-15, 03:21 PM
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Removing stuck cable ends from gear levers - sharpen the end of an old broken spoke to a tapered conical point - simple if you have a grinding wheel or an electric drill, otherwise file it. Bend the rest of the spoke into an elongated loop to use as a handle, wrap this in insulating tape to protect your hands. Use this as an awl to dig and push out the stuck nipple from the cable side. A really useful free tool everyone should have in their box!
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Old 08-23-15, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Hmm, the one I took out easily did not have that clip, part 17 . FWIW, it would seem unnecessary.

Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller View Post
Removing stuck cable ends from gear levers - sharpen the end of an old broken spoke to a tapered conical point
Sounds like a good tip. I tried that once before but perhaps did not have enough patience, or the right taper, or the right bend or something.
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Old 08-23-15, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Hmm, the one I took out easily did not have that clip, part 17 . FWIW, it would seem unnecessary.


Sounds like a good tip. I tried that once before but perhaps did not have enough patience, or the right taper, or the right bend or something.
The 'clip' #17 holds the three #16s together at the 'notch' in the middle of them, not at the aft end.
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Old 08-23-15, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
The 'clip' #17 holds the three #16s together at the 'notch' in the middle of them, not at the aft end.
Well, that kinda' obvious from the position of the notch. But it is also obvious that once you insert everything into the bar the wedges aren't going anywhere. The clip's main function would seem to be to keep the wedges from getting lost when it isn't in a bar.
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Old 08-23-15, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Hmm, the one I took out easily did not have that clip, part 17. FWIW, it would seem unnecessary.
Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
The 'clip' holds the three [curved plates] together at the 'notch' in the middle of them, not at the aft end.
And it holds the whole assembly together as a unit, facilitating installation. You could presumably use a rubber band to do the same thing, but it would likely disintegrate over time so if/when you remove the shifter, it would come apart instead of remaining as a unit. Probably not a big deal as long as you retrieve all the pieces.
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Old 08-23-15, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Pastorbob,
Here I am still contemplating sending you a SunTour freewheel in for rehab, and NOW you tell me you have ST BarCon parts??? I need a couple of Winner 6-speeds rebuilt and a tiny (#11) screw to eliminate the annoying shifter buzzing as I have endured for the last 25,000 miles!!!!


Please PM me me!!!!
I was able to get an identical match to that screw at the local hardware store to a replace a heavily rusted one... $.05
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Old 08-24-15, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
Pastorbob,
Here I am still contemplating sending you a SunTour freewheel in for rehab, and NOW you tell me you have ST BarCon parts??? I need a couple of Winner 6-speeds rebuilt and a tiny (#11) screw to eliminate the annoying shifter buzzing as I have endured for the last 25,000 miles!!!!


Please PM me me!!!!
As long as they are not NEW Winners. Those are beasts which really do not cooperate in regard to being serviced. My success rate on that particular model is about 25-33% so most of the time I advise to not bother.

I can probably forage the # 11 screw, but as @coolkat mentions above, any decent ACE hardware store should be able to find a suitable replacement if I can't.
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Old 08-24-15, 08:12 AM
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Not to derail the thread here (but since schematics have made an appearance).... I've often looked for the definitive guide to servicing suntour bar end shifters, since I'm running them on three different bikes. When you have them apart, what is your habit for servicing them? Do people actually service them? Thanks!
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Old 08-24-15, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by simmonsgc View Post
Not to derail the thread here (but since schematics have made an appearance).... I've often looked for the definitive guide to servicing suntour bar end shifters, since I'm running them on three different bikes. When you have them apart, what is your habit for servicing them? Do people actually service them? Thanks!
Interesting question. I think we have just seen an argument in favor of greasing the wedges and perhaps even the cable holes in the levers. I have never done any other servicing on mine, which in turn serve me well and seem to thrive on neglect.
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