Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are a few questions floating around regarding sticky STI shifters and the standard procedure seems to be to flush with a load of WD-40 and relube with aerosol grease or similar.

My set is Ultegra 6500 series.

Having tried this with with unsatisfactory results I think I need to take more drastic action. It is clear there is still significant grime and gummed-up grease in the mechanism (excerbated no doubt by long-term lack of name plate). I figured the best method would be to remove the shifter from the bike and give it a good submersion in degreaser.

My idea was to leave the body on the bars and just remove the lever, which incorporates the mechanism by removing the pivot pin and brake/gear cables. The tech docs show this process but I'm slightly scared of tiny pieces flying everywhere and being unable to reassemble. It also requires a "return spring installation tool" which I do not possess.

Has anyone had experience with this? How tricky is it for a reasonably technically inclined person? Would I be better off just removing the bar tape and taking off the whole unit?

share|improve this question
2  
Its a pretty hard job, from what I hear - IIRC, there are people who specialize in refurbishing STI brifters, and I'd find one of those people and get them to do it, especially on Ultegra level gear. –  Batman May 20 at 15:33
    
@Batman The 6500 series is 9-speed and the outfit I'm familiar with that repairs Shimano brifters won't touch the 9-speeds. –  Carey Gregory May 21 at 20:29
    
Hm. I seem to recall there being problems with some of the 9 speed era, but now a days, Sora is the 9 speed group (and the brifters don't have the nice hoods that 105 and higher do). –  Batman May 22 at 0:17
    
Yes, it is indeed a 9-speed and a cursory google will produce many posts about sticky shifting problems on shifters of these era . I'm using the opportunity to upgrade to 10-speed and have ordered a new set of 105 5700 shifters to replace them. –  harryg May 22 at 8:13

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

So, after studying the tech doc I took the plunge. It is actually not difficult and the only tools you need are some hex keys. I managed to successfully remove the lever assembly from the shifter for cleaning. Just don't try to disassemble any further than the doc instructs.

The bad news was that even after a thorough soaking in degreaser (which turned black from the grime) and relube, shifting performance has hardly improved, suggesting some mechanical issue. I think some new shifters are in order.

Reassembly for almost as easy, the only slightly tricky bit was getting the return spring in the right place without the official tool. A bit of poking with a pointy implement solved it though.

Conclusion: definitely a viable and effective way to clean shifters - if grease and grime buildup is the cause of stickiness.

share|improve this answer
    
Have you checked and replaced your cables and cable housing? –  sessyargc.jp May 21 at 8:50
1  
Yes, the cables are all only a few months old and I removed the them to detach the lever; so was testing the shifter without any cables in anyway. –  harryg May 21 at 10:45

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.